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Braves Minor League Recap: David McCabe homers for third straight game to lead Augusta to win

McCabe launched his seventh and eighth homers of the year on Friday night

Credit: Garrett Spain - Battery Power

David McCabe paced the GreenJacket offense as Atlanta’s Low-A affiliate was the only team to bring home a win on Friday.

(21-27) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (26-22) Durham Bulls 11

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-5, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Forrest Wall, RF: 3-5, 2 R
  • Hendrick Clementina, C: 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 10 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Box Score

Gwinnett dropped its third straight game on Friday despite tallying eight runs.

The Stripers got on the board first by plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Forrest Wall laced a one-out double into center field before Vaughn Grissom reached on an error, advancing Wall to third. Wall and Grissom would then execute a double steal to perfection, allowing Wall to score to make it 1-0 Stripers. Nick Solak advanced Grissom to third and Yolmer Sanchez brought him home on a sac fly just one batter later.

While Gwinnett carried a 2-0 lead through one frame, it wouldn’t last long.

Tanner Gordon got the start for the Stripers and tossed a scoreless first inning before the wheels fell off in the second. Gordon allowed the first six batters in the inning to reach — and seven out of the first eight — as Durham plated five runs in the process making it 5-2. The Bulls would tack on another run as they halfway executed a double steal which allowed a runner to score, extending their lead to 6-2. Despite Durham plating six runs, Gordon didn’t allow an extra-base hit in the inning as all six of the Durham hits in the inning were singles.

It wouldn’t take long for the Stripers to retake the lead, however. In the bottom of the third, Gwinnett battled back to score six runs of their own. Eli White led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third in the next at-bat as Wall singled into right field. Grissom brought both runners across on a single into right field, cutting the deficit to 6-4.

Later in the inning with the bases loaded after Hoy Park walked and Daniel Robertson was hit by a pitch, Joshua Fuentes singled home a run to make it 6-5. One batter later, Hendrick Clementina notched a bases-clearing double into left field, making it an 8-6 lead for the Stripers.

Looking to cling to the second lead his offense staked him to on the day, Gordon’s rough day got even worse in the top of the fourth. The righty would allow six batters to reach as the Bulls would retake the lead, scoring four runs to make it 10-8.

Nick Margevicius would relieve Gordon with two outs in the inning, but all four runs would be charged to him. All told, it was a day to forget for Gordon as he was tagged for ten earned runs on the day.

Durham would add another run in the top of the fifth, capping off the scoring for both squads on the day as they extended their lead to 11-8, which would hold as the final.

(18-24) Mississippi Braves 0, (28-15) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4

  • Javier Valdes, DH: 1-3, BB
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K

Box Score

Mississippi got a quality start from right handed Alan Rangel, but couldn’t find any offense to support him as they were shutout in the process.

Rangel gave up a leadoff home run in the top of the first inning, but that was the only blemish on his line as he bounced back nicely. Tossing five innings, the righty scattered just two additional hits and struck out six batters.

Normally that kind of performance from your starter would be enough to give you a fighting chance. But that’s assuming your offense has an equally good day at the dish, which was not the case for the Braves on Friday.

Offensively, Mississippi was held to just four hits — all singles — and only had six at-bats the entire day with runners in scoring position and struck out 12 times in the process.

Pensacola tagged reliever Coleman Huntley for three runs in the top of the eighth, extending their lead to 4-0.

That score would be too much to overcome for Mississippi as they dropped their second straight game.

(21-22) Rome Braves 1, (23-20) Greenville Drive 2

  • Cory Acton, DH: 1-3, RBI
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4
  • Drake Baldwin, C: 1-4
  • Tyler Owens, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, BB, 4 K

Box Score

A late-game offensive push wouldn’t be enough to propel Rome to a win over Greenville as the Braves registered their fourth loss in the series.

Tyler Owens got the nod for the start for the Braves. Despite only going three innings, Owens actually kept Rome in the game, allowing just one unearned run while striking out four. The run would score in the top of the second inning after Brandon Parker committed an error in right field to give Greenville the 1-0 lead.

Rome would actually be able to notch six hits on the night, but failed to string enough together to score a run through the first seven innings. Meanwhile, Greenville would add to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. With J.J. Niekro on in relief, the Drive would score one run, making it 2-0. Niekro would have a good night out of the pen despite the one run. Across 4.2 innings, Niekro allowed just five hits and walked two while striking out a pair.

Trailing 2-0 with just six outs remaining for them, Rome was able to finally get on the scoreboard. Parker drew a one-out walk and then stole second base as Kadon Morton struck out. Cory Acton would tally the only RBI for the Braves in the game on an RBI-single into right field, scoring Parker to cut the Greenville lead in half at 2-1.

Keshawn Ogans worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but Bryson Horne would strike out to end the game as Rome dropped their third straight contest.

(22-21) Augusta GreenJackets 8, (22-20) Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 2

  • David McCabe, 2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  • Justin Janas, 1B: 1-2, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Ethan Workinger, LF: 3-5, R
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Box Score

You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter hitter in the minor leagues over the last four games than David McCabe.

In the lone win for Atlanta minor league affiliates on Friday, McCabe launched a pair of home runs and tallied four RBI to continue his scorching three game stint en route to leading Augusta. Over those four games, McCabe is 8-17 with a pair of doubles, four home runs and eight RBI to show for it.

While the offense would eventually come along, Kannapolis would get on the board first. Starter Owen Murphy allowed a leadoff home run in the top of the second inning, but would bounce back to strike out the next three batters, ending the inning.

Murphy would allow another leadoff shot in the top of the fourth inning to make it 2-0 Kannapolis. Despite allowing a single and a walk in afterwards, Murphy would prevent any more damage from being done. The 2022 Braves first-rounder would toss four innings, allowing just the two runs but managed to strike out seven batters.

McCabe made his presence known in the bottom of the fourth as Augusta would tie things up. After Justin Janaas — more on him later — worked a leadoff walk, McCabe sent his seventh home run of the year over the left field fence, scoring Janas and tying the game at 2-2.

The first lead of the game for the GreenJackets would come in the next frame. Back-to-back walks to Tyler Collins and Francisco Floyd kicked off the fifth inning and after a double steal, Justin Janas brought Collins home on a sac fly, giving Augusta a 3-2 lead.

With Floyd standing at third, McCabe sent his second two-run dinger of the day over the wall, extending the GreenJacket lead to 5-2.

On the mound for Augusta, the bullpen tandem of Nolan Martinez and Jason Franks would hold Kannapolis at just two runs as the two arms combined for five innings while scattering just two hits and allowing a pair of walks while striking out four.

While the bullpen did its work to prevent any more damage, the GreenJacket offense wasn’t finished doing damage of its own.

In the bottom of the eighth, Dawson Dimon drew a leadoff walk. With two outs, Ethan Workinger singled Dimon to second, bringing Janas to the plate. Then, the 22-year-old first baseman elected to get in on the scoring fun, as he sent a 2-0 pitch over the right center field fence for a three-run homer, extending the Augusta lead to 8-2.

Franks would work around a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth by retiring the next three Cannon Ballers in order to close out the game.

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