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Braves Minor League Recap: Jenista & Contreras pace explosive Rome offense

Contreras collects four hits of which three are of the extra-base variety

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(48-55) Gwinnett Stripers 6, (62-40) Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 7

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-for-3, 2BB, .308/382/.524
  • Alex Jackson, C: 1-for-4, HR, R, .203/.298/.354
  • Phil Gosselin, 2B: 3-for-5, RBI, .232/.296/.329
  • Matt Wisler, SP: 5.0IP 8H 3ER 1BB 6K

Box Score

Gwinnett drops an incredibly frustrating game 7-6 and fell to 48-55 on the season despite having a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning. Staked to that lead Matt Wisler gave up three runs over the next two innings to close the gap to 4-3. Gwinnett would then tack on a pair of runs to extend the lead to 6-3 and create a little breathing distance between the teams. However, immediately following Wisler was Andres Santiago, who pitched an effective sixth inning but then collapsed in the seventh - giving up three runs to tie the game up at 6-6. Chad Bell (1.2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K) and Chad Sobotka (1.0IP 0H 3BB 2K) were effective enough to keep the game tied to force extras - however Jason Hursh fell victim to extra innings rules and runner that started at second scored to put Lehigh up 7-6 which was ultimately the final score.

The Gwinnett offense got off to a rousing start going up 3-0 in the second inning thanks to an Alex Jackson three-run homerun. They tacked on another run in the third inning after Danny Santana doubled with one out and then took third on a fielding error. Santana then came in after Austin Riley reached first on a throwing error to extend the lead to 4-0. They would take on another run in the fifth when Dustin Peterson singled in Luis Marte, and then the sixth run in the sixth inning after Lane Adams tripled to start off the inning and then came in to score when Phil Gosselin singled him in. Gwinnett had the bases loaded with only one out in the 10th inning but were unable to score a run after Lane Adams and Phil Gosselin both struck out to end the threat.

(50-51) Mobile Bay Bears 10, (46-57) Mississippi Braves 1

  • Daniel Lockhart, LF: 1-for-4, 3B, RBI, .242/.323/.374
  • Brett Cumberland, C: 0-for-4, .230/.359/.397
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5.0IP 7H 6R 5ER 3BB 3K

Box Score

This game was bad pretty much all around. Mississippi committed two errors, had just five hits and one run, went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and gave up 10 runs - 7 earned. Ricardo Sanchez had a start to forget as he gave up six runs, five earned, in just five innings of work. The outing raised Ricardo’s ERA to 5.85 in seven starts in Double-A, and the seven hits and three walks moved his WHIP all the way up to 1.73. Still just 21 and young for the league Ricardo has struggled facing Double-A hitters since his promotion and might be in just a little over his head right now. It was a rather aggressive promotion for Sanchez who was solid, but not great, in A+ ball last season. Instead of starting the season off in A+ ball again Ricardo started in the GCL, moved to Danville, and has made his last seven starts in Mississippi. Tyler Pike came in for Ricardo and had a Pike outing from the beginning of the season - 1.0IP 0H 0R 2BB 1K. The two walks increased his walk rate on the season to 12 BB/9, his WHIP to 1.97, however he still has a .188 batting average against. Phil Pfeifer fell victim to some bad defense as he gave up a pair of unearned runs in his two innings of work - but also walked a pair as well. Much like Pike, but to a much lesser degree, hitters aren’t hitting Pfeifer particularly well (.163 BAA), but his near 6.6 BB/9 has put him in a lot of unfavorable position. Adam McCreery worked the final inning of the game and gave up a pair of earned runs while walking two as well. As a whole the Mississippi pitching staff gave up 11 hits, and nine walks to go along with the seven earned runs (10 total).

Offensively. the team isn’t exactly gifted. They combined for five hits, three extra-base hits, and two walks while striking out eight times. Nobody had a multi-hit game and the lone run scored came courtesy of Daniel Lockhart who tripled in Ray-Patrick Didder in the fifth inning. Didder, who did not hit well to start the season - totaling a .608 OPS in A+ ball, has done well since his promotion to Mississippi to the tune of an .845 OPS.

(48-52) Columbia Fireflies 5, (56-47) Rome Braves 14

  • AJ Graffanino, SS: 3-for-4, 3R, .378/.400/.432
  • Greyson Jenista, RF: 4-for-5, 2B, 3R, RBI, .313/.375/.491
  • WIlliam Contreras, C: 4-for-5, 2(2B), 2R, 3B, 5RBI, .296/.360/.456
  • Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 2-for-5, 2R, RBI, SB, .287/.313/.464
  • Hayden Deal, SP: 4.2IP 7H 5R 4ER 1BB 7K

Box Score

The well oiled Rome Braves offensive machine continued to click amassing 14 runs on 18 hits. AJ Graffanino set the table real well going 3-for-4 while hitting in the lead off spot. The duo of Greyson Jenista and William Contreras, hitting third and fourth in the lineup, went 8-for-10 and have both enjoyed marvelous seasons. Jefrey Ramos, another player enjoyed a solid year, was the lone starter to not record a hit. Despite the 18 hits, Rome only had four extra-base hits however they had 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position (went 8-for-22), and only left seven on base. Derian Cruz went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI but also committed his 27th error of the season.

Hayden Deal got the start and lasted 4.2 innings where he gave up four earned runs, walked one and struck out seven. Despite having the offense score nine runs while he was on the mound Deal was unable to pick up the win because he didn’t last those five innings. Tyler Watson gave up one hit while striking out two in his 2.1 innings of work. Walter Borkovich worked the final two innings of the game where he also struck out two and gave up one hit. Despite the 18 hits and 14 runs scored the game still last just 2 hours and 49 minutes. Yes, this game was such a beating that I am talking about how long the game was.

(18-17) Danville Braves 13, (17-17) Kingsport Mets 0

  • Justin Dean CF: 2-for-4, 4R, 2BB, .295/.390/.434
  • Brett Langhorne, 3B: 2-for-4, 2R, 7RBI, .298/.424/.372
  • Dilmer Mejia, SP: 6.0IP 5H 0R 1BB 3K

If the Rome game was a beating, this was a slaughtering. The Danville offense collected 14 runs on 13 hits while walking NINE times. Third baseman Brett Langhorne had an absurd seven RBI game despite not having a single extra-base hit. A sacrifice fly in the first inning was his first, a groundout in the second was his second, a single in the third provided RBI numbers three and four, single in the seventh added RBI five and six, and finally a bases loaded walk in the eighth was his seventh. Right fielder Henry Quintero went 4-for-6 himself while driving in two.

Dilmer Mejia went six strong innings giving up no earned runs while striking out three and improving his ERA to 2.42 on the season for Danville. Jacob Belinda worked two scoreless innings and Zach Daniels worked around a pair of walks in the ninth to preserve the shut out and give Danville their 18th win of the season.

(47-51) Bradenton Marauders -, (43-54) Florida Fire Frogs - Postponed

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