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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/17: Waters and Contreras Lead Rome’s Home Run Derby

The Rome Braves put up 5 home runs in a double header sweep, and Cristian Pache extended his hitting streak to 9 games.

Jean Carlos Encarnacion Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

(43-52) Gwinnett Stripers 7, (50-43) Norfolk Tides 2

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 3-5, 2B, .297/.359/.430

Dustin Peterson, RF: 2-5, 2B, .266/.329/.418

Matt Wisler, SP: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 4.29 ERA

A thirteen hit performance from the Stripers offense drove a 7-2 win, with Luis Marte picking up 4 RBIs. Gwinnett got their big inning early in the second inning, when they loaded the bases thanks to 2 hits and a hit batter. Marte came to the plate and drove a double into left field, clearing the bases and giving the Stripers a commanding early lead. A sacrifice fly from Rio Ruiz scored Marte, making it 4-0. In the third inning a double by Alex Jackson added another run to the tally, Jackson’s first extra base hit and RBI since his promotion. An RBI single from Carlos Franco made it 5-1 in the 4th inning, and then a double from Dustin Peterson led to another RBI single for Luis Marte in the 7th inning. Austin Riley went 3-5 on the day, his first 3 hit performance since he hit 3 home runs on May 13. Riley has hit safely now in 5 of his 6 games since returning to Gwinnett from the DL, with 2 doubles and only 4 strikeouts.

Matt Wisler had to work around some trouble and didn’t have his best command, but was able to hold Indianapolis to 2 runs over 7 innings and put the Stripers in a good position to win. A walk, stolen base, and throwing error from Alex Jackson put a runner on third base with nobody out in the 2nd inning, and Wisler responded by striking out the next three batters to strand the runner and keep the game scoreless. Wisler worked around a leadoff double in the 4th inning with a key double play, but in the 3rd and 6th innings the Indians were able to scratch enough hits together to get runs off of Wisler. Wisler had his one clean inning in the 7th, getting his 6th strikeout and finishing by retiring the final 5 batters. Chad Bell came in to relieve Wisler and retired all 5 batters he faced, striking out 3 of those.

Next Game: 7/18 vs (50-43) Indianapolis Indians @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters


IND: Brandon Waddell (4-4, 5.19 ERA)

(41-51) Florida Fire Frogs 0, (50-44) Dunedin Blue Jays 4

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, .288/.314/.439

Riley Delgado, SS: 0-4 .258/.361/.290

Tucker Davidson, SP: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4.11 ERA

Florida’s offense was dominated, only putting together 2 hits and a hit batter and never threatening to challenge an early Blue Jays lead. Cristian Pache recorded the first hit for the Fire Frogs in the third inning while they still trailed by just one run, but he was picked off erasing a chance to tie it with the middle of the order coming up. After Pache was picked off 15 consecutive Fire Frogs were sent to the bench before Marcus Mooney broke the streak with two outs in the 8th inning. Pache has a nine game hitting streak, though he hasn’t had an extra base hit in any of the last 6 or a walk in any of the last 5, after walking in 4 of the previous 5 games. Pache has had only one multi strikeout game since June 20.

Tucker Davidson stayed around the plate all game and it got him knocked around a bit, with 10 hits allowed over 5 innings of work. Davidson worked a relatively smooth first inning but a triple and double in the second inning brought in the first Dunedin runs of the day. In the third Davidson allowed 5 hits, plating 3 runs and stretching the deficit out to 4-0. Davidson didn’t work a clean inning on the day, and the 10 hits were a career high allowed. Davidson did avoid walking anyone for the first time this season, and hasn’t allowed a home run since June 6, a span of 42 innings of work. Thomas Burrows work 2 scoreless innings and only allowed 1 hits, striking out 2 batters. Justin Kelly pitched a hitless, scoreless 8th inning, though he did walk one batter and hit another throwing just 6 of his 15 pitches for strikes.

