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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Another Game Winning Hit and A Rome Duo Cast Silence On The Enemy

Travis Demeritte clears the bases with a double to help the Stripers get the comeback win. Meanwhile, Jose Olague and Jose Montilla pitched a combined shutout for Rome.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 9, Louisville Bats (Reds) 7

Box Score

  • Rafael Ortega, CF: 1-5, HR, RBI, 2 R, SB
  • Andres Blanco, 2B: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, SB
  • Adam Duvall, LF: 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB
  • Travis Demeritte, RF: 1-5, 2B, 3 RBI, K
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-5, 2 K
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Mike Soroka was really cruising through the first 3 innings. He wasn’t really even getting hit hard until the 3 run HR in the 5th inning. Thomas Burrows came in and gave up 2 runs in less than 2 innings, though he did strike out 3 batters. Dan Winkler came on for the save and after striking out the first 2 batters, he then walked the bases loaded. He was leaving his FB elevated the entire time, but with some luck he managed to get out of the inning and earned his first save of the season.

What a 1-2 punch Ortega and Blanco have been to start the season. Both are hitting over .380 and have an OPS over 1.100. Now if only Austin Riley could heat up, cause he’s had plenty of run producing ABs already in the third spot, but he’s just not making enough contact. This is now makes 5 of 8 games with multiple strikeouts.

Fortunately, the Stripers made do without Riley tonight. Adam Duvall really helped the team tonight. He drove in the first run of the game, but he really put the team in a position to win in the 9th inning. After Riley struck out on a wild pitch, he managed to get on base. Adam Duvall then hit a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd - leaving 1st base open. This was key, because then the pitcher intentionally walked Raffy Lopez to get to get a favorable righty on righty matchup with Travis Demeritte (who was also hitless on the day). If Duvall doesn’t get that key double, the opposing team might not have walked Lopez. Then into the batters box struts Demeritte, who didn’t even wait as he cracked the first pitch he saw right down the 3rd base line for a double. This cleared the bases and was ultimately the game winning hit. A very exciting finish if you exclude Winkler giving me fits by walking the bases loaded.

Florida Fire Frogs 10, St. Lucie (Mets) 7

Box Score

  • Brett Langhorne, 3B: 1-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K, E
  • Izzy Wilson, RF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, K
  • Greyson Jenista, CF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 2 K, CS
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 K
  • Hayden Deal, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER (3 R), 3 BB, 4 K
  • Justin Kelly, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Walter Borkovich, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (S)

A total of 6 starters had 2 or more hits on the day, and only Drew Lugbauer went hitless. It’s hard to even talk about a couple of players, since again, at least 6 players drove in a run. This was a fantastic team effort. The top 3 hitters and bottom 3 hitters did almost all the damage too.

However, it was Kevin Josephina that got things kicked off by driving in the first run of the day in the 2nd inning. The Fire Frogs would go on to score 4 runs in the 2nd. In the 3rd inning, Brett Langhorne, a 10th round pick in 2018, hit a 3 run HR to center field to put the Frogs up 7-0 at that point. I managed to talk smack about Jenista’s slow start too and his next AB he hit an RBI double. So I guess I’ll be saying more bad things in the future if it helps!

Hayden Deal has been very good to start the season. He pitched 5 effective innings today. If not for an error by Langhorne, he might not have given up 3 runs today. Through 2 starts, Deal has a 0.73 WHIP and 0.82 ERA. Cutter Dyals pitched right after and gave up 4 earned runs in his inning of work. St. Lucie tried to chip away at the lead, but just couldn’t overcome the deficit. Justin Kelly tossed 2 clean innings while striking out 4. Walter Borkovich got the call in the 9th and picked up his first save of the season.

Rome Braves 5, Greenville Drive (Red Sox) 0

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Trey Harris, RF: 3-4, 2B, R
  • Logan Brown, C: 3-4, 2B, R, 2 K
  • Griffin Benson, 1B: 1-4, HR, RBI
  • Jose Olague, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Jose Montilla, RP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (S)

This was a game of total domination by the Rome Braves. On offense, they were led by Griffin Benson who got things started by hitting a solo home run. Darling Florentino, who hasn’t shown much patience at the plate, walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run. Kudos to him for making the pitcher work and earning his first walk of the season. Justin Dean put the cherry on top with a 2 run double. The Braves scored all 5 runs in the 4th inning. Logan Brown and Trey Harris both had 3 hits apiece.

There are 4 international players from they 2017 signing period on the Rome squad, and we have heard about two of them (Darling Florentino and Carlos Paraguate). Today, both pitchers got into the game and completely shut down the Drive. Jose Olague got things started by tossing 5 shutout innings, and Jose Montilla pitched 4 shutout innings in relief. Since Montilla managed to go 3+ innings he also earned a save. Per Wayne Cavadi who was at the game (paraphrasing): Olague has a below avg fastball that sits high 80’s and pairs with with a mid 70’s curve. However, for Montillo, he was throwing low 90’s and showed off a curve and change. Expectations are likely a bit lower for these 2 as they are older signings (already 20), but Montilla is someone worth keeping an eye on.

Mississippi Braves, Mobile BayBears (Angels) — PPD

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