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Braves Minor League Recap: Javier Valdes continues strong season

Mississippi catcher Javier Valdes reached base three times on Sunday to bring his OBP up to .433 on the year.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: FEB 17 Jacksonville State at FIU
Javier Valdes
Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday saw the teams in the Braves organization go one for four, as only Rome was able to come out with a victory. It was a tough day across the system, though we did see homers from four different guys and the list of standouts from the day included Nacho Alvarez and Javier Valdes - who is quietly putting together a very strong offensive season in Double-A.

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 7, Gwinnett Stripers 5

Box Score

  • Eli White, CF: 2-4, BB, RBI, SB, .262/.360/.496
  • Braden Shewmake, 2B: 0-2, BB, R, .218/.296/.380
  • Alan Winans, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 2.94 ERA

Gwinnett started Alan Winans, and he turned in a quality start by giving up three runs in six innings of work with six punch outs. Winans departed with a 5-3 lead, but the bullpen wasn’t able to do the job and the Stripers lost in 10 innings. Lucas Luetge and Danny Young each allowed a run in an inning of work, before a scoreless ninth from Roel Ramirez. Grant Holmes came in for the 10th and gave up the inherited extra innings runner as well as an additional run and took the loss.

The big games at the plate came from the top and bottom of the lineup. Leadoff man Eli White was 2-4 with a walk, steal, and run batted in as he reached base three times in this one, while ninth place hitter Arden Pabst went 2-4 with a solo homer. Joe Dunand also hit a solo shot for the Stripers, his 11th of the season. Braden Shewmake went 0-2 with a walk and scored a run, while Vaughn Grissom was hitless in five at bats, striking out three times in the loss.

Birmingham Barons 4, Mississippi Braves 2

Box Score

  • Javier Valdes, C: 0-1, 3 BB, .276/.433/.504
  • Beau Philip, 2B: 1-4, HR, R, RBI, .218/.333/.330
  • Victor Vodnik, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.18 ERA

Mississippi went with a Sunday bullpen game, as they started reliever Ty Tice and used seven pitchers in the game. Tice went the first two innings before giving way to Nick Howard. Howard would allow two runs in just two thirds of an inning, and was followed by an inning and a third out of Trey Riley. The other two Birmingham runs scored during Jake McSteen’s inning and two thirds, as Hayden Harris went an inning and a third and then Daysbel Hernandez and Victor Vodnik each went in inning.

The Braves offense really struggled in this one, scoring two runs and managing just three hits. One of those hits was a solo homer from Beau Philip, and Cade Bunnell and Luke Waddell each had singles. The Braves did manage seven walks - though three of them came from Javier Valdes and two from Cal Conley, who also stole a base.

Rome Braves 6, Jersey Shore BlueClaws 4

Box Score

  • Nacho Alvarez, SS: 2-5, SB, .273/.407/.338
  • Kevin Kilpatrick, CF: 2-5, 2 R, SB, .214/.336/.343
  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, .219/.315/.412

Hunter Riggins started for Rome and turned in five innings of two run ball, giving up six hits and a walk while striking out one. JJ Niekro followed with two innings and one run allowed and Jonathan Hughes allowed a run during his inning of work. Peyton Williams came on for the ninth and threw a scoreless inning to pick up the save. It’s worth noting that other than the run that came on a homer, Hughes struck out every other hitter he faced, while Williams recorded two strikeouts during his inning of work.

Rome scored six runs on 10 hits, but four guys were responsible for the bulk of that as they combined for four runs, eight hits, and five runs batted in. Kevin Kilpatrick and Nacho Alvarez hit in the top two spots in the order, and each went 2-5 with a stolen base - Kilpatrick’s steal coming at home, and he scored two of the runs himself. Adam Zebrowski was 2-4, which included a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Finally Keshawn Ogans was 2-4 with a run and two batted in on the day. Geraldo Quintero also had a notable game, going 1-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored, reaching base in three of his four trips to the plate.

Delmarva Shorebirds 15, Augusta GreenJackets 3

Box Score

  • Justin Janas, 1B: 2-5, .286/.376/.384
  • Cory Acton, 2B: 2-4, BB, R, RBI, .210/.338/.269
  • Jared Johnson, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 4.11 ERA

The final score of this game does in fact tell you almost everything you need to know about it. If there was a positive, it came from starter Jared Johnson. Johnson went two innings and allowed a run on two hits and two walks, but struck out five guys among the six outs he recorded. Darling Florentino followed and allowed a run during an inning of work, and that’s when things really came off the rails. Adam Shoemaker came on and allowed eight runs in two and two thirds innings, Tyree Thompson gave up two more runs in an inning and a third, and finally Estarlin Rodriguez allowed three more runs in his inning. Combined the Augusta pitching staff gave up 15 earned runs on 19 hits, 10 walks, and 5 wild pitches as every pitcher used allowed at least one run.

While Augusta only put up three runs, they didn’t have a hard time getting on base as they combined for eight hits and nine walks in this one. Cory Acton led the way, going 2-4 with a walk, run, and RBI. Ethan Workinger also reached base three times, going 1-3 with two walks and a run scored, as did Jair Casanova (1-3, 2 BB). Justin Janas had two hits in the loss.

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