Gwinnett Braves 7, Durham Bulls 5
- Ozzie Albies, 2B: 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, .300/.315/.480
- Xavier Avery, CF: 2-3, 3B, BB, 3 runs, .414/.469/.690
- Lane Adams, RF: 1-4, HR, RBI, .313/.324/.719
- Aaron Blair, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 5.79 ERA
Aaron Blair had another good start for Gwinnett and the offense backed him up to hold off Durham 7-5. In his past two starts, Blair has pitched 11 innings and given up just 3 runs while striking out 13 and walking 5. He will need to bring the walks down a bit, but his reworked delivery seems to be paying dividends for Blair in the early part of the season. Caleb Dirks relieved Blair and had a rough appearance that saw him give up 3 earned runs on 4 hits and a walk in an inning of work. Sam Freeman and David Hernandez restored order and pitched two scoreless innings to secure the win for Gwinnett.
On the offensive side of the ball, Ozzie Albies continues his good work as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a triple. He also drove in a pair of runs and drew a walk as well, the latter being a particularly welcome development given that his OBP to start the season is a bit below what we have come to expect from the prospect wunderkind. Lane Adams and Xavier Avery, two free agent signees from this past offseason, have been hitting the cover off the ball for Gwinnett as each now possess OPS north of 1.000 on the young season. Rio Ruiz struggled in this game, going 0-4 with 3 strikeouts and now has started the season with a .217/.265/.304 line.
Next Game: 4/18 at 7:05 PM vs. Rochester. Probable Starter - Sean Newcomb
Mississippi Braves - Off Day
Next Game: 4/17 at 8:00 PM vs. Mobile. Probable Starter - Patrick Weigel
Florida Fire Frogs 10, St. Lucie Mets 1
- Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 3-5, run, RBI, .182/.349/.303
- Alejandro Salazar, SS: 3-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI, .258/.258/.258
- Austin Riley, 3B: 1-5, BB, RBI, 4 K, .209/.277/.349
- Luiz Gohara, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.93 ERA
Luiz Gohara was excellent yet again for the Fire Frogs as the offense went wild and beat St. Lucie 10-1. While some continue to foresee a future in the bullpen for Gohara in the future, his upper-90’s fastball and wipeout slider have been making short work of batters in high-A this season. The bullpen was excellent yet again, in particular Devan Watts who has strung together 4 scoreless appearances to start the season after a 2016 where he was nearly unhittable in rookie ball and for Rome.
Alex Jackson had the day off for the Fire Frogs and Ronald Acuna also missed another game (presumably due to getting plunked on the hand, but also possibly due to his struggles during the first few games of the season), but the offense didn’t miss a beat. Ray-Patrick Didder continued to set the table at the top of the order (he is second in the league in walks as well) with a three hit day. Alejandro Salazar also had 3 hits to go along with 3 RBIs. Braxton Davidson was the only member of the lineup that did not record a hit, going 0-6 with 3 Ks and has now struck out 17 times in his first 40 plate appearances to start the season.
Next Game: 4/17 at 6:35 PM @ Fort Myers. Probable Starter - Tyler Pike
Rome Braves 8, Charleston RiverDogs 0
- Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, 2 RBI, .265/.306/.324
- Randy Ventura, RF: 1-3, BB, 2 runs, .429/.487/.457
- Marcus Mooney, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 runs, .333/.438/.407
- Ryan Lawlor, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA
Rome continues to utilize speed, small ball, outstanding pitching, and timely hitting to assault the South Atlantic League as they won 8-0. Ryan Lawlor has quieting pitched in three games this year (two starts) and has yet to give up a run in his 9.1 innings of work while striking out 14 and walking 4. The bullpen of Oriel Caicedo and Jon Kennedy combined to throw 5 innings of scoreless relief as the Rome staff shut out the RiverDogs to put Rome in sole position of the best record in the South Atlantic League.
On offense, the team had 10 hits and 4 walks and, despite only two doubles as their only extra-base hits of the game, they converted on those chances (with some help from 4 errors from Charleston). Every single Brave in the lineup had a hit, including Randy Ventura who extended his hitting streak to 9 games and Marcus Mooney who thoroughly impressed me in the field at short when I saw him on Saturday and now has 6 hits in his last 4 games.
Next Game: 4/17 at 7:00 PM vs. Columbia. Probable Starter - Bryse Wilson