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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 6/20: Pitchers Dominate All Star Games

Freddy Tarnok and Bruce Zimmermann were perfect in the South Atlantic League All Star Game. Touki Toussaint did the same in the Southern League All Star game, and Danville opened their season

Freddy Tarnok Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

(31-37) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (41-28) Toledo Mud Hens 7

Box Score

Michael Reed, RF: 3-3, BB, 3 RBI, .411/.529/.589

Dustin Peterson, LF: 0-3, BB, .227/.287/.374

Max Fried, SP: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4.47 ERA

Evan Phillips, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.59 ERA

A rough day for Max Fried put Gwinnett behind early and they could never catch up to the Mud Hens. Michael Reed led the offense with 3 hits and knocked in 3 of the four runs, including the first run for the team in the first inning. The Stripers were shut out following that until the 7th inning when Reed drove in Rio Ruiz for the second time in the game, cutting the lead down to three runs. Reed singled again in the 8th inning to knock in Danny Santana, who had doubled to lead off the inning, and the final run came on the third home run of the season by Xavier Avery. Dustin Peterson struggled at the plate again, and only has one hit and one walk over his past 7 games while striking out 11 times.

Max Fried never really was able to find his consistency on the mound, but he did battle throughout the game and managed to keep the game within reason. When he left the ball over the plate he got hurt, with four extra base hits allowed in the game, but he also kept the ball on the ground at an astonishing rate with 14 ground ball outs in his 6 innings of work. David Peterson allowed a 2 run home run in the 8th inning that really sealed the fate of the Stripers, as they just don’t have an offense capable of recovering from a 7-2 deficit. Evan Phillips was lights out again in relief with a scoreless inning and hasn’t allowed an earned run since the first day of the month. He hasn’t allowed an unintentional walk since May 26 and still in 34 innings this season has not allowed a home run.

Next Game: 6/20 vs (41-28) Toledo Mud Hens @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Luiz Gohara (0-2, 8.03 ERA)

TOL: Tyler Alexander (1-2, 6.61 ERA)

Southern League South All Stars 9, Southern League North All Stars

Box Score

Tyler Marlette, 1B: 1-4, HR, RBI

Tyler Neslony, DH: 0-3, BB

Daniel Lockhart, 2B: 0-2

Touki Toussaint, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Late runs were the story for the Southern League All Star game, with 11 of the 13 runs coming in the final 3 innings of the game. Braves hitting prospects struggled heavily in the game with the exception of one swing from Tyler Marlette, a home run that led off the 9th inning to break the 5-5 tie. That run ended up being the eventual winning run in the game. Touki Toussaint did not struggle in his relief appearance, getting a ground out from Kevin Medrano to lead off the inning and then striking out Eloy Jimenez and Rudy Flores in succession to end his perfect frame. The South Division took the win with Angels prospect Zach Gibbons winning the MVP with his 4 RBIs and 3 hits as a substitute.

(29-36) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (40-28) Jupiter Hammerheads 5

Box Score

Brett Cumberland, C: 0-4, .232/.354/.389

Braxton Davidson, 1B: 1-2, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .180/.287/.405

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, SB, .283/.309/.413

Tucker Davidson, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 4.68 ERA

The offense for Florida struggled to produce anything, but Braxton Davidson kept his hot streak at the plate going with his career-high 11th home run of the season. Florida had really not produced anything in the early stages of the game and after 5 innings their only hit was the single Cristian Pache had to lead off the game. They had drawn 3 walks, but none came around to score and they found themselves trailing 2-0 in the 6th. Jared James led the inning off with the second hit of the game for the Fire Frogs, and Braxton Davidson tied the game up two batters late with a home run. Davidson is hitting .316/.409/.772 with 7 home runs in 17 games this month. The Fire Frogs couldn’t put anything else together in the remainder of the game, only scoring the third run on a walk and then three wild pitches to bring in Ray-Patrick Didder.

Tucker Davidson put up some solid innings on the mound in the early stages of the game, holding a shutout through four innings and improving with each successive inning. His first clean frame came in the 4th inning, when he struck out two batters. Things started to go downhill for Davidson a bit in the 5th inning when 3 hits and a wild pitch brought in 2 runs to score against him and gave Jupiter the lead. Davidson came back in for the sixth and allowed the first two batters to reach, and Connor Johnstone came in to replace him. Johnstone got the first two outs easily and seemed poised to work out of trouble, but a throwing error by Didder brought in two unearned runs, both charged to Davidson.

