It was a quiet night for the Atlanta Braves farm system, as due to rains we only got to see four-and-a-half innings of the full season affiliates. The good news, however, was that the teams in action all won to complete a system sweep.
(40-51) Gwinnett Stripers, (58-32) Norfolk Tides PPD
(40-44) Mississippi Braves, (48-37) Tennessee Smokies PPD
(40-46) Rome Braves, (42-38) Hickory Crawdads PPD
(41-45) Augusta GreenJackets 5, (38-45) Fredericksburg Nationals 3
- Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 0-2, BB, .194/.287/.318
- EJ Exposito, 2B: 1-2, 2B, RBI, .215/.325/.350
- Owen Murphy, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 4.70 ERA
It’s a good thing Augusta rallied when it counted, as they took advantage of their last scoring opportunity to earn a shortened win. Owen Murphy looked genuinely strong on the mound early in the game, retiring the first six batters he faced with three coming via strikeout. As the offense scuffled around him this performance was important, but in the third inning it all fell apart as struggled with control popped up. Murphy walked the first three batters he faced in the third inning, and while three runs came in to score it wasn’t through conventional methods. First, a squeeze play pushed home a run to put Fredericksburg on top, and the throw to first was late putting runners on first and second with one outs. On the next pitch the Nationals pulled off a double steal. Murphy, perhaps a bit unsettled, balked home a run then a few pitches later slipped during his delivery leading to another balk and run scored. After this he settled down to finish out the inning with a strikeout and a pop out, but his day was done after the long inning. Samuel Strickland would pitch two scoreless innings of relief, and the offense finally broke through in the fourth inning.
Bryson Worrell started the fourth inning with a single, the second hit of the game for the team, and the rally was off and rolling. EJ Exposito broke open the GreenJacket’s scoring in the following at bat, ripping a double off of the left field wall which scored Worrell. The GreenJackets caught a break as a pop up from Jeremy Celedonio fell right in between three defenders, scoring Expo to make it a one run game. Celedonio was forced out on the next play and Cory Acton was caught stealing to clear off the bases, but there was more magic left with two outs as Single-A quality became a factor. Jair Casanova and Jose Dilone each drew walks and a fielding error by the third baseman loaded the bases for Tyler Collins. Collins chopped a ball up the middle that he was going to easily beat out to score a run and tie the game, and then on the play the second baseman collided with the shortstop and for some reason the shortstop still decided to throw. This led to him spiking the ball into right field and two runners came in to score and put Augusta on top. Strickland was perfect with two strikes in the fifth inning and weather would force the game to a stop in the middle of the fifth. With the home team on top that was an official game. and the GreenJackets came away with a lucky win.
(14-17) FCL Braves 5, (11-19) FCL Orioles 2
- Diego Benitez, SS: 1-4, .226/.293/.340
- Douglas Glod, RF: 0-5, .250/.397/.471
The FCL Braves scored four runs in the fourth inning, enough for them to take a win over the Orioles. The defense was fantastic for the Braves as they didn’t commit an error, and the pitching staff matched those efforts throughout. The best came from Rolando Gutierrez, who went five innings in relief and only allowed one run. Diego Benitez had a hit in this game, but also continued his worrying streak as he’s struck out at least once in eight straight games and has a total of 15 strikeouts across 33 plate appearances in that span. Benitez only had 14 strikeouts in his first 83 plate appearances on the season. Elian Cortorreal had a hit and two walks in this game and in ten games this season has been on a blistering pace. Cortorreal has a .571 OBP and 1.150 OPS with eight walks and only three strikeouts.
(10-20) DSL Braves 3, (20-12) DSL Brewers 2
- Luis Guanipa, CF: 0-5, .265/.385/.429
- Mario Baez, SS: 3-5, HR, 2 RBI, .317/.400/.433
- Rayven Antonio, SP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Mario Baez was the star of the DSL offense, driving in two of their three runs including a fourth inning home run. Baez had the go-ahead hit in the top of the ninth inning, singling to score Angel Nieblas for the final run of the game. Baez has three three-hit games this month, and is hitting .421/.500/.553 with 13 stolen bases in that span. Luis Guanipa went 0-5 at the plate. Pitching-wise Rayven Antonio has been the undoubted best in the rotation so far, as it helps to be basically the only player in the league that can actually throw strikes. The 17-yo Antonio has a 1.17 ERA in 23 innings this season, and in this his first start set a career-best with five strikeouts over four scoreless innings.