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Braves Minor League Recap: Rosario and Matzek have strong rehab performances

Tough night for Braves affiliates, but at least Eddie Rosario and Tyler Matzek’s rehab is going well

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of wins and losses, it wasn’t a great night for the Braves’ farm affiliates as they went a combined 1-4 with Augusta getting swept in their doubleheader. Eddie Rosario and Tyler Matzek did look good in their rehab appearances, though, while Cal Conley hit a pair of homers and Rome’s offense went off. Lets get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers 5, Norfolk Tides 9

Box Score

  • Eddie Rosario, LF: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 3-4, 3 RBI, .724 OPS
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 3.89 ERA
  • Tyler Matzek, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Tough night for the Gwinnett pitching staff as Nolan Kingham got torched in Gwinnett’s 9-5 loss to Norfolk. Nolan Kingham has been getting the first few innings in these Gwinnett bullpen games and had been largely decent in that role, but unfortunately he wasn’t fooling Norfolk, particularly during their six-run fourth inning. Just couldn’t miss bats on Wednesday. On the bright side, Tyler Matzek made his rehab assignment debuted and pitched a clean sixth inning with a pair of strikeouts. Jacob Webb was the next reliever up and, well, it did not go well.

On offense, all five of Gwinnett’s runs were driven in by two players. Two of them were by the rehabbing Eddie Rosario who had a pair of doubles and a walk in the game to give him his best game while on rehab assignment. The other three runs came courtesy of Braden Shewmake who had three singles in the game. Shewmake has hit .298 during the month of June, which is good news. The bad news there is that he has only drawn two walks and has just four extra base hits this whole month which is....not ideal.

Mississippi Braves 6, Biloxi Shuckers 7

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 2-4, RBI, .710 OPS
  • Yariel Gonzalez, SS: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .717 OPS
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 5.37 ERA

Mississippi managed to steal the lead in this game in the top of the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Yariel Gonzalez, but the bullpen blew it as a walk-off two-run shot sent Biloxi to victory over Mississippi by the final score of 7-6. Alan Rangel got the start last night and he failed to escape the first inning where he couldn’t throw strikes and when he did, bad things happened. Been a tough month for him as his June ERA finished at 6.98. Troy Bacon gave Mississippi a crisp 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, but unfortunately AJ Puckett and Justin Maese combined to give up four runs and that was that.

On offense, only Cody Milligan had a multi-hit game, but Mississippi hung around and almost stole this one thanks to the long ball. CJ Alexander and the aforementioned Yariel Gonzalez each had two-run homers in the game while Hendrik Clementina added a solo shot. Alexander added five home runs to his season total during the month of June, but still finished with an OPS under .650 for the month because he didn’t do much else other than his some homers.

Rome Braves 11, Greenville Drive 6

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-6, 2B, R, .836 OPS
  • Bryson Horne, DH: 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, .736 OPS
  • Christian Robinson, RF: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, R, .700 OPS
  • Andrew Hoffmann, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2.55 ERA

The lone victory for the Braves’ minor league system came from Rome as chose the death by a thousand cuts route to crush Greenville by the score of 11-6. Rome’s best starter this season has very arguably been Andrew Hoffmann and while this start was not the most crisp of his starts this season in terms of command, he still gave up just two earned runs over five innings and both of those runs came on a two-run homer in the second. He should be headed to Double-A before too long. Malcolm van Buren got torched when he came on in relief, but the Rome bullpen held up the rest of the way to secure the win.

On offense, a hat tip to the bottom of Rome’s order as Tyler Tolve, Bryson Horne, Beau Philip, and Christian Robinson combined for 12 hits and nine RBI in the game. One interesting note about Wednesday’s game, Rome put up 11 runs in this game without hitting a single homer. Vaughn Grissom wasn’t the offensive star this evening, but he did put up another multi-hit game including a double which gives him 10 multi-hit games in the month of June which seems pretty good.

Augusta GreenJackets 3, Columbia Fireflies 4 - Game One

Box Score

  • Cal Conley, SS: 2-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, .738 OPS
  • Connor Blair, RF: 1-3, RBI, .669 OPS
  • JJ Niekro, SP: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.11 ERA

Augusta GreenJackets 4, Columbia Fireflies 9 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Eliezel Stevens, 2B: 2-3, 2B, RBI, R
  • Brandol Mezquita, CF: 1-3, BB, .787 OPS
  • Rainiery Rodriguez, SP: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.72 ERA

A tough day for Augusta as they were swept in their doubleheader with Columbia by the final scores of 4-3 and 9-4. JJ Niekro had a surprisingly subpar start for the GreenJackets in the first game, although if this is his worst start so far, then he is still doing good work overall. The Augusta bullpen held up the rest of the way, but the damage had been done and the offense couldn’t rally. Rainiery Rodriguez got the start in game two and was largely good in limiting the Fireflies to two runs in almost five innings of work. As you can tell from the score, however, the Augusta was far less stingy in game two as they gave up seven runs over the game’s final 2.1 innings.

The GreenJackets couldn’t do much on offense in game one with the notable exception of Cal Conley who connected for a pair of home runs in the game. Conley has posted an .871 OPS in the month of June which has been a nice bounce back for him after a truly bad month of April. Game two saw the low-A debut of Eliezel Stevens who had a couple of hits including a double while driving in a run. Unfortunately, that double was the only extra-base hit that Augusta had in Game Two. They were able to cobble together four runs on mostly singles, but shoddy defense and some poor bullpen work ended up costly them dearly.

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