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Braves Minor League Recap: Harris extends streak, Waters returns to lineup

Michael Harris stayed hot with an RBI double

Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

It was certainly a day to forget for the entire Atlanta Braves organization as they got swept top to bottom. The best news of the day came from Gwinnett where Drew Waters and Braden Shewmake returned to that lineup, but a bit of bad news traded in when William Woods left with an apparent injury. Michael Harris II extended his on base streak to 25 games while Brandol Mezquita extended his on base streak to 18 games.

(13-15) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (12-16) Charlotte Knights 12

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, DH: 0-4, .500/.500/.875
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, .270/.316/.392
  • Chadwick Tromp, C: 1-3, HR, .353/.382/.706
  • Huascar Ynoa, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 5.40 ERA
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 9.58 ERA

In nearly every game there is at least one positive you can take away from the next. This game, however, was truly atrocious and should be burned, buried, and never thought about again. The only small victory to come of the day was when lineups were announced and Drew Waters and Braden Shewmake were in it after missing a couple of games for precautionary reasons. Shewmake singled in his first at bat back, but neither did much else. The offense as a whole did little to spark confidence with the only runs coming on home runs from Chadwick Tromp and Preston Tucker after the Stripers already trailed in the game significantly.

Huascar Ynoa had a very strong second inning in which he forced a weak ground out and then carved up the next two batters for strikeouts. Outside of that it was an adventure at best. A first inning home run put the Stripers down early and a couple of hits led to two runs in the third inning. Overall Ynoa held it mostly together until the fifth inning when his command started to really go south and he allowed a grand slam to break the game open. Nolan Kingham has been one of Gwinnett’s top relievers all season and even he couldn’t stop the bleeding as he allowed three runs in his lone inning of relief. I would typically say “Well at least no one got hurt” but even that didn’t go down well for the Stripers as William Woods left in the eighth inning after throwing just two pitches. There wasn’t a whole lot to report from this incident, as despite a report that he was holding his elbow coming off of the field there was not a whole lot to go off of from the MiLB tv footage.

Next Game: 5/7 vs (12-16) Charlotte Knights @ 6:05 PM ET

(10-15) Mississippi Braves 4, (11-14) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6

Box Score

  • Michael Harris II, CF: 1-6, 2B, RBI, .314/.368/.543
  • Trey Harris, RF: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, .178/.269/.311
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-4, 2B, 2 BB, .293/.366/.402
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 5.94 ERA
  • Victor Vodnik, RP: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA

Mississippi got demolished in extra innings and despite extending his on base streak to 25 games Michael Harris had a lackluster game overall. Pitching was king early in this contest and it took five innings before the Braves could scratch together any sort of momentum on the offensive end. Hendrik Clementina led off in that fifth inning with a base hit and with two outs the Harrises got the action rolling. Trey knocked a base hit up the middle to flip the lineup over and Michael doubled the opposite way to score Clementina and tie the game 1-1. One inning later the Braves were gifted a run when Drew Lugbauer was walked, advanced on a balk, and then scored on an error to take over a 2-1 lead. Pensacola got that run back in the next half inning and the game stayed there until the 11th when the Blue Wahoos put up a four spot in the top of the inning. With a big deficit to claw out of Trey Harris hit a two run home run to cut it to two runs, and Luke Waddell walked to put the tying run at the plate, but Mississippi had no late magic and fell 6-4.

Alan Rangel had not really done well at missing bats before this start, but that changed in a hurry. Rangel struck out the first six batters he faced in the game before allowing a run on back to back doubles in the third inning and then striking out the side to end the inning. The lone non-strikeout out he recorded was a fourth inning ground out, but he struck out two more batters to bring him to an 11 strikeout performance before being pulled. The bullpen was not as absurd as Rangel, but still managed to tack on five more strikeouts during regulation baseball. The only offense the Blue Wahoos managed came in the seventh inning, when Jake Higginbotham allowed three hits to tie the game 2-2. Odalvi Javier had no problems with pitching a scoreless tenth inning, but allowed four hits and a walk in the 11th inning before being pulled in a 5-2 game. Victor Vodnik got two strikeouts to get out of the inning, but also allowed a double to push the game out to 6-2. Vodnik’s relief work this season has been phenomenal as he has seven strikeouts to only one walk in 3 23 innings.

