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Braves Minor League Recap: Jesse Franklin homers

The Braves affiliates played four double headers on Saturday

Rome Braves outfielder Jesse Franklin is running down the first base line Image Credit: Mills Fitzner

It was a long afternoon on the Atlanta Braves farm system, with the system playing ten games including four double-headers. Gwinnett had an exciting walk off win but otherwise it was a poor day down in the minor leagues to be a Braves fan.

(41-52) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (59-33) Norfolk Tides 1

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 0-2, BB, .32/.397/.468
  • Luke Williams, LF-1B: 1-4, HR, .261/.341/.423
  • Nick Margevicius, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 7.13 ERA

(41-53) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (60-33) Norfolk Tides 6

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 0-2, BB, .318/.396/.464
  • Braden Shewmake, 2B: 0-3, .226/.307/.417
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 5.05 ERA

Gwinnett starts off our recap with a win in game one of their double-header after out-pitching the Tides in a close battle. Nick Margevicius had a relatively easy-going day on the mound, finishing up his five innings of one-run ball on just 59 pitches. Offensively, however, the Stripers had little in the way in support and needed a bit of luck to tie the game with Margevicius on the mound. In the third inning Yolmer Sanchez lead off the inning with a double, then on a routine ground ball to second base the Tides defense faltered. The throw from second went wide, glancing off of the first baseman’s glove and skipping into the dugout, which brought home Sanchez to tie the game up. Both sides stayed deadlocked from there, with Jackson Stephens throwing two innings in relief and striking out three batters. Luke Williams ended the game with one swing, driving a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall in the seventh inning for a walk off home run.

Game two featured much more action, but unfortunately for Gwinnett the action was primarily in Norfolk’s favor. Nolan Kingham allowed two home runs in the second inning to put the Tides up, but Gwinnett did have a little rally up their sleeves a couple of innings later. The first two batters of the inning drew walks, and while a fly ball to the warning track from Braden Shewmake wouldn’t be the key play it did advance both runners into scoring position. There Hoy Park could tie the game up, coming through with a two-out, two RBI single. The tie unfortunately didn’t last long, as Beau Burrows allowed a ground slam in the next inning that Gwinnett never threatened to respond to. Park drove in his third run of the game with a solo home run in the seventh inning.

(40-46) Mississippi Braves 4, (50-37) Tennessee Smokies 5

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 1-3, RBI, .325/.438/.468
  • Jesse Franklin V, LF: 2-3, HR, .230/.290/.455
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 4.61 ERA

(40-47) Mississippi Braves 1, (51-37) Tennessee Smokies 4

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 1-4, .325/.438/.468
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 2-3, .307/.413/.462
  • Hayden Deal, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3.03 ERA

The difference in this game was one big inning from the Smokies, who otherwise did nothing against the Braves but still held them off late. Tanner Gordon had a rough go of his second inning, allowing each of the first five hitters in the inning to get hits including a three-run home run which capped off the five run outburst. Otherwise, Gordon was strong and didn’t allow a run while striking out eight batters over five innings. Mississippi’s offense would slowly start to climb back in the game, starting with Jesse Franklin scoring on an error in the fourth inning. One inning later Tyler Tolve drove in a run with an RBI double and Jesse Franklin’s leadoff home run in the sixth inning had the Braves within two runs. Landon Stephens and Beau Philip immediately followed by drawing walks, and after a ground out advanced both the Braves had two opportunities to tie the game up with the top of the order. They would get one run home on a sac fly from Cody Milligan, but stranded the tying run at second base. Mississippi went down in order in the seventh inning to finish off a close loss.

The Braves put up little offensive showing in the second game, but for most of the game they still held the lead. Cody Milligan led off the game with a single, then after stealing second base was able to score on an infield single and error on a Luke Waddell ground ball. Mississippi would load the bases with one out in the inning but strikeouts from Franklin and Javier Valdes ended their biggest scoring threat. Both sides stayed locked in that score for the next few innings, with Hayden Deal putting up three scoreless innings in a spot start to keep the Braves on top. Tennessee would ultimately get on the board though, with back-to-back doubles off of Jake McSteen in the fifth inning tying the game. They then put a three spot on Domingo Gonzalez in the sixth inning and Mississippi couldn’t muster any response.

