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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/9: Kyle Muller threw an absolute gem

Pitching was the dominant storyline again down in the minors with Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller doing their thing.

One of these three guys struck out 12 batters last night. Hint: it was the middle one.
Eric Cole

Mississippi Braves 1, Birmingham Barons 8

Box Score

  • Luis Marte, SS: 2-4, run, .313/.353/.412
  • Connor Lien, CF: 1-4, 2B, BB, .199/.284/.343
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 7.53 ERA

It was a tough start for Ricardo Sanchez as the Braves fell to Birmingham by the score of 8-1. After losing a large chunk of the first half to a DL stint, Ricardo had returned in strong form in his first start back from the DL. Unfortunately, that did not carry over to last night’s start as he gave up six runs in less than five innings of work. Dan Lietz stopped the bleeding out of the bullpen with 2.2 scoreless innings of work before Tyler Pike came in and walked three batters and giving up a pair of runs. Pike currently has 22 walks in 16.1 innings of work this season which is kind of impressive when you consider that his ERA sits at 2.76 in 2018.

There wasn’t much to speak of on offense for Mississippi as they were only to push a run over in the 3rd inning despite recording nine hits in the game. Connor Lien had a double and a walk and Luis Marte had two more hits and scored the game’s only run. Marte has been an important cog in Mississippi’s offense since joining the organization in late May.

Florida Fire Frogs 3, Daytona Tortugas 1 - Game One

Box Score

  • Isranel Wilson, LF: 1-4, RBI, .250/.314/.313
  • Brett Cumberland, C: 1-4, RBI, .235/.365/.399
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2.19 ERA

Florida Fire Frogs 2, Daytona Tortugas 1 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-3, BB, run, .278/.304/.421
  • Braxton Davidson, 1B: 1-4, BB, run, .169/.281/.375
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 12 K, 3.08 ERA

The Fire Frogs swept their doubleheader with Daytona thanks to some strong pitching from two of the Braves’ better pitching prospects with the final scores being 3-1 and 2-1. Since a nearly month long absence, Joey Wentz has been nearly untouchable. He has given up just one earned run total in his last five starts (24.2 IP) with just three walks as well over that same span. It would be hard to top such a start, but Kyle Muller managed to do just that with the best start of his career. Muller gave up just 5 hits and one unearned run and struck out 12 batters. I hear that is pretty good.

While the offense from Florida wasn’t prodigious, it got the job done as Brett Cumberland and Izzy Wilson each drove in runs in the first half of the twin bill and Braxton Davidson drove in one in the other half. The second half of the game went to extra innings, but Florida did manage to score thanks to the new extra runner rule in the minors thanks to an RBI single from Kevin Josephina. Josh Graham came in and shut down Daytona to secure the win.

Rome Braves 6, Augusta GreenJackets 5 - F/10

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, CF: 2-5, 2 2B, RBI, .291/.340/.514
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-4, HR, RBI, BB, .242/.277/.424
  • Jasseel de la Cruz, RP: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 4.70 ERA

Rome won a pretty wild game as they fell behind early, but rallied and won thanks to a walk-off RBI single from Brendan Venter as the Braves won 6-5. The pitching side was interesting because while Keith Weisenburg started the game for Rome, Jasseel de la Cruz threw the final five innings. Jasseel has not been quite the same since his return from the DL with a rumored shoulder issue, but his six strikeout performance was certainly a positive step.

Drew Waters had a pair of extra-base hits which seems to be par for the course for him at this point. He now has 40 extra-base hits through his first 68 games in full season ball. Riley Delgado, Jean Carlos Encarnacion, and the night’s hero Brendan Venter all had multi-hit games for Rome as well. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention what Jefrey Ramos has been doing down in Rome. He connected for this 10th home run of the season and has five homers over his last 10 games.

Danville Braves 0, Elizabethton Twins 2

Box Score

  • Henry Quintero, RF: 2-4, .242/.257/.424
  • Andrew Moritz, LF: 1-3, BB, .328/.406/.459
  • Jake Higginbotham, RP: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA

A tough game for Danville as they were shut out by Elizabethton by the score of 2-0. Andrew Moritz reached base twice and Henry Quintero had a pair of hits, but the rest of the news on offense was pretty grim. The pitching was largely excellent, though. In particular, Jake Higginbotham threw three scoreless innings while striking out three. He has yet to give up an earned run in pro ball.

GCL Braves 7, GCL Tigers West 3 - Game One

Box Score

  • Jeremy Fernandez, CF: 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs, .333/.362/.611
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-3, 2B, run
  • Jonathan Morales, C: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI

GCL Braves 3, GCL Tigers West 5

Box Score

  • Logan Brown, DH: 1-3, HR, 3 RBI, .222/.391/.444

The GCL Braves split their doubleheader with one of the Tigers’ GCL affiliates by the scores of 7-3 and 3-5. Jeremy Fernandez continued his excellent work this year with a triple and a home run in the first half of the doubleheader. Austin Riley has been performing well on his rehab assignment and had a double with a run scored. This was Austin’s fourth rehab start and he has recorded hits in all of them. One imagines he will be returning to action with Gwinnett soon. The only highlight for the GCL Braves in the second half of the doubleheader was a three-run homer from Logan Brown.

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