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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/21: Jeremy Walker Pitches 7 Strong Innings

Jeremy Walker and Keith Weisenberg pitched strong outings for their teams, but received no offensive support. William Contreras reached base three times for Rome

Colorado Rockies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin Liles/Getty Images

(46-53) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (45-52) Pawtucket Red Sox 4

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 0-2, 2 BB, .298/.369/.426

Rio Ruiz, RF: 1-4, HR, .269/.313/.395

Lucas Sims, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 2.15 ERA

Gwinnett made a nice comeback over the Red Sox and then walked off in the 9th inning. Gwinnett was quiet with the bats in the early stages of the game and trailed 3-0 after four innings before going to work in the bottom of the 5th. The inning opened with a double by Lane Adams, and a base hit by Sean Kazmar Jr. quickly had runners on the corner. A single from Jonathan Morales put the tying run on base, and then an RBI ground out scored the second run. That brought up Rio Ruiz, who launched a 413 foot home run to dead center field to give Gwinnett a 4-3 lead. Pawtucket tied things up in the top of the 6th inning, and that’s where things stayed until the bottom 9th. Once again Lane Adams got the ball rolling with a lead off walk and Sean Kazmar Jr. made the threat very real with a double. An intentional walk to Alex Jackson loaded the bases, and Jonathan Morales came through with the big hit in the inning, knocking a walk of single into left field to give Gwinnett the win. Since returning from the disabled list Austin Riley has reached base in 9 of his 10 games, and holds a 7 game on base streak. He has a 13.3% walk rate and 24.4% strikeout rate since his return after having an 8.8% walk rate and 33.6% strikeout rate prior to his injury.

Lucas Sims kept the Red Sox offense relatively in check with only 1 earned run allowed, but had to leave the game after 4 innings due to his inefficiency with a pitch count of 94. Sims worked a smooth first two innings and had faced the minimum 6 batters thanks to a pick off and a caught stealing, but an error in the third led to an unraveling for Sims. He struck out the first two batters he faced, but after a walk Kazmar made a fielding error. Sims then allowed the first run in on a wild pitch, and after a walk to Brandon Phillips gave up a run scoring single to make it 2-0. His 4th strikeout of the game ended the inning. Sims struggled again in the fourth, allowing 2 hits and a walk with one out to score the third run of the game and the first earned. Sims limited the damage, though, striking out the final two batters of the inning to keep the deficit at three runs. Wes Parsons worked 5 innings of relief, with the only blemish against him coming when two hits in the 6th inning scored the game tying run. Parsons didn’t walk anyone and struck out 4 batters.

Next Game: 7/22 vs (45-52) Pawtucket Red Sox @ 1:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Kolby Allard (6-4, 2.85 ERA)

PAW: Justin Haley (5-7, 3.50 ERA)

(44-54) Mississippi Braves 7, (52-47) Mongomery Biscuits 5

Box Score

Alejandro Salazar, 2B: 2-4, 2 RBI, .365/.382/.442

Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 3-4, 3B, 2 RBI, .323/.417/.452

Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5.27 ERA

Montgomery and Mississippi played a back-and-forth contest, but the Braves got the last punch in with a three run ninth to take a win. Mississippi trailed 2-0 after the Biscuits got runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Ray-Patrick Didder tied the game up in the top of the second with a 2-run triple that scored Connor Lien and Brandon Downes. Montgomery took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning, but once again the Braves had an immediate response. A one out single from Didder and double from Daniel Lockhart put two runners in scoring position, and Alejandro Salazar brought them both home with an RBI single that gave Mississippi their first lead of the game. Montgomery got two more runs over the next 4 innings, and Mississippi went into their last at bat trailing by one. Once again it was Ray-Patrick Didder getting things done, leading off the inning with a single. Lockhart doubled again to bring in Didder to tie the game, and then Tyler Marlette singled to give Mississippi the lead. Another single from Sal Giardina made the lead two runs, scoring Tyler Neslony who had been intentionally walked earlier in the inning. Mississippi’s bullpen shut things down, giving them a 7-5 lead.

