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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/3: Pitching Dominates and Pache Excites

Lucas Sims, Bryse Wilson, and Joey Wentz were superb for their teams. Cristian Pache nearly went for the cycle, crushing a home run on the first pitch of the game.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(35-49) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (49-34) Durham Bulls 2

Box Score

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-4, .259/.305/.377

Dustin Peterson, RF: 0-3, BB, .245/.307/.377

Lucas Sims, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 2.30 ERA

Lucas Sims career day on the mound had Gwinnett with a late lead, but a poor bullpen and offensive performance gave Gwinnett their third consecutive loss. Durham’s starter set down the first 12 Gwinnett batters he faced, but Carlos Franco broke that streak to lead off the 5th inning with a single. After two quick outs a passed ball got Franco over to second base and Tyler Smith singled to bring him in to give Gwinnett a 1-0 lead. Gwinnett never made another real threat to score in the game, but Sims performance gave them a shot to win it nonetheless.

Sims matched his Bulls counterpart in the early stages by retiring the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a single with one out in the 4th. Sims bounced right back to retire the next two batters and through four complete had six strikeouts. Sims set down the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings, striking out all three men in the 6th inning. Lucas then struck out the first batter of the 7th before allowing the second hit of the day, but got a double play to end his fantastic work on the mound. The bullpen gave up 2 runs and the game over their 2 innings of work, despite not allowing a hit. Rex Brothers, Jacob Webb, and Jason Hursh combined to record 5 outs while allowing 7 walks. In the 8th inning Brothers walked the bases loaded, bringing in Webb who threw a wild pitch that tied the game up. Webb was able to get out of the inning without allowing more runs to score, but with one out in the ninth he committed a critical throwing error. A walk ended his day, and then Jason Hursh walked two guys to force in the winning run for Durham.

Next Game: 7/4 vs (43-39) Norfolk Tides @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Matt Wisler (2-3, 3.94 ERA)

NOR: Matt Wotherspoon (2-5, 4.50 ERA)

(33-49) Mississippi Braves 3, (39-41) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4

Box Score

Tyler Neslony, LF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .238/.280/.302

Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-3, BB, RBI, .224/.329/.392

Bryse Wilson, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 5.40 ERA

More starting pitcher goodness and another bullpen implosion led to a tough loss for Mississippi. The offense for Mississippi provided some good work in the early portions of the game, and finally came through in the fourth with some runs. Luis Valenzuela doubled to lead off the inning, and Travis Demeritte brought him in to give the Braves their first run. A stolen base from Demeritte and an error put him at third base, where Luis Marte would bring him in on a 2 out single. Tyler Marlette doubled and scored on a Tyler Neslony single in the sixth inning, extending the Braves lead out to 3-0.

Bryse Wilson was dominant for Mississippi, with his 9 strikeouts being his season high and his second highest total in his career. He reached seven innings for the second time this season and the fifth time in his career. Wilson walked the first batter of the game, but retired the next three batters and didn’t allow another walk in the game. Wilson allowed his first hit with one out in the third, but the batter advanced no further than first base. Wilson produced his first clean inning in the sixth, when he struck out two batters and forced a ground out. Wilson allowed a couple of hits in the seventh inning, including the only extra base hit against him, but was able to get out of a one out jam with a key strikeout and a ground out. Corbin Clouse was strong in relief for Mississippi, with 2 strikeouts recorded in a scoreless 8th inning. Adam McCreery was brought in for the ninth, and things quickly got ugly for the Braves. McCreery allowed a leadoff walk, threw a wild pitch, committed an error, and hit a batter departing the game with no runs yet scored against him but only one out recorded. Chad Sobotka came in and immediately got a sacrifice fly, but then allowed a single that put the winning run on base and the tying run at third. A wild pitch by Sobotka scored that tying run, and then possibly the most bizarre ending I’ve ever seen occurred. After chasing down the wild pitch catcher Carlos Martinez chucked it back to Sobotka to attempt to get the runner coming home, but the throw got away and skipped towards the dugout. First baseman Tyler Marlette couldn’t come up with an awkward ricochet, prompting the other runner-who was at first base-to then take off from third base to try to score. Marlette then turned around and inexplicable through the ball to third base, allowing the runner to easily come in to score and win the game.

Next Game: 7/4 vs (47-34) Biloxi Shuckers @ 8:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Ricardo Sanchez (0-2, 10.80 ERA)

BLX: Luis Ortiz (1-3, 4.20 ERA)

(32-45) Florida Fire Frogs 6, (46-35) Jupiter Hammerheads 1

Box Score

Brett Cumberland, C: 1-2, 2 BB, HBP, .229/.358/.386

Cristian Pache, CF: 4-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .279/.301/.422

Isranel Wilson, LF: 1-5, 2B, RBI, .228/.314/.373 (2 levels)

Joey Wentz, SP: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2.51 ERA

Joey Wentz gave Florida a fantastic pitching performance, and the Fire Frogs bullpen pitched well and gave Florida an easy win. Cristian Pache had a marvelous performance, coming a triple short of the cycle, and he took no time in getting the game starter hitting a home run on the first pitch of the game. In the second inning Jordan Rodgers knocked a two out double, setting the table for Pache to come through again with an RBI single. Pache then stole second base but was stranded there. Brett Cumberland led off the third inning with a walk and then scored on a double from Garrison Schwartz. Schwartz was brought in on a single by Kevin Josephina, giving Florida a 4-0 lead after 3 innings. Pache was not ready to slow down, leading off the 4th inning with a double and then scoring on an error later in the inning. Isranel Wilson knocked in the final run of the game, doubling for his first hit with Florida and scoring Josephina. Brett Cumberland reached base three times, drawing 2 walks and getting hit by a pitch. Cumberland is tied for the lead lead in walks and has reached base more times via walk or hit by pitch than any other batter in the league.

