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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Seth Keller, Adam Shoemaker turn in stellar outings

Gwinnett secures back-to-back wins for first time on the season while a pair of young arms propelled GreenJackets to win.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

It was a mixed bag of results down on the farm as two Atlanta Braves affiliates came away with victories on Wednesday while two others fell. While most of Atlanta’s top prospects were held relatively quiet, a few affiliates got key performances which helped propel them to victory.

(4-12) Gwinnett Stripes 6, (7-8) Omaha Storm Chasers 2

  • Forrest Wall, DH: 1-4, HR, RBI
  • Nick Solak, LF: 1-4, HR, RBI
  • Joe Dunad, 3B: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-4, 2B, R
  • Beau Burrows, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Box Score

The young 2023 season has not been very kind to the Gwinnett Stripers.

Before Michael Soroka had his fantastic outing on Tuesday night leading the Braves Triple-A affiliate to a win, the Stripers had dropped their previous 10 games in a row. But on the road for the second game in a 5 game series against Omaha, Gwinnett was able to grab another victory, giving them their first “winning streak” of the year.

Beau Burrows got his second start for Gwinnett and pitched well, spinning 5 innings while allowing just 2 runs — both on solo homers in the 2nd and 4th innings.

That would be the only blemish on the mound for any of the arms thrown out there for the Stripers as Joe Harvey, Robbery Munoz and Kyle Wilcox would finish things out across the next 4 innings, holding the Storm Chasers scoreless.

Offensively, Gwinnett appears to be finding their footing a bit.

Posting 8 runs yesterday, the Stripers strung together 6 runs on 10 hits on the night thanks in part to a big day for the likes of Joe Dunad, Forrest Wall and newcomer Nick Solak who was claimed on waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

After working the count full to start the game, Wall launched a homer over the centerfield fence, giving Gwinnett the early 1-0 lead.

Tied at 1-1 in the 3rd inning, Hendrick Clementina singled home Dunad, once again giving the Stripers the lead. Gwinnett would add another run in the top of the 4th as Charlie Culberson stole home on a dropped third strike, but Omaha would get the run back in the home half of the inning.

Solak would make his presence known in his first game in uniform as he would send a solo shot into left-center field, extending the Stripers’ lead to 4-2 before Dunad singled home Braden Shewmake and Magneuris Sierra in the top of the 9th, capping off the 6-2 victory.

(3-8) Mississippi Braves 7, (8-3) Montgomery Biscuits 10

  • Drew Campbell, CF: 3-6, 2B, 2 RBI R
  • Javier Valdes, DH: 2-6, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-3, 3 R, 3 BB
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K

Box Score

Things were looking so good for Mississippi for a large chunk of Wednesday’s game.

Alan Rangel went 5 strong innings, striking out 5 Montgomery batters with the only blemish coming in the 2nd inning on a solo homer.

The Mississippi offense even staked Rangel to a 3-1 lead after Drew Campbell’s single brought home Andrew Moritz and Javier Valdes followed up 2 batters later with a 2-run blast.

Montgomery got 1 run in the top of the 6th inning as Rangel gave way while the Braves were able to extend their lead by 2 runs in the home half as Campbell (double) and Valdes (single) would bring home a pair of runners.

Carrying a 5-2 lead into the 7th inning, the wheels fell off the wagon for the Braves in a hurry as the Biscuits would plate 4 runs, all with 2 outs.

Victor Vodnik entered in relief of Hayden Deal and managed to strike out the first batter he faced. Vodnik would give up a pair of singles before getting a popout.

Needing just 1 out to get out of the jam, Vodnik instead issued back-to-back walks as Montgomery cashed in their first run of the inning. A wild pitch would allow another runner to score before a 2-run single gave the Biscuits their first lead of the night at 6-5. Vodnik would give way to Jake McSteen who would put out the fire by getting an inning-ending strikeout.

Both Mississippi and Montgomery would plate a run in the 8th inning, keeping the 1-run Biscuits lead headed into the 9th.

