(42-56) Gwinnett Braves 3, (46-51) Syracuse Chiefs 2
Emilio Bonifacio, LF-CF: 2-5, 2 SB, .270/.320/.320
Omar Infante, 2B: 1-5, 2 RBI, .234/.245/.298
Mel Rojas Jr., RF: 1-4, HR, RBI, .283/.337/.533
Chris Ellis, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 7.48 ERA
The GBraves bats stayed quiet early, allowing the Chiefs to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead in the early going of this one. Mel Rojas Jr. broke the shutout in the 6th inning with his 6th home run of the month to pull Gwinnett within 1. Rojas has been on fire this month, with 6 home runs and a .306/.368/.629 slash line with 16 RBIs in 17 games with a .310 BABIP. Flash forward 2 innings, to the top of the ninth with the Braves still trailing by a spot. Blake Lalli led off the inning with a walk, and with one out a Daniel castro single and Reid Brignac hit by pitch brought up former Atlanta great and now system stolen base leader Emilio Bonifacio. Boni shockingly was unable to get it done, perhaps putting a damper on his hall of fame candidacy given the sheer gravity of the situation, and it was down to Omar Infante with 2 outs. Infante deposited the second pitch into left field scoring the two runs Gwinnett would need to hold on to a win.
Chris Ellis ran into trouble with a 2 run 4th, but otherwise pitched one of his best games since his promotion to Gwinnett. This is just the 3rd time in 6 games he has gone 5 innings, and he has yet to throw in the 6th since promotion averaging just under 4 innings per start. The rest of the bullpen shut down the Chiefs, Brandon Cunniff pitching 2 scoreless innings immediately following Ellis’s departure. Matt Marksberry pitched a scoreless inning to lower his season ERA to 2.70, and in his last dozen appearances Marksberry has given up a 0.98 ERA. Jose Ramirez didn’t make it easy on Gwinnett in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed 2 singles to lead off the inning, and after a sacrifice bunt walked the bases loaded. In a bit of a pickle, Ramirez was able to force a 4-3 double play to end the game. Ramirez has not allowed a run since June 14, with 8 hits and 3 walks allowed in 13.2 IP, striking out 11.
Next Game: 7/21 vs (52-46) Buffalo Bisons @7:05 PM ET
GWN: Aaron Blair (3-3, 4.84 ERA)
BUF: Scott Diamond (6-9, 3.62 ERA)
(48-47) Mississippi Braves 8, (39-56) Tennessee Smokies 2
Ozzie Albies, 2B: 2-4, RBI, .378/.449/.518
Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-3, BB, 2B, 3 RBI, .284/.343/.427
Connor Lien, CF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .246/.329/.400
Dansby Swanson, SS: 0-5, .267/.345/.424
Max Povse, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.44 ERA
The Mississippi Braves kept it interesting, with all of their top prospects save Dansby performing well. Ozzie Albies just churned out another of those now casual 2 hit games, and extended his system leading hit total to 117. Dustin Peterson played another strong one, with 3 RBIs to put him at the same total he had last year with more than a month left to play. Peterson has an 11 game hitting streak, and has raised his average 12 points in that stretch. Connor Lien had a jekyll and Hyde performance, with 2 hits but also 2 strikeouts in his 5 at bats.
Max Povse pitched easily his strongest game as an MBrave, in fact his best game since the second one of the season, and left after 7 strong innings with an even 100 pitches. 3 times this season Max Povse has worked to exactly 100 pitches, and has not once gone over. His strike totals in those 3 games, quite the consistent 63, 65, and 62. Evan Phillips allowed 1 run on a home run in an inning of work, but struck out 2 of the other 3 batters he faced. Jason Hursh finished out the game with another scoreless inning-his 16th straight scoreless.
