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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/13: Austin Riley is back

Tucker Davidson and the Fire Frogs carried a rather lackluster day down on the farm

Atlanta Braves Photo Day Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

(39-51) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (46-42) Norfolk Tide 1

  • Austin Riley, DH: 1-for-4, BB, .283/.347/.425
  • Phil Gosselin, 3B: 2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, .224/.304/.340
  • Matt Wisler, SP: 6.0IP 8H 1ER 1BB 4K

Box Score

It was the Matt Wisler show as he went six innings of one run baseball to quiet the Norfolk Tide offense. It was a good rebound after his horrific outing on the fourth when he surrendered seven runs over four innings. Not only did he go through six - but he struck out four and had a very nice 5:1 GB:FB ratio as well. After Matt, Elian Leyva pitched 1.1 perfect innings, Chad Bell picked up his third hold of the season while working around danger in the eighth, and Jacob Webb pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his third save of the season for Gwinnett. It was also a nice rebound for Webb, the Atlanta bound hopeful, who had given up five runs over his last two outings. Webb has had an odd season - exhibiting the swing and miss arsenal he’s capable of (12.3 K/9), but he’s struggled with walks (4.7 BB/9), and given up six homers in 36 innings pitched.

Austin Riley finished his DL assignment and made his return to Gwinnett and went 1-for-4 with a walk. Luis Marte, recently called up to Gwinnett, debuted and went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the sixth inning. Phil Gosselin, hitting leadoff, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Gwinnett got things started in the third inning when Rio Ruiz singled in a run to put Gwinnett up 1-0. Two batters later and Carlos Franco hit a sacrifice fly to extend the Gwinnett lead to 2-0. Norfolk would add a run in the bottom half of the inning but Gwinnett immediately responded in the fourth when Phil Gosselin singled in Rob Brantly, who scored for the second time, to extend the lead to 3-1. They tacked on another run in the sixth inning when previously mentioned Luis Marte singled in Sean Kamzar to extend the lead to 4-1 which would ultimately be the final score.

(45-44) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6, (39-52) Mississippi Braves 1

  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-for-4, 2B, R, .220/.315/.392
  • Alex Jackson, C: 0-for-4, .203/.282/.333
  • Connor Johnstone, SP: 5.0IP 1H 1R 0ER 3BB 3K

Box Score

Connor Johnstone, making a spot start, kept Mississippi in it giving up one unearned run in five frames of work putting up a gamescore of 62. Unfortunately it was not enough as he was relieved by Sean McLaughlin who gave up three earned runs in two innings, and Dan Lietz gave up two earned runs in his two innings of work as well. Johnstone, a 21st round draft pick out of Wake Fores in 2017, has bounced around the organization - making appearances in Florida, Mississippi, and Gwinnett - and done well, accumulating a 3.06 ERA on the season, 7.8 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9. He’s a local kid out of Roswell so he’s been a nice story for the Braves.

Offensively, there aren’t many things to talk about unfortunately which seems to be a nightly ritual for Mississippi. Travis Demeritte got the only extra-base hit - picking up his 13th double of the season. Mississippi picked up six stolen bases but went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position which was ultimately their undoing. The only run scored for Mississippi was a rather unique - Ray-Patrick Didder stole second, induced a throwing error by the catcher, which allowed Travis Demeritte to score from third. After that the bats pretty much went silent including 12 strikeouts. The loss dropped Misssippi to 39-52 and they’ve been pretty miserable to watch for most of the season. Their 359 runs are the third lowest in the league, their 826 strikeouts are third most in the league, .360 slugging percentage second lowest. The pitching staff has been solid - 3.69 team ERA is second lowest in the league but 1.41 WHIP is dead last. I wish I had something fun to end this recap on but I don’t - this team isn’t good.

(39-48) Florida Fire Frogs 11, (49-38) Daytona Tortugas

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-5, RBI, BB, R, .282/.310/.447
  • Riley Delgado, SS: 2-for-5, BB, R,
  • Braxton Davidson, DH: 2-for-5, 2RBI, BB, .178/.286/.377
  • Isranel Wilson, RF: 3-for-5, 3R, HR, RBI, .302/.375/.419
  • Kevin Josephina, 2B: 4-for-5, 4RBI, R, .147/.205/.147
  • Tucker Davidson, SP: 6.0IP 2H 1ER 3BB 8K

Tucker Davidson was fantastic striking out eight over six innings while only giving up two hits. His outing was good enough for a 71 game score, and after a very rough start to the year he has looked like the Tucker Davidson of old - exhibited by a 1.81 ERA over his last 10 outings. Through seven games Tucker had a 8.04 ERA and looked completely lost on the mound - mechanics and all - but his last 10 outings has lowered his ERA on the season to 3.92. He was replaced by Josh Graham who worked two perfect innings, and Brandon S. White finished off the game with a ten pitch 9th inning.

To go along with some stellar pitching the offense was absolutely fantastic despite stranding 13 runners on base. Pache didn’t hit a homer but did pick up a single AND walked! The bottom four of the lineup (Hoekstra, Wilson, Rodgers, Josephina) went 13-for-21 with one double, two homers, and six RBI. Isranel Wilson hit his first homer of the season and is holding is own in Florida - hitting .302/.375/.419 over 12 games. Who knows if this is Wilson turning a corner or not but lets just enjoy this nice stretch of games. Kurt Hoekstra went 3-for-6 and is enjoying his finest season as a professional.

(47-42) Rome Braves - , (36-53) Greenville Drive - SUSPENDED

(4-19) Burlington Royals 1, (13-9) Danville Braves 8

  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 3-for-3, 2BB, .405/
  • Griffin Benson, 1B: 3-for-4, 2(2B), HR, 2R,
  • Justin Smith, LF: 2-for-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R,
  • Matt Rowland, SP: 5.0IP 4H 1ER 3BB 1K

Box Score

Matt Rowland pitched the longest start of his career needing 73 pitches to work through five innings of one run baseball. Rowland, who hasn’t pitched in a game since being drafted, has had a solid start to his professional career - sporting a 3.57 ERA through five starts. The peripheral stats aren’t exactly there (7.26 FIP coming into yesterday), but the fact that he’s healthy and pitching is big news for the 2016 draft pick. Following up Matt was Tanner Allison who provided four quality innings giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out three and silencing the Royals.

The game remained 1-1 up until the seventh when the Braves exploded for seven runs over the next two innings. The first run was scored in the first inning when CJ Alexander singled in Justin Dean who had tripled to start the inning. With the game tied 1-1 in the seventh Griffin Benson lead off the inning with a double. He was then brought in by Justin Smith’s second homer of the season to put Danville back on top 3-1. Ray Soderman then walked, and later scored after a Justin Dean single to extend the lead to 4-1. They would go on to tack on another four runs in the eighth to secure the 8-1 win for Danville.

(10-25) DSL Braves 7, (15-20) DSL Astros 8

  • Carlos Paraguate, SS: 3-for-6, 2RBI, .243/.385/.330
  • Sergio Ordonez, C: 3-for-5, 3(2B), RBI, .278/.316/.417

Box Score

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