Despite getting multiple solid performances from top prospects, it was a bit of a rough day for Atlanta’s MiLB affiliates on Friday as teams would go a combined 2-4 on the day. Owen Murphy, Jesse Franklin V, and Douglas Glod put up respectable outings for their teams in the final game in June.
(33-45) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (46-31) St. Paul Saints 10
- Forrest Wall, CF: 2-5, HR, RBI
- Yolmer Sanchez, 3B: 1-2, HR, 2 RBI
- Justus Sheffield, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
It was a rough go of it for Gwinnett, and it went south from the get-go.
Justus Sheffield got the start for the Stripers and allowed four runs in the first two innings as Gwinnett was forced to dig itself out of an early 4-0 hole. Sheffield would settle down after the second inning and would put up three scoreless innings, at least giving Gwinnett a chance to get back into the game. That wouldn’t happen however, as the Stripers’ bullpen would implode over the next few innings.
Beau Burrows took over for Sheffield in the bottom of the sixth inning and allowed three hits in the inning, leading to one run scoring to extend the lead to 5-0 for St. Paul.
Offensively it was a bit of an odd game for Gwinnett. Despite working ten walks in the game, the first offensive breakthrough wouldn’t come until the top of the seventh inning. Joe Dunad doubled to lead off the inning before Yolmer Sanchez brought him home courtesy of a two-run homer over the left center field fence to cut the lead to 5-2 for the Saints.
In the seventh, Burrows allowed two more runs to make it 7-0 after giving up a pair of doubles. In the eighth inning, Joe Harvey would take over and would continue the slide by the bullpen, allowing three runs in the inning, making it 10-2 St. Paul.
The Stripers would tack on another run in the top of the ninth inning, as Forrest Wall homered to make it 10-3. That would be all the offense Gwinnett would get in this one as they fell by a final of 10-3.
(34-37) Mississippi Braves 4, (36-36) Biloxi Shuckers 1
- Jesse Franklin V, DH: 3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
- Luke Waddell, SS: 1-3, RBI, BB
- Luis De Avila, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Mississippi rode a stellar performance from Jesse Franklin to a win on Friday night.
The Braves put a runner on base in each of the first two innings, but failed to bring any of them home. That would change in the top of the third inning however, as MIssissippi would plate three runs to take the first lead of the game. Cal Conley laced a one-out single into right field and stole second base after Justin Dean flew out for the second out of the inning. Luke Waddell then singled Conley home to make it 1-0. Cade Bunnell followed that up with a single of his own before Javier Valdes walked to load the bases. Franklin then notched his second hit of the game, a single into right field, scoring Waddell and Bunnell to make it 3-0 Mississippi.
Starter Luis De Avila was brilliant for the Braves. Through the first five innings, De Avila allowed just three hits while holding Biloxi scoreless.
Meanwhile, in the top of the sixth, Franklin added another hit to his total on the night; a solo homer to extend the Braves’ lead to 4-0. De Avila would be touched for a run in the bottom of the inning, making it 4-1 before he gave way to Jake McSteen and the bullpen the rest of the way.
The pen would continue De Avila’s fine work, holding the Shuckers scoreless the rest of the way, leading to Mississippi’s 4-1 win.
(32-40) Rome Braves 1, (35-32) Bowling Green Hot Rods 4
- Nacho Alvarez, SS: 2-4, HR, RBI
- Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 3-4,
- Luis Vargas, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Nacho Alvarez homered in what was the lone run for Rome against Bowling Green. All-in-all it took a while for for either team to find some offense. Braves starter Luis Vargas spun five scoreless frames while issuing four walks and striking out four to allow his offense to try and get on the board first.
Rome would do just that. After being held scoreless through the first three innings, the Braves would finally get on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Alvarez launched the first pitch of the inning over the left center field fence for his second homer of the year to make it 1-0 Rome.
Jonathan Hughes would come on out of the bullpen in relief of Vargas and toss a scoreless sixth to hold the Braves lead at 1-0. Hughes would manage to get the first two batters of the inning out in the top of the seventh, but gave up back-to-back hits as Bowling Green tied the game at 1-1.
Offensively, the Braves couldn’t manage to get much else working beyond Alvarez’ homer in the fourth. Meanwhile, Rob Griswold would take over on the mound for Hughes and allowed the Hot Rods to take their first lead of the game. Griswold gave up two walks before allowing a three-run homer, making it 4-1 Bowling Green.
In the bottom of the eighth, Alvarez singled to leadoff as Ethan Workinger doubled him to third. But Drake Baldwin struck out to end the inning, keeping Rome from cutting into the deficit. Offensive woes for the Braves would continue in the bottom of the ninth. Despite Elizel Stevens doubling, he would be doubled off as Stephen Paolini flied into a double play to end the game.
