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Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom goes off again

Vaughn Grissom has 14 hits in four games this week

Atlanta Braves Photo Day Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Vaughn Grissom is lighting the world on fire for the Rome Braves this week, and today’s game was no exception as he recorded his second straight four hit game. The system as a whole struggled on Friday evening, as the starting pitching struggled top to bottom and led them to only taking one win out of four games.

(32-32) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (31-31) Indianapolis Indians 5

Box Score

  • Delino DeShields, LF: 2-3, .268/.429/.333
  • Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, 2B, BB .243/.282/.391
  • Kramer Robertson, 3B: 1-5, HR, 2 RBI, .232/.392/.381
  • Tucker Davidson, SP: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 4.30 ERA
  • Thomas Burrows, RP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.43 ERA

Gwinnett showed their fight with a late comeback effort in this game, but fell short in a one run loss. The Stripers started the game off with a bang in the bottom of the first inning as Kramer Robertson came to the plate and crushed the first pitch he saw for a leadoff home run. This blazing start gave way to little else against Indians starter Jerad Eickhoff who didn’t allow another run to the Stripers over his 5 23 innings of work. Once the Stripers cleared Eickhoff they were able to get some offense going, but had their backs against the wall trailing 4-1. Delino DeShields Jr. was able to get them a bit closer by scoring a run in the seventh after leading off with a base hit, but in the top of the eighth they gave that run right back and took a three run deficit into the ninth inning. Finally some sparks started to show from the Stripers bats when Chadwick Tromp led off with a double, and the Indians helped them out on an error that allowed Tromp to score. A base hit from Ryan Goins scored another run and had the tying run on base with one out and the top of the order coming up. Drew Waters was able to draw a walk which advanced Goins to second, but Robertson and Travis Demeritte failed to come through with a clutch hit and Gwinnett fell 5-4.

Tucker Davidson’s control was in a rarely poor form in this game, as he allowed five walks in an outing for the first time in his Triple-A career. These command woes contributed heavily to the four runs he allowed in the game, especially on the first one as he walked three batters including forcing the run home on a walk. He was fortunately able to escape that bases loaded jam with only one run allowed, but never found his footing in this outing. A sacrifice fly in the fourth inning scored a second run against him but it was the fifth that saw his line sealed. A walk and a base hit with one out in the inning set up the stage for a two run double which extended the Indianapolis lead in the game from one run to three. The bullpen for Gwinnett most held the game together to allow a shot for a comeback, with Thomas Burrows giving the best outing with 1 13 scoreless innings. Brandon Brennan was the lone arm who struggled as he allowed a run and couldn’t complete an inning of work in the eighth.

Next Game: 6/18 vs (31-31) Indianapolis Indians @ 6:05 PM ET

(27-34) Mississippi Braves 6, (25-36) Birmingham Barons 5

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-2, 3 BB, RBI, .269/.383/.373
  • Yariel Gonzalez, SS: 1-2, HR, 3 BB, .235/.298/.407
  • Hendrik Clementina, C: 1-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .254/.311/.396
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5.08 ERA
  • Hayden Deal, RP: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2.87 ERA

Where Gwinnett failed before them Mississippi did not, as they were able to get the big hit late to take a close win. They seemed poised to cruise early, as the game likely could have been ugly in the first inning if not for base running standing in the Braves’s way. Two walks and a base hit scored a run in the bottom of the first, but on the single CJ Alexander was thrown out at third base and on the next play Jalen Miller was caught trying to steal second to quickly erase a budding rally. Hendrik Clementina had no time to waste on the base paths in the second inning, sending Yariel Gonzalez home the easy way with a two run home run that put Mississippi on top 3-0. This lead didn't last too much longer, but the Braves never let the Barons get the upper hand in the game. Or perhaps the Barons did it to themselves, as two walks in the fourth inning set up a Justin Dean RBI single to give Mississippi a 4-3 lead. Birmingham answered in the fifth inning, but Mississippi once again came right back with a Yariel Gonzalez solo home run to take the lead. This early action faded as the game went by, and outside of Birmingham tying the game in the seventh inning there was little from either side and the game went into the bottom of the ninth inning tied. CJ Alexander led off the inning with a single, and then pulled off a series of events to get the bases loaded without needing to swing the bat at all. A bunt pushed Alexander to second base, then an intentional walk set up a double play, but a wild pitch immediately put an end to that opportunity. Birmingham then intentionally walked another batter to load the bases and Riley Delgado made them pay with a walk off single to deliver Mississippi a win.