Ricardo Sanchez couldn’t repeat his strong start from his last outing, struggling to miss bats with only 1 strikeout in 6 innings of work. Sanchez did only allow one walk, and over his last two outings has only allowed two in 13 innings. Sanchez allowed a hit to the first batter of the game and then a home run to put him behind early, but he started to look good as he retired 9 of the next 10 batters he faced and hadn’t allowed another run through three innings. A couple of hits scored another run off of Sanchez in the 4th inning, and then a leadoff home run in the 6th inning tied the game back up at 4-4. Sanchez was pulled after 6 innings for Philip Pfeifer, who pitched a perfect 7th inning and struck out one batters. Rex Brothers, who was sent down from Triple-A Gwinnett prior to the game, was brought in to keep the game tied but allowed a run in his only inning of work. After Mississippi came back to take the lead Corbin Clouse was brought in and pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. Clouse now has a 1.93 ERA on the season, and over his last 20 appearances has a 0.71 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks in 25 13 innings.

Next Game: 7/22 vs (52-47) Montgomery Biscuits @ 6:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Bruce Zimmermann (2-0, 1.69 ERA)

MTG: Brock Burke (0-0, 3.60 ERA)

(43-53) Florida Fire Frogs 1, (49-48) Clearwater Threshers 2

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 0-4, .284/.309/.430

Riley Delgado, SS: 0-4 .250/.340/.273

Jeremy Walker, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.35 ERA

The Fire Frogs were dominated by Adonis Medina and the Threshers, striking out 15 times in the game and not drawing any walks. The Fire Frogs looked like they had things figured out in the first inning with 2 consecutive two-out singles, but Medina struck out Braxton Davidson to end the inning and then set down 18 Fire Frogs in a row to keep a shutout going through 7 innings. The Fire Frogs finally got through to the bullpen in the 8th inning, and capitalized immediately getting a two out single and then a double from Lucas Herbert to tie the game up at one. The Fire Frogs bullpen then gave up a run and the offense couldn’t put up anything more, taking a 2-1 loss. Jared James had one hit in the game to extend his hitting streak to 7 games. In the month of July James is hitting .288/.385/.424 with 9 walks in 19 games. Braxton Davidson’s rough season continued with an 0-3 with 3 strikeouts. He has 152 on the season, already three off of last season’s total, and is on pace for what would be a league-record 215 strikeouts. The previous record was 200, set by Jerry Lyscio back in 1965, who was converted to a pitcher immediately following the season. Fun Fact: Lyscio was the first player to even sign a contract with the Kansas City Royals organization back in 1968.

Jeremy Walker did his best to match the Threshers, and through 7 innings had dominated the game and not allowed an earned run. Unfortunately his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt in the first inning led to a run against him, and Florida trailed the remainder of the time he was in the game. After a double led off the second inning, Walker started to set down batters with ease retiring the next 13 batters he faced before a one out double in the sixth. The 7 innings matched a season and career high in innings for Walker, and was the second time in his career he has pitched seven shutout innings. After the Fire Frogs tied the game up in the bottom of the 8th Brandon White was brought on to relieve, and things got off to a bumpy start when he hit the first batter he faced. White seemed poised to get out of things after a sacrifice bunt and a line out, but a throwing error by Kevin Josephina allowed the go ahead and eventual winning run to score. White finished off the inning with a strikeout, but still took the loss due to the error.

Next Game: 7/23 vs (50-46) Charlotte Stone Crabs @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Tucker Davidson (6-7, 4.11 ERA)


(52-46) Rome Braves 1, (47-48) Charleston Riverdogs 2

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 0-4, .297/.344/.513

William Contreras, C: 1-2, 2 BB, .285/.354/.430

Greyson Jenista, RF: 2-4, .310/.338/.448

Keith Weisenberg, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 3.45 ERA

Early runs scored off of starter Keith Weisenberg were enough to beat the Braves, as the offense couldn’t assemble a rally to tie the game back up. The Braves had an opportunity after the Riverdogs took a first inning lead, with AJ Graffanino knocking a one out single. Graffanino was then caught stealing, and Jenista got a base hit. William Contreras drew the first of his walks on the day and a botched pickoff attempt put runners at second and third, but Jefrey Ramos’s line drive couldn’t fall and the Braves came up empty. A single from Derian Cruz and then another from Graffanino cut the lead for Charleston down to 2-1, but the Braves could never come through with another run. Derian Cruz led off the 5th inning with a base hit and the Braves loaded the bases, but came up short with two outs. Cruz also led off the 7th inning with his third hit of the game and advanced to third base on two ground outs, but a ground out by Jenista ended the inning and the Braves last threat of the game.

