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Braves Minor League Recap: Michael Harris reaches base four times

Augusta and Gwinnett both put together impressive comebacks to win

Michael Harris is about to make a running catch in a night game for the Rome Braves. His eyes are locked on the ball in the air just a foot in front of him, and he is bent over at the waist attempting to make the play.
Atlanta Braves prospect Michael Harris makes a running catch for the Rome Braves
Image Credit: Mills Fitzner

In what is hopefully the last three team day on the Atlanta Braves farm system for awhile, the teams in action all took home wins with two coming via late comebacks. Kyle Muller pitched well again for Gwinnett, while Ryan Cusick’s third outing for Augusta went in the opposite direction. On the hitting side the stars of the day were Michael Harris and Vaughn Grissom who both led their teams in wins.

(59-44) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (48-55) Memphis Redbirds 2

Box Score

  • Drew Waters,LF: 0-4, .235/.332/.376
  • Travis Demeritte, RF: 2-3, HR, RBI, .305/.401/.620
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-3, BB, .262/.337/.430
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.27 ERA
  • Jesse Biddle, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2.22 ERA

In a game that paralleled the Major League team later in the day the Stripers fell behind early. Gwinnett trailed 2-0 after three innings, but had shown signs of life throughout with two hits and two walks in that timeframe. They finally broke through in the fourth with a home run to cut the deficit in half, with Travis Demeritte taking one deep for his 16th home run of the season. After both teams traded scoreless innings for awhile it was Gwinnett to come away with the next blow. Demeritte led off in the seventh inning with a base hit into left field to bring up Sean Kazmar in a one run game. Kazmar hit a clutch go ahead two-run home run that gave Gwinnett a lead they would not relinquish. Demeritte and Kazmar accounted for four of the five hits Gwinnett had one the day, with the other coming from Cristian Pache.

Kyle Muller has been overwhelming for Triple-A hitters for awhile now, but this was actually one of poorer recent starts as he gave up multiple runs for only the second time in his past seven starts. Muller wasn’t working ahead of hitters early in the game, but he got around a leadoff walk in the first inning by forcing a double play and then striking out the final batter of the inning. He didn’t have the same luck in the second as a leadoff double turned to pay dirt with a one out single that was blooped into shallow center field. The run Muller allowed in the third inning was hit a bit harder, a one-out solo home run that extended the lead to 2-0. The next batter after the home run doubled but Muller really turned it on after that and dominated the remainder of his start. He retired nine consecutive batters before a one out single in the sixth inning and finished off that inning with a three pitch strikeout. Jesse Biddle kept up his good work in the bullpen in the seventh inning by pitching a shutout inning with two strikeouts. Tanner Roark then protected the lead for the final two innings, working around two hits and a walk to close out a win for the Stripers.

Next Game: 9/2 vs (48-55) Memphis RedBirds @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters


MEM: Johan Oviedo (1-5, 7.41 ERA)

(58-39) Mississippi Braves, (37-63) Biloxi Shuckers PPD

At least it was rain this time.

Next Game: 9/2 @ (37-63) Biloxi Shuckers @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Jared Shuster

BLX: Andy Otero

(46-56) Rome Braves 2, (39-63) Winston-Salem Dash 3 Game 1

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, RF: 1-2, BB, SB, 2 RBI, .300/.356/.440
  • Jesse Franklin, CF: 0-3, .239/.315/.519
  • Luke Waddell, 3B: 0-3, .299/.360/.582
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.54 ERA
  • Davis Schwab, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 5.35 ERA

Rome’s comeback effort fell a bit short in this game. The Braves had trouble getting the offense started early in the game, with a Beau Philip double representing their only hit through three innings. They fell behind 3-0 as Winston-Salem had a big inning and failed to respond until late in the game. Finally in the sixth inning the offense kicked up a rally with a walk from Cody Milligan sparking the team to action. Riley Delgado followed with a double that was the first hit since Philip’s in the second inning, bringing the big bats up to the plate with only one out. Michael Harris came through for the Braves, ripping a two-run single that brought Rome to within a run of the lead. Harris was then unfortunately picked off, only his third caught stealing this season, and Jesse Franklin grounded out to end the inning. Rome went down in order in the seventh inning with two of those coming on strikeouts.

Tanner Gordon pitched a strong game for Rome but blew up a bit in the third inning leading to him taking a loss. Gordon retired the first six batters he faced in the game, but a leadoff single in that third inning led to a quick unravelling. The next batter recorded an infield single to put two runners on, and a sacrifice bunt put both in scoring position with one out. The tie was broken on a two-run single and after Gordon’s second balk of the inning he allowed a fourth hit and a third run to extend the lead to 3-0. He finally got a ground out to end the inning and then went right back to pitching well. He finished the game with three scoreless innings and three more hits allowed. Davis Schwab pitched the seventh inning of the game and struck out two batters with the only hit against him coming on an infield single.

