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Braves Minor League recap: Owen Murphy strikes out nine for Augusta

The 2022 first-rounder has struck out 26 batters this month.

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

While Atlanta’s affiliates came away with a .500 record on the day, there were a few bright spots on the day as Owen Murphy continued a successful August and Stephen Paolini homered twice on Friday.

(54-62) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (67-51) Durham Bulls 6

  • Daniel Robertson, DH: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Forrest Wall, 2-3, RBI
  • Dylan Dodd, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, BB, 4 K

Box Score

A poor performance on the mound by Dylan Dodd proved to be the difference in this one as Gwinnett lost by a 6-4 final. The lefty gave up three hits — including three long balls — in the loss.

Gwinnett got a leadoff single off the bat of Forrest Wall, but was quickly erased on a double play off the bat of Joe Dunad. In the home half, Dodd allowed two homers, as Durham took a 3-0 lead.

That score would hold until the top of the third inning, when the Stripers finally got on the scoreboard. Magneuris Sierra singled with one out before Justin Dean doubled him to third. A Wall sac fly scored Sierra to cut the lead to 3-1.

The Stripers actually took a lead in this one, plating three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Dunad led off with a single as Joe Hudson also singled two batters later. Daniel Robertson then decided to make his presence known, launching a three-run homer over the right center field fence to give Gwinnett the 4-3 lead.

Dodd allowed three more runs over the next two innings, as the Bulls retook the lead at 6-4.

Offensively, the Stripers weren’t able to manage anything. However, on the flip side, the Gwinnett bullpen limited the damage there as Dylan Lee and Ben Heller tossed a pair of scoreless innings, including Heller striking out the side in the eighth.

(49-61) MIssissippi Braves 3, (59-53) Biloxi Shuckers 12

  • Cal Conley, 2B: 3-5, 2B, RBI
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-5, RBI
  • Luis De Avila, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Box Score

This one was… rough, to say the least.

Despite Mississippi only getting outhit 13 to 9, the Braves were routed by a final of 12-3 on Friday.

Contrary to the lopsided score, the Braves scored first, plating one run in the bottom of the third inning. After a pair of strikeouts to start the inning, Cody Milligan reached on an error. Cal Conley then singled to advance Milligan to second before Luke Waddell tallied a single of his own, plating Milligan to make it 1-0 Mississippi.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning before the Shuckers took the lead in the top of the fifth. Mississippi starter Luis De Avila tossed four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth inning. De Avila allowed four runs as Biloxi took the lead before reliever Hayden Deal took over and stopped the bleeding as the Shuckers led 4-1.

While Deal limited the damage in the fifth, he allowed three innings in the top of the sixth, as Biloxi extended their lead to 7-1.

Things just continued going south for Mississippi, as Biloxi scored five runs in the top of the eighth off of Braves’ reliever Jake McSteen to extend the commanding lead to 12-1.

The Braves attempted a late comeback as they were able to somewhat cut into the Shuckers lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Drew Campbell singled to lead things off before Bryson Horne followed it up with a single of his own. Later in the inning, Campbell would score on a balk before Milligan scored on a Conley singled into left field to make it 12-3 Biloxi.

That would hold as the final as Biloxi took Friday’s matchup.

(52-60) Rome Braves 10, (58-48) Hickory Crawdads 6

  • Stephen Paolini, RF: 2-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R
  • KeShawn Ogans, SS: 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 2-5, 2B, RBI, R
  • David McCabe, 3B: 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Jorge Bautista, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Box Score

Stephen Paolini drove in half the runs as Rome took Friday’s game over Hickory by a final of 10-6.

Both squads were held scoreless over the first two innings before the Braves got on the board in the top of the third in a big way as Rome plated five runs in the frame. Ethan Workinger led off with a single before Paolini homered over the right field wall for a two-run bomb. Geraldo Quintero then notched a two-out double into center field before a Drake Baldwin single scored him to make it 3-0 Braves. David McCabe walked just before KeShawn Ogans tripled to score Baldwin and McCabe to extend the Rome lead to 5-0.

Hickory battled back somewhat, scoring three runs off of Rome starter Jorge Bautista — two runs in the bottom of the third and one run in the bottom in the fourth — cutting the lead to 5-3 Braves.

Leading by just two runs, Rome took a decisive lead in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs. After Ogans lined out, Justin Janas singled into center field. Workinger singled to put two runners on as Paolini would then launch his second homer of the game to extend the Rome lead to 8-3. Cory Acton singled to follow that up and later scored on a Quintero single to make it 9-3 Rome.

Bautista gave way to the pen, as Hunter Riggins took over on the mound in the seventh inning. Riggins allowed three runs — only one earned — in the bottom of the eighth inning as Hickory was able to cut into the Rome lead at 9-6.

The Braves added on an important insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, as McCabe launched a solo homer to extend the Rome lead to 10-6. Reliever Ronaldo Alesandro was tasked with closing out the game and succeeded in doing so, tossing a scoreless inning with a strikeout to cap off the win for the Braves.