Next Game: 7/18 vs (50-44) Dunedin Blue Jays @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Jon Kennedy (5-4, 2.06 ERA)


(49-45) Rome Braves 6, (47-46) Augusta GreenJackets 4 Game 1

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 2-4, HR, RBI, SB, .292/.342/.512

William Contreras, C: 1-4, HR, RBI, .286/.349/.432

Freddy Tarnok, RP: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.13 ERA

(50-45) Rome Braves 5, (47-47) Augusta GreenJackets 1 Game 2

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 2-4, 2 2B, .294/.344/.518

Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-3, HR, RBI, .246/.280/.427

Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .279/.309/.442

Hayden Deal, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.89 ERA

Rome’s offense broke out of a funk in a big way with 5 home runs in a double header sweep of the GreenJackets. The offense got things started in game one without the use of the home run. Drew Waters and AJ Graffanino led off the game with base hits, then pulled off a double steal and both scored on a sac fly and a wild pitch. Augusta came back and took the lead after 2 innings, but in the fourth inning Rome tied it back up with a lead off home run from William Contreras. Jefrey Ramos later walked and came around to score, giving Rome the lead. Freddy Tarnok had his share of troubles on the mound, never getting settled into the game and only throwing 44 of his 84 pitches for strikes. His velocity was a bit down sitting in the low 90s and he’s definitely struggling with the transition to higher pitch counts and innings, as I think many expected he would. Tarnok allowed 3 earned runs but did only allow one walk in the game and two hits. In the fourth the GreenJackets tied the game back up thanks to a couple of hits off of Tyler Watson, scoring the leadoff walk allowed by Freddy Tarnok. The Braves got that run right back in the 5th though with Graffanino hitting his first professional home run to make it 5-4. Drew Waters added on another for the Braves in the 7th, hitting his second home run of the season from the right side of the plate and his ninth overall. Walter Borkovich closed the game out with 2 scoreless innings.

Rome’s offense took a minute to get going in game two, and through 4 innings they trailed the GreenJackets 1-0. Hayden Deal kept them in the game with a marvelous start, retiring 10 of the first 11 batter he faced before Augusta finally put together a run on a triple and a single in the fourth inning. In the 5th inning the Braves finally broke through, with Jean Carlos Encarnacion hitting a 2 run home run to give them the lead. The sixth inning was led off with a double from Drew Waters, and he leads the league with 28 doubles on the season which is four more than anyone else in the league. That total is the 6th highest in the minor leagues, and every player above him is older and has played at least 10 more games than Waters this season. Two more hits followed scoring two more runs, and then Jefrey Ramos hit his 11th home run of the season to make it 5-1 in favor of Rome. Both Ramos and Encarnacion are adjusting well to A ball, with each seeing a bump in their power production by ISO in each subsequent month this season. Hayden Deal finished out a complete game, allowing only the one hit and retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced in the game.

Next Game: 7/19 vs (46-46) Charleston RiverDogs 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Alan Rangel (2-6, 5.42 ERA)


(9-14) GCL Braves 4, (10-13) GCL Tigers East 3

Box Score

Jeremy Fernandez, CF: 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI, .307/.341/.560

Trey Harris, RF: 2-5, .263/.354/.386

Mitch Stallings, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.00 ERA

Early runs by the Braves were enough to take a win as the pitching staff held on in the late innings. The Braves put up a strong rally in the first inning, chasing the game’s starter before the end of the inning. Trey Harris led off with a single and Braulio Vasquez followed with a double, then a sacrifice fly brought in Harris for the first run. After a single by Ray Hernandez, Vasquez stole home for the second run of the game. A base hit by Charles Reyes scored the third and final run of the game, giving the Braves a comfortable early lead. The Braves added one more in the 5th inning on a Juan Morales double, and that ended up being all the runs they needed on the day.

Mitch Stallings made his fourth appearance of the season and once again put together some strong work, holding the Tigers to just one run over three innings. After a perfect first inning Stallings allowed a couple of hits and a walk in the second inning, scoring the first earned run he has allowed this season and the first walk. Stallings finished out the game with a perfect third inning, making way for Filyer Sanchez. Sanchez had a rough start and walked three batters over 4 innings of work, the big hit coming on a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 5th. That made the game a one run contest, and Sanchez spent the next two innings protecting that lead by pitching scoreless frames. Victor Cavalieri closed out the game with two scoreless innings.

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