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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 6/17: William Contreras Homers

William Contreras’s home run and Derian Cruz’s three hits weren’t enough to spur victory for Rome. Huascar Ynoa struck out 7 and didn’t allow a walk over 7 innings.

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Media Day
Shockingly we actually had a picture of William Contreras. Made my morning
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(30-36) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (37-29) Durham Bulls 5

Box Score

Michael Reed, LF: 1-5, HR, BB, .417/.541/.625

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .252/.307/.366

Lucas Sims, SP: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 1.88 ERA

Evan Phillips, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.64 ERA

3 home runs from the Gwinnett offense led the way in an offensive outburst that gave them an 8-5 win. The Stripers were quiet until the third inning, when a leadoff error and a single set the stage for Rio Ruiz’s two run double, giving Gwinnett a 2-1 early lead. A sacrifice fly from Phil Gosselin got in the third run of the inning. Danny Santana came through with the next run, hitting his tenth home run of the season in the fourth inning. In the 5th Michael Reed added his second home run with Gwinnett and stretched the lead out to 5-1. The Bulls clawed back with three in the bottom of the fifth to bring the game within one, but Santana came through again with a 2 run home run that put the lead out to 7-4. Rio Ruiz walked and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, setting the table for an RBI single from Phil Gosselin that scored Gwinnett’s 8th run of the game. Michael Reed has been on fire since joining the Stripers and his .470 on base percentage over two levels leads all of affiliated professional baseball.

Lucas Sims pitched well in the game save for a tough 5th inning that nearly saw him let Durham back into the game. Sims allowed the first rally in of the game in the second inning on a couple of hits, and when Chris Stewart made an errant throw on a stolen base attempt the first run came in before Sims was able to retire the side with a strikeout. Sims was strong through his first four innings and had his strikeout stuff working, and through four innings had only allowed the one unearned run with 5 strikeouts and one walk. The fifth did not go as well for Sims as his control began to waver, and he allowed two straight hits to score his first earned run with two outs in the inning. After a walk Sims allowed two more run scoring hits before retiring the side with Gwinnett’s lead down to 5-4 but still intact. Sims struck out the first two he faced before being pulled for a reliever after a two out double. David Peterson finished the sixth inning clean but allowed a run on three hits in the seventh inning. Jason Hursh loaded the bases in the 8th but pitched out of it, and Evan Phillips finished the game with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning. Phillips has been fantastic this season but has already pitched 33 innings over 24 outings, and you have to hope the Stripers start to limit his outings a bit more so he doesn’t face so much fatigue or injury risk late in the season when he’s expected to be in Atlanta.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (37-29) Durham Bulls @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Wes Parsons (1-1, 3.47 ERA)

NOR: Andrew Moore (1-1, 4.00 ERA)

(28-41) Mississippi Braves 1, (41-28) Biloxi Shuckers 2

Box Score

Alex Jackson, C: 2-3, RBI, 2 BB, .186/.279/.329

Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-5, .221/.328/.373

Enderson Franco, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.53 ERA

Sixteen Braves reached base in this game, but they couldn’t push across a single run in regulation, only scoring the run that was put on second base to start the 10th inning. The poor play with men on started early when they stranded two runners in the first inning, and did so again in the third both on strike outs by Travis Demeritte. The Braves got a base runner on in every inning except the ninth, and left 14 total men on base in the game and 7 in scoring position. In the tenth inning they loaded the bases with nobody out, and a single from Alex Jackson brought in the go ahead run in the game with still nobody out and a major threat looming. A fly ball from Daniel Lockhart was not enough to score Tyler Marlette from third base, and then a fly ball from Luis Marte turned into a double play when Marlette was gunned down at home trying to score. This ended the inning, and Biloxi was able to put up two in the bottom of the 10th to walk it off.

Fortunately for the struggling offense Enderson Franco was lights out on the mound, shutting down the Shuckers and only allowing 3 baserunners over 7 innings. After a hit batter in the first inning Franco retired the next nine men he faced, and he finished the game on a streak of seven straight retired. Adam McCreery got the call out of the bullpen and was fantastic for Mississippi, striking out 4 batters over two scoreless innings to preserve the shutout. Chad Sobotka got the call in extra innings, and his inability to find the strike zone was what doomed the Braves to a loss in the end. Sobotka allowed the runner at second base to steal third to lead off the inning, so a single scored him easily to tie the game with no one out. After a fly out Sobotka proceeded to walk the next three batters he faced, scoring the walk off run and earning his second blown save in as many games.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (41-28) Biloxi Shuckers @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Andres Santiago (3-2, 4.03 ERA)

BLX: Trey Supak (0-3, 3.60 ERA)

Florida State League All Star Game

FSL North Division All Stars 5, FSL South Division All Stars 0

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-5

Brett Cumberland, C: 0-1

Cristian Pache led off the day for the North Division with a single, but the game was all down hill from there for Braves prospects and they didn’t record another hit in the game. Pache struck out swinging in two of his at bats, strucking out looking in another, and flew out to center field in his other at bat on the day. Brett Cumberland came in as a defensive substitution in the 4th inning and allowed a stolen base on the only attempt in the game. In his at bat he struck out swinging and then was kept in on the defensive end until being replaced in the 7th inning. The North Division still dominated the game and won 5-0, with Yankees prospect Diego Castillo taking home MVP honors with his two doubles in the contest)

(40-29) Rome Braves 4, (37-31) Lexington Legends 7

Box Score

William Contreras, C: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, .293/.367/.426

Isranel Wilson, CF: 1-3, BB, .235/.327/.385

Derian Cruz, 2B: 3-4, RBI, .253/.285/.367

Huascar Ynoa SP: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 4.67 ERA

Rome’s four runs weren’t enough as two home runs from the Legends were the deciding factor in a loss for the Braves. The Legends put up an early run but Rome came back with a response, with William Contreras knocking his 6th home run of the season to tie the game at one. In the third inning consecutive singles from Luis Mejia, Isranel Wilson, and Derian Cruz scored the go ahead second run of the game, and Contreras came through with another single to give Rome an early 3-1 lead. That wouldn’t hold long and it wasn’t until the 9th inning on a home run from Austin Bush that the Braves would score again. Derian Cruz had three hits on the day and has been tremendous for Rome this month, with a .362/.383/.517 line over 15 games. His strikeout rate has dropped tremendously to below 20%, and while he still is running a high BABIP to put up those sort of numbers this is still the most consistent stretch of play we’ve seen from him and hopefully a turning point for an extremely talented young prospect.

Huascar Ynoa took the loss and allowed 5 runs over 7 innings, but this game should be counted as a win for him for reasons beyond that. Ynoa kept the ball in the strike zone with 64 of his 88 pitches landing for strikes, had his second walk free game of the season, and still continued to miss bats with 7 strikeouts. Ynoa allowed 3 runs on three hits in the 5th inning, the only time he seemed to struggle and he wasn’t helped much by his defense with two errors committed in the inning and an infield hit. The final blow in the game came on a home run from MJ Melendez, Ynoa’s first allowed since May 14. Jacob Belinda finished the last two innings of the game, striking out two and walking none but allowing a big home run by Seuly Matias and another run in the ninth that put the game effectively out of reach.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (37-31) Lexington Legends 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Jasseel De La Cruz (2-2, 1.99 ERA)


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