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Braves Minor League Recap: Nacho Alvarez continues hot start

Alvarez notched two more doubles to help the Rome Braves to another win

Ignacio Alvarez prepares to swing Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

The Atlanta Braves minor league system continued to struggle going 1-3 on Tuesday which included a difficult walk off loss.

(9-12) Buffalo Bisons 2, (7-14) Gwinnett Stripers 1

  • Braden Shewmake 0-4, 6 LOB
  • Justin Dean 1-2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 RBI
  • Beau Burrows, SP, 3 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Offensively, the Stripers were able to pick up 9 hits on the day in addition to three walks, but they were only able to push across a single run. Through the first three innings of the game, they were able to get the leadoff man on and twice he was able to reach second base. Unfortunately, though, none of those innings resulted in a run. After a 1,2,3 fourth, the bats woke up in the 5th as three batters reached in the inning, including the first two via a Magneuris Sierra double and a Jordan Fuentes single. Dean then came up and knocked Sierra. They were able to threaten again in the 7th putting the tying run on second and go ahead on first but two outs on the next four pitches shut down that rally. After a quiet 8th, the Stripers threatened again leading off the inning with two singles. However, strikeouts by Dean and Wall and then a line out by Luke Waddell ended the game.

The Stripers pitchers were okay on Tuesday. They allowed just 2 runs but also walked 8 and gave up another 8 hits. Beau Burrows, the former Detroit Tigers top prospect got the start and was solid as his line showed. He retired 6 of the first 7 batters he faced and worked around a Hoy Park error in the 3rd. He loaded the bases in that inning allowing a 2 out walk and single but got Jordan Luplow to fly out. In the fourth he allowed the first four to reach, including a leadoff which prompted him to be pulled. Matt Swarmer came on and induced a double play immediately to end the inning. In the 6th though he allowed a leadoff walk, single and then RBI double which subsequently was the game winning run. Ty Tice and Kyle Wilcox combined for three shutout innings to end it.

(5-11) Mississippi Braves 3, (10-6) Biloxi Shuckers 4

  • Cal Conley 1-5, 1 K
  • Drew Campbell 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • Drew Lugbauer 1-4
  • Alan Rangel, SP, 6 IP, 2 H, 5 K

In the first four innings the Braves offense was lifeless getting just two base runners with only one reaching second. That changed drastically in the 5th though as Javier Valdes and Drew Campbell hit back-to-back homers on consecutive pitches. The next two batters hit singles, but three consecutive outs ended the frame. After two quiet innings, Campbell knocked in another run on an RBI double which followed a Lugbauer single, and Javier Valdes walk.

On the bump, the Braves started strong but ended poorly. Rangal was dominant over his six innings forcing 11 whiffs and only throwing 27 balls on 82 pitches. From there on it was shaky though. Miguel Pena faced 5 batters, walking 2 in addition to an RBI single. He was lifted in the 7th for Alex Segal retired the next batter. To start the 8th, he lost the strike zone, walking the first four batters he faced before getting lifted for Victor Vodnik. He instantly gave up a 1 RBI single before getting a ground ball double play to escape further damage. In the 9th he gave up a leadoff triple before allowing the winning run to score on a wild pitch.

(6-9) Rome Braves 7, (11-5) Greensboro Grasshoppers 2

  • Ignacio Alvarez 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
  • Geraldo Quintero 3-5, 4 RBI
  • Ian Mejia, SP, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

The bats came alive early for the Braves. In the top of the first a leadoff walk followed up by a double and sac fly later in the inning by Keshawn Ogans lead to two runs in the first. The Braves did slow down over the next four innings picking up just two non-error base runners. In the top of the 6th though Rome scored their third run via a Quintero leadoff home run. It was followed up by an Alvarez walk but a double play and groundout ended the inning. They blew up in the 7th scratching 4 across which was largely propelled by a catcher interference. Rather than having two outs with nobody on, Brandol Mezquita drew one. After a strikeout, a single, walk, single and then double by Alvarez lead to the big inning.

Braves pitchers only allowed 7 base runners in the game and 1 earned run. After a quiet 1st a one out but single resulted in a runner scoring from first due to a throwing error by starter Ian Mejia. After that though he settled in again only allowing one batter to reach in every inning he pitched. Unfortunately, one of those was a homer by Mike Jarvis in the 6th. That was the second to last base runner for the Grasshoppers though as Patrick Halligan allowed just one batter to reach enroute to the elusive three inning save.

(8-6) Columbia Fireflies 3, (5-8) Augusta GreenJackets 1

  • David McCabe 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Ambioris Tavarez 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Adam Shoemaker, SP, 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K

The GreenJacket bats went quiet in this one. Despite getting three base runners in the first 5 innings, only 15 batters came to the play. This was due to a double play and two pickoffs which is inexcusable. In the 6th they threatened after a leadoff walk and single after, but then the side was struck out, ending the inning. In the 7th McCabe reached via a walk to lead it off but was thrown out at home two batters later on a double which was their third out on the bases. In the 8th they scored their only run via a wild pitch after Nick Clarno reached on a double.

GreenJackets starter allowed 9 total base runners but somehow only allowed 1 run, which came via a steal of home. He benefited from the Fireflies hitting into a double play, getting caught stealing twice and a pickoff. He was pulled in the fifth for Didier Fuentes who immediately gave up 2 runs in the inning after a double, strikeout, single, wild pitch and another single. Cedric de Grandpe came on in the 6th and pitched four shutout innings and only allowed one batter to get into scoring position in that time.

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