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Braves Minor League Recap: Mississippi’s arms dominate

Mississippi struck out 14 batters in a win and should see the return of Cody Milligan in the near future

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves system didn’t have the best of days, but down in Mississippi the pitching staff put up a phenomenal game in a win. Cody Milligan continued his rehab in the Florida Complex League with another big game.

(36-49) Gwinnett Stripers, (41-41) Omaha Storm Chasers CANCELLED

(38-40) Mississippi Braves 2, (42-37) Montgomery Biscuits 5

Box Score

  • Cal Conley, 2B: 2-3, 2B, .218/.296/.275
  • Domingo Robles, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 4.04 ERA

(39-40) Mississippi Braves 3, (42-38) Montgomery Biscuits 0

Box Score

  • Tyler Tolve, C: 2-3, 2 RBI, .248/.333/.368
  • Domingo Gonzalez, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.57 ERA

There were two of them to play for Mississippi, and the offense wasn’t great in either of them with a combined ten hits and five runs scored. The first game started on a sour note as Montgomery snagged four runs off of Domingo Robles in the first inning, and they continued to add on throughout his start. Robles allowed five total runs in this game, and has allowed three or more in five of his past six outings. Cal Conley was the only person doing big things for the offense as he had this game’s lone multi-hit outing and accounted for both of Mississippi’s runs. First he doubled in the first inning and scored on a single from Cade Bunnell to cut it to 2-1. The next was a little less directly due to Conley’s influence, but he had a base hit to right field that turned into a run scoring play as the outfielder booted the ball and allowed Beau Philip to score.

Game two was all about pitching, so after a delay pushed the game back pretty deep into the night the Braves got things started with the only scoring inning for either side. Justin Dean led off the bottom of the first inning with a base hit, and a hit from Luke Waddell and walk from Bunnell loaded the bases for Tyler Tolve. Tolve came through with the big hit in the game, knocking a base hit into left field to score Dean and Waddell and give Mississippi a 2-0 lead. Jesse Franklin V’s sacrifice fly added on the third run of the inning and from there a dominant pitching performance carried Mississippi. Domingo Gonzalez was the opener for the Braves, and he absolutedly dominated as he struck out five batters over his two innings of work. The bullpen kept his efforts going and the team combined for 14 strikeouts in seven innings. Gonzalez has allowed only one run since the beginning of May, a span during which he has pitched 19 13 innings, allowed eight hits, seven walks, and struck out 31 batters. Hayden Harris and Daysbel Hernandez retired a combined twelve straigth. batters, each recording four strikeouts across two innings of work. Alec Barger allowed a hit in the ninth inning, but held onto the shutout with a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

(37-43) Rome Braves 2, (43-37) Greenville Drive 7

Box Score

  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-4, 2B, BB, .218/.341/.385
  • Ian Mejia, SP: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 4.76 ERA

Ian Mejia struggled and Rome’s offense couldn’t respond as they took a loss to Greenville. Ignacio Alvarez has been on fire for Rome in recent weeks, but he had a rough one with two strikeouts and no hits although he drew a walk to extend his on base streak to seven games. Drake Baldwin had an awful June in which he posted a .469 OPS and saw his season OPS slip below .700, but so far in July he has heated up. His two hit performance last night gives him three such games this month as he sports a 1.067 OPS in July to go along with a significant reduction to his strikeout rate. Baldwin drove in a run in an RBI double in the fifth inning, but it was then a bit too out of reach as it just made the game 6-2. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. stole a base to give him an even 20 on the season.

Ian Mejia looked solid enough through the first two innings of this game, but a handful of balls found holes in the third inning and he ended up allowed three runs in the inning. The fourth inning and beyond have been the real source of trouble for Mejia this season, and he ran face first into that as he didn’t get out of the fourth inning in this game. He allowed three runs, including two home runs, and following another base hit he was pulled from the game. Miguel Pena and Ben Dum pitched well in relief, with Pena allowing a run over 2 13 innings and Dum topping that. Dum pitched two full innings and struck out four batters while allowing no hits.

(38-41) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (46-33) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI .202/.304/.307
  • Seth Keller, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2.79 ERA

A two RBI game from Ambioris Tavarez is something you like to see, and those runs proved critical as Augusta took a close win over the Pelicans. Seth Keller has been rough since his return from the injured list, and in today’s outing he allowed a run in the first inning to put the GreenJackets behind. Fortunately they responded on offense with Jair Casanova doubling in the second inning, advancing on a wild pitch, then scoring on a sac fly by Francisco Floyd. Keller allowed a solo home run in the third inning, but there again was the GreenJackets offense with a response. Tyler Collins led off the bottom of the third inning with a double then scored on an error to tie the game back up. Myrtle Beach would keep coming though, and across three innings they scored three runs against Samuel Strickland to hold a 5-2 lead going into the final innings of the game.

Augusta was in a bad spot, but Jair Casanova led off the seventh inning with a single, and from there the GreenJackets showed a spark. Nick Clarno doubled home Casanova for the first run of the inning and a Tyler Collins walk flipped the lineup to Tavarez with two runners on. Tavarez came through clutch, gapping a ball between left and center to bring Clarno and the speedy Collins around to score. This tied the game, and though Tavarez was stranded at second base the Augusta bats still had a bit more left in them. Jeremy Celedonio drew a walk to lead off the eighth inning, and once again Clarno had a double in that bat and drove home Celedonio to give Augusta their first lead of the game. Jason Franks made it interesting in the ninth inning by hitting a batter, allowing a hit, then throwing a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position. Fortunately he did all of this with two outs already on the board, and a strikeout sealed a win for Augusta.

(12-13) FCL Braves 2, (11-14) FCL Rays 6

Box Score

  • Diego Benitez, SS: 1-4, RBI, .253/.311/.386
  • Cody Milligan, 2B-LF: 2-4, HR, .429/.429/.857

Cody Milligan seems like he is ready to make it back to Mississippi as he has put together a good performance already in the Florida Complex League. He scored both of the Braves runs in this one, including an eighth inning solo home run. Even before injury Milligan has been hitting the ball a lot harder this year than his prior career, and with his hit tool and defensive ability it could be enough for him to carve out an MLB career. There wasn’t much else that went right for the Braves, as Diego Benitez had the team’s only other hit. Benitez also made a throwing error which gives him eight errors already in just 19 games at shortstop.

(7-17) DSL Braves 1, (23-1) DSL LAD Bautista 5

Box Score

  • Luis Guanipa, DH: 0-3, BB, .289/.407/.487
  • John Estevez, LF: 1-4, .221/.370/.326

It this point they should probably just promote this DSL Dodgers team and let them replace the Oakland Athletics because what even is a 23-1 record? The DSL Braves gave it a go, and this is a better than average effort because the DSL LAD Bautista team has a +111 run differential in 24 games. Luis Guanipa struck out twice and didn’t have a hit in the game, but he did draw a walk which has been a nice trend for him of late. Six of his ten walks this season have come in the last seven games, though he does not have a hit since he left that game early on June 30th (only a three game span).

Final note: My apologies for the shorter than normal recap. Woke up this morning to a non-working laptop and had to make do with my phone so I can get out and get my laptop fixed in time for draft coverage. Future recaps will not follow this trend.

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