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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/6: Randy Ventura leads GCL Braves with Inside the Park Grand Slam

The mystique surrounding Randy Ventura continues to grow, as with his first home run of his career he decided it would have to be an inside the park grand slam. Mississippi won it’s 4th straight behind 2 hits each from Swanson and Peterson.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

(51-63) Gwinnett Braves 0, (53-62) Durham Bulls 10

Box Score

Matt Lipka, CF: 1-2, BB, Assist, .242/.289/.395

Omar Infante, 2B: 1-3, 2B, .202/.226/.281

John Gant, SP: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 3.53 ERA

Not a whole lot going on for Gwinnett in this one, who only managed 4 hits and no runs. It was an off day for Rio Ruiz, but he made a late appearance to play third base after Mel Rojas Jr. was removed from the game. Matt Lipka got a base hit for his first time since July 30, and has cooled off considerably after a fairly hot start at Gwinnett.

John Gant made his rehab start for Gwinnett, but didn’t exactly last very long. He recorded one out and left the field with illness after allowed 4 walks and a home run. Not how the schedule 5 innings (or 75 pitch) start was supposed to go. It didn’t get much better, and Chad Rogers allowed 6 runs over 5.2 IP in his first start in the organization. Stephen Janas’s inning of relief went no better, as he allowed 2 runs. The only pitcher of the day to not allow a run, was Emerson Landoni. Yes, the middle infielder did what the actual pitchers could not. This is not the first time Landoni has pitched, and actually threw 2 scoreless innings back in 2011 while a member of the Yankees organization.

Next Game: 8/7 vs (53-62) Durham Bulls @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Matt Wisler (0-1, 3.38 ERA)

DUR: Jaime Schultz (5-4, 3.16 ERA)

(60-51) Mississippi Braves 5, (56-56) Mobile Baybears 1

Box Score

Ozzie Albies, DNP: .326/.405/.448

Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-4, .296/.353/.448

Connor Lien, CF: 1-3, BB, SB, .240/.315/.442

Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-4, RBI, .263/.339/.410

Jed Bradley, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 3.70 ERA

Make it 4 straight wins for the MBraves, who now lead the Mobile Baybears in the division by a full 2 games and now have the best full season record in the division. A 4 run 5th inning drove the offense, with 4 straight singles and a 2 run double from Carlos Franco providing that scoring. Dustin Peterson continues to chug along at the place, and since the end of his poor May has hit .330/.379/.481. There was good and bad for Connor Lien, who had 2 hits and a stolen base but also struck out in his other 2 plate appearances. Lien’s 30.8% K rate does not inspire confidence, although he has seen an uptick in power production and walk rate.

Jed Bradley had everything working from start to finish, posting easily his best start of the season over 7 innings. He scattered 5 hits, allowed just 1 run in the 6th inning (after the offense already gave him 5 runs) and struck out 9, his highest total since April 27, 2014. Phil Pfiefer pitched a scoreless inning of relief for Bradley, and Akeel Morris closed the day with a scoreless inning.

Next Game: 8/7 vs (56-56) Mobile BayBears 6:00 PM ET

Probable Starters


MOB: Edgar Garcia (3-2, 1.65 ERA)

(44-69) Carolina Mudcats 3, (62-51) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4

Box Score

Travis Demeritte, 2B: 0-4, BB, .147/.237/.265

Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-4, BB, .228/.343/.382

Andrew Thurman, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 9.35 ERA

The futility of the major league roster can only be match by that of Carolina’s, who sits comfortably in last place in the division and has a 4 game losing streak. Travis Demeritte has continued to struggle since coming over to the Braves, although going to a new team on the opposite side of the country is extremely stressful and I’m more than willing to give him a break if he struggles for much of the rest of the season.

Thankfully Andrew Thurman was able to avoid walks for much of the game, only allowed one while throwing 51 of 84 pitches for strikes. He did extend his home runs allowed streak to 5 straight games, during which he has given up 9 of his 16 home runs this year in just 20 innings. Zach Quintana made his second appearance since coming off of the DL and allowed a run in an inning of work. Sean McLaughlin shut it down in the bullpen for 3 innings, lowering his ERA on the season to 1.74. Ryan Lawlor was brought in to relieve McLaughlin, but ended up allowing the winning run in the bottom of the 11th.