(34-37) Augusta GreenJackets 12, (39-32) Columbia Fireflies 5
- Bryson Worrell, RF: 3-5, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
- Tyler Collins, CF: 2-4, 4 RBI, 2 R
- Justin Janas, 1B: 1-4, 2 RBI, R, BB
- Owen Murphy, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K
Owen Murphy put up yet another excellent performance as it appears the 2022 first-rounder has found a rhythm in his first full professional season.
Before we get to Murphy, the offense made its mark relatively early in this one. After going down in order in the top of the first inning, the GreenJackets broke through for five runs in the top of the second as they batted around. After Bryson Worrell singled to kick the frame off, Jair Casanova and Nick Clarno struck out. Following the strikeouts, Cory Acton and Andrew Keck walked to load the bases. Augusta then rattled off four straight singles by Tyler Collins, Ambioris Tavarez, Justin Janas, and E.J. Exposito to plate five runs, making it 5-0.
While the offense was doing its thing, Murphy was busy dealing on the mound. Across five innings, the righty scattered four hits and allowed one walk while striking out six. With the outing, Murphy lowered his season ERA to 4.14.
Meanwhile, the GreenJackets scored another run in the top of the third. Acton drew a leadoff walk before Keck was hit by a pitch to move Acton into scoring position. Collins then singled Acton home to make it 6-0 Augusta.
The GreenJackets doubled their score in the top of the fifth, plating six runs to make it a whopping 12-0 lead. Augusta drew five consecutive walks to start off the inning, bringing in a pair of runs. Justin Janas then grounded out to bring home Keck for the third run of the inning. Worrell capped off the inning with a two-run homer to make it 12-0.
Chad Bryant took over on the mound for Murphy in the bottom of the sixth and allowed one run, making it 6-1 Augusta. In the home half of the seventh, Seth Keller was called on in relief and ran into a bit of a rough patch. In the frame, Keller allowed three hits, two walks and a wild pitch as Columbia scored four runs to make it 12-4 in favor of Augusta.
That score would hole on as the final as Darling Florentino tossed a pair of scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to cap off the win.
(8-11) FCL Braves 4, (8-11) FCL Rays 5
- Douglas Glod, RF: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, R
- Luis Sanchez, DH: 2-2, RBI, 2 BB
- Leonel Callez, 1B: 1-3, RBI
- Darius Vines , SP: 2 IP, H, 2 K
The FCL Braves lost, despite a late comeback attempt on Friday. On a positive note, Darius Vines made his 2023 debut, tossing two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two. The Braves jumped out to an early lead, scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning as Luis Sanchez singled home Douglas Glod to make it 1-0.
The Rays would tie the game in the fourth inning, getting a run off of Braves reliever Roddery Munoz. Knotted up at 1-1, Jhonly Tavares would come on in relief for the Braves and allowed three runs in a disastrous top of the fifth, giving the Rays a 4-1 lead.
The Braves would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh, as Leonel Callez singled home Leiker Figueroa to make it 4-2.
Braves reliever Cesari Moreno allowed an additional run in the top of the ninth, making it 5-2 Rays. In the home half of the inning, Douglas Glod doubled to bring home Callez and Luis Moreno, cutting the deficit to 5-4. However, Robert Gonzalez grounded out to end the game.
(6-13) DSL Braves 10, (10-9) DSL NYY Bombers 21
- Mario Baez, SS: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R
- John Gil, 3B: 2-3, RBI, R
- Carlos Monteverde, RF: 1-4, 2 RBI, BB
- Jose Pineda, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K
On most days, ten runs would be more than plenty to bring home a win. But when your pitching staff allows 21 runs to the opposition, that complicates matters just a bit.
That’s the scenario that played out for the DSL Braves on Friday as they lost by a final of 21-10.
The Braves actually took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Mario Baez singled to bring home John Estevez. Baez would later score on a wild pitch to give the Braves the lead. The Bombers tied things up in the top of the third inning before the Braves retook the lead in the home half after John Gil singled Baez home, making it 3-2.
Neither team scored in the fourth inning before the wheels fell all the way off for the Braves starting in the fifth frame. The Bombers plated six runs in the fifth and another six runs in the sixth, making it 14-4. The Braves actually put up a six spot of their own in the home half of the sixth, as Carlos Monteverde and Josnaider Orellana both tallied two RBI in the inning to make it 14-10 and pull the Braves back into the game.
However, the pitching staff would continue to falter, as the bullpen allowed seven runs over the final three innings, sealing the 21-10 victory for the Bombers.