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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Darius Vines throws seven shutout innings

Darius Vines was the star of the show in a win for Mississippi

Atlanta Braves Photo Day Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In a light slate of a games the Atlanta Braves affiliates only came out with one win, but boy was it a fun one with Darius Vines taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Elsewhere the results were a bit sketchier, with AJ Smith-Shawver striking out six batters over 4 13 innings but allowing four walks in the process.

(36-40) Gwinnett Stripers 0, (37-39) Norfolk Tides 2

Box Score

  • Eddie Rosario, DH: 0-3, BB, .240/.321/.320
  • Drew Waters, CF: 0-4, .244/.297/.394
  • Braden Shewmake, 2B: 0-3, BB, .273/.326/.391
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2.99 ERA
  • Thomas Burrows, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.44 ERA

There is little to say about the Gwinnett offense because little they did with only one hit in the game. Norfolk starter DL Hall shut them down for four innings and reliever Chris Vallimont pitched five hitless innings to close out the game. Drew Waters struck out twice in this game and after a stretch in June in which he looked to be turning things around he’s found himself embroiled in a mini-slump. Over his last 6 games he has 10 strikeouts in 25 at bats.

Kyle Muller has trended towards dominance in recent weeks, but this was one of his poorer games. His three strikeouts tied his season low and he’s now allowed a home run in four consecutive outings. All of that said, he still came out of this game with only two runs allowed over 5 13 innings and he was able force a high ground ball rate with 8 ground ball outs. Muller hit the first batter of the game and then allowed an RBI double to follow before being mostly fine for the rest of the game despite the increased traffic. The lone other run came on a fourth inning solo home run when an 0-2 fastball crept to the middle of the plate and got crushed. The Stripers relievers are dominant in relief of Muller, combining to retire all eight batters they faced in the game. Seth Elledge finished out the sixth inning and stranded a runner of Muller’s at second base before cruising through a clean seventh inning. Thomas Burrows pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout and over his past seven outings has gone 7 23 innings with 10 strikeouts to only one walk.

Next Game: 7/2 @ (42-28) Norfolk Tides @ 6:35 PM ET

(31-42) Mississippi Braves 4, (36-35) Biloxi Schuckers 0

Box Score

  • Andrew Moritz, LF: 2-3, 2B, RBI, .270/.349/.329
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 0-3, BB, RBI, .270/.378/.297
  • Cade Bunnell, 1B: 2-3, BB, RBI, .353/.450/.471
  • Darius Vines, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 4.95 ERA
  • Justin Yeager, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.02 ERA

Darius Vines kept the Braves rolling for seven innings and the offense put up late runs to cushion a win over the Shuckers. Mississippi’s offense was nearly as ineffective as Biloxi’s for most of the game, but they got on the board in the third inning to hold a lead for the remainder of the game. Andrew Moritz led off the inning with a base hit then moved to third on a double from Riley Delgado before Cody Milligan’s sacrifice fly scored him. Moritz had the only other hit through the first sixth innings, but things got going with a Hendrik Clementina leadoff walk in the seventh inning. Clementina scored on a Logan Brown single later in the inning to double the Mississippi lead and the Braves scored in three consecutive innings to close out the game. Cade Bunnell drove in the run in the eighth inning with his second hit in as many innings and Moritz got a chance to bring one in with a sacrifice fly in the ninth to make it 4-0.

Darius Vines did not have his best strikeout stuff, but as has happened often this season he found himself late in an outing with a strong start going. This time he did not let late runs bite him and Mississippi cruised to a win. Biloxi was getting the bat on the ball against Vines during this game, but they were swinging early in counts and not hitting the ball particularly hard. Through five innings they did not record a hit, with a leadoff single breaking up the no-hitter in the sixth. Vines immediately erased that runner with a double play which meant a subsequent base hit was of no consequence and Vines was able to keep the 1-0 lead intact. Vines needed only 83 pitches to get through seven innings and recorded 10 ground outs including two double plays. The bullpen for Mississippi left no question, with Justin Yeager striking out two in a perfect eighth inning and Jake Higginbotham closing the game with a scoreless ninth inning.

