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Braves Minor League Recap: Fried makes first rehab start, Winans strong in long relief for Gwinnett

The Stripers earned the Braves’ organization’s only win on Sunday, with an eight-run sixth inning complementing solid pitching.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

Sunday’s minor league slate featured a win, a rainout, and a pair of losses.

(37-49) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (41-42) Omaha Storm Chasers 1

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 2-4, 2B, 2 R
  • Max Fried, SP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, pickoff
  • Allan Winans, RP: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K, W, 2.70 ERA

Come for Max Fried, stay for Allan Winans. In his first rehab start, Fried was limited to a strict 35 pitches, through which he was able to record four outs while giving up one hit, walking a pair, and striking out the first batter he faced in game action since early May. Fried erased one of the walks via a pickoff. For a more in-depth analysis of the outing, check out our breakdown from Sunday.

Fried was relieved by Roel Ramírez in the middle of facing old friend Adeiny Hechavarria, and Ramírez got Hechavarria to strike out on a foul tip and Jose Briceno to pop out for two quick outs. Winans entered the game for the top of the third inning and did not concede a hit until the seventh, lowering his ERA to 2.70 over his 17 appearances in 2023.

On offense, the Stripers scored all eight of their runs in a rally of a sixth inning that somehow only involved two hits. Omaha starter Angel Zerpa—incidentally, like Fried, also on a rehab assignment—held Gwinnett to just four hits and no runs through five innings, but once the Storm Chasers handed the ball to Brad Keller—who was, you guessed it, on a rehab assignment—the wheels fell off in the Stripers’ favor. Vaughn Grissom singled, and Jesus Aguilar drew a four-pitch walk. Braden Shewmake flew out to center for the first out of the frame, and Grissom was able to advance to third on the play. Joe Dunand walked to load the bases, and Joe Hudson was hit by a pitch to bring in the game’s first run. Keller then threw eight straight balls to walk Hoy Park and Daniel Robertson and score Aguilar and Dunand.

Omaha went to the bullpen and brought on Walter Pennington to try to clean up the mess, but his first batter, Magneuris Sierra, would reach on a fielder’s choice where everyone was safe thanks to a fielding error by Omaha third baseman Nate Eaton. Hudson scored on the play to bring the tally to 4-0 in favor of Gwinnett. Luke Williams then grounded into a force out to Eaton, still scoring Park, and Williams would steal second base. Having batted around, Grissom reached base for the second time in the inning, this time on a walk, and Pennington threw a wild pitch in Aguilar’s ensuing at-bat to allow the Stripers’ sixth run to score. Aguilar then singled to center and scored Williams and Grissom to bring the score to 8-0, before Shewmake struck out swinging to end the frame.

The Storm Chasers responded by plating their only run via a pair of doubles off of Winans in the seventh inning, and while they threatened to do more damage, then drawing a walk, Hechavarria grounded into a triple play.

The 8-1 score would prove final, as Winans retired the side in order in the eighth, and Brian Moran tossed a scoreless ninth with a pair of strikeouts to close out the win for Gwinnett.

(39-40) Mississippi Braves, (42-38) Montgomery Biscuits POSTPONED, will be made up August 2

(37-44) Rome Braves 3, (44-37) Greenville Drive 7

Box Score

  • Drake Baldwin, DH: 2-4, 2B RBI
  • Patrick Halligan, SP: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K, L, 3.15 ERA

Rome took an early lead in their Sunday matchup in Greenville, plating a run in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Ignacio Alvarez and Drake Baldwin. Braves starter Patrick Halligan pitched around trouble in the first to keep the Drive off the board, but he gave up back-to-back solo homers to lead off the second, and Rome was unable to bounce back.

Greenville did the rest of their damage in the fifth and sixth innings against Hunger Riggins, who allowed five runs on four hits and two walks in his 2.0 innings of work. Three of those runs came on a Blaze Jordan three-run shot in the fifth after Riggins allowed a walk and a single. In the sixth, Riggins walked the leadoff batter, hit the next one, and gave up a single to the third to load the bases with no outs. He then got Kier Meredith to fly out into a sacrifice double play, which scored a run to bring the score to 6-1, and the Drive would score their final run on a triple before the frame ended.

The Braves did not get another baserunner past first until the ninth inning, when Baldwin laced his second double of the day, advanced to third when David McCabe reached on an error by Drive second baseman Karson Simas, and scored on an Ethan Workinger double. An Adam Zebrowski groundout allowed McCabe to score and cut the Drive lead to 7-3, but Eliezel Stevens lined out to left to end the game.

Peyton Williams and Rob Griswold each threw a scoreless inning to round out the pitching for Rome.

(38-42) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (47-33) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-5, HR
  • Jared Johnson, SP: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K, ND, 4.01 ERA

Sunday was a day of squandered opportunities for the Augusta offense, as they only managed one run on four hits compared to the seven runs on 10 hits for the Pelicans. The GreenJackets threatened with a pair of baserunners in the first inning after Justin Janas walked and E.J. Exposito was hit by a pitch, but Bryson Worrell grounded into a force out and Jeremy Celedonio struck out swinging to end the frame—the first of Celedonio’s three strikeouts for the day, all with runners on base. Jose Dilone then walked to lead off the second, but Pelican starter Luis Rujano went on to strike out the side. The GreenJackets scored their only run in the third on an Ambioris Tavarez solo homer, and Janas singled to follow it up and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but he would be stranded there. Augusta would put runners in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, and eighth but could never plate another run, ultimately going 0-7 with RISP and leaving 11 on base.

Myrtle Beach hit a solo homer of their own in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1, and that score remained until the seventh inning, when the Pelicans hit a pair of two-run homers off of Adam Shoemaker, who had entered the game with a promising 1-2-3 frame in the sixth. Shoemaker would give up a third two-run homer in the eighth and earn the loss, bringing his ERA to 7.36 and his record to 0-5.

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