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Braves Minor League Recap: Jared Shuster tosses six no-hit innings, AJ Smith-Shawver’s Double-A debut ends prematurely

All four Braves MiLB affiliates brought home wins on Friday thanks to stellar performance by some of the system’s top prospects

San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It was an eventful day down on the farm as Atlanta’s minor league affiliates would bring home a clean sweep, taking wins at all four levels.

(11-18) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (14-16) Charlotte Knights 0

  • Jared Shuster, SP: 6 IP, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-2, R, BB
  • Travis d’Arnaud, C: 0-3

Box Score

After Braden Shewmake got the call up to the show on Friday, it’s safe to say a weak Gwinnett offense got incredibly weaker. And while they would only muster two runs on the day, it would be more than enough as the Striper arms would show up and show out.

Jared Shuster made his fifth start of the season with Gwinnett and put up his best performance so far. Through six innings, Shuster prevented Charlotte batters from reaching on a hit and allowed just three walks and struck out five.

The stellar outing for Shuster would end after that, as he would give way to Brian Moran, who would toss a hitless inning of his own. The no-hitter would come to an end in the top of the eighth inning as the Knights would get a leadoff single. Gwinnett would limit Charlotte to just two hits total on the night.

As we mentioned, at the plate there wasn’t all that much going on for Gwinnett. But hey, when you get a pitching performance where your arms only allow two hits and carry a no-hitter into the eighth inning, you can afford a slow night at the dish.

Gwinnett got on the board in the home half of the first inning, as Forrest Wall would score on an Eli White sacrifice fly.

The second run of the night would come in the bottom of the fourth inning as Joshua Fuentes would single home Luke Waddell, giving the Stripers the 2-0 lead that would eventually be the final.

In other news from Gwinnett, Travis d’Arnaud made his first rehab start for the Stripers, going 0-3 as he works his way back from suffering a concussion that landed him on the IL in April.

(9-16) Mississippi Braves 8, (14-11) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 0

  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Cal Conley, SS: 2-4, 2B, 2 R
  • Beau Philip 2B: 2-5, RBI
  • AJ Smith-Shawver, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Domingo Robles, RP: 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K

Box Score

It was a long day down in Pensacola as Mississippi looked to snap a three game losing skid.

Mother Nature tried to get in the way on Friday night, and would partially succeed as the game would go into a rain delay in the top of the third inning. While the rain would later subside and allow for the game to be completed, it would spoil A.J. Smith-Shawver’s Mississippi debut.

As for Smith-Shawver, albeit in a small sample size, he looked as though he belonged in Double-A. Through two innings, the 20-year-old righty allowed just two hits and two walks, while striking out a pair.

After the hour-and-a-half delay, Smith-Shawver would give way to Domingo Robles in relief, where he would dominate the Pensacola lineup.

Robles absolutely dominate out of the bullpen. Tossing seven scoreless innings, Robles allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out seven Blue Wahoos.

The first runs of the game for either side would come in the top of the sixth, as Mississippi would plate two runners, taking a 2-0 lead. Cal Conley doubled to kick off the inning and Justin Dean would sacrifice bunt him over to third one batter later.

After Andrew Moritz popped out, Cade Bunnell would double, scoring Conley to make it 1-0. Moritz would later score on an RBI-double off the bat of Drew Lugbauer to extend the lead to 2-0 for Mississippi.

In the top of the eighth, the Braves would get a few more insurance runs in the late going with help from Pensacola. Dean would walk to start off the frame, and would advance as he stole second and tagged up to third on a Moritz fly out. He would later score on a wild pitch, making it 3-0 Braves.

Mississippi tack on five more runs in the top of the ninth as the Braves would draw five consecutive walks to do most of the damage.

Arden Pabst would kick off the late-scoring drive by singling to drive in Beau Philip, making it 4-0 Braves. Later in the same inning, Hudson Potts and Pabst would score in back-to-back at-bats as Justin Dean and Andrew Moritz both drew a bases-loaded walk, extending the lead to 6-0. Yet another bases-loaded walk – this time to Cade Bunnell – would bring home Cal Conley for a 7-0 tally. Drew Lugbauer would follow suit with a bases-loaded walk of his own, making it 8-0.

That score would hold as the bullpen would do its job and in doing so, snapped the losing streak and righting the ship for the Braves.

(12-12) Rome Braves 3, (9-14) Bowling Green Hot Rods 1

  • Nacho Alvarez, SS: 1-2, 2 RBI
  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 1-3, HR, RBI
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 1-3, 3B, R
  • Rolddy Munoz, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Box Score

Rome would ride a solid outing on the mound from two arms on the day to a win to bring them back to .500 on the season.

Rolddy Munoz got the start for the Braves and spun four innings of one-run ball. The lone run Bowling Green scored came in the top of the second inning after Munoz allowed back-to-back hits to open up the frame. He would settle down after that, however, as he would limit the damage to just the one run.

Munoz would give way to the Rome bullpen in the top of the fifth inning, as Luis Vargas would take over on the mound. Vargas would build on Munoz’ work, tossing five shutout innings and striking out seven in the process.

At the plate, Rome got on the board early as they plated a run in the bottom of the first inning. After Geraldo Quintero tripled with one out, Ignacio Alvarez brought him home on a sac fly.

Tied at 1-1, the next run for Rome wouldn’t come until the bottom of the sixth inning. Alvarez would notch his second RBI of the day, this time on an opposite-field single to bring home Eliezel Stevens, giving the Braves the lead.

Rome would tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Adam Zembroski would send the first pitch he saw over the left-center field wall for a solo homer, extending the Braves’ lead to the 3-1 final score.

The win marks Rome’s fourth in-a-row, as things are slowly starting to come together for the squad.

(11-13) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (12-11) Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 5

  • Mahki Backstrom, RF: 1-4, Grand Slam, 4 RBI
  • Ethan Workinger, CF: 1-4, 3B, RBI, BB
  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-4, 2B, R, BB
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K

Box Score

Things got off to a bit of a rough start for Augusta, but the bad times wouldn’t continue for long, as the GreenJackets would score six runs in one inning to carry them to victory.

With Owen Murphy on the bump, Kannapolis plated a single run in the first two frames to take a 2-0 lead into the top of the third.

Then, Mahki Backstrom happened.

In a day where your system’s top prospect’s Double-A debut ends early and another top arm tosses six hitless innings, it’s often difficult for your own performance to stand out. But today, Backstrom had other ideas.

Ambioris Tavarez led off the top of the third inning with a double and was then brought home on an RBI-triple off the bat of Ethan Workinger, cutting the Kannapolis lead in half. David McCabe would follow that up with a walk and with Jeremy Celedonio at the plate – who would draw a walk of his own – a balk was called, allowing Workinger to score to tie things up at 2-2.

After Justin Janas grounded into a forceout, Dawson Dimon walked to load the bases.

Backstrom would waste no time giving Augusta the lead, as he turned the first pitch he saw in the inning into a grand slam, coming off the bat at 111 miles per hour and most importantly, giving the GreenJackets a four-run lead at 6-2.

The Cannon Ballers got two of those runs back in the home half of the inning, making it 6-4 after three innings.

Offensively, Augusta wouldn’t make much noise the rest of the game. Needing the bullpen to hold, Tyree Thompson and Jorge Bautista would be called on to take on the challenge. They would do just that, as they would allow just one combined run across five innings in relief to narrowly keep the GreenJackets ahead and secure the victory.

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