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Braves Minor League Recap: Chavez dominates again in rehab outing

Jesse Chavez is looking ready to make his return to Atlanta’s bullpen, and has six strikeouts in 3 1⁄3 innings in Gwinnett

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

The day was not flush with offensive performances, as the Atlanta Braves affiliates combined for one run in three games outside of extra innings, but the pitching at both levels had its upside. Jesse Chavez looks ever more ready to return to Atlanta following another strong outing, and Hurston Waldrep ended his season with Mississippi on a strong note. Offensively it was no surprise who carried the load Saturday, with Vaughn Grissom and Drake Baldwin both putting up good days.

(68-73) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (68-74) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B-SS: 2-3, 2 BB, .332/.421/.505
  • Ehire Adrianza, LF-2B: 1-3, .167/.167/.250
  • Dylan Dodd, SP: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 6.24 ERA
  • Jesse Chavez, RP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA

(68-74) Gwinnett Stripers 0, (69-74) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 6

Box Score

  • Dalton Guthrie, LF: 1-2, .280/.371/.360
  • Beau Burrows, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.89 ERA

The Gwinnett Stripers took a split of their oddly-scheduled double header with Jacksonville, but in the process unfortunately saw Braden Shewmake leave the game injured. Both Gwinnett and Jacksonville got solid starts from their pitchers in game one, and going into the fourth the game sat scoreless with the Stripers middle of the order coming up to bat. Vaughn Grissom led off with a base, and with one out Shewmake came to bat. The first pitch was a fastball that came well inside, and Shewmake couldn’t avoid it as it hit him hard on the wrist and he left the game after a talk with the trainer during which he was clearly in a lot of pain. Hopefully for Shewmake this isn’t the second straight year he ends the season with an injury, but given there is only a week left and how hard he was hit it doesn’t look good. Back to the game, Chadwick Tromp lifted a ball to deep right center field, and Grissom appeared to be waiting to see if it was caught so he could tag up, but then decided to break to third base. He certainly misjudged the right fielder’s route to the ball, and when the outfielder made a leaping catch Grissom was dead to rights for an inning-ending double play.

Dylan Dodd looked as good as he has all season through the first three innings, allowing just one hit and no runs while striking out three batters. Dodd then had a major blemish on his outing as he allowed a leadoff shot to Peyton Burdick in the fifth which gave Jacksonville the first run of the game. Dodd responded by striking out the next two batters before ending his start and turning the ball over to Jesse Chavez. Chavez was predictably dominant, retiring four straight batters and striking out two of those. In the meantime the offense woke up a bit to tie the game back up. Ehire Adrianza singled to lead off the sixth inning, Grissom followed with a walk, and Dalton Guthrie’s one out base hit loaded the bases. Chadwick Tromp couldn’t get it done as he lined out to left field, but Yolmer Sanchez worked a walk, forcing home Adrianza to tie the game. The game went into extra innings in the eighth, and Joe Dunand’s one out single put Gwinnett briefly in the lead. Guthrie followed with a single to move up Dunand, but Tromp ended the inning on a double play. Grant Holmes managed to get two outs without a run scoring in the bottom of the eighth, but a wild pitch tied the game and ensured we would see a full nine regardless. Hoy Park gave the Stripers another lead with a one-out double, and suddenly the game broke open a bit for both sides. Two walks loaded the bases for Vaughn Grissom, who came up with a two-out, two-run single to put Gwinnett up 5-2. Holmes then allowed base hits to the first two batters of the bottom of the inning, putting the tying run on base. The next batter would line out, but Holmes allowed a walk which loaded the bases with one out. Finally he got it in gear, getting a pop out to Grissom and a ground out to Park at second base to end the game.

Game two was less packed with action, and the Stripers rested many of their regulars and it showed. Offensively the Stripers managed just two hits, and after falling behind 2-0 early there was never any real threat of a comeback. Dalton Guthrie had a hit, and he is ending his season on a bit of a tear with a .433 on base percentage in September so far. The pitching staff wase likewise just a collection of veterans though there was a bit more fun to be had. Beau Burrow took his lumps as Jacksonville managed two runs off of him in the first inning, but he and Kolarek kept it close going into the middle innings. With the bullpen a bit gassed the Stripers turned to Charlie Culberson to give them an inning in the fourth, and it coulld have been worse I guess. Culberson allowed two hits and a walk in the inning, holding Jacksonville to only one run which made a comeback possible if the offense wasn’t taking the latter game off completely. The game would keep going downhill though, as Lucas Luetge allowed a run in the fifth inning and Kodi Whitley allowed two in the sixth inning to really put the nail in the coffin.

(62-74) Mississippi Braves 0, (78-57) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3

Box Score

  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-3, .320/.382/.400
  • Cody Milligan, CF: 1-4, .284/.382/.420
  • Hurston Waldrep, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.70 ERA

Hurston Waldrep had a nice bounceback start for the Braves, but the offense gave him the cold shoulder and he will end his season with a loss unless Atlanta decided to push him to Gwinnett for the final week. There were some jitters in that first inning as Waldrep allowed his only walk of the game and threw just 8 of 19 pitches for strikes, but he settled in a bit more throughout even though his command was never good. Waldrep’s raw stuff was simply overwhelming for the Blue Wahoos, especially his changeup, and Waldrep struck out four batters and got six more outs on the ground across his four innings of work. The lone run he allowed came in the third inning as a leadoff double came home to score on a base hit later in the inning. Trey Riley did a tremendous job in relief for Mississippi, giving them two innings of scoreless ball while striking out five batters. Peyton Williams then allowed the game to fade a bit down the stretch, giving up two runs across his two inning outing.

Mississippi not only didn’t score a run in this game, but didn’t even really get close as they didn’t have a single runner in scoring position. Drake Baldwin had by far the best day of any Braves position player, netting himself two singles as he stays hot since his promotion to Mississippi. Baldwin has been absolutely phenomenal down the stretch both for Mississippi and Rome, combining to hit .371/.451/.603 (184 wRC+) across his past 30 games. Baldwin has quietly put himself in the conversation for the best position player prospect in the system, as his swing adjustments this season have allowed him to consistently tap into his power to go along with improvements behind the plate. Cody Milligan made a quite literal run at getting into scoring position in the sixth inning when he tried to stretch his opposite field hit into a double, but he was thrown out to end that inning.

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