Alan Rangel retired six of the first seven batters he faced in this game, but that success wasn't to last as he struggled especially the second and third times through Birmingham’s order. A leadoff single in the third inning scored just a single run as JJ Muno torched Rangel and Clementina for two stolen bases before scoring on a ground out, but Rangel still hadn’t really seen much struggle. That changed quickly in the fourth inning as he allowed consecutive extra base hits after a leadoff walk to tie the game at 3-3. With the go ahead run on second base Rangel was able to reign it in and retire the next three batters to keep the game tied. Once again holding a lead in the fifth he allowed consecutive two out doubles which once again tied the game and ended his day at 4 23 innings. Hayden Deal was the first player the Braves brought out of the bullpen, and he was nearly the only one they needed as he allowed only one hit and forced eight ground ball outs over 3 13 innings. Unfortunately one of those singles was paired with one of his two walks, leading to a game tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning that put a run on Deal’s register. Odalvi Javier needed to throw just one inning in the ninth inning and was able to do so without allowing a run, though the two walks in the inning put that result in question for a bit.

Next Game: 6/18 vs (25-36) Birmingham Barons @ 7:05 PM ET

(33-28) Rome Braves 7, (24-36) Asheville Tourists 13

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 4-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, .300/.386/.468
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B: 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, .304/.403/.515
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 1-4, 3B, BB, .325/.452/.443
  • Royber Salinas, SP: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.31 ERA
  • RJ Freure, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1.96 ERA

Vaughn Grissom put the Rome offense on his back again, but his contributions were not enough to overcome the thirteen run outburst from the Tourists. Rome took the early lead with the help of Grissom’s first inning double and an RBI single from Justyn-Henry Malloy, but after the third inning this game was wrapped as Asheville held a 10-1 lead. Grissom’s second run scored came in the fifth inning as he led off with a single and scored on a Javier Valdes double later in the inning. He decided to get in on the other side of the run scoring in the sixth inning with an RBI single to score Cody Milligan and for good measure added a two run double in the eighth inning that almost made the game respectable. Grissom has three or more hits in all four games in Asheville this series.

So, Eric told me I have to do this. I begged. I guess let’s talk about the pitching staff and defense here for a bit. Royber Salinas had a solid first inning after a leadoff walk, getting a strikeout and double play that ended his inning fairly quickly. The second inning went less well, as despite two strikeouts he was hurt majorly by a one out error from shortstop Beau Philip. With the bases loaded and two outs rather than the inning being over Salinas allowed three runs on two singles, then at a pitch limit was pulled for Isrrael De La Cruz. De La Cruz allowed a walk then another two run single to make it five unearned runs in the inning. De La Cruz was himself hurt by defense, but not before he allowed a two run home run in the third inning that was entirely on his shoulders. Following that two errors led to three more runs scoring in the third inning to put Rome in a huge 10-1 deficit. Rome looked to someone who could give them any bulk, and got that in Davis Schwab. Schwab allowed three runs in the game, but more importantly was able to give them 3 13 innings to keep them from burning through too many relief arms in a blowout game. RJ Freure also contributed multi-inning outing, striking out half of the batters he faced in two perfect innings.

Next Game: 6/18 @ (24-36) Asheville Tourists @ 6:05 PM ET

(34-27) Augusta GreenJackets 2, (41-20) Charleston RiverDogs 6

Box Score

  • Cal Conley, SS: 4-4 2B, .234/.289/.407
  • Brandol Mezquita, RF: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .324/.392/.451
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 1-4, .255/.328/.405
  • AJ Smith-Shawver, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5.06 ERA
  • Peyton Williams, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 6.10 ERA

Augusta suffered a weather delay to start this game, and they suffered a nine inning being good at baseball delay in a loss to Charleston. Cal Conley provided a large portion of their offense in this game, but he wasn’t involved in their one run scoring play. That came at the hands of the next two hitters in the lineup, with Geraldo Quintero leading off the fourth inning with a single. This set up Brandol Mezquita who took the first pitch deep for his third home run of the season to cut the RiverDogs lead to 4-2. That was as close as it would get, though they had a big chance came in the fifth inning. A leadoff single from Kadon Morton and a bunt single from Conley had the tying run on the bases with one out. Quintero then grounded into a double play, closing the books on that rally. Connor Blair joined Morton and Conley in getting hits in the seventh inning, which left the bases loaded with one out in a three run game. Still, Augusta could not come through and this latest missed chance was the nail in the coffin for this game.

It was not a memorable outing for AJ Smith-Shawver, who started this game off with a hit batter and struggled with his consistency in this outing. He allowed two runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI triple and a sacrifice fly, but in the second inning turned it around with a 1-2-3 inning. Smith-Shawver then gave up another 2 piece on a two run double in the third inning, and was saved from potentially more damage as center fielder Kadon Morton threw out an advancing runner to complete a double play. Smith-Shawver ended his day with his strongest inning, recording two fourth inning strikeouts in a perfect frame. The bullpen for Augusta was solid, though they did leak a couple of runs down the stretch that ended up being inconsequential. Ronaldo Alesandro gave the GreenJackets three innings and struck out four batters, with a run coming in against him in the sixth inning. Peyton Williams pitched the final two innings and outside of a solo home run had a strong outing with three strikeouts and no walks.

Next Game: 6/18 vs (41-20) Charleston RIverdogs @ 6:05 PM ET