Next Game: 6/20 vs (40-28) Jupiter Hammerheads @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Ian Anderson (1-3, 3.57 ERA)

JUP: Jordan Yamamoto (2-0, 2.18 ERA)

SAL South Division All Stars 9, SAL North Division All Stars 5

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 0-4, BB

Riley Delgado, 2B: 0-2

Bruce Zimmermann, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Freddy Tarnok, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Walter Borkovich, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Kelvin Rodriguez, RP: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Drew Waters and Riley Delgado couldn’t contribute much to the offensive outburst for the South Division, though Waters did reach on an error, steal second base, and then come in to score on a base hit in the four run third inning. Braves names dominated the pitching side, starting with league strikeout leader Bruce Zimmermann’s strong outing in relief. Zimmermann was the first pitcher to finish a perfect inning, striking out two batters and using 13 pitches. Two innings late Freddy Tarnok impressed all in attendance by striking out the side on 16 pitches. Walter Borkovich only needed 7 pitches to get through his perfect inning, and Kelvin Rodriguez got a strikeout and allowed a walk to the two batters he faced.

(0-1) Danville Braves 1, (1-0) Pulaski Yankees 4

Box Score

Greg Cullen, 2B: 1-4, BB, .250/.400/.250

Justin Dean, RF: 3-3, BB, 1.000/1.000/1.000

Dilmer Mejia, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1.50 ERA

The Braves couldn’t figure out the pitching staff for the Yankees, and only managed to score one run despite putting 13 runners on base. The Braves couldn’t even manage a hit of of starter Luis Medina, and only managed to score a run because of a dropped foul pop fly that led to a walk with the runner coming in to score on another walk, a wild pitch, and a ground out. The Braves saw more success once Medina was removed and knocked 7 base hits over 5 innings, but despite three consecutive innings with leadoff hits and 2 with runners on the corners and none out the Braves couldn’t score a run. Justin Dean was the star of the day for the Braves, reaching base four times and getting 3 of the team’s 7 hits.

Dilmer Mejia had a strong outing on the mound, with his 8 strikeouts and six innings being the most of any pitcher on the opening day of the Appalachian League. Mejia controlled the game and kept the ball on the ground with 8 ground ball outs, but a hit by pitch and a double scored a run in the 5th inning that ended up being the difference in the game. It was also Mejia’s throwing error that lead to the first unearned run of the game scoring. Mejia likely won’t spend long in Danville as he’s already spent time in Rome this season, and he showed why he should be earning a call up soon. John Curtis filled up two innings and only allowed an unearned run, striking out 3 batters and walking 2. Brooks Wilson gave up a run and couldn’t complete his first professional inning, with Connor Simmons coming in to clean up the inning and record the last out in the top of the ninth.

Next Game: 6/20 vs (1-0) Pulaski Yankees 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters


PUL: Wellington Caceres

(2-0) GCL Braves 7, (0-2) GCL Pirates 1

Box Score

CJ Alexander, 3B: 1-3, 3B, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .286/.444/.571

Christian Zamora, RF: 2-5, .400/.400/.400

Braulio Vasquez, 2B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .375/.375/.500

Miguel Jerez, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

Dominance on both sides of the ball led the GCL Braves to the only win of the day for the minor league affiliates. Trey Harris came up with the first big hit of the game in the third inning, slashing an two run double that gave the Braves the lead and all the runs they would need in the game. They added more insurance in the 7th inning, when CJ Alexander tripled to score two runs and push the lead to 4-0. Alexander reached base three times and is off to a solid start at the plate in his professional career. Mason Berne followed Alexander with a double to score the third run of the inning, and with the pitching staff cruising the Braves had the game well in hand. The Braves added two more runs in the 8th inning, with Braulio Vasquez’s double providing the final run of the game. Vasquez is a player who should see a near immediate promotion, assuming Riley Delgado is pushed up to Florida following the all star break as he should be the dominos should fall with Luis Mejia making a trip up to Rome and Braulio sliding into Danville to take his place.

Miguel Jerez was brilliant for 5 innings in his season debut, and didn’t walk a batter over his four innings of work. Jerez dominated the GCL last season and it’s a bit of surprise to see him back, although his pure stuff isn’t great and he may not see the same level of success after promotion. Pitching him five innings indicates he’s probably been kept stretched out for Danville, as the Braves typically only throw guys 3 innings in the GCL, and once Bruce Zimmermann is promoted out of Rome I expect Jerez to make the leap. Alex Camacho had to work around a couple of walks in his professional debut, but finished two scoreless, hitless innings for the Braves and struck out one batter.

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