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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/6: Hursh Debuts at AAA, Riley Keeps Hitting

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

(57-55) Rochester Red Wings 7 vs. (59-52) Gwinnett Braves 5

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 2-5, 1 run, SB, .240/.281/.307 (at Gwinnett)
  • Christian Bethancourt, DH: 2-4, 1 RBI, .297/.311/.434
  • Tyrell Jenkins, SP: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 3.03 ERA
  • Jason Hursh, RP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 K (AAA debut)

Tyrell Jenkins started off very well in this one, but the wheels came off a bit in the 5th as the Braves fell to the Red Wings 7-5. A six run 5th inning where a lot of the damage was done because of walks and a bases-loaded double didn't look great for Jenkins, but before that inning he had been lights out. Vin Mazzaro had a good outing in relief, but the highlight out of the bullpen was the AAA debut of Jason Hursh. Hursh pitched a perfect inning of relief and looks to be very comfortable with his role as a relief pitcher. Mallex Smith got a couple of hits and a stolen base (his 17th at Gwinnett) to continue his turnaround at AAA. Christian Bethancourt went 2-4 with an RBI, but as a DH. Given that his primary reason to be at AAA is to rehabilitate his behind the plate skills, one hopes this was just a bit of rest given to him and not a sign of things to come. Overall, the offense did an excellent job, but Tyrell's rough inning proved to be too much to overcome.

(55-52) Montgomery Biscuits 4 vs. (56-52) Mississippi Braves 7

Box Score

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-4, 1 run, .216/.331/.266
  • Kevin Ahrens, LF: 1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .231/.310/.327
  • Levi Hyams, 2B: 3-4, 1 run, 2 RBI, .271/.374/.383
  • Lucas Sims, SP: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 7.41 ERA (at AA)

Mississippi used a big rally in the 8th inning to take down the Biscuits 7-4. Rio Ruiz has 5 hits in his last three games which, given his performance this year, is cause for celebration. Kevin Ahrens keyed the Braves' comeback with a 3 run homer, which Levi Hyams set the table in the 2-hole all night with a 3 hit, 2 RBI performance. Emerson Landoni pitched in with 2 hits of his own to continue his hot hitting and the top of the order put pressure on the Biscuits all night long. As for the pitching, Lucas Sims rebounded from a terrible outing with a good one, giving up 3 runs in 5.1 innings of work. He is definitely walking too many batters and that got him in to some trouble in the 6th inning after he had been excellent to start the game. Andrew Barbosa did not help his cause given that as soon as he came on to relieve Sims with some inherited runners on, he gave up a home run which made Sims' line worse than it really was.

(55-55) Winston-Salem Dash 3 vs. (56-54) Carolina Mudcats 0

Box Score

  • Connor Lien, RF: 1-4, 2 Ks, .294/.347/.438
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, .248/.320/.347
  • Rob Whalen, SP: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3.29 ERA
  • Andrew Waszak, RP: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 3.91 ERA

Tough game for the Mudcats as Rob Whalen left early and the Mudcats were shut out 3-0 by the Dash. Whalen only pitched one inning while giving up 2 runs including a home run. There is some word that he was injured, but walked off the field under his own power...but nothing is confirmed at all yet so we will keep you updated. Andrew Waszak did a decent job in relief, although the 4 walks made things harder on himself than it needed to be. Nothing to really talk about on offense as they only scraped together 5 hits, including 0 XBHs, and no runs at all. Carolina did have some chances due to 3 errors by the Dash, but ultimately could not push any runs across.

Rome Braves vs. Augusta GreenJackets - Postponed due to rain

(25-17) Princeton Rays 12 vs. (19-22) Danville Braves 1

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-3, 1 2B, .364/.481/.727 (at Danville)
  • Juan Yepez, 1B: 0-3
  • Justin Ellison, LF: 0-3
  • Entire pitching staff: 9 IP, 19 H, 12 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Ugh....avert your eyes. While Danville struggled to do much of anything right in this game, Austin Riley continues to just hit with  a double and scoring Danville's only run. Riley is turning in to quite the young hitter and it would not be surprising at all if the offseason prospect rankings gave Austin a lot of love given how good he has been in rookie ball. Danville's offense only managed 4 hits total on the evening which left something to be desired, but the pitching really dropped the ball in this game. No pitcher allowed less than 2 runs (out of the 4 pitchers used) and it seemed like the Rays were squaring up against all of them.

(22-13) GCL Pirates 3 vs. (16-21) GCL Braves 4 - f/10

Box Score

  • Alejandro Salazar, SS: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 run, .307/.371/.394
  • Isranel Wilson, RF: 2-3, 2 runs, HR(5), .195/.313/.439
  • Bradley Keller, CF: 1-4, .300/.370/.357
  • Dalton Geekie, RP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.93 ERA

The GCL Braves walked off on an error in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Pirates 4-3. Alejandro Salazar was the hero as he reached on the error that scored the game-winning run. Isranel Wilson continued his "feast or famine" approach to hitting with 2 hits including a home run in this one. Bradley Keller has been overshadowed a bit in rookie ball with the performances of Austin Riley, Juan Yepez, and others....but he has been excellent this year as well. As for the pitching Jesus Heredia and Dalton Geekie combined for 6 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Braves in the game while starter Gilbert Suarez struggled with control in his 4 innings of work.