Next Game: 7/2 @ (27-34) Biloxi Schuckers @ 7:35 PM ET

(39-33) Rome Braves, (28-44) Greenville Drive PPD

It's taken until the beginning of July, but this the first postponement on one of my recap days this season. Rome and Greenville will play a seven inning doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting.

Next Game: 7/2 @ (28-44) Greenville Drive @ 5:00 PM ET

(38-35) Augusta GreenJackets 4, (24-49) Columbia Fireflies 5

Box Score

  • Caleb Durbin, 2B: 1-5, 2B, .256/.367/.389
  • Brandon Parker, LF: 1-4, .262/.392/.447
  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 1-2, 2 BB, .225/.340/.418
  • AJ Smith-Shawver, SP: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 4.23 ERA
  • Miguel Pena, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2.25 ERA

The GreenJackets and late losses just go together this season, and yesterday they fell just short although they scored four runs on three hits so it’s fair to say they didn’t exactly deserve it. How does that happen exactly? Well the GreenJackets had zero hits through the first five innings with the only baserunner coming on a first inning error. Finally Adam Zebrowski walked to break the outs streak up, then Caleb Durbin doubled to put two runners in scoring position and give Augusta their first hit. A shallow fly ball to left field did not allow either runner to advance, but on the throw home the ball kicked a few inches away from the catcher, who picked the ball up with the catcher’s mask. That is against the rules and the umpire awarded both baserunners home plate to tie the game 2-2. God I love A ball. Anyways, neither side was able to score again in regulation with Augusta recording only one hit in the eighth inning from Zebrowski. Columbia dropped three runs in the tenth inning to take a commanding lead, but Augusta was not done fighting. A base hit, hit batter, and walk loaded the bases and had the extra runner in to score with only one out in the inning. A sacrifice fly from Kadon Morton got Augusta within a run, but there were no catcher shenanigans and Caleb Durbin struck out to end the game.

It was not a good command day for AJ Smith-Shawver, who was a bit fortunate to escape his 4 13 innings with only one run allowed. After two quick outs in the first inning Smith-Shawver allowed a walk, then a runner reached on a strikeout wild pitch before a double brought home the game’s first run. The inning finally ended thanks to Adam Zebrowski, who after allowing a ball in the dirt to skip away from him was able to collect the ball just outside of the home plate circle and scamper back to tag a sliding runner with a dive. From there it was a series of troubles and escapes for Smith-Shawver, who got a caught stealing and picked off a runner to erase two walks in the second inning had another caught stealing in the third inning, and stranded two runners in scoring position in the fourth inning. The good news for Smith-Shawver was that his strikeout stuff was never in question as he recorded. Keep these base running gaffes in mind because Columbia just kept doing it the entire game.

After Smith-Shawver left Darling Florentino immediately picked off the runner he had inherited. Florentino pitched a scoreless sixth inning followed by Alex Segal pitching a scoreless seventh. Miguel Pena pitched a relatively normal eighth inning, but got in quick trouble in the top of the ninth with a leadoff double and a walk. Then, and you're not gonna believe this, the Fireflies runner got way too far off of first base on a bunt attempt and Zebrowski picked him off for the SIXTH out on the base paths of the game. Pena escaped the inning, but the tenth inning was a disaster from the start. A popped up bunt should have gifted Augusta a run, but Geraldo Quintero dropped the ball at third base to allow the batter to reach. Columbia said, no, actually we REALLY wanna give you this out and bunted again. Pitcher Ronaldo Alesandro bobbled the bunt that was nearly right back to him and all runners were safe to load the bases. A walk and a two run single then scored three runs before Alesandro was able to escape and thankfully this sinking ship in sports form did not go for an eleventh inning.

Next Game: 7/2 vs (32-35) Columbia Fireflies @ 6:05 PM ET

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