Next Game: 5/7 vs (11-14) Pensacola Blue Wahoos @ 7:05 PM ET

(14-11) Rome Braves 7, (11-14) Greenville Drive 8

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-4, BB, .278/.387/.389
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-4, BB, .325/.472/.410
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B: 1-5, HR, 2 RBI, .275/.376/.450
  • Roddery Munoz, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.48 ERA
  • Dylan Spain, RP: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 10.45 ERA

The Rome Braves offense delivered especially early in the game and it came to nothing as the pitching staff blew seven runs of support. Justyn-Henry Malloy kicked things off immediately in the top of the first inning when he crushed a first pitch two run home run to give the Braves a lead. The bottom of the order had four consecutive hits to start the top of the second inning and scored three of those to give Rome a comfortable 5-1 lead to work with. Greenville then slowly chipped away in the game as the Braves offense scuffled down the stretch. Finally after the Drive came all the way back to take a two run lead it kicked into gear again and Beau Philip led off in the eight inning with a base hit. An unfortunate double play erased Philip and was immediately followed by a Christian Robinson solo home run to cut the deficit to one run. The top of the order went down quietly in the ninth inning and Rome saw a winnable game slip from their grasps.

Roddery Munoz struggled to miss bats in this start, and he isn’t a pitcher that tends to avoid contact so the lack of strikeouts tend to lead to days like this. He allowed eight hits in the game, including two home runs, as Greenville scored in four of the five innings he pitched. He didn’t have any complete breakdowns but it was a slow churn of offense that chipped away against him to score runs. After being given that 5-1 lead he allowed a home run in the second inning, but afterwards got his only run of momentum by retiring five of the next six batters to get through the third inning. Then the fourth inning rolled around and he allowed another home run to the same batter that cut a 6-2 lead to 6-4. Two more hits in his final inning led to another run before he was able to get out of a shaky outing. The bullpen didn’t really have much of an answer either, as after starting his career being allergic to runs Dylan Spain has gone on a run of poor pitching. In two innings in this outing he allowed three runs to inflate his ERA to 10.45 on the season. Ben Dum delivered the only bit of good pitching on the day as he had a scoreless eighth to give the Rome offense one last chance down a run.

Next Game: 5/7 vs (11-14) Greenville Drive @ 7:05 PM ET

(13-12) Augusta GreenJackets 4, (14-11) Carolina Mudcats 5

Box Score

  • Braulio Vasquez, DH: 1-3, HBP, .326/.431/.535
  • Brandol Mezquita, LF: 2-3, HBP, RBI, .369/.451/.500
  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 2-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, .266/.415/.484
  • Jordano Perez, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1.80 ERA
  • James Acuna, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1.64 ERA

Like Rome the GreenJackets took a big early lead but saw it melt away as the game went on. Augusta had at least a little of a built in excuse as a long rain delay and then a delay due to issues with the stadium lights broke up the flow of play throughout and this one ended only a few minutes before midnight. The beginning of the game saw a short delay as well, but Augusta came out firing despite this and Brandol Mezquita opened the scoring with an RBI single. While all of the attention has rightfully gone to Harris and his streak, Mezquita has been incredible with a (BABIP-aided) 166 wRC+ and now 18 game on base streak. Mezquita does a fantastic job of spraying line drives foul line to foul line and both of his hits in this game came to the opposite field. Adam Zebrowski doesn’t care much for your line drives down the right field line, and figured it’s easier to just put one off of the scoreboard for a two run home run. The offense didn’t do anything else until immediately post-delay as they seemed to need the lightning strikes to charge up their bats. Zebrowski led off the inning with a triple and Brandon Parker brought him in to score on a base hit to make it 4-2. That was really all there was to the game for Augusta’s offense as they didn’t string together hits much and saw double plays and runners caught stealing erase what good work they did do.

Jordano Perez made his full season debut for Augusta and he did quite well for them before the storms cut his start a bit short. Perez struck out the side in the first inning before transforming into a ground ball pitcher that got five ground ball outs to get through the third inning scoreless. He finally started to show signs of stress in the fourth as a leadoff single and a walk led to a run before he was able to finish the inning. His fifth and final inning was his introduction to Single-A when a throwing error led to an unearned second run of the game. Perez only threw 66 pitches. but had to turn the ball over to the bullpen. James Acuna allowed an unearned run in two innings of relief, but when you hit a batter, throw a pickoff away at first base, then allow the guy to score by making throwing error it’s safe to say you earned that digit. Other than forgetting where first base is located on the field Acuna did well and Augusta still clung to a lead going into the eighth inning. Miguel Pena faced one batter, who he walked, and then had to leave the game with an injury. This gave the ball to Peyton Williams who allowed a two-run go-ahead home run to give the Mudcats the lead and the win.

Next Game: 5/7 vs (14-11) Carolina Mudcats @ 5:00 PM ET

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