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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 9/2: The season winds down, Mallex and Lien stay hot

Mallex Smith and Connor Lien continue to be good at baseball, while Gwinnett in particular makes a final push for the postseason.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

(73-65) Gwinnett Braves 6 vs. (76-62) Norfolk Tides 2 - Game One

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 1-3, SB, CS, 2 RBI, 1 BB, .287/.339/.375
  • Barrett Kleinknecht, 3B: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, .187/.234/.269
  • Joey Terdoslavich, 1B: 1-3, HR, 1 BB, 1 RBI, .291/.405/.477
  • Jake Brigham, SP: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4.95 ERA

(74-65) Gwinnett Braves 7 vs. (76-63) Norfolk Tides 2 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 1-2, 2 BB, SB, .287/.339/.375
  • Luis Mateo, 2B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .222/.255/.333
  • Brandon Barker, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.25 ERA (overall)

Gwinnett continues to push for a playoff berth down in AAA as they swept the first place Tides by scores of 6-2 and 7-2 in this doubleheader. Mallex Smith had an excellent double feature, as he reached base 5 times including 3 walks and stole two bases. Joey Terdoslavich, who was a bit of a surprise to not be a September call-up for Atlanta, homered in the first game while relative newcomer Luis Mateo homered for Gwinnett in the second game. Overall, Gwinnett capitalized on its scoring chances at a high rate while the pitching held things down. Jake Brigham, recently demoted from Atlanta, combined with a couple others to cobble together a strong start in the first game while the recently promoted (and justly so) Brandon Barker just waltzed in to a playoff race and pitched extremely well. Barker is a dark horse candidate for a spot in the starting rotation in the next year or two, so keep an eye on him as he is likely to start next year at AAA given the Braves' move to promote him this year.

Mississippi Braves - Off Day

(68-66) Carolina Mudcats 6 vs. (63-72) Frederick Keys 7

Box Score

  • Connor Lien, RF: 3-5, 2 runs, HR(8), 1 RBI, .287/.346/.417
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 1-4, 2 RBI, .248/.337/.385
  • Seth Webster, SP: 6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.91 ERA

After the Mudcats rallied from a 5-2 deficit to take the lead, the Keys walked off in the bottom of the ninth thanks to some shoddy fielding (two errors...eww) and a rough outing from the bullpen as the Keys win 7-6. Seth Webster had an ok start and while he did give up 4 runs which put some pressure on the offense, he also guaranteed to go at least 6 innings+ in any of his starts which the bullpen surely appreciates. Connor Lien did Connor Lien things as he had three hits including his 8th home run of the year while also scoring three runs. Connor is certainly a player to watch as he will be participating in the Arizona Fall League this year and will likely be promoted to AA next season. Carlos Franco did his part as he drove in two runs, but unfortunately Andy Otero's struggles on the mound as well as with the glove cost the Mudcats a win.

(69-66) Greenville Drive 2 vs. (57-78) Rome Braves 6

Box Score

  • Stephen Gaylor, CF: 3-5, 3 runs, .289/.375/.349
  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 run, .244/.385/.374
  • Tanner Murphy, C: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI, .192/.277/.302
  • Oriel Caicedo, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 3.35 ERA

Rome is trying to end their season on a good note as they beat Greenville 6-2. Stephen Gaylor has really filled in nicely at the top of the order for Ozhaino Albies and this game was no different with 3 hits and 3 runs scored. Braxton Davidson had a good game at the plate with a couple of hits and an RBI, while Tanner Murphy is trying to end a disappointing offensive season on a good note as he reached base twice and drove in a run. On the pitching side of things, starter Oriel Caicedo put together a strong start as he pitched six innings without giving up an earned run or a walk.

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