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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Austin Riley has homered in three straight games

Austin Riley is doing WORK down in Triple-A and there were....several bullpen failures on Saturday evening.

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 16, Toledo Mud Hens 3

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 1B: 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, .799 OPS
  • Adam Duvall, RF: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, 1.024 OPS
  • Pedro Florimon, 3B: 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, .743 OPS
  • Sean Kazmar, DH: 3-5, 4 RBI, .680 OPS
  • Andres Santiago, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 3.52 ERA

The Stripers took Toledo to task on Saturday night as they rolled them by the score of 16-3. The pitching for Gwinnett on this night was kind of cobbled together as Andres Santiago threw just three innings while giving up three runs on five hits and three walks. Fortunately, Ben Rowen, Grant Dayton, Jonny Venters, and Jason Creasy combined to throw six scoreless innings of relief while striking out five and walking just a single batter. That was more than enough support for an offense that went wild.

The Stripers’ lineup had themselves a night as every player in said lineup had at least one hit and Austin Riley, Adam Duvall, Pedro Florimon, Sean Kazmar, and Luis Marte all had multi-hit games. How about Austin Riley?! After a bit of a lull in the power department and really at the plate overall, he has how homered in three straight games and has brought his OPS close to .800 on the season. He also has five multi-hit games in his last 10 games. Adam Duvall continued his assault on the International League as he has FOUR home runs in his last three games and has hit safely in six straight games.

Mississippi Braves 3, Mobile BayBears 8 - Game One

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, .855 OPS
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB, .888 OPS
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5.82 ERA

Mississippi Braves 3, Mobile BayBears 4 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 2-4, R, .855 OPS
  • Daniel Lockhart, 3B: 2-3, 2 2B, RBI, .740 OPS
  • Ryan Casteel, 1B: 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R, 1.156 OPS
  • Tucker Davidson, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0.95 ERA

Mississippi got swept in their doubleheader due to a couple of less than optimal pitching performances by the scores of 8-3 and 4-3. There is no sugar coating it....Joey Wentz had himself a bad night as he got drilled for seven runs, although in fairness to him a couple of those runs were inherited runners that Philip Pfeifer allowed to score after Wentz failed to record an out in the fourth inning. Still, not great. Tucker Davidson had a rough start to his outing with some issues finding the zone, but settled down nicely to go five innings and give up just one hit and one run. Unfortunately, Huascar Ynoa came on in relief and gave up the game winning two-run homer that made all of that effort for naught.

On offense, Drew Waters had three hits across both halves of the doubleheader including a home run. Cristian Pache had a pair of hits and a walk in the first game of the twin bill, although the second game was less kind. It is going to be fun to see these two battle for supremacy in the outfield all year. Also, while we are dealing with a small sample, we do appear to be seeing a bit of a spike in Pache’s walk rate and we are definitely seeing a spike in his ISO...both of which are positive developments especially if he can maintain that over a longer period of time.

Florida Fire Frogs 9, St. Lucie Mets 10

Box Score

  • William Contreras, C: 3-5, BB, 2B, 2 RBI, .768 OPS
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 4-5, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 R, .701 OPS
  • Riley Delgado, 3B: 2-5, 2 R, 3B, .746 OPS
  • Greyson Jenista, RF: 2-5, BB, 2B, 2 RBI, .687 OPS
  • Freddy Tarnok, SP: 2 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 7.20 ERA

Tough loss for Florida on Saturday night as they came all the way back from being down 8-3 to tie the game in the 8th and take the lead in extras only for the bullpen to give up the game-tying and game winning hits in the bottom of the 10th and lose 10-9 (spoilers: it was a rough night for Braves’ bullpens top to bottom on Saturday). Freddy Tarnok had himself a tough start as he gave up right runs in just two innings of work. He had a rough start to begin his high-A season after an aggressive promotion to there and then promptly rattled off three decent starts before this brutal showing, so here is hoping he can get back on track. Matt Hartman was a trooper as he gave the Fire Frogs five innings of scoreless relief before Ryan Shetter came in to try and close out the game and, well, did not do that.

The offense certainly did there jobs as William Contreras, Riley Delgado, Greyson Jenista, and Jefrey Ramos all had multi-hit games. Jenista’s home run streak came to an end, but his RBI double in the 10th inning gave the Fire Frogs the lead before the bullpen imploded. Riley Delgado just keeps hitting and may have one of the better actual hit tools (versus just projected ones) the Braves have in the minor leagues. Jefrey Ramos had a big game at the plate with four hits and he has remained steadily productive. Fun fact: he has walked just two times in 22 games in high-A which explains why he sports just a .701 OPS despite hitting for a decent average with a bit of power.

Rome Braves 5, Kannapolis Intimidators 12

Box Score

  • Andrew Moritz, LF: 2-5, RBI, 3B, .566 OPS
  • Trey Harris, RF: 3-4, RBI, 2 R, .993 OPS
  • Logan Brown, DH: 2-4, R, .913 OPS
  • Gabriel Noguera, SP: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

We won’t linger long here as this was a tough night for Rome as they were routed by the score of 12-5 to end a three game winning streak. Gabriel Noguera, who had been suspended last year for 50 games for his second positive test for a drug of abuse, made his Rome debut and gave up three runs on five hits. The news did not get better from there as Tanner Lawson, Jake Higginbotham, and Jose Montilla (all of whom had been performing quite well) got drilled for nine runs on nine hits and five walks. Not great, Bob.

On offense, Justin Dean has cooled off considerably as his average is down to .259 and he had four strikeouts in this game. Trey Harris has NOT cooled off as he is batting .353 over his last 10 games and has been Rome’s most consistent player on offense so far this season. Logan Brown had another good night with a pair of hits and Andrew Moritz, who has been a bit of a lull himself, had a couple of hits himself including a triple.

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