Trey Riley pitched around a leadoff single to toss a scoreless inning, while the Braves tied the game on a Hudson Potts double in the bottom half to send the game to extra innings.

Riley wasn’t able to keep the positive momentum going, however, as he would surrender a 2-run homer followed by a solo shot 2 batters later, allowing Montgomery to take a 10-7 lead.

That lead would hold despite the Braves loading the bases in the home half as Drew Lugbauer struck out with the bases loaded to end it.

(4-6) Rome Braves 4, (7-4) Hudson Valley Renegades 8

  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 2-4, RBI, R
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 2-5, 2B, RBI
  • Ian Mejia, SP: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Box Score

Much like their Double-A counterparts, Rome’s game got off to a strong start but would falter in the late going.

The Braves would stake starting pitcher Ian Mejia to an early 2-0 lead as Brandon Parker doubled home Adam Zebrowski and Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk to score Bryson Horne.

Mejia’s night started out solid as he allowed just 3 hits and 1 run through 5 innings, but after getting a pop out to start the top of the 6th, things began to go south. After hitting a batter, Mejia surrendered a 2-run home run, the first of 4 runs in the inning. After getting a strikeout, Mejia gave up a double, followed by an RBI single, giving Hudson Valley a 4-2 lead. Patrick Halligan would come in relief of Mejica and would proceed to hit the first batter he faced. Halligan followed that up by allowing another RBI single, extending the Renegade lead to 5-2.

Rome would tack on a run in the bottom of the 8th after Zebrowski doubled to drive in Nacho Alvarez who walked the at-bat prior to leadoff the inning.

Trailing by just 2 runs, Rome would turn to Daysbel Hernandez to attempt to hold Hudson Valley and take things to the final frame. Things would take a turn for the worst for the Braves however. Despite retiring the first 2 batters he faced, Hernandez would allow the next 5 batters to reach base as Hudson Valley added 3 runs to their total, extending their lead to 8-3. While Rome would scratch out another run in the bottom of the 9th as a Geraldo Quintero double brought Kilpatrick Jr. home but that would be all the Braves would get in the inning.

(4-5) Augusta GreenJackets 2, (5-5) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1

  • David McCabe, DH: 2-4, 2B, R, BB
  • Francisco Floyd, 3B: 1-3, HR, R, RBI
  • Seth Keller, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, K
  • Adam Shoemaker, RP: 3 IP, BB, K

Box Score

For those seeking a good pitching matchup featuring a few of the Braves top prospects, look no further than Augusta.

Seth Keller got the start on the bump for GreenJackets in the finally game of the day for Braves’ farm hands as the staff outpitched Myrtle Beach en route to the victory. Going just 3 innings, Keller filled up the zone, tossing 25 strikes in 33 pitches to cruise past the Pelicans lineup while allowing just 2 hits and whiffing 1 batter.

Offensively, Augusta couldn’t get much of anything going through the first 4 frames as they faced last year’s number 7 overall draft pick Cade Horton on the mound who struck out 7 GreenJackets. More on the offense in just a bit.

Jhancarlos Lara would be called on in relief and would follow in Keller’s shoes for the most part, tossing 3 innings, allowing just 1 hit and the only blemish on the entire pitching staff on the night, an unearned run in the bottom of the 5th inning, giving Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.

The GreenJackets would get that run back in the top of the 6th as Nick Clarno would draw a bases-loaded walk to knot things up at 1 apiece after David McCabe singled to start the rally. Lara would cruise through the bottom of the 6th as Augusta would take their first lead of the night in the next frame.

Following a Myrtle Beach pitching change, 20-year-old third baseman Francisco Floyd cranked a solo shot, making it 2-1 Augusta.

Lara would give way to Adam Shoemaker who made his second appearance of the season and his first in relief. The young lefty would go 3 innings himself, holding Myrtle Beach scoreless as he struck out 1 while tossing 23 strikes on 35 pitches and earned the save as the GreenJackets took the win by a 2-1 final.

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