Gwinnett Stripers 3, Durham Bulls 2
Carlos Franco, 1B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .261/.308/.465
Michael Reed, DH: 1-2, 2 BB, .425/.549/.575
Kolby Allard, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2.28 ERA
Another game, another solid performance for Kolby Allard who racked up seven strikeouts over six innings. Over his last ten starts Allard hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in one appearance, and that was just two starts, and his ERA over those last ten starts has been 2.07. On the season Allard now has a 2.4 BB/9 rate, and 6.1 K/9 rate, so while the strikeout numbers aren’t there he is inducing a ton of weak contact. The rest of the relief core last night was sensational only giving up one hit, that one hit came off of Josh Ravin and was a particularly scary moment in the game when a line drive hit Ravin in the head - our thoughts are with him and his family. Chad Bell, Jason Hursh, and of course Evan Phillips combined to pitch three innings of perfect baseball - allowing no walks or hits while striking out four. Phillips picked up his fifth save of the season with a perfect ninth inning of work.
Offensively, the Braves got off to a quick start courtesy of Carlos Franco’s 11th homerun of the season. Franco is having himself another solid season with an OPS slightly under .800, and to me at least, is playing himself out of the Atlanta Braves organization after this season to one where he isn’t blocked by a Freddie Freeman. The homerun was a two-run homerun, and the offense tacked on another run in the fourth inning when Xavier Avery drew a bases loaded walk. Sean Kazmar then grounded into a double play to end the threat, but that was all Gwinnett needed thanks to that sensational bullpen work.
Mississippi Braves 5, Biloxi Shuckers 4
Travis Demeritte, LF: 3-4, RBI, BB, run, .224/.335/.383
Luis Marte, SS: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .220/.270/.237
Touki Toussaint, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 3.41 ERA
Touki got off to a rough start in the first two innings where he gave up two runs....and then he became Touki Toussaint. Touki needed 102 pitches to go seven innings where he struck out ten Shuckers, while walking just one. The ten strikeouts pushed his k/9 rate on the season to a spectacular 11.2, and what was a very important season for Toussaint’s season has become a sensational season. Toussaint has taken a serious jump in his progression and has begun to realize that absurd potential he has. Kelvin Vasquez blew his first save of the season when he allowed a run to score in the eighth inning to tie the game. It wasn’t one of his best outings as Kelvin walked three and allowed a hit, but the Mississippi offense was able to bail him out in the tenth inning. Tyler Marlette started the inning at second, took third after a Travis Demeritte fly ball, and then scored on a single. Corbin Clouse worked a perfect tenth to pick up his first save of the season.
Offensively, Travis Demeritte had a brilliant three hit performance and played a role in three of the five runs. Demeritte also picked up his third stolen base of the season, and the team had three stolen bases as well. The only other multi-hit game was registered by Luis Marte who went 2-for-5 and picked up a key RBI as well. After a pair of solid games, Alex Jackson went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and his OPS now stands at .588 on the season.
Florida Fire Frogs 8, Bradenton Marauders 2
Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, run, .280/.304/.414
Jared James, LF: 2-4, 3B, RBI, .243/.302/.434
Garrison Schwartz, RF: 2-4, 2B, 4 RBI, .285/.380/.358
We had an offensive explosion in Florida as the team combined for four extra-base hits, four walks, and eight hits which led to eight runs. The hero last night was Garrison Schwartz who doubled, and drove in four runs. Jared James went 2-for-4 with a triple and scored two runs himself. Braxton Davidson, in the midst of a scorching hot streak, went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored. Cristian Pache went 1-for-4 with a run scored as well.
Kyle Muller made another strong start 7IP 3H 2ER 4BB 6K. The walks came late as you could tell the fatigue was setting in, but the good news is he’s continued to develop this season and has taken major steps forward after struggling with velocity and his arm early in his career. Just Kelly worked the final two frames and struck out three while giving up a pair of hits.
Rome Braves 2, Greenville Drive 3 - F/11
Drew Waters, CF: 2-5, run, .320/.367/.557
Derian Cruz, 2B: 2-4, run, .239/.272/.351
Bruce Zimmermann, SP: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.67 ERA
Bruce Zimmermann was Bruce Zimmermann in Rome’s loss - not giving up a single walk while striking out five over seven innings. It unfortunately was not enough as the normal explosive Rome offense was held to just two runs. The Rome offense failed to score in the eleventh and Greenville was able to walk it off against Kelvin Rodriguez. Cutter Dyals worked another two frames and has yet to give up a single run on the season (16 innings).
Drew Waters picked up another multi-hit game and is now slashing .320/.367/.557 on the season. Derian Cruz went 2-for-4, and was the only other person to have a multi-hit game. The team went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 12 on base. Rome tied the game up in the ninth inning after Derian Cruz singled to left. He was brought in after Jefrey Ramos crushed his 16th double of the season and Rome was cooking. Austin Bush was then hit by a pitch, to put runners on 1st and 2nd with zero out and then Isranel Wilson..bunted..into...a...double play. Drew Waters then struck out to end the threat and keep the game tied at 1.