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Braves Minor League Update: Lucas Braun, Stephen Paolini stay hot

Recent draft pick Lucas Braun and a red hot Stephen Paolini both continued their strong month of August down in the minors.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Stephen Paolini
Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Sunday saw another strong outing from recent sixth round pick Lucas Braun and Stephen Paolini’s big August to turn his season around continued with another multi-hit game for him. We also had big games at the plate from Luke Waddell and Drake Baldwin, while Dylan Lee made an appearance in Gwinnett as his rehab continues.

Gwinnett Stripers 9, Durham Bulls 6

Box Score

  • Magneuris Sierra, LF: 3-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB, .226/.303/.310
  • Jackson Stephens, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Dylan Lee, RP: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K

This was a bullpen game for the Stripers as a group of potential September callups got in some work. Jackson Stephens got the start and went three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out two. Lucas Luetge followed and allowed two runs in just two thirds of an inning, before Beau Burrows came on to get the final out of the inning. Ben Heller was next and allowed just one hit over two scoreless frame, striking out four. A rehabbing Dylan Lee got the next inning and allowed two runs on four hits with one strikeout. Grant Holmes pitched the final two innings, allowing a pair of runs.

The offense really clicked in this one as seven different Stripers had base hits with three of them hitting homers, on their way to scoring nine runs in the game. Magneuris Sierra had the best stat line of the day, going three for four with one of the homers, a stolen base, three runs scored, and two batted in. Dalton Guthrie (1-4, BB) and Drew Lugbauer (1-5) added the other two homers, while Braden Shewmake recorded a double. Sierra was joined by Forrest Wall (2-5, 2 SB), Joe Hudson (2-5), and Yolmer Sanchez (2-4) as players with multi-hit games.

Biloxi Shuckers 2, Mississippi Braves 1

Box Score

  • Luke Waddell, DH: 4-4, 2B, R, .297/.401/.434
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.04 ERA
  • Tyler Owens, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3.50 ERA

Alan Rangel turned in a gem for Mississippi, allowing one run on seven hits and a walk over six innings of work with five strikeouts. Rangel needed just 81 pitches to record the quality start and gave way to Tyler Owens for the seventh inning. Owens came in and retired all three batters he faced on just 10 pitches. Kyle Wilcox was next and battled his command, walking three and giving up a hit while allowing just one to score - though he did record strikeouts for all three outs he picked up. Hayden Harris got the ninth, and he too struck out the side while allowing one hit.

Luke Waddell had a huge game, going a perfect four for four, including a double and the lone run for the Braves. Unfortunately his four hits were the only hits the team managed against a group of six pitchers from Biloxi. The only other members of the lineup to reach base came by walks to Jesse Franklin, Landon Stephens, and Javier Valdes - who was playing first base defensively in this one.

Rome Braves 5, Hickory Crawdads 4

Box Score

  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI, .244/.374/.425
  • Stephen Paolini, RF: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, .220/.365/.346
  • Ian Mejia, SP: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.83 ERA

Ian Mejia got the start and ended up going one out shy of recording the quality start, as he allowed three runs on six hits in five and two thirds innings. Mejia also added five strikeouts to no walks on his 87 pitch outing, which saw him surrender a two-run homer in the first inning and just one more run the rest of the day. Rob Griswold relieved Mejia and went a scoreless inning and a third, and then Miguel Pena pitched a scoreless inning while picking up the win. Ronaldo Alesandro recorded the save while allowing one run to score in the ninth.

The star at the plate had to be Drake Baldwin, who was two for five with his 11th homer of the season. In addition to his solo homer, Baldwin batted in three more runs to record RBI for four of the five Rome runs. Stephen Paolini continued his recent hot streak by going two for four with a double. Since August 6th, Paolini is 10-24 with eight of those 10 hits going for extra bases. Paolini has turned his triple slash line around since August 2nd, going from .185/.339/.237 to .220/.365/.346. Among the other prospects to have solid games we saw Kevin Kilpatrick record a double, David McCabe singled and walked, and Geraldo Quintero walked twice in five plate appearances while also swiping a bag.

Fredericksburg Nationals 7, Augusta GreenJackets 0

Box Score

  • Will Verdung, 2B: 1-2, BB, SB
  • Lucas Braun, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0.73 ERA
  • Seth Keller, RP: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 5.91 ERA

After throwing seven and two thirds scoreless innings across his first two pro games, Braves sixth round pick Lucas Braun faced a tough task against a Fredericksburg lineup featuring Dylan Crews along with the Nationals second and fourth round picks. This time Braun didn’t have a scoreless outing - but he did have a solid one anyway. Braun allowed two runs (one earned) over four and two thirds innings, giving up five hits and a walk and striking out five. This puts Braun at 12.1 innings with 10 hits, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts and two runs allowed - though just one earned. Seth Keller followed him and again struggled in his work out of the bullpen, giving up four walks and two hits in two and a third, allowing two runs to score. Elison Joseph came in for the final inning and allowed three unearned runs, which made this game look a little worse in the boxscore than it really was.

Not only was Augusta shutout in this game, but the offense managed just one hit. That hit came from recent draft pick Will Verdung, who finished one for two with a walk and also stole a base. Outside of Verdung the only other players to reach base were walks by Jose Dilone, Cam Magee, and Pier-Olivier Boucher.

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