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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Riley homers in second straight, short season underway

The first full night of the season with every affiliate in action

Touki had another solid outing
Garrett Spain

Friday night was an eventful night on the farm as the final short season leagues got under way and the full season teams entered the first weekend of their second half.

Gwinnett Braves 0, Charlotte Knights 5

Box score

  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 1-4, K, .243/.301/.350
  • Ronnier Mustelier, DH: 2-3, 2B, .289/.350/.388
  • Matt Marksberry, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 1 K

This one was as tough as the final score would indicate, as the Knights got three first inning runs off Joel De La Cruz and never looked back. The Braves offense was best described as weak against former top prospect turned AAAA guy, Jacob Turner. They did manage six hits, but five were singles and the extra base hit was the Mustelier double. Not only did the Braves lack any power, but they only got one runner to reach third base and only get one more to get as far as second base.

In more positive news Ozzie Albies is hitting .262 over his last 10 games with seven walks to just five strikeouts, showing signs of adjustment as he had 10 walks to 31 strikeouts in his first 42 games in AAA. Ronnier Mustelier had another multi-hit game and stayed hot with a .400 average over his last 10. That’s about all of the good in this one as Turner shut the Braves as Turner shut the Braves down.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 hosting Charlotte @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Charlotte-Chris Volstad(5-5, 4.24)

Gwinnett-Casey Kelly(2-3, 2.96)

Mississippi Braves 4, Jacksonville Suns 2

Box score

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-4, K, .247/.330/.398
  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-4, 2 R, K, .500/.500/.750
  • Mauricio Cabrera, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 1 K

Jacksonville got a run off Victor Mateo fast as the first two batters doubles and singled, but he settled down and got out of the inning without allowing any other base runners and actually gave himself the lead to stay in the bottom of the second with a sac fly following a Johan Camargo RBI single. After those first two hits Mateo only allowed three more over 5.1 innings, though he did walk four guys on his way to getting the win.

Dansby Swanson had another hit as he appears to be getting out of his slump, and had now hit in four of his last five including three multi-hit games. In just his second game after being promoted from Carolina, Joey Meneses had another two hit day. The 24 year old is forcing people to start taking notice with a combined .902 OPS this year. Mauricio Cabrera had a perfect eighth inning against the 1-2-3 hitters from Jacksonville while throwing 9 of 11 pitches for strikes. Connor Lien added a hit, his first in nine at bats this year, but also struck out twice at the top of the order.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 hosting Jacksonville @ 7:00 PM

Probable Starters: Jacksonville-Asher Wojciechowski(0-0, 1.93)

Mississippi-Rob Whalen(5-4, 2.16)

Carolina Mudcats 3, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4

Box score

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, .232/.336/.362
  • Zack Bird, RP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 K, 3 BB
  • Tanner Murphy, C: 1-3, R, 2B, .155/.239/.268

Carolina lost a back and forth game with Myrtle Beach but it was impressive that the Mudcats held the Pelicans to only four runs. Matt Withrow was very hittable giving up 8 hits and 2 walks over 4.1 innings. Zack Bird’s command continued to give him issues as he gave up three walks in 1.1 innings while Michael O’Neal allowed a pair of hits and a pair of walks over 1.2 innings. Outside of a clean 0.2 innings from Sean McLaughlin the Mudcats gave up 17 base runners

Braxton Davidson is playing well right now, hitting .308 over his last 10. This home run was just his fourth of the year, but he does have 15 doubles on the year, so he is at least showing some pop despite a low home run total. It’s been a nightmare year and a half for Tanner Murphy, but he’s hit safely in three straight and is hitting .250 over his last 10. That’s at least a sign of life for a guy who was making his way up prospect lists heading into 2015. Stephen Gaylor and Sal Giardina each added a pair of hits in the loss.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 visiting Myrtle Beach @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Myrtle Beach-Jeremy Null(2-3, 3.66)

Carolina-Caleb Beech(0-1, 3.18)