(52-59) Augusta GreenJackets 15, (52-56) Fredericksburg Nationals 7

  • Jace Grady, RF: 4-6, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
  • Drew Compton 1B: 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Will Verdung, DH: 2-5, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, BB, 9 K

Box Score

From Owen Murphy’s stellar start on the mound to multiple players with multiple RBI, it was a highly-successful day for Augusta as they won by a 15-7 final.

Ambioris Tavarez led off the game with a single and subsequently stole second base. After the next two batters flew out, Will Verdung brought Tavarez home on a single to stake Augusta to a 1-0 lead. After Jace Grady singled, Kade Kern walked before Verdung scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 GreenJackets.

The Nationals cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first, scoring one run to make it 2-1 Augusta.

The GreenJackets scored four runs in the top of the second inning, extending their lead to 6-1. Tyler Collins was hit by a pitch to kick off the inning and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Tavarez brought him home on an RBI-single to make it 3-1 and two batters later, Drew Compton scored Tavarez to make it 4-1. A Grady single later scored Cam Magee — to extend the Augusta lead to 5-1. To tack on in the frame, Kade Kern walked before an E.J, Exposito grounded into a forceout to score Compton as Augusta extended the lead to 6-1.

The Nationals plated one run in the bottom of the third to cut the Augusta lead to 6-2.

The GreenJackets scored one run in the top of the fourth inning of an Exposito single that scored Grady to make it 7-2.

Augusta’s offense broke out in the top of the fifth and sixth innings, plating four runs in each frame. Collins reached on a leadoff error before Tavarez, Magee walked to load the bases. Compton drew a walk of his own to score Collins to make it 8-2 Augusta. A single off the bat off of Verdung plated Tavarez and Grady grounded out, scoring Magee to make it 10-2. An Exposito RBI-single extended the Augusta lead to 11-2.

The GreenJacket scoring barrage continued into the top of the sixth. Collins flew out to begin the frame as Tavarez walked to put the first runner of the inning on. A Magee single moved him into scoring position before a Compton double scored Tavarez to tack onto the Augusta lead to 12-2. Verdung scored Magee on a sac fly to make it 13-2 Augusta before Grady launched a two-run homer to extend the GreenJacket lead to 15-2 on the day.

In the bottom of the sixth Murphy allowed two runs before giving way to the bullpen and Samuel Strickland who would toss four innings allowing three runs — three unearned runs — as the GreenJackets cruised to the 15-7 victory.

(28-23) FCL Braves 9, (24-27) FCL Rays 12

  • Isaiah Drake, CF: 1-6, 2 RBI, R, SB
  • Diego Benitez, SS: 2-4, 2 RBI, R
  • Elian Cortorreal, 1B: 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB
  • Davis Polo, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Box Score

For fans of offense, the FCL squad’s matchup on Friday was the perfect game for you. Despite the Braves not coming out on top, both teams combined for 21 runs, 25 hits and 18 walks in this one as the Rays won by a 12-9 final.

The Braves crossed the plate first in the top of the second inning, as Elian Cortorreal drew a bases-loaded walk to score Diego Benitez. However, the Rays got the run back in the home half off of Braves’ starter Davis Polo.

The Braves retook the lead in the top of the third. After Brandon Parker led off with a double, Benitez came to the plate with two outs and singled into right field, allowing Parker to score but Benitez was thrown out at second base to end the inning with the Braves leading 2-1.

In the top of the fourth, the Braves broke the game open — albeit not for long — by scoring five times in the inning. Luis Sanchez drew a leadoff walk before Robert Gonzalez doubled him to third. A Leiker Figueroa single scored Sanchez to extend the lead to 3-1 as Cortorreal followed up with a single of his own to score Gonzalez, making it 4-1. Notching the Braves’ third single of the inning, Isaiah Drake came through with one of how own, playing both Figueroa and Cortorreal to make it 6-1. To cap off the scoring barrage in the inning, Hendrik Clementina later scored Drake on a sac fly, extending the lead to 7-1.

The Rays would score six runs to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning at 7-7. But the Braves would strike back in the top of the sixth, scoring one run to retake the lead on a Benitez single that scored Douglas Glod.

In keeping with the back-and-forth nature of this one, the Rays scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth, as they led 11-8.

While the Braves would get another run in the top of the seventh on a Brandon Parker RBI-double, that would be all the offense they could muster as they would end up with the loss.

(14-35) DSL Braves 1, (24-28) DSL Mets Blue 1 (Canceled in 4th inning)

  • John Estevez, LF: 1-2, RBI
  • Elian Garcia, CF: 1-1, R
  • Rayven Antonio, SP: 3 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 3 K

Box Score

This one was stopped prematurely due to weather in the top of the fourth inning. Not much to go on obviously, but we’ll take you up to when the game was called.

Braves starter Rayven Antonio was well on his way to lowering his season ERA of 1.16 before play was suspended. The 17-year-old tossed three innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and striking out three batters.

The Mets struck first, getting a run off of Antonio in the top of the first inning, as the righty allowed three of the four hits on the day in the first frame. After that, he settled in quite nicely allowing just one hit over the next two innings.

At the plate the Braves went down in order in the first two innings as they trailed 1-0 headed into the third. Elian Garcia notched a two-out infield single before Luis Guanipa walked to move him into scoring position. John Estevez then singled, scoring Garcia to tie the game before play was paused in the next half-inning.

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