Tuesday saw Gwinnett take a lead in Game 1, Rome tie a series at one apiece, and Mississippi fall to a two game deficit as three of the bigger pitchers in the system were on the mound.
Gwinnett Braves 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders 4
- Aaron Blair, SP: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K
- Sean Kazmar, 2B: 3-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
- Tyler Moore, DH: 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI, R
The Braves jumped out to a 6-0 lead on SWB in the top of the first inning and never looked back, taking a quick 1-0 series lead in the Governors Cup. Emilio Bonifacio walked to start the game, followed by a Reid Brignac fly out and a Ronnier Mustelier single, setting up Sean Kazmar to hit a three run homer to get the scoring started. A pair of singles by Mel Rojas Jr. and Tyler Moore, then Matt Tuiasosopo reaching base on an error quickly loaded the bases up immediately following the Kazmar homer. It took a two run single by Braden Schlehuber and an RBI single by Bonifacio to add the other three runs.
Kazmar was the star with his three run homer and three total hits on the night, but Rojas also had three hits, and Schlehuber added a pair of RBI. Getting the start at DH over Rio Ruiz, Tyler Moore also had two hits and an RBI as the Braves tacked a run on in the ninth.
Making his first rehab start in the first game of the Governors Cup, Aaron Blair did even better than his final line indicates. Blair did allow four runs over his 7.1 innings, but he allowed just one run through seven innings and only allowed the other three runs to come in as he got close to the end of a long night of 108 pitches. Jason Hursh and Maikel Cleto came in to finish off the game and neither allowed a run.
Next Game-Wednesday 9/14 visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ 6:35 PM
Probable Starters: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre-Phil Coke
Mississippi Braves 0, Jackson Generals 2
- Sean Newcomb, SP: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K
- Dylan Moore, 2B: 2-3
A day after falling to a 1-0 series deficit the Mississippi Braves sent Sean Newcomb to the mound. Newcomb was very strong, going six innings and allowing just two runs, a solo homer by Adam Law in the fifth and a Tyler Marlette RBI double in the sixth. He was a bit hittable, allowing nearly twice as many base runners as innings pitched, but he was mostly able to escape trouble. Same story for David Peterson, who pitched the final two innings and didn’t allow a run, however he did walk three.
Unfortunately Generals starter Brett Ash, and reliever and former Braves farmhand Ryne Harper were dominant. The pair combined to allow just five hits and no walks in the shutout victory. The top seven spots in the order for the Braves managed just two hits with #8 hitter Johan Camargo and #9 hitter Dylan Moore adding three singles in addition to the Carlos Franco single and Joey Meneses double.
With the win Jackson moves to just one game short of wrapping up the Southern League title.
Next Game-Thursday 9/15 hosting Jackson @ 8:00 PM
Probable Starters: Jackson-Paul Blackburn
Rome Braves 6, Lakewood Blueclaws 1
- Touki Toussaint, SP: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K
- Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Ronald Acuna, CF: 0-3, BB, R, RBI, 2 SB
The Rome team had a little more success in following their series opening loss than Mississippi did, as they won a game that they were in complete control over to tie the Sally League series at one apiece.
Scoring started in the second as Jonathan Morales came in to score on a Carlos Castro ground out. Austin Riley’s two run homer in the third, scoring Ronald Acuna as well, put the Braves up 3-0. Acuna hit into a fielders choice followed by a throwing error in the fifth to plate two more runs, and the Braves were in complete control at 5-0.
Riley was the offensive star with his homer, but Ronald Acuna had a strong game despite not recording a hit as he walked and reached on the fielders choice, scoring once, stealing two bases, and recording the RBI as well as the other run which came in on the throwing error. Jonathan Morales and Jared James each finished with two hit nights, while Carlos Castro had two RBI.
The offense was only part of the story as the pitching was dominant. Touki Toussaint turned in one of his best starts of the season in a big game, giving up just one run on a solo homer with only four hits and even more important zero walks over eight innings. Touki only needed 90 pitches to get through his eight innings, and out of those 90 pitches he threw 65 for strikes, as he continues his strong performance of the second half. The Braves turned it over to Chase Johnson-Mullins to finish it off, and he pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.
Next Game-Thursday 9/15 visiting Lakewood @ 7:05 PM
Probable Starters: Lakewood-Alberto Tirado