(35-46) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (37-44) Charlotte Knights 3
Michael Reed, CF: 1-3, HBP, .369/.480/.592
Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, .260/.308/.373
Luiz Gohara, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 6.17 ERA
Rio Ruiz’s home run was the key blow for Gwinnett in their win over the Knights. Gwinnett got off to a quick start in the game thanks to a fielding error on the first batter of the game, allowing Phil Gosselin to reach base. The Stripers then loaded the bases and brought in two runs on an RBI ground out and a sacrifice fly. Charlotte pulled even in the third inning but Gwinnett was quick to respond, with Tyler Smith and Rob Brantly both reaching to lead off the top of the 4th inning. A double play put the inning in jeopardy, but a single from Gosselin scored the go ahead run for the Stripers. Rio Ruiz extended that lead to three runs in the seventh inning with his 4th home run of the season, a two run shot that scored Sean Kazmar. Michael Reed continued his hot play at the plate by reaching base twice, but that still dropped his OPS down to 1.072 since his promotion to Gwinnett.
Luiz Gohara had a solid start for the Stripers, the most positive development being a season high in innings pitched for him. Gohara had pitched well for two innings and only allowed one hit with two strike outs, but he had to labor through a tough third inning. A lead off double set the stage for a game-tying two run home run with one out, and Gohara walked the next batter and seemed to have his command slipping. Gohara righted the ship following that, retiring the final 8 batters he faced in the game with two more strikeouts. Gohara’s command still showed some of the rust that should be expected given the turbulence surrounding him this year, but this was a strong step forward for him as it’s the first glimpse we’ve really had of the dominance he has shown at every stage up until this season. Jason Hursh struggled in relief with a hit, two walks, and a run allowed but managed to do enough to not give up the lead. Chad Bell and Jacob Webb combined to pitch 2 perfect innings with three strike outs. Evan Phillips was brought on for the ninth inning and did his usual thing, with 2 strikeouts in a perfect inning to earn his seventh save of the season. Phillips is now just 4 strikeouts short of his career high for a season. This season Phillips has been untouchable by right handed batters, who have a 49.3% K rate against him, while lefties are sitting at a still-staggering 35% K rate.
Next Game: 7/1 vs (37-44) Charlotte Knights @ 5:05 PM ET
GWN: Kolby Allard (5-3, 2.60 ERA)
(32-47) Mississippi Braves 1, (37-40) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2
Alex Jackson, C: 1-4, 2B, .211/.291/.357
Travis Demeritte, LF: 0-4, .223/.325/.382
Touki Toussaint, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 2.93 ERA
Touki Toussaint’s usual dominance was not enough for Mississippi to get a win, as the offense had no luck against Pensacola despite out-hitting them. An Alex Jackson double led off the second inning for the Braves, and Alay Lago brought him in on the next at bat with a single up the middle giving Mississippi a 1-0. That was where Lago stayed, as for the second straight inning the Braves stranded a runner at second base, and after that the threats for the Braves became very few. Luis Valenzuela led off the 8th inning with a double and threatened to give the Braves some insurance runs, but three consecutive strikeouts ended that idea and that proved to be a vital miss. Pensacola took the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning, and Mississippi once again blew a chance with a lead off base hit in the ninth and took a tough 2-1 loss.
Touki Toussaint was stellar for the Braves and struck out 11 batters to give him 107 on the season-3rd most in the minor leagues. Toussaint took no time getting into the game, retiring the first 12 batters he faced in the game. After a streak of four consecutive strikeouts to bring his total on the day to 8, Toussaint finally allowed his first baserunner by hitting the first batter of the 5th inning. Toussaint struck out the next batter before allowing his first hit of the day, and then worked out of the 5th cleanly with the help of AJax picking off a runner at first base. Toussaint’s dominance waned following that 5th inning, and in the 6th he got into serious trouble by walking the firs two batters of the inning. He then responded with a strikeout and a ground out, before walking the third batter to load the bases and then finishing the inning with a strike out. This is a very important inning for Toussaint, as it really shows the progression he’s made in his maturity since coming into the system. Earlier in his career when his command waned and he walked a couple of batters, he would either try to just throw strikes and start throwing it down the middle and getting hit, or just completely lose control and fall apart. You could always sense his frustration, a frustration typical for any player who isn’t playing their best game, but we’ve seen more often this season him finding ways to work through bad innings with minimal damage. When his stuff starts to drop in the late innings or he starts to lose his command, he doesn’t panic and continues to play his game and try to find a way to work out of things. That mentality is a key in a successful major league pitcher and it is very promising to see him start to show those improvements this season. After Touki finished his seventh inning Kelvin Vasquez was brought in, and he allowed a go-ahead two run home run that spoiled a potential win for the Braves.
