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Braves Minor League recap: Dereck Rodriguez leads Gwinnett bullpen to seal off win

Gwinnett and Mississippi split on the day in what was a short day down on the farm.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Offense was scarce to come across for Atlanta’s minor league affiliates on Wednesday as Gwinnett and Mississippi combined for just eight hits and four total runs. Despite the lack of offense, the two squads actually split on the day with the Stripers coming away with a win and Mississippi coming up short.

(65-73) Gwinnett Braves 2, (68-71) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 1

  • Joe Hudson, C: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Andrew Velazquez, CF: 1-4, RBI
  • Justus Sheffield, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 3 K
  • Dereck Rodriguez, RP: 3 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K

Box score

Despite being outhit 5-4 on the night, Gwinnett managed to scrap out a narrow win over Jacksonville on Wednesday night.

Obviously, there wasn’t much going on at the plate for the Stripers despite them putting a runner in scoring position in the second inning. However, they failed to bring him home.

Justus Sheffield got the start on the mound and spun two scoreless innings before giving up one run in the home half of the third as the Jumbo Shrimp took the 1-0 lead. Dereck Rodriguez took over for Sheffield in the fourth inning and spun three scoreless innings of his own to keep Jacksonville at bay.

While offense was hard to come by through the first four innings for Gwinnett, the Stripers finally broke through in the top of the fifth. Yolmer Sanchez led off the frame with a walk before Joe Hudson doubled him home on a line drive into right field to tie the game at 1-1. After Dalton Guthrie grounded out to move Hudson to third, Andrew Velazquez singled into center field to give Gwinnett the 2-1 lead.

The Stripers managed just one hit the rest of the way —- a single by Jesus Aguilar in the top of the ninth —- but it wouldn’t matter as the Gwinnett bullpen stepped up by spinning six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits to seal the 2-1 win on the day.

(60-73) Mississippi Braves 2, (77-55) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3

  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 1-3, HR, RBI, R
  • Cody Milligan, CF: 1-3, 3B, R, 2 BB
  • Luis De Avila, SP: 4 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, K

Box score

A late rally wasn’t enough to pull Mississippi through to a victory on Wednesday.

Starter Luis De Avila did his part in keeping the game close while his offense tried to find its footing. Across four innings, De Avila scattered five hits allowing just one run and walking two.

At the dish, the Braves struggles for pretty much the entire game, mustering just four hits. Despite the low hit total, Mississippi actually had a few chances to score early on but came up short. In the top of the second, Bryson Horne doubled and was advanced to third on a Cade Bunnell groundout before he was stranded there as Landon Stephens struck out to end the inning.

The next inning, Cody Milligan and Luke Waddell worked a pair of walks to put a runner in scoring position but, again, the Braves came away with nothing to show for it.

Pensacola got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth inning, playing one run to take a 1-0 lead. The Blue Wahoos extended their lead in the next frame, scoring an additional run to make it 2-0.

Trailing headed into the eight inning, Milligan ledoff with a triple to give the Mississippi offense some late life. Two batters later, Milligan would score as Luke Waddell reached on an error to cut the deficit in half to 2-1.

In the home half, with Ty Tice on the mound for the Braves, Pensacola got that run back to take a 3-1 lead.

Down to their final three outs in the top of the ninth, Mississippi managed to cut the Blue Wahoo lead down to one, as Bunnell launched a one-out homer over the right field wall to make it 3-2. Later in the inning, Drew Campbell singled with two outs before a Milligan walk moved him into scoring position. He’d be stranded there, however as Cal Conley lined out to end the game.

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