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Braves Minor League Recap: Cedric De Grandpre dominates again, Jesse Franklin V has a big day

De Grandpre continued his solid start to the season for Rome.

Rome Braves outfielder Jesse Franklin is running down the first base line Image Credit: Mills Fitzner

The Braves minor league system had an offensive breakout scoring a combined 24 runs across their four games. But their pitching struggled as despite a shutout in one game they allowed 22 runs on the day.

(22-29) Gwinnett Stripers 7, (36-15) Norfolk Tides 9

  • Vaughn Grissom 0-4, 1 BB
  • Eli White 2-6, 4 K
  • Burrows, SP, 5 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

All but two batters picked up hits for the Stripers, but everyone in the lineup reached at least once, with six reaching two or more times. Eli White and Nick Solak were the only hitters to pick up two hits whilst Forrest Wall led the team in total times on base at four, with three of those coming from walks. The Stripers scored all seven of their runs in the third, fourth and fifth with every run coming with two outs. The fifth was the true breakout inning as Braden Shewmake, Solak and Joshua Fuentes drove in a combined five runs. In total seven batters reached base for the Stripers in the frame, four of them being on walks.

The pitching was rough in this one for Gwinnett. Burrows got crushed allowing all six of his runs to cross in the first two frames. He might’ve been put off by a weather delay, but he did not show it much in the first as besides a leadoff homer he looked fine. Despite getting two quick outs in the second he allowed four batters to reach with two outs which resulted in five scoring. From there on out though he settled in retiring the final ten batters he faced which made his outing so frustrating. Danny Young and Joe Harvey pitched the next three frames shutting out the Tides, handing Grant Holmes a one run lead going into the ninth. Holmes gave it away though, allowing a game tying homer to Lewin Diaz to lead off the inning and a walk off two run shot to Ben DeLuizio.

(20-25) Mississippi Braves 6, (16-30) Birmingham Barons 10

  • Justin Dean 3-4, 1 BB
  • Jesse Franklin V 2-4 , 2 2B, 1 K
  • Jose Montilla, SP, 2 ⅓ IP, 9 R, 8 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 K

The Braves had a solid day picking up 14 base runners and scratching across six runs, but it wasn’t enough for the victory. Oddly though, Braves hitters only got four RBI’s because one run came via a balk and another from a wild pitch. Justin Dean reached base four times, continuing his mini hot streak that has seen his average raise from .153 to .202 over the last three games. Similar to Dean, Franklin V, who led the team in total bases on the day, has raised his batting average .054 points with a 5-12 stretch.

The less said about Montilla’s performance on the day, the better. He retired the first five he faced, but then he allowed a solo homer in the second inning to former big leaguer Chris Shaw. Then in the third, things got ugly. He faced nine batters in the inning, seven reached via a walk or hit, one on a fielding error whilst recording just a single out. Of the batters to reach, two hit homers and another hit a double. The Braves bullpen was more than admirable though as Coleman Huntley lll, Alex Segal and Jake McSteen threw a combined 5 ⅔ innings where they allowed just one unearned run and five hits compared to three strikeouts.

(23-23) Rome Braves 6, (19-23) Green Hot Rods 0

  • Ignacio Alvarez 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB
  • David McCabe 2-4, 1 BB
  • Cedric De Grandpre SP, 5 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 K

The offense was solid for Rome as all but two batters picked up hits for the Braves in this one. Additionally, as a team they also picked up eight walks, but only went 3-11 with RISP. Alvarez and McCabe lead the team offensively, but the likes of Kevin Kilpatrick, who had two RBI’s and Brandon Parker who walked three times did their fair share as well.

In his first game at the High A level, De Grandpre dominated, again. It was his fifth start of the season in which he didn’t allow a run and the second straight game in which he didn’t allow a free pass. His stuff wasn’t overly dominant as he generated just seven swinging strikes. He worked into some trouble in both the first and fourth inning as he allowed two base runners in each frame but worked around the trouble each time. After De Grandpre, Miguel Pena and Rob Griswold combined to pitch the final 2 ⅓ frames striking out seven batters.

(24-22) Augusta GreenJackets 5, (18-28) Charleston RiverDogs 3

  • Tyler Collins 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Francisco Floyd 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Jorge Bautista, SP, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 K

After a 1-12 stretch, Francisco Floyd raised his average 18 points today. He started off the scoring in the fifth inning with an RBI single before driving in the teams final run on a single in the eighth. Like Floyd, Collins also saw his average rise with only his second multi hit effort in the month of May. Besides those two though, a weak GreenJackets offense didn’t impress too much. Floyd and Collins combined for 40% of both their hits and run production on the day. Justin Janas was the only other GreenJacket batter to pick up two hits.

Bautista worked into quick trouble against the RiverDogs allowing a leadoff single, which was followed by a balk and stolen base before an RBI single. Outside of that he settled in until the sixth inning where he gave up a leadoff triple, which later resulted in a sac fly. The only other inning Bautista struggled was the fourth where he gave up back to back singles to start the inning but retired the next three batters he faced. Samuel Strickland came in for the infamous 3 inning save. He did make things slightly interesting in the ninth allowing a solo shot to Oneill Manzueta but he was solid on the night.

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