Next Game: 8/7 vs (62-51) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

CAR: Matt Withrow (6-5, 4.42 ERA)


(49-62) Rome Braves 2, (51-61) Columbia Fireflies 0

Box Score

Jared James, LF: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, .298/.378/.387

Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, .256/.307/.418

Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 1-3, HBP, .268/.389/.375

Mike Soroka, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3.03 ERA

The offense struggled getting just 4 hits on the day for Rome, but a dominant performance by the pitching staff and a timely home run by Jared James in his Rome debut delivered the win. The home run was James’ 2nd as a pro, after he had barely missed one leaving the yard early in the game. Jonathan Morales is beginning to turn around his extended slump, and has hit safely now in 15 of his past 17 games (1-4 with a double in this game). Ray-Patrick Didder’s hit by pitch was his 35th of the season.

Mike Soroka has answered some of the questions about his fatigue with his second straight scoreless start. Soroka did what he is best at, and kept the ball on the ground all game while striking out a fair share of batters. Chase Johnson-Mullins pitched 2 perfect innings in relief of Soroka with 2 strikeouts. Corbin Clouse closed the game out with a 2 innings save while striking out 3. Between Rome and Danville Clouse has a 0.92 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched.

Next Game: 8/7 vs (51-61) Columbia Fireflies 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Touki Toussaint (3-8, 4.50 ERA)


(20-21) Danville Braves 2, (22-19) Bluefield Bluejays 5

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 0-3, .294/.336/.378

Derian Cruz, SS: 0-3, .291/.321/.409

Alex Lee, 1B: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, .338/.373/.577

Jaret Hellinger, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 4.79 ERA

(20-22) Danville Braves 1, (23-19) Bluefield Blue Jays 2

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-3, 3B, RBI, .303/.344/.402

Derian Cruz, DH: 1-2, BB, .291/.321/.409

Marcus Mooney, SS: 1-3, .283/.377/.345

Luis Gamez, SP: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2.93 ERA

It has not gone well of late for the Danville Braves, and in dropping this double header they have lost 6 straight games and sit just percentage points ahead of the Yankees for last place. Danville had strong chance in the opener, with Alex Lee providing his 4th home run of the season to give them an early lead before Bluefield won on a walk off. Game 2 started out with Bluefield taking a 2-0 lead, and Danville never could fight back although Cristian Pache had 2 hits in the game.

Jaret Hellinger’s start in game 1 was his best of the season, his first time completing 6 innings with less than 3 runs allowed and his second game allowing just 1 earned run. After a rough start, Hellinger has begun to show signs of turning around his fortunes in his last few starts. Brandon White replaced Hellinger in the 7th, and was able to get the first two outs but couldn’t close the game out and allowed a 3 run walk off home run to Jesus Severino. Cameron Stanton took the lost and allowed 2 runs in his 3 innings, but all of those were unearned.

(17-21) GCL Braves 10, (29-8) GCL Blue Jays 2

Box Score

  • Randy Ventura, CF: 2-4, GS, 5 RBI, .302/.360/.367
  • Anthony Concepcion, LF: 1-3, HR, .282/.359/.452
  • Griffin Benson, 1B: 2-3, 2B, .233/.297/.276
  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.00 ERA

The GCL Braves rode three home runs to a 10-2 victory over the Blue Jay, 1 of those being the first career home run for Randy Ventura. And of course being the legend that he is, one who has survived car crashes at instructs and stole 55 bases in 58 games, could he just have normal home run for the first of his career? Of course not, no Randy Ventura had to start his power surge with an inside-the-park Grand Slam. That second inning swing gave the Braves a 5-0 lead, and Anthony Concepcion added a 2 run home run 2 innings later to push the lead to 7. With his 5 RBIs, Randy Ventura is 3rd in the GCL with 24. This from a lead off hitter.

Not to be outdone, Bryse Wilson dominated for his 3 innings striking out 5 batters and walking none. While all of the attention has been on the trio at the top of the draft, Wilson is quietly putting up comparable (or better) numbers with 21 K/2 BB in 18 IP. Also impressing was Dilmer Mejia with 4 strikeouts in his 2 scoreless innings of work. After Bredio Vega and Alberto Rodriguez allowed a run each, Cameron Stanton pitched a scoreless inning to close the game. Stanton has a 0.82 ERA in the GCL this season.

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