(48-57) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (55-47) Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders
Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, RBI, .288/.360/.405
Luis Marte, 2B: 2-4, 2B, .406/.424/.563
Lucas Sims, SP: 2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2.84 ERA
It was a rough day for the Stripers as they were blown out by the Railriders. Things got off to a good start as Luis Marte led off the game with a double and then scored 2 batters later on a ground out from Austin Riley, but things took a tumble from there. Lucas Sims gave the lead up to the first batter he faced in the game on a home run, and through the rest of the first inning allowed 2 more runs on 3 hits and two walks. The second inning was even worse for Sims, as he allowed 3 more runs on 2 more home runs to give the Railriders a 6-1 lead after two innings. Sims did have 5 strikeouts in his two innings, but had to be removed from the game after racking up 69 pitches in those two innings. Meanwhile the Braves offense was being well handled by Justus Sheffield, and from the 3rd through 7th innings managed only one hit off of the bat of Austin Riley.
Chad Bell was brought in to relieve Sims, and early it looked like he was going to have the same struggles as Sims. The first two batters singled and then doubled off of Bell, but he was able to hold the Railriders to only one run thanks two a couple of strikeouts. Bell stranded a lead off double in the fourth inning, again recording two strikeouts. Jason Hursh filled up the most innings for the Stripers despite struggling with his command, completing 3 on 42 pitches (22 strikes). Hursh allowed 2 runs on 5 hits scattered over those three innings and didn’t strike out a batter. Chad Sobotka pitched the final inning of the game and had major struggles, walking three batters before allowing a two-out single that scored the second run of the inning. Sobotka finished his day with a strikeout, and the Braves went down 1-2-3 in the 9th inning.
Next Game: 7/29 vs (55-47) Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders @ 1:05 PM ET
GWN: Kolby Allard (6-4, 2.80 ERA)
SWB: Nestor Cortes (4-4, 3.38 ERA)
(47-58) Mississippi Braves 4, (53-51) Birmingham Barons
Tyler Marlette, 1B: 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI, .245/.327/.392
Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 1-4, .314/.407/.392
Bryse Wilson, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 3.97 ERA
The Braves relied on strong pitching and a big third inning in a win over the Barons. After a slow attack through the first two innings a lead off single for Ray-Patrick Didder sparked the Mississippi offense in the third inning. A walk put Daniel Lockhart on, and then a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Alejandro Salazar brought in Didder to score the first run of the game. Another error allowed Travis Demeritte to reach base and load the bases, and Tyler Marlette came through with a bases clearing double to give Mississippi a 4-0 lead. Mississippi threatened again in the fourth inning with a couple of base hits, but couldn’t come up with any more runs. Mississippi only managed one more hit over the next 5 innings, but the pitching staff did a fabulous job and held on to the lead.
Bryse Wilson continued his recent run of success with only one allowed over 5 innings, though he did tie his season high with 3 walks and ran his pitch count high enough to be pulled after 5 innings. Wilson wasn’t dominant throughout the game as he allowed at least one base runner in every inning he worked, but scattered those around and only allowed one run on a double in the fourth inning. Wilson had 8 strikeouts in his 5 innings, and in all 5 starts in the month of July he struck out more batters than he pitched innings. His total numbers for the month are 32 1⁄3 innings, 3 runs allowed, 7 walks, and 42 strikeouts adding up to a 0.84 ERA.
Next Game: 7/29 vs (53-51) Birmingham Barons @ 6:00 PM ET
MIS: Michael Mader (2-2, 2.98 ERA)
BIR: Alec Hansen (0-4, 6.03 ERA)
(43-55) Florida Fire Frogs 0, (48-51) Bradenton Marauders 10 Game 1 SUSPENDED
Cristian Pache, CF: 0-2, .287/.311/.435
Huascar Ynoa, SP: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 22.09 ERA
(43-55) Florida Fire Frogs, (48-51) Bradenton Marauders Game 2 POSTPONED
The Fire Frogs were absolutely embarrassed prior to the suspension of this game, falling behind 10-0 after just 4 innings. The offense managed only two hits, the biggest a lead off double in the 3rd inning by Marcus Mooney that they couldn’t turn into runs. Huascar Ynoa’s first start in a Fire Frogs uniform was disastrous, though it didn’t get off to such a terrible start. He retired the first two batters he faced, but a 2 out single and then home run put Bradenton up 2-0. Ynoa allowed only a walk in a scoreless second, but after that is when things began to derail. Ynoa gave up a walk and then a two run home run to the first two batters of the third inning, and then a walk and a base hit scored the third run of the inning and made it 5-0. After recording the first out in the fourth inning Ynoa allowed a walk, a single, and hit a batter to load the bases. He got the second out on a force out that scored another run, then walked a batter before being pulled with 2 outs. In total Ynoa walked 5 batters in less than four innings, hit another, and allowed 3 stolen bases and two balks. Brandon White allowed all three inherited runners to score and then another run of his own before finally getting a strikeout to end the inning. The game was suspended due to rain and will be picked up on Sunday.
