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Minors Recap 7/31: John Gant makes his Braves Debut

It was a good day for the upper minor league system, as good pitching performances led Carolina, Gwinnett, and Mississippi to wins. Danville and Rome lost on late runs.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

(54-51) Gwinnett Braves 8, (52-54) Durham Bulls 4

Box Score

Mallex Smith, CF: 1-4, 2B, BB, R, .222/.267/.294
Cedric Hunter, DH: 1-5, HR(7), 4 RBI,  .269/.312/.391
Sean Kazmar, 3B: 2-4, HR(2), 3 RBI, R, .280/.315/.386
Kanekoa Texeira, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 3 K, 3.58 ERA

The first game Post-Peraza was a successful one for the Gwinnett, as the offense exploded on the backs of Cedric Hunter and Sean Kazmar. They combined to knock in 7 of the team's 8 runs and hit both home runs. Carlos Fisher, David Peterson, and Hunter Cervenka combined to go 4IP 1H 1R 0BB 3K in relief, the only run being allowed on a Nick Franklin home run. Todd Cunningham went 1-3 with an outfield assist, but was pulled for Mycal Jones in the 7th for undisclosed reasons. Every single starter in the lineup reached base at least once, and 7 of the 9 scores at least 1 run-Joey Terdoslavich being the only to score twice.

(52-50) Mississippi Braves 4 vs. (56-46) Birmingham Barons 3

Box Score

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, RBI, BB, CS, .212/.329/.263
Kevin Ahrens, DH: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, SB, .242/.321/.336
David Rohm, RF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .253/.322/.307
John Gant, SP: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 3.42 ERA
Tyler Jones, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 2.48 ERA

John Gant carried a no hitter into the 5th in his organizational debut, striking out 7 batters. He had his 12-6 curveball working all night, and he gave the Barons fits. The MBraves scored twice in the 4th on a Kevin Ahrens double and a Rio Ruiz single, and they didn't relinquish the lead from there. They added 2 more insurance runs in the sixth, and the bullpen was barely able to hold on for the win. Kyle Kinman got his first AA save, giving up a run in his only inning and striking out 1. The first 6 batters in the order all had hits, included KD Kang witha double. Kang finished the month of July hitting .381/.426/.567 in 27 games, adding on 16 RBIs and 3 home runs. With the win Mississippi moves within 2 games of Mobile for the 2nd half lead in the South Division

(53-52) Carolina Mudcats 4 vs. (52-53) Wilmington Blue Rocks 1

Box Score

Connor Lien, RF: 2-5, RBI, R, 297/.351/.444
Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, RBI, R, .253/.325/.356
Jacob Schrader, 1B: 2-4, 2B, BB, .258/.302/.470
Rob Whalen, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 3.20 ERA

The other half of the trade with the Mets was equally fantastic, shutting down Wilmington over 7 innings. Richie Tate came in to shut the door in the 8th and 9th and Carolina won their 4th straight, moving back over .500. Carolina totaled 12 hits, and every starter except Joseph Odom had at least 1. Reed Harper and Keith Curcio had 2 hits games, as did Jacob Schrader and Connor Lien. Lien finished a breakout July hitting an incredible .313/.395/.515 with 4 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 28 games. On the other hand Dustin Peterson capped off a nightmare month in which he hit just .202/.270/.248. All 4 runs were knocked in by the first 5 batters in the order, which Lien, Curcio, Peterson, and Carlos Franco getting them.

(43-60) Rome Braves 3 vs. (53-50) Augusta GreenJackets 5

Box Score

Ozhaino Albies, SS: 0-2, 3 BB,.309/.369/.403
Tanner Murphy, C: 0-4, .180/.267/.266
Matt Tellor, 1B: 2-3, 2 R, BB, .203/.248/.286
Oriel Caicedo, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 3.60 ERA

Rome gave up 3 runs in the top of the ninth, and despite a 2 run rally in the bottom of the 9th they could not catch up to the Greenjackets. Hits were hard to come by, with 3 players getting 5 hits, but a plethora of walks kept the offense alive. Rome was walked 9 times in total tonight, and reached 2 more times on errors by Augusta. Daniel Cordero was fantastic in his 2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit and walking 1 while striking out 4. Omar Obregon added 2 hits to the mix and had the lone RBI on the night. There were no extra base hits of any kind for the Braves. Errors were the ultimate undoing for Rome, as their 2 errors (1 by Pitcher Oriel Caicedo on a pickoff play) allowed 3 unearned runs to score. Also notable, despite the walks today Ozhaino Albies seems to be tiring, going just 3-38 in his last 10 games to drop his average all the way to .309. Rome is currently on a 5 game losing streak and has won 1 of the past 11.

(17-19) Danville Braves 2, (16-19) Bristol Pirates 4  F/13

Box Score

Leudys Baez, LF: 3-6, 1 2B, .290/.308/.449
Kelvin Estevez, LF: 2-5, Outfield Assist, .240/.269/.333
Austin Riley, 3B: 2-5, 3B, 1 RBI, R, .261/.333/.514
Patrick Weigel, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.86 ERA

Sean McLaughlin, RP: 4IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 6K, 4.43 ERA

It took half a game of free baseball but the score was finally decided when Bristol hit a walk off home run in the 13th. Both Weigel and McLaughlin were fantastic in the game, but the bullpen ran out of gas at the end. Draftee Austin Riley made his Danville debut, and continued over his good work from the Gulf Coast League, though I was disappointed that he didn't hit 5 or so home runs in the game. I guess he has to have a down game every now and then. Danville struggled to hit when it mattered, going 1-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving 4 runners in scoring position with 2 outs. Carlos Castro got another hit to extend his streak to 8 straight, 16 of the last 17, and 27 of 30 on the season. Austin Riley finished his first full month in professional baseball at .315/.351/.629 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI

GCL Braves

Both games were rained out

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