Joey Wentz allowed a lead off single to former Braves minor leaguer Anfernee Seymour, but that was all he would allow in the early parts of this game. Wentz retired 14 of the next 15 batters, with only a 3rd inning walk reaching against him, with 7 strikeouts in that span. Wentz then allowed his second hit of the game in the 5th, but got a ground out to end the inning. A second hit by Seymour was the only other baserunner of the game against Wentz. This was the highest strikeout total for Wentz this season, his highest pitch total since May 5th, and his third consecutive shutout outing. Troy Bacon pitched 2 13 innings of relief for Florida, with the only run he allowed being unearned. Bacon struck out 2 batters and didn’t walk any. Justin Kelly pitched a scoreless ninth with a walk and a strikeout.

Next Game: 7/4 vs (39-40) Charlotte Stone Crabs @ 6:31 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Kyle Muller (3-1, 3.10 ERA)

CHA: Kenny Rosenberg (5-1, 4.70 ERA)

(46-36) Rome Braves 7, (45-35) Kannapolis Intimidators 5

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 0-5, .287/.336/.508

Greyson Jenista, RF: 2-3, 3B, BB, RBI, .277/.370/,574 (2 levels)

William Contreras, C: 2-3, 2 RBI, .292/.356/.415

Huascar Ynoa, RP: 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 4.07 ERA

Rome showed off their offensive firepower with their seven runs. It got off to an early start when Greyson Jenista knocked his second triple in as many games with the team, scoring Riley Delgado and giving Rome the 1-0 lead. A ground out brought in Jenista for the second run of the game. A walk from Jenista started a rally in the 5th inning. William Contreras singled following Jenista, and then Jefrey Ramos knocked his 8th home run of the season to score everyone and give Rome a 5-0 lead. After giving back all 5 runs in the next two innings the Braves were back in action in the seventh inning, with a Riley Delgado hit by pitch starting things off. Jenista got his second hit of the game, and a sacrifice fly from Contreras scored Delgado to give Rome the lead right back. A single by Drew Lugbauer made it 7-5, scoring Jenista for his third run of the day.

Huascar Ynoa didn’t have quite the start we’ve become accustomed to, as the strikeouts weren’t there, but by and large he was effective despite not having his best control. Ynoa only threw 56 of his 97 pitches for strikes, but still only walked two batters and got Kannapolis’s strong offense to consistently make weak contact. Ynoa forced 12 ground ball outs throughout the game. and through 5 innings was pitching a shutout. Things started to diminish for Ynoa in the 5th and he allowed 2 hits to open the inning before a fielding error by JCE scored the first run against him. Ynoa allowed a walk and then got two ground outs for the first outs of the inning, before allowing a single that scored the fourth run (third unearned) against him. In total the Braves made 6 errors in the game, four of those coming from Encarnacion. Cutter Dyals pitched an effective two innings of relief, allowing only an unearned run (caused by his own error) and striking out two with no walks. Kelvin Rodriguez brought the heat in the ninth with a scoreless inning to earn his ninth save.

Next Game: 7/4 @ (34-46) Asheville Tourists 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Jasseel De La Cruz (2-3, 3.35 ERA)

ASH: Frederis Parra

(7-7) Danville Braves 0, (7-7) Bristol Pirates 3

Box Score

CJ Alexander, 3B: 3-4, 3B .425/.531/.650

Brett Langhorne, DH: 2-3, .267/.450/.367

Tanner Lawson, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 6.75 ERA

Despite a few threats in the game Danville could not score and took a 3-0 loss. CJ Alexander, who continues to put up fantastic numbers at the plate, tripled with two out in the first inning to give the Braves their first chance, but couldn’t be brought in to score. Kuis Mejia doubled with one out in the third inning, but a ground out and a strike out left him waiting at third base. Alexander had two more hits in the game, and through 11 games at two levels he has 17 hits, 9 walks, and only 7 strikeouts.

Tanner Lawson got his first professional start and put up a solid performance. Lawson struck out 3 batters in the first inning to work around a one out hit, though he didn’t have another strikeout for the remainder of his game. The only big hit against Lawson was a two run home run that came on the only fly ball he allowed in the game. Lawson recorded 5 ground ball outs in his three innings. Luis Games made his first appearance since July 31st of 2016, and pitched a scoreless inning for Danville. Missing two years due to injury is extremely difficult to come back from, so even being here for Gamez is a battle won and it’s great to see him have a successful return outing. Bradey Welsh allowed one run over 3 innings of work for Danville, and Zach Daniels pitched two perfect innings with a strikeout to finish the game.

Next Game: 7/4 @ (5-8) Greeneville Reds 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

DAN: Keith Weisenberg (0-1, 1.42 ERA)

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