(47-56) Rome Braves 4, (39-64) Winston-Salem Dash 1 Game 2

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-2, BB, .301/.359/.441
  • Carlos Martinez, C: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, .244/.244/.490
  • Luke Waddell, DH: 1-2, BB, RBI, .304/.372/.580
  • William Woods, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4.91 ERA
  • Zach Daniels, RP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.30 ERA

Rome’s offense had a much better time in the second game of the doubleheader, pounding out nine hits over seven innings to sink the Dash. Rome went down in order in the first inning but after a Luke Waddell walk in the second, the Braves broke through with their first hit. Carlos Martinez ripped an RBI double to score Waddell and give Rome a short-lived lead. Winston-Salem tied the game in the third, but Rome broke through again in the fourth and then kept adding insurance as the game went on. Michael Harris led the charge in the fourth inning with a leadoff single, and two more singles scored a run with the RBI going to Luke Waddell. Despite having two runners on and no outs the Braves did not add any more runs, but fortunately this did not come around to bite them. A single in the fifth from Shean Michel and a walk to Harris put runners on for Riley Delgado, and he graciously extended the lead with an RBI single. Beau Philip led off in the sixth with a triple and was scored by Carlos Martinez’s second RBI hit of the game.

Rome’s pitching staff threw a brilliant game, going seven innings with only one run allowed. William Woods started the game, his second start of the season, and while he didn’t miss many bats he was able to work around a couple of hits to pitch two scoreless innings. Coleman Huntley came in to pitch the third inning and was the only pitcher to allow a run in the game as two hits brought one in to score off of him. Mitch Stallings pitched a scoreless inning in the fourth inning, turning the ball over to Zach Daniels. Daniels dominated the rest of the way out, earning himself a three inning save with three shutout innings, three strikeouts, and only two hits allowed.

Next Game: 9/2 vs (39-64) Winston-Salem Dash @ 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters



(43-61) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (47-57) Fayetteville Woodpeckers 5 f/10

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-5, 2B, .311/.402/.446
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3H: 3-5, 2 RBI, .271/.393/.386
  • Christian Robinson, RF: 3-5, 2 RBI, .244/.289/.308
  • Ryan Cusick, SP: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.15 ERA
  • Dylan Spain, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA

The game did not start out so well for the GreenJackets, but the back part of the bullpen locked down the Woodpecker offense and the GreenJackets came to life to win in extra innings. Vaughn Grissom had a double in the first inning for Augusta but that didn’t turn into anything as he was stranded on second base in the inning. The offense didn’t do a whole lot of anything through the first five innings, but this is Low-A baseball and you can’t expect guys to throw strikes forever. In the sixth inning Cal Conley led off with a walk and singles from Grissom and Cade Bunnell loaded the bases for the middle of the order. This is when the game went haywire, as a hit batted and a four pitch walk brought in two runs to cut the lead to 5-2. Justyn-Henry Malloy then hit a chopper up the middle, but the ball bounced off of the glove of the pitcher and into no man’s land going down as an RBI infield hit. Christian Robinson then hit a jam shot single into center field and suddenly a 5-0 game had become a 5-4 game. Strikeouts ended that bases loaded threat before it got too ugly, but the Jackets weren’t done taking advantage of Fayetteville’s mistakes. An error put a runner on in the eighth and once again, Malloy and Robinson came up with hits with Robinson delivering the game tying single. Another error in the tenth paved the way for Malloy to hit an go ahead single that ended up being the game-winner.

Ryan Cusick had an outing to forget as he failed to escape even the first inning. It wasn’t his command that went haywire, he just allowed four hits and three runs and with 28 pitches already on him with two outs they decided to pull him from the game. Miguel Pena was able to escape the first inning and pitch a scoreless second, but things got dicey in the third. A walk and a base hit led off the inning and before he even recorded an out Pena was knocked out of the game when he allowed a two-run double that extended the game to 5-0. The GreenJackets turned to Kenny Wells, and Wells pitched a surprisingly good game and gave Augusta a ton of length. Wells closed out the third inning with a fielder’s choice out and a double play, then went three more hitless innings with the only baserunner coming on a hit batter. Wells struck out five batters in the game and lowered his ERA by nearly a full run to 8.36. Dylan Spain came in to pitch in the seventh, and you know what happened next. He worked around a couple of hits in the seventh to pitch a scoreless inning then dominated in the eighth by striking out the side in order. Spain is now up to 12 innings in his career and has still not allowed a run - earned or unearned. Peyton Williams pitched a perfect ninth inning, then got the ball in the bottom of the tenth after Augusta got their first lead of the game. Williams dominated, forcing two strikeouts and a weak ground out to close out a comeback win for the GreenJackets.

Next Game: 9/2 @ (47-57) Fayetteville Woodpeckers @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters



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