(41-47) Rome Braves 2, (43-39) Hickory Crawdads 3

Box Score

  • Ignacio Alvarez, SS: 0-2, BB, .293/.409/.414
  • David McCabe, 3B: 1-4, RBI, .280/.374/.432
  • Cedric De Grandpre, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.79 ERA

(42-47) Rome Braves 9, (43-40) Hickory Crawdads 3

Box Score

  • Drake Baldwin, C: 1-3, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, .226/.355/.405
  • David McCabe, 3B: 3-4, 2B, RBI, .294/.384/.449
  • Patrick Halligan, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.28 ERA

Game one of this double-header came down to the wire, but ultimately the Braves came up short in their pursuit of a comeback win. Hickory struck first with a run in the third inning, but Cedric De Grandpre otherwise controlled the early portions of the game and through five innings allowed just one run. Hickory’s pitching staff also had a good game as well, so in the fourth inning David McCabe had to manufacture a tying run. McCabe got on with a single, then advanced to third on a stolen base and a balk before a wild pitch brought him home to score. De Grandpre would ultimately not come out of the game unscathed, and in the sixth inning a two-run home run put the Crawdads back on top. With their final chance the Braves loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning, bringing up McCabe with one out and the winning run at first base. McCabe battled for nine pitches, but ultimately rolled one over to first base that scored a run but would be the important second out of the inning. Justin Janas was the Braves final hope, but he flew out harmlessly to end the game with the tying run on third base.

Game two of the double header was a better time, except for Nacho Alvarez who fouled a ball off of his knee in the first inning and had to leave the game. In his place Brandon Parker had the game of his life, going 3-3 with a home run and double and leading the team to the win. It was a team effort, however, with seven different Braves getting hits, six getting RBI, and David McCabe also having a three hit game. Rome jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning which quickly grew to 9-0 after three and from there it was all just a march to an easy win. Patrick Halligan pitched very well, going three innings with three strikeouts while allowing only one hit. Adam Zebrowski had a home run in the third inning which was his tenth of the season.

(42-46) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (39-46) Fredericksburg Nationals 7

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, DH: 1-5, 2B, .199/.293/.333
  • EJ Exposito, SS: 1-4, BB, RBI, .218/.334/.349
  • Adam Shoemaker, SP: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 7.88 ERA

It hasn’t been great days for the Augusta GreenJackets, and this was one of the bad as Fredericksburg kept adding runs on in a win. Augusta was the first on the board in this game, and it was Ambioris Tavarez sparking that rally with a leadoff double. EJ Exposito scored Tavarez with a base hit, but the lead was short-lived with Fredericksburg putting up four runs in the next inning. It’s just been another rough season for Adam Shoemaker on the mound, and he wasn’t even able to get out of that second inning before being pulled from the game. Landon Harper pitched well in relief with one unearned run allowed over 3 13 innings, and that gave the GreenJackets some hope of a comeback.

Augusta had four straight singles to open the fourth inning, scoring a run and loading the bases with no outs. They would, however, add no more runs as a force out at the plate then two quick outs ended the inning. Augusta got a run in the fifth inning to answer a Fredericksburg run in the top of the inning, but they couldn’t keep up as the Nationals continued to plug away against the bullpen. They scored runs in each of the innings pitched by Estarlin Rodriguez, and Augusta had only one hit over the final four innings as they went away quietly.

(14-19) FCL Braves 8, (14-19) FCL Rays 11

Box Score

  • Douglas Glod, LF: 1-3, HR, BB, .252/.400/.495

In one of the day’s traditions, apparently, the FCL Braves were mostly sunk by one particularly bad inning. The Rays put up seven runs in the seventh inning, and the Braves weren’t able to match that production as they fell despite some solid offensive production. Douglas Glod hit his first home run in nearly a month, a solo shot in the Braves five run eighth inning. The Braves as a whole only recorded seven hits in the game, and were primarily helped by four Rays errors that accounted for five unearned runs.

(10-22) DSL Braves 1, (17-16) DSL Guardians Red 4

Box Score

  • Luis Guanipa, DH: 1-2, RBI, .269/.383/.452

(10-23) DSL Braves 4, (18-16) DSL Guardians Red 10

Box Score

  • Luis Guanipa, DH: 2-4, .278/.383/.454
  • Mario Baez, SS: 2-3, BB, .316/.397/.421

A double header sweep is going to top off our recap, though fortunately it did come with some solid performances from Luis Guanipa. Guanipa went 3-6 across the double header and drove in the only run in the 4-1 opening loss. Mario Baez put up a hitless game one but bounced back in game two as he had a two hit performance.

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