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Braves Minor League Recap: Mike Soroka and Cedric De Grandpre have strong outings

Soroka threw a season-high 96 pitches.

MLB: AUG 03 Mets at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Overall, it was a bad night for the Atlanta Braves minor league system. They allowed 23 total runs in four games and scored just five, with one of their losses being via a shutout. However, it’s not all bad as there were multiple players in the system who shined for the team, including a former All Star.

(21-24) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (23-22) Durham Bulls 1

  • Braeden Shewmake 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Vaughn Grissom 1-4, 5 LOB
  • Mike Soroka, SP, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K

The Stripers bats were only able to scratch across three in this one, but it was enough to get the victory. They made the most of their opportunities as they were 4-9 with runners in scoring position showing they were able to get it done when it mattered most. Eli White, Shewmake and Joshua Fuentes all recorded RBIs with Fuentes’ and Shewmake’s coming via singles. Despite facing Yonny Chirinos who has a lifetime 3.46 ERA at the MLB level they were able to pick up six hits against him and three walks to just one strikeout over five innings.

Mike Soroka was solid. His control was lacking a bit as he walked three batters and threw 38 balls on 96 pitches, but overall, it is a performance the Braves have to be excited about, as his six innings pitched is tied for the longest start of his season. It was especially encouraging to see him go this deep into the start after he had four straight starts where he didn’t even make it through five innings. After Soroka, Robbery Munoz, Grant Holmes and Yacksel Rios all pitched a scoreless inning where they each struck out at least one batter.

(26-14) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 7, (17-22) Mississippi Braves 1

  • Cal Conley 2-4, 1 K
  • Drew Lugbauer 3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
  • Luis De Avila, SP, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

The Mississippi offense was poor. Their hits came from just four batters and all but one of their batters struck out at least once. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base as a team. Lugbauer’s homer came in the seventh, but besides that there was a whole lot of nothing. They got runners in scoring position with one out in each of the first three innings but could not do anything with that. Jacob Pearson had the worst night amongst the Braves hitters going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

De Avila had what is likely the second-best start of his season against the Blue Wahoos. It is only the third time he has worked through five innings this year and the second time in such games where he allowed 1 or fewer runs. Ideally the strikeout number would be a bit higher, but that is not the pitcher who he is as he has just 33 strikeouts in eight starts. The fifth inning was really the only inning where the Blue Wahoos threatened him as they loaded the bases, but he got out of it via a Jose Devers groundout. The other six runs were on the bullpen, but none of them were earned. In the sixth, Miguel Pena allowed three unearned runs as a result of a throwing error on Tyler Tolve on a strikeout. Then in the ninth, Trey Riley relieved Alex Segal, with his three runs allowed being unearned because of a throwing error on Luke Waddell.

(22-17) Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 6, (19-21) Augusta GreenJackets 1

  • Amboris Tavarez 1-4, 3 K
  • David McCabe 2-4, 1 2B
  • Cedric De Grandpre, SP, 5 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 7 K

Amboris Tavarez’s struggles at the dish continued in this one. His batting average rose to .186 because of his base knock, but he struck out three times, his 13th multi strikeout game of the month and second consecutive three strikeout game. David McCabe was solid picking up two hits and it could have been a more impressive day had Ethan Workinger not been thrown out on his two out double in the bottom of the third. Jair Casanova plated the teams only run of the night on a solo shot in the bottom of the third inning.

Cedric De Grandpre shined once again allowing two earned runs, which raised his ERA to a 1.95. He generated an impressive 12 swinging strikes and threw 57 strikes on 85 pitches. He retired the first nine he faced but allowed two in the fourth where the first four reached against him. The other two runs he allowed came in the sixth and were unearned due to a fielding error by Ambioris Tavarez. Jorge Bautista entered in relief of De Grandpre allowing both inherited runners to score in the sixth. He also allowed runs in the eighth and ninth innings, with the one in the ninth also being unearned due to an error by Tavarez.

(20-19) Greenville Drive 9, (20-19) Rome Braves 0

  • Ignacio Alvarez 1-5, 1 K
  • Drake Baldwin 1-4, 1 BB
  • Hunter Riggins, SP, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

The less said about this game for the Braves offensively the better. They left 13 on base and went an eye watering 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Adam Zebrowski, Geraldo Quintero, Bryson Horne and Stephen Paolini all struck out two or more times and collectively made outs with a combined 16 runners on base. Ignacio Alvarez had a down game going just 1-for-5 which saw his average drop down to a more than solid .303.

Starter Hunter Riggins was not dominant or anything of the sorts, but he pitched well enough to be undeserving of a loss. He got off to a bad start allowing a first inning homer to Marcelo Mayer and a second inning RBI double to Eduardo Lopez. From there on out he settled in though facing four or fewer batters in his final four innings. The bullpen melted down though as Ryder Jones gave up three earned runs in the seventh where four of the first five batters, he faced hit singles against him. In the eighth Benjamin Dum came on and immediately gave up a solo shot to Mayer, which was then followed by a single, walk and another single. After facing his eighth batter of the frame he was lifted for Jonathan Hughes who allowed one inherited runner to scoring brining Dum’s earned total to four in the game.

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