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Braves Minor League Recap: Kyle Wright starts and Drake Baldwin’s hit streak continues

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Had it not been for a ninth inning collapse by the Gwinnett Stripers, the Atlanta Braves minor league system would’ve been a perfect 4-0 day. But on a positive note the Braves had a key minor league start go well yesterday which highlighted what was overall a very strong night.

(61-70) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (72-60) Worcester Red Sox 6

  • Braden Shewmake 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Dalton Guthrie 1-1, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
  • Kyle Wright, SP, 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Dalton Guthrie contributed to the majority of the Stripers offense picking up three of their five RBI’s and getting their only extra base hit. Besides Guthrie, Jesus Aguilar and Drew Lugbauer were each able to collect an RBI. Hoy Park was also able to continue his solid season going 1-4 with his average on the year now sitting at .271.

Kyle Wright’s start was his third rehab as he continues to progress from a shoulder injury that has held him out since early May. He was more than solid, striking out seven in addition to throwing 3 ⅔ shutout innings. He only got through 50 pitches meaning his next rehab start will likely be sitting at around 60-65 pitches. His control was a bit suspect as just 29 of his 50 pitches were strikes. Allan Winans got crushed throwing four innings of six run, four earned ball where he walked five batters and allowed seven hits.

(55-70) Mississippi Braves 8, (68-57) Tennessee Smokies 2

  • Hudson Potts 2-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • Drew Campbell 2-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K
  • Nolan Kingham, SP, 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

The Braves picked up nine hits, 10 walks, four extra base hits and stole two bags. Potts and Campbell were the driving force of the Braves offense, but there were multiple other contributors. Brandon Parker and Luke Waddell were each able to pick up an RBI with seven of their nine starters reaching base multiple times, with Parker reaching a team high four times. Drake Baldwin also saw his hitting streak reach 18 consecutive games with his 1-3 game.

Nolan Kingham had a solid start which saw him allow two earned runs, the fourth such start in his last six. It was just the fourth time that Kingham was able to pitch into the sixth inning this season with two of those starts coming in August. After Kingham, Brooks Wilson, Jake McSteen and Hayden Harris combined to throw 3 ⅔ innings of shutout ball where they combined to allow just one hit compared to four strikeouts.

(62-65) Rome Braves 5, (48-74) Asheville Tourists 1

  • David McCabe 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. 1-3, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
  • Jorge Bautista, SP, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

The Rome Braves could’ve ran away with this game had they been a bit more opportunistic. Sure they picked up nine hits in addition to four walks, but they went 4-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Five of the 11 batters to come to the plate for the Braves reached base multiple times with Kilpatrick Jr. being the only one to reach on three occasions. After a terrible month of August where he went just 22 for 97, McCabe is finally starting to show signs of life with this already being his third multi hit game in the month of September which is just one fewer than he had in August.

Bautista delivered one of his best starts of the season against the Tourists. His eight strikeouts were the second most he has had in a game this year and it was just the third time he has thrown six or more innings and allowed one or fewer runs. After what was a shaky first inning where he allowed his only run of the game, Bautista retired 15 of the final 17 batters that he faced. After him Tyree Thompson pitched three perfect innings where he struck out six batters.

(59-66) Augusta GreenJackets 4, (64-57) Down East Wood Ducks 2

  • Ambioris Tavarez 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 CS
  • Drew Compton 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Drue Hackenberg, SP, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Like the Braves, the GreenJackets left some runs on the table as they went just 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Tavarez led their offensive charge picking up three of the team’s seven hits and knocking in one of their four runs. Tavares’ strikeout problems did continue to rear their ugly head as he struck out twice again, but in three of his last seven games he has been able to avoid a punch out. Besides Tavarez there was not a whole lot of offensive production. In addition to the shortstop, Compton and Cam Magee each picked up RBI’s with the other run coming on a missed catch error.

This was Hackenberg’s second career start and he has yet to allow an earned run. In just three innings and 54 pitches Hackenberg was able to induce a whopping 11 swinging strikes, with five of his strikeouts coming on the swing. After Hackenberg, Luis Vargas was the bulk man who threw five innings where he struck out nine and also gave up one unearned run on three hits. Seeing Vargas pitch this well after a four start stretch where he gave up 16 earned runs is extremely encouraging.

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