Next Game: 7/1 vs (37-40) Pensacola Blue Wahoos @ 6:05 PM ET
MIS: Enderson Franco (2-5, 3.68 ERA)
(30-43) Florida Fire Frogs, (41-32) Daytona Tortugas POSTPONED
(44-35) Rome Braves 4, (44-33) Kannapolis Intimidators 6
Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, BB, .298/.347/.527
Isranel Wilson, RF: 0-4, .233/.321/.379
Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .240/.276/.404
Odalvi Javier, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 4.10 ERA
A disastrous 5th inning was the downfall for Rome in their 6-4 loss. Rome’s offense struggled to have success early, as former teammate Drew Harrington shut the down in the early innings and through 5 the Braves hadn’t scored a run. That all changed with Harrington’s departure, and in the 6th inning Jefrey Ramos came through with a 2 run home run to stop the shutout. Unfortunately, the Braves were down 6-2 still because of a 6 run fifth inning. Two innings later it was once again Ramos with the big blast, knocking his 7th home run of the season and second of the game to pull the Braves withing two. Riley Delgado had one of his three hits in the ninth inning, bringing the tying run to the plate, but the Braves didn’t have enough offense left to pull even in the game. Delgado has hit .395 since the all star break and is now hitting .330 on the season, and I’m genuinely shocked that he hasn’t been called up to Florida yet because at 23 years old there isn’t much reason for him to be shoved in Low-A destroying much younger competition.
Odalvi Javier was in pretty good standing early in his start, and through four innings had a shutout despite having to work around a handful of hits. Javier didn’t work a clean inning in the game, but all but one of the hits allowed in the fourth inning came with two outs. Then, the fifth inning came. A hit by pitch led the inning off, and then a routine sacrifice bunt turned into a mess when Javier sailed the throw to first allowing a run to score. A sacrifice fly brought in the next runner, and Javier had struck out the fourth batter of the inning but it came on a wild pitch and the runner reached first base. Another wild pitch put the runner at second where he could score on a double, before Javier recorded the second out of the inning on a ground out. A walk ended Javier’s day and began Daysbel Hernandez, and it didn’t get any better. Hernandez also threw a wild pitch, and then allowed two consecutive doubles to score three total runs and make the game 6-0 before finally ended the inning on a fly out. John Curtis did a fine job in long relief with three perfect innings and three strikeouts.
Next Game: 7/1 vs (44-33) Kannapolis Intimidators 2:00 PM ET
ROM: Freddy Tarnok (4-0, 1.26 ERA) !!!!!!!!
(5-6) Danville Braves 2, (6-4) Elizabethton Twins 3
Greyson Jenista, RF: 0-4. .250/.348/.500
Greg Cullen, 2B: 3-4, 2B, .258/.361/.323
Dilmer Mejia, SP: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.65 ERA
It was no fun day at the office for the Braves, as they only had 5 hits in the game and took a one run loss. Danville took the first lead off the game in the second thanks to Henry Quintero, who singled, reached third on an error, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Zack Soria. This lead didn’t last long and the Twins took the lead in the top of the fourth, but Greg Cullen doubled and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to tie the game back up in the bottom of the inning. Danville had multiple opportunities throughout the remainder of the game to tie things up, putting at least one base runner on in each of the final 5 innings, but couldn’t push a single run in allowing the Twins to take a win.
Dilmer Mejia got off to a strong start with his day, retiring the first 8 batters of the game before a two out single in the 3rd. Things got hairier in the fourth inning for Mejia when he allowed 3 hits with one out in the inning, scoring the tying the run and setting up for a sacrifice fly to bring in the go ahead run. Mejia once again got on a roll and retired the next 7 batters he faced, but with two outs in the 6th inning allowed a go ahead home run that proved to be the game winner. Zach Seipel was brought in and walked the first two batters he faced, got them to second and third on a wild pitch, then struck out the final batter to work out of the trouble. Seipel then struck out two more in his next inning of work for a total of three of four outs coming on strikeouts. Connor Simmons was perfect over the last 2 innings, striking out 4 batters.
Next Game: 7/1 vs (6-5) Bristol Pirates 4:00 PM ET
Probable Starters TBD
(4-5) GCL Braves 4, (5-4) GCL Blue Jays 4 SUSPENDED
CJ Alexander, DH: 1-4, .412/.500/.618
Christian Zamora, CF: 0-2, 2 BB, .179/.258/.179
Miguel Jerez, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.29 ERA
There was a lot of action for the Braves in this one, but they weren’t able to get it in before the afternoon rains came and the game was suspended after 8 innings. The Braves had a huge second inning, scoring four runs. Christian Zamora led off the inning with a walk, and then Juan Morales and Luidemid Rojas singled to score him. A wild pitch scored Morales and then Jeremy Fernandez came through with a 2 run home run to the Braves a 4-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Braves were shut down through the remainder of the game before its suspension and the Blue Jays slowly chipped away at their lead and tied it.
Miguel Jerez got off to a blazing start on the mound and retired the first 10 batters he faced, but that eleventh out proved to be his most difficult. Jerez allowed a walk and then three consecutive singles to score two runs before finishing the inning with a pop out and a fly out. Gabriel Rodriguez was brought in for the 5th inning and struggled, recording both outs by strikeout but allowing a hit and two walks before being pulled mid inning. Lisandro Santos filled up 2 1⁄3 innings for the GCL squad but also allowed the tying run in the 8th inning. William Woods pitched a scoreless 8th inning with a strikeout before the rains came.