Next Game: 7/29 vs (48-51) Bradenton Marauders @ 11:00 AM ET
Probable Starters TBD
(57-48) Rome Braves 2, (56-46) Lexington Legends 4
Drew Waters, CF: 0-4, BB, SB, .296/.346/.509
William Contreras, C: 0-3, BB, .296/.362/.465
Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 2-4, .291/.317/.468
John Curtis, SP: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.57 ERA
Rome put up a couple of early runs but the offense couldn’t keep pace in a 4-2 loss. The Braves struck first in the game thanks to a home run from Brendan Venter, but that didn’t last long and Lexington tied it up in the bottom of the inning. Two innings later Drew Waters led off with a walk and then stole his 20th base of the season, setting up for a Greyson Jenista single that gave Rome the lead back at 2-1. Again the pitching gave the lead right back to Lexington, and Rome didn’t manage any more runs in the next six innings. Greyson Jenista had two hits on the night and now has 4 consecutive multi hit games. Jenista has just 11 strikeouts in 92 plate appearances for Rome. William Contreras had his 6 game extra base hit streak snapped with his 0-3, though he still has a 9 game on base streak rolling. Contreras has been on fire in July hitting .311/.381/.649 and has seen each of his three triple slash categories improve in each subsequent month this season, which is exceedingly impressive given the wear and tear that a catcher has gone through at this point in the season.
John Curtis pitched admirably over 6 innings but couldn’t get the necessary run support and took a tough loss. Curtis struggled in the first inning allowing a single and a double to score a game-tying run, then did the exact same in the third to make it 2-2. After a lead off single in the fourth inning a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by Curtis allowed the runner to reach second base and he scored on a base hit to give Lexington the lead. Curtis finished the game by retiring the last 8 batters he faced, 4 of those on strikeouts, and he didn’t walk a batter over his six innings of work. Troy Bacon pitched the final two innings for Rome, and made one big mistake on a home run but was otherwise fantastic. Bacon struck out 2 batters and didn’t walk any.
Next Game: 7/29 vs (56-46) Lexington Legends 2:05 PM ET
LEX: Charlie Neuweiler
(20-17) Danville Braves 7, (16-20) Johnson City Cardinals 4
Justin Dean, CF: 3-4, 3B, BB, .310/.404/.460
Griffin Benson, 1B: 3-5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, .323/.400/.548
Matt Rowland, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2.76 ERA
The Braves staged a late comeback to get a win over the Cardinals. The Braves first took the lead in the opening inning of the game, with Justin Dean getting a base hit and then scoring on a double from Greg Cullen. Johnson City tied things up but the Braves were back at it in the 3rd inning, with singles from Andrew Moritz and Dean setting up for a go ahead sacrifice fly from Cullen. The Braves added another run in the fourth on a home run from Griffin Benson, giving Danville a 3-1 lead. The pitching couldn’t hold on though, and the Braves were blanked over the next four innings and went into the ninth down 4-3. This is when Danville kicked it into gear, with a Justin Dean walk leading things off. Singled from Cullen and Brett Langhorne followed to load the bases, and Henry Quintero tied the game up on a single. Then Benson came through with the big hit, knocking a double that cleared the bases and made it 7-4 in favor of Danville. Danville’s pitching held on in the ninth for a fourth consecutive win. With this and Bluefield’s 3 game losing streak the Braves have pushed themselves to three games back of a playoff spot.
Matt Rowland looked strong in the early stages of his start, though he started to fade in the fourth and fifth making his overall numbers look less impressive. Rowland worked a perfect first inning and struck out two batters, but in the second did get into some trouble allowing a run on a hit batter and a double. Rowland worked out of that with no further damage, and through 2 innings had struck out 4 batters. Rowland didn’t strike out another batter of the remainder of his start. Rowland worked a perfect third inning and forced weak contact, but some hits started to fall against him in the fourth. After an error allowed the lead off batter to reach Rowland allowed his second run, unearned, on a single and a sac fly, then allowed a single and a walk to load the bases but worked out of it without further harm. A double and two singles in the fifth inning gave Johnson City their first runs of the game and ended Rowland’s start on a bit of a sour note. Zach Guth pitched three scoreless innings of relief, working around control issues as he walked three batters. Zach Seipel didn’t allow any hits and struck out two batters in a scoreless ninth to get the save.
Next Game: 7/29 vs (16-20) Johnson City Cardinals 5:00 PM ET
DAN: Jose Montilla (1-1, 2.45 ERA)
JC: Colin Schmid (1-0, 6.10 ERA)
(14-16) GCL Braves 6, (21-10) GCL Tigers West 1
Jeremy Fernandez, CF: 1-4, BB, RBI, .303/.360/.545
Braulio Vasquez, 3B: 3-4, 2B, BB, .259/.309/.412
Miguel Jerez, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1.78 ERA
A dominant start from Miguel Jerez and a strong offensive showing led to the Braves 5th consecutive win. The Braves got off to a quick start in the first thanks to a double from Braulio Vasquez and an RBI single from Jeremy Fernandez. Vasquez got another rally started in the third inning with a lead off single, then hits from Victor de Hoyos and Luis Ovando gave the Braves a 3-0 lead in the game. The Braves picked up another in the 5th inning on a home run from de Hoyos, who in 15 games this season has hit .286/.340/.476. Trey Harris doubled in a run in the sixth inning to make it 5-0 in favor of the Braves, and they got their final run in the 8th inning on a passed ball that scored Joel Reyes.
Miguel Jerez, who should not be in the GCL given his prior experience and success, did what he should do and was dominant throughout for the Braves. Jerez retired the first four batters he faced and after a couple of hits in the 3rd innings retired ten consecutive batters until a two out home run in the 6th inning ended his shutout. Jerez recorded 5 ground ball outs in the game and 7 strikeouts with no walks allowed. Long term Jerez probably doesn’t have the stuff to succeed as a starter with fringe average stuff all around, but he has the command as has done enough to deserve a promotion. Gabriel Rodriguez pitched a scoreless seventh inning with a strikeout, his only blemish being a walk. Miguel Pena pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with no strike outs.