Rome Braves 3, Charleston RiverDogs 2

Box score

  • Luke Dykstra, 2B: 3-4, RBI, .325/.357/.379
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K, .252/.300/.392
  • Touki Toussaint, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 R, 6 K

After walking just one guy over 14 innings in his previous two starts, Touki Toussaint walked three here in five innings. The good news is that he was still fairly efficient throwing 55 of his 88 pitches for strikes. It’s not keeping up with his recent run but he also didn’t struggle with his command the way he did early in the year, so this is a solid outing for a kid that just needs to keep getting the ball and working through his issues. The outing was finished by four scoreless innings out of the pen, as 2015 draftees Grayson Jones and Matt Custred finished the game well against a talented Charleston lineup.

With the Braves down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth Austin Riley hit his fifth homer of the year, a two run shot that eventually won the game. It’s now two homers in two nights out of the All Star break for Riley, though he has also struck out four times in eight at bats too. Luke Dykstra continued his impressive season with the bat, collecting three more singles. Ray-Patrick Didder singled and grabbed his 19th steal of the season.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 hosting Charleston @ 6:00 PM

Probable Starters: Charleston-Daris Vargas(4-3, 2.97)

Rome-Ricardo Sanchez(3-5, 5.80)

Danville Braves 14, Pulaski Yankees 6

Box score

  • Isranel Wilson, CF: 3-4, 2 2B, BB, 2 R
  • Ramon Osuna, 1B: 3-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, SO
  • JB Moss, RF: 3-6, 2 R, 2 RBI

This is the game from Thursday which was suspended and resumed. Eric noted yesterday that Isranel Wilson and Ramon Osuna got off to strong starts before the suspension of the game, but each had more hits after the game continued as the Braves tacked on nine more runs to the score.

In addition to what was already covered, JB Moss had a three hit debut, while Jared James- son of former big leaguer Dion James, had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI. Recent draftees Corbin Clouse and Devan Watts each pitched a perfect inning in relief.

Danville Braves 2, Pulaski Yankees 1 (7 innings)

Box score

  • Luis Gamez, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 R, 3 K
  • Kevin Josephina, 2B: 1-3, 2B, R
  • Darien McLemore SS: 1-3, R

Danville struck for two in the first in the second part of the double header, and never looked back on their way to taking both games. Luis Gamez shut down a talented Pulaski lineup in a game that ended up being a pitchers duel. It wasn’t such a great start to the season for draftee Zach Rice, as he walked two in his inning of relief- control issues were a problem for him in college.

Darien McLemore played a part in the win going 1-3 and scoring a run. He’s the second son of a big leaguer on the roster, as he’s the son of Mark McLemore. Isranel Wilson went 0-2 with a strikeout and a walk here.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 visiting Pulaski @ 7:00 PM

Probable Starters: TBD

GCL Braves 4, GCL Yankees East 5

Box score

  • Anthony Concepcion, LF: 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, K
  • Christian Pache, RF: 2-4, R
  • Derian Cruz, SS: 2-5, K, 1 SB, 1 CS
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 8 K

The story of the opener for the GCL squad wasn’t that Alan Rangel was dominant outside of allowing a solo homer, nor was it that the bullpen blew a lead in the later stages of the game. It was that the Braves two key signings in the July 2 class from 2015 more than held their own against much older competition despite skipping over the DSL. Christian Pache and Derian Cruz each had two hits in the loss, giving everyone a glimpse of their potential in their professional debuts.

Catcher Ricardo Rodriguez, acquired in the Christian Bethancourt deal, went 1-2 in his first game in the Braves system while popular speedy center fielder Randy Ventura also had a hit in his first game on American soil.

Rangel was dominant despite getting the no decision, a nice surprise after he wasn’t really a factor last year. Gilbert Suarez, one of the Braves later picks with promise from last year, pitched a perfect 1.2 innings out of the pen. Brandon White(Lander) also pitched a scoreless inning in his debut.

The Braves may have lost, but all of the hyped up young prospects who appeared in the game came away leaving a positive impression after their first game.

Next Game: Saturday 6/25 visiting GCL Yankees East @ 10:00 AM

Probable Starters: TBD

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