Keith Weisenberg made a very impressive start for Rome, and seemed to get more settled in as the game progresses. Weisenberg struck out the first batter of the game, but a throwing error from Graffanino loomed large as a single and a sacrifice fly brought in the first run of the game. A couple of hits off of Weisenberg led to the first earned run of the game in the second inning, and the Braves trailed 2-0 very early on. Weisenberg allowed a leadoff single in the 3rd inning, but then set down 10 consecutive batters before a walk in the sixth inning. Weisenberg struck out a career high 8 batters and in his three starts since being promoted to Rome has pitched 15 23 innings, struck out 23 batters and walked just three. I wouldn’t get too excited by those numbers as Weisenberg is 22 years old and coming out of a major college (Stanford), but it is a nice run of success. Tyler Watson was next in line with 2 scoreless innings, striking out three batters and not allowing a walk. Cutter Dyals pitched a perfect ninth inning and struck out 2 batters, lowering his ERA on the season to 0.91.

Next Game: 7/22 vs (47-48) Charleston RiverDogs 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Huascar Ynoa (6-8, 3.83 ERA)

CSC: Alex Mauricio (0-0, 11.57 ERA)

(15-15) Danville Braves 3, (13-16) Johnson City Cardinals 5 F/10

Box Score

Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, BB, .299/.399/.421

Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 2-4, BB, .313/.411/.396

Dilmer Mejia, SP: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2.79 ERA

Danville struck first in the game thanks to some help from the Cardinals, with Justin Dean leading off the inning with a single and then getting to third on a poor pickoff throw. Andrew Moritz brought him in with an RBI ground out, and Danville was up 1-0. The Cardinals came back to take the lead in the top of the fourth inning, but the Braves offense was quick to respond in the bottom of the fourth inning. A single from Ricardo Rodriguez got things started, and another hit from Nicholas Vizcaino had the Danville offense in a great position. Luis Mejia came through with the big hit, a double, that scored Rodriguez to tie the game at two and Nick Shumpert had the sacrifice fly that gave them the lead once again. In the 5th, after Johnson City had tied it, Andrew Moritz led off the inning with a single then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. This was a prime scoring opportunity for the Danville team, but consecutive strikeouts and a ground out to end the inning wasted the key chance and kept the game knotted at three runs each. The Braves offense was limited from there, and then the Cardinals scored two runs in their half of the tenth to put Danville behind the eight ball in extra innings. Brett Langhorne singled to lead off the inning, and the Braves had the tying run on with no one out. A strike out and a pop out put the game in serious jeopardy, and though Griffin Benson drew a walk to load the bases it was not meant to be as a pop out ended the game for a rough extra innings loss.

Dilmer Mejia was brilliant through the earliest parts of the game, retiring the first 8 batters he faced. Through 3 innings Mejia had allowed just one walk and one hit and had 6 strikeouts. Things unraveled a bit for Mejia in the 4th inning, starting with a leadoff walk. Mejia walked two in the inning and left with 2 outs in the inning, having needed 90 pitches to complete 3 23 innings. Connor Simmons could not hold on to the lead, allowing a base hit to the first batter he faced to score two runs and give Johnson City the lead. After Danville had fought back to take the lead Simmons got himself into trouble with a double and a single to lead off the inning. A walk then loaded the bases, but Simmons managed to limit the damage with a double play although that did score the tying run. Simmons pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings, departing with four strikeouts, three walks, and an earned run allowed over 3 13 innings. The Braves turned to Jacob Belinda in the 8th inning, and he pitched a perfect innings with one strikeout. Zach Daniels set down the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, but his tenth inning was a struggle. Daniels allowed 3 hits in the inning, scoring 2 total runs and one charged to him to put Danville down 5-3.

Next Game: 7/22 vs (13-16) Johnson City Cardinals 4:00 PM ET

Probable Starters TBD

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