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Braves Minor League Recap: Jhancarlos Lara strikes out nine in five scoreless innings for Augusta

The 20-year-old’s performance was one of the few bright spots on the day for what was otherwise a down day for Atlanta’s affiliates.

Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

Overall it was a brutal day for Braves farm squads, as each affiliate lost on the day. While no team brought home a win, there were a few highlights so let’s dive in.

(54-60) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (65-51) Durham Bulls 6

  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-4, 2B, RBI
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, R
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Box Score

A rough outing from Jared Shuster and a lackluster performance by the Gwinnett offense led to the Stripers dropping this one against Durham.

Shuster got roughed up for four runs across the first two innings as the Bulls jumped out to a 4-0 lead. The lefthander’s control wasn’t bad as he only issued two walks. However, he allowed seven hits – including two homers which proved to be his downfall.

Offensively, things weren’t much better for Gwinnett. The Stripers notched just four hits over the first five innings while being held scoreless. They finally broke through in the top of the sixth, scoring their only run of the game.

Taking advantage of a Durham pitching change, Braden Shewmake led off with a single as Jesus Aguilar followed up with a single of his own. In the next at-bat, Drew Lugbauer continued his hot start to Triple-A, lacing another extra-base hit, a double, into left field to score Shewmake to cut it to 4-1 Bulls.

The bullpen for Gwinnett was decent as Jackson Stephens and Beau Burrows combined for 2.2 innings and allowed two runs, striking out four as Durham won by a 6-1 final.

(49-59) Mississippi Braves 1, (57-53) Biloxi Shuckers 5

  • Cal Conley, 2B: 1-3, 3B, R
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-4, RBI
  • Nick Margevicius, SP: 3.2 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 K

Box Score

In a day full of disappointments for Atlanta’s minor league teams, Mississippi’s performance was by far and away the roughest one, at least through the first seven innings.

Starter Nick Margevicius got things off to a good start, tossing 3.2 innings while allowing just two runs and striking out four. Despite the good, albeit short, start by Margevicius the Mississippi offense mustered just one hit through the first seven innings.

Domingo Gonzalez took over for Margevicius in the fourth inning with Biloxi leading 2-0. The Shuckers tagged Gonzalez for another run in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 3-0. Trey Riley took over for Gonzalez in the sixth inning and Jose Montilla replaced him in the seventh as both relievers allowed one run in each inning to make it 5-0 Biloxi.

Mississippi finally scored in the bottom of the eighth inning, plating one run. Cal Conley laced a two-out triple into right field before Luke Waddell singled into left field, cutting the Shucker lead to 5-1. Jesse Franklin V followed that up with a single of his own, but that would be the last offense the Braves would get as they would fall by a 5-1 final.

(50-60) Rome Braves 6, (58-46) Hickory Crawdads 7

  • Adam Zebrowski, DH: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Justin Janas, 1B: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 2-4, RBI, R
  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Cedric De Grandpre, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K

Box Score

Rome’s bullpen blew a late lead, as the Braves lost on Wednesday.

The Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Rome sent seven batters to the plate. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. was hit by a pitch with the second pitch of the game and he subsequently stole second base to get into scoring position. After KeShawn Ogans popped out, Drake Baldwin and David McCabe drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Geraldo Quintero drove Kilpatrick home on a sac fly to make it 1-0. Adam Zebrowski then singled into left field to plate Baldin and McCabe to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Braves would tack on two more runs to their lead in the top of the third inning. Baldwin led off with a walk before McCabe and Quintero were retired. Zebrowski laced a two-out double to move Baldwin to third. Justin Janas followed that up with a double of his own to score both Zebrowksi and Baldwin, making it 5-0 Rome.

Rome starter Cedric De Grandpre did his job, holding Hickory at bay, allowing just three runs across six innings while striking out seven.

Leading 5-3, Rome got some insurance in the top of the sixth. Ethan Workinger notched a one-out single before Kadon Morton took his place on a forceout. Morton then stole second base and later scored on a Kilpatrick Jr. single into left field to make it 6-3 Braves.

De Grandpre gave way to the bullpen as Rob Griswold took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. That’s when things went south, as Hickory knocked Griswold around for four runs as the Crawdads took the 7-6 lead.

Rome had an opportunity to score and tie the game in the top of the eighth, putting two runners in scoring position, but failed to bring either of them home.

(51-58) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (51-55) Fredericksburg Nationals 5

  • Jace Grady, 1-2, HR, RBI, R
  • Drew Compton, 1B: 1-4
  • Jhancarlos Lara, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 9 K

Box Score

Augusta got a stellar start on the mound from righty Jhancarlos Lara and a homer off the bat of 2023 11th-rounder Jace Grady, but otherwise it was a day to forget for the GreenJackets.

Lara spun a gem, tossing five scoreless innings while scattering just two hits and allowing two walks. Across those five frames, Lara also struck out nine batters while facing a very potent Nationals lineup.

At the plate, Augusta couldn’t figure out the Fredericksburg pitching as they were limited to just two hits on the day while drawing just two walks.

Despite the offensive limitations , Augusta actually scored first in this one, as Grady sent a two-out homer over the right field fence to stake Lara and the GreenJackets to a 1-0 lead.

Things went downhill for Augusta in the bottom of the sixth inning as Lara was relieved by Estarlin Rodriguez who gave up four runs on six hits as the Nationals took the 4-1 lead. Rodriguez wouldn’t make it out of the inning as he was replaced by Nolan Martinez with two outs, as Martinez retired the first batter he faced, ending the inning.

The Nationals tagged Martinez for a run in the home half of the eighth to extend their lead to 5-1. Meanwhile the offensive struggles for the GreenJackets continued as they were unable to string together anything meaningful en route to the loss.

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