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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Walks doom Muller, Mississippi

Kyle Muller had his first poor start of the season, but Connor Lien had 2 home runs for Mississippi in a loss

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

(7-7) Gwinnett Stripers, (4-9) Durham Bulls PPD

Next Game: 4/20 vs (4-9) Durham Bulls Double Header Starting @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GM1

GWN: Kolby Allard (1-0, 0.96 ERA)

DUR: Ryan Merritt (0-1, 14.73 ERA)

GM2 Starters TBD

(7-6) Mississippi Braves 4, (5-8) Chattanooga Lookouts 8

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 0-4, 4 K, .316/.371/.421
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-4, 4 K, .308/.351/.635
  • Connor Lien, LF: 2-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI, .280/.379/.760
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, 3.12 ERA

Mississippi got a huge night from Connor Lien, but most of the offense stayed silent and they weren’t able to overcome Chattanooga’s eight runs. Mississippi put the first two runners of the inning on base in the second inning, and Connor Lien brought everyone in with a two-run home run that gave the Braves an early 3-0 lead. Chattanooga quickly answered with three of their own in the bottom of the inning, and Mississippi had no answer on offense. The Braves didn’t record another hit until the eighth inning, at which point they were down 6-3. Lien hit another home run in the ninth to make it 8-4, the last hit of the game for Mississippi. Lien is now the Southern League leader in home runs with three this season, and is the only one to do it in fewer than 36 at bats (Lien has 25). If he had enough plate appearances to qualify Lien would lead the Southern League in OPS. Drew Waters and Cristian Pache both had awful days at the plate with strikeouts in all four of their plate appearances. Waters has had at least one strikeout in eight consecutive games and has multiple strikeouts in six of those. This is Waters’s first four strikeout game since July 19, 2017 in the Gulf Coast League and is the second such game for Cristian Pache.

Kyle Muller had a particularly awful outing in this game, as he never managed to find the strike zone consistently and only threw 26 of his 59 pitches for strikes. Muller walked the bases loaded in the first inning, but worked out of it by striking out the side. He wasn't as fortunate in the second, walking the bases loaded and then allowing all three runs to score thanks to three wild pitches and a sacrifice fly. Muller recorded a strikeout for four of his five recorded outs, and only one of the 11 batters he faced put the ball in play. In five of those six walks, the batter never swung at a pitch. Muller was pulled with two outs in the second inning, and Michael Mader came on and was fantastic in relief. Mader pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, striking out five and allowing only one hit. Huascar Ynoa came in for the sixth inning and struggled, allowing two hits and a walk that scored three runs and put the Lookouts up 6-3. Ynoa pitched a scoreless seventh, allowing just one hit. Philip Pfeifer walked the bases loaded in the eighth, and allowed two of those runs to score on a sacrifice fly and an error. In total the Lookouts scored eight runs, seven of which walked to reach base and only needed four hits in the game. six of their runs were scored in innings without a single hit.

Next Game: 4/20 vs (8-6) Montgomery Biscuits @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Patrick Weigel (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

MTG: Kenny Rosenberg (1-0, 3.86 ERA)

(6-9) Florida Fire Frogs, (6-9) Daytona Tortugas PPD

Next Game: 4/20 vs (6-9) Daytona Tortugas Double Header Starting @ 4:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

GM1

FLO: Tristan Beck (0-1, 7.82 ERA)

DBT: Reiver Sanmartin (0-1, 3.63 ERA)

GM2 Starters TBD

(5-10) Rome Braves 0, (7-8) Greenville Drive 2

Box Score

  • Trey Harris, DH: 1-4, 2B .352/.407/.574
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, .309/.387/.473
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 0.90 ERA

Rome’s staff turned in a solid pitching performance, but the offense couldn’t get anything going and were shut out in a 2-0 loss. Justin Dean led off the game with a base hit, but a double play immediately erased that. A fourth inning double with one out from Trey Harris gave Rome their best scoring chance. A ground out got him to third base but he went no further as a strikeout ended the inning. Greenville put two runs on the board in the sixth inning, and the Braves had no answer as they only had one batter reach over the final three innings and he was erased on a double play to end the game. The hit for Dean in the first inning got him back on the board after he saw his 12-game hitting streak stopped in his last game, and he has reached base safely in all 14 games this season.

Odalvi Javier got the Braves pitching staff out to a strong start with seven strikeouts over four scoreless innings, though he was not without struggles as he allowed two hits, three walks, and hit a batter in his four innings of work. Tanner Lawson came in and pitched a scoreless fifth, but got into some big trouble by walking the first two batters of the sixth. After a ground out advanced both runners to scoring position, Lawson allowed a single that scored both of the Drive’s runs and proved to be the game winning hit. After another single Lawson was lifted from the game, and Jose Montilla came in to put out the fire with a double play. Montilla finished out the game scoreless, using 29 pitches to get through 2 2/3 innings. Montilla has been a star in long relief this season, pitching 12 2/3 scoreless innings over four relief outings. He has yet to allow a walk and has only allowed four hits. Montilla has been a heavy ground ball pitcher this season with a 63.3% ground ball rate.

Next Game: 4/20 @ (7-8) Greenville Drive @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Alan Rangel (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

GVL: Alex Scherff (0-1, 3.38 ERA)

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