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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Gohara was lights out, Rome wins a marathon

Pitching continues to dominate the highlights from down in the minors

Rome Stadium
Rome decided they wanted to play two last took a while

Gwinnett Braves 3, Pawtucket Red Sox 2

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 0-4, .269/.292/.418
  • Mel Rojas Jr., LF: 2-4, HR, RBI, .242/.279/.371
  • Andrew Albers, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2.38 ERA

Gwinnett used strong pitching and a couple good hitting performances to secure the win over Pawtucket 3-2. Andrew Albers made his longest start of the year, going 5 innings (91 pitches) and giving up just two earned to go along with a walk and six strikeouts. Caleb Dirks and David Hernandez combined for four scoreless and hitless innings of relief during which they struck out five batters. In seven appearances for Gwinnett this season, Hernandez has given up just one earned run while holding opposing batters to a .148 batting average.

On offense, all good things must come to an end as Ozzie Albies hitting streak ended with an 0-4 night at the plate. The good news is Ozzie is clearly more comfortable in his second go-around at AAA this season despite this off night. It will be worth keeping an eye on his strikeout and walk totals (which a bit off his career averages) as well as his numbers against righties, but overall Ozzie has looked good to start the season. Gwinnett didn’t get much production from its lineup, with only 6 hits spread amongst 3 hitters. Xavier Avery, who is now slashing a cool .400/.442/.650 in the early going in AAA, had three of those hits including a pair of doubles while Johan Camargo and Mel Rojas Jr. each had home runs (Camargo’s a two-run shot) which accounted for all of Gwinnett’s runs in the game.

Next Game: 4/22 at 6:05 PM vs. Pawtucket. Probable Starter - TBD

Mississippi Braves 1, Mobile BayBears 6

Box Score

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 1-4, 2B, RBI, .289/.357/.500
  • Keith Curcio, CF: 2-3, BB, run, .275/.339/.373
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1.62 ERA

Mike Soroka pitched well yet again, but this time he got little help from the offense and the bullpen had another rough game as Mississippi fell 6-1. Soroka had a pretty funny line where he only gave up one hit and one walk (his first walk of the season at that) but was still charged with two earned runs. In his last inning of work, he hit a batter, then gave up an RBI triple for the sole hit against him, and then the runner scored on a wild pitch. That said, despite the strong outing, Soroka was still charged with his first loss of the season thanks to a lack of run support. In his 16.2 innings this season, he has given up a total of 6 hits (.108 batting average against) and 1 walk while striking out 18 batters, so he is doing pretty well. Danny Reynolds relieved Soroka and gave up 4 earned runs in 2 innings of work and has now given up 8 earned runs and 6 walks in 9.1 innings this season so far.

On offense, it was a quiet night for Mississippi for the most part. Joey Meneses drove in the team’s only run in addition to his double while Jared James, Keith Curcio, and Dylan Moore each had two hit nights. Travis Demeritte had the night off and the lineup clearly missed his presence.

Next Game: 4/22 at 7:35 PM @ Montgomery. Probable Starter - Patrick Weigel

Florida Fire Frogs 3, Clearwater Threshers 1

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 2-4, run, .250/.314/.375
  • Alex Jackson, C: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .317/.339/.617
  • Luiz Gohara, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1.29 ERA

Luiz Gohara continued to be good at baseball and Alex Jackson continued his strong start to the season as the Fire Frogs were triumphant 3-1. With his 7 shutout innings with 7 Ks, Gohara now sports a 1.29 ERA on the year, is 6th in the league in strikeouts (despite a start where he only struck out 2 batters), and sports a very strong 1.05 WHIP thus far. His high octane fastball and wipeout slider are making short work of batters in high-A and one wonders how long he will stay there this year (my money is on an All-Star break promotion). Devan Watts pitched two innings of relief and gave up a run on three hits while striking out a pair of hitters.

On offense, after a slow start at the plate, Austin Riley now has 7 hits in his last four games and has struck out just 3 times over that span. One batter than definitely has not had a slow start to the season is Alex Jackson. Jackson has a .955 OPS to start the season and had a pair of hits including a double and an RBI in this game. He ranks 3rd in the league in slugging and tied for first in home runs (5) and RBIs (13). Jonathan Morales had a pair of hits as well to bring his season OPS up to .770 and Ronald Acuna continued to keep knocking the rust off as he recorded his 6th hit in as many games. After uncharacteristically striking out a lot to start the season, Acuna seems to have settled in a bit and has struck out twice over that same span.

Next Game: 4/22 at 6:15 PM @ Clearwater. Probable Starter - Tyler Pike

Rome Braves 7, Greenville Drive 4 - F/18

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-8, 3B, 2 RBI, run, BB, .259/.295/.328
  • Anfernee Seymour, LF: 3-6, 2B, BB, RBI, run, OF assist, .321/.383/.415
  • Rome Bullpen: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 15 K

Rome decided that they hated me as well as themselves as they went 18 innings last night and finally prevailed 7-4. Ryan Lawlor had a serviceable start on this day, but the game belonged to the bullpen as they were the real heroes. 13 innings of shutout ball while striking out 15 batters is nuts. So to Adam McCreery, Thomas Burrows (who has yet to give up a run in 5 appearances this year), Tucker Davidson, Matt Custred, and Oriel Caicedo, my hat goes off to you gentlemen. Almost more impressively, in those 15 innings the bullpen gave up just 2 walks.

On offense, the top of the order of Anfernee Seymour, Derian Cruz, and Cristian Pache accounted for driving in 6 of Rome’s 7 runs on the season. Pache’s two-run triple in the top of the 18th helped to mercifully end this marathon of a game. Randy Ventura and Anfernee Seymour were setting the table all night as they each had 3 hits and a walk. Marcus Mooney had a 4 hit night and is now slashing .415/.500/.488 line to start the season.

Next Game: 4/22 at 7:05 PM @ Greenville. Probable Starter - Bryse Wilson

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