Next Game: 7/21 vs (39-56) Tennessee Smokies 7:05 PM ET
MIS: Jed Bradley (5-4, 4.14 ERA)
TEN: Jen-Ho Tseng (5-3, 3.31 ERA)
(39-55) Rome Braves 11, (36-58) Lexington Legends 2
Lucas Herbert, C: 1-3, HR, 4 RBI, .190/.239/.282
Austin Riley, 3B: 2-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, .263/.306/.423
Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 3-3, 2B, RBI, HBP, .272/.393/.372
Mike Soroka, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.30 ERA
Rome never trailed in this game, and thoroughly dominated on both sides of the ball. Austin Riley led the charge with a 2-3 day, knocking in 3 runs and blasting a massive home run over the center field fence on a hanging curveball. Lucas Herbert added a home run of his own, his with 2 runners on, and extended that 6 run 7th inning that blew the game wide open. Ray Patrick Didder went 3-3, and also was hit by his 32nd pitch of the year.
Mike Soroka completed 7 innings for the third time this season, doing so on just 84 pitches to earn his 3rd win of the season. While he didn’t strike out many batters, reports on his stuff were highly positive stating that both of his offspeed pitches were working well and his fastball (and newly developed sinker) both had great life on them. 9 of his outs in the game were ground balls. Dalton Geekier pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and Josh Graham closed it out with 2 strikeouts in a perfect 9th inning.
Next Game: 7/21 vs (36-58) Lexington Legends 7:00 PM ET
ROM: Touki Toussaint (2-6, 4.40 ERA)
LEX: Gerson Garabito (1-6, 5.83 ERA)
(13-13) Danville Braves 10, (11-15) Pulaski Yankees 2
JB Moss, LF: 3-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, BB, .313/.371/.406
Brett Cumberland, C: 2-4, 3 RBI, BB, .197/.265/.295
Alex Lee, 1B: 3-3, 2 2B, HR, RBI, BB, .432/.468/.727
Jaret Hellinger, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5.92 ERA
Danville went off on the Yankees, especially Alex Lee who has basically made the Appalachian League his own personal showcase. Lee has 18 total bases in the last 2 games, has gone 7-7 with 2 walks, 3 home runs, 6 RBIs, 2 doubles, and 6 runs scored. Brett Cumberland had a strong day at the plate, and has hits in 6 of his past 8 games. The good for Cumberland-he has 11 RBIs in 16 game. The bad: well pretty much everything else. He really needs to turn it around.
Jaret Hellinger had a strong start, completing 5 innings with only 1 walk and 2 runs allowed. Not much can be said for Hellinger’s early season numbers, he really hasn’t duplicated what he did with the GCL team last year, but he has an extremely high ground ball rate so far this year. Dalton Carroll pitched 2 of the bullpen’s 4 perfect innings, with Adam McCreery and Jacob Webb combining to get the last 2. In total they struck out 7 over those 4 innings. Webb has pitched 6.2 innings this year (20 outs), and struck out 17 batters.
(9-14) GCL Braves 0, (19-4) GCL Braves 1
Cristian Pache, CF: 2-3, BB, 2 outfield assists, .305/.360/.402
Randy Ventura, RF: 1-4, SB, .291/.333/.326
Bryse Wilson, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA
Welp, thanks to these losers who couldn’t even beat a 19-4 team (I have no clue how to do the sarcasm font in this editor.), the Braves weren’t able to pull off the system sweep. The offensive highlight of the day, literally the only one, is Cristian Pache who went 2-3 with a walk. Pache also had 2 outfield assists at home plate, saving the GCL squad from an even worse outcome. The rest of the offense combined to reach base as many times as Pache did today.
Bryse Wilson provided quite the game off the mound for the GCL Braves, with 3 near flawless innings with 5 strikeouts. The 4th rounder has now pitched in 3 games, given up just 3 hits and 1 walk, and K’d 9. Reports from the game had him between 91-93 mph. Dilmer Mejia took the loss despite only giving up 1 run in 4.2 IP, and Mejia has made strides this year already having pitched nearly as many innings as he did in 2015. Brandon White (Davenport, not Lander) got 1 out to finish the game.