Tough night down in the minors for the Braves as every affiliate took an L on Wednesday evening. Vaughn Grissom showed out at the plate, Rome got torched by bad pitching and defense, and Brandon Parker stayed nuclear hot at the plate for the GreenJackets. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 3, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 6
- Preston Tucker, LF: 3-3, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, .748 OPS
- Chadwick Tromp, C: 2-4, BB, R, .787 OPS
- Nolan Kingham, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 4.17 ERA
Gwinnett’s bullpen game went sideways quickly as the Stripers fell to Jacksonville by the score of 6-3. Nolan Kingham was the presumed opener for Gwinnett on Wednesday and he was lucky to throw three innings as he got torched in the first inning for five runs. A throwing error by Chadwick Tromp didn’t help matters but at one point, Kingham had allowed six straight batters to reach including a homer mixed in there. Not great. The rest of the bullpen, including another scoreless appearance by Kirby Yates, combined to give up just one earned run the rest of the way, but the damage was done.
The offense was a little better than that, although not by much, with old friend Preston Tucker leading the way with three hits and a pair of runs driven in. Chadwick Tromp joined him with a multi-hit game of his own, but the rest of the lineup combined for two hits although Ryan Casteel did walk three times. Braden Shewmake had one of those nightmare nights where he went 0-5 with three strikeouts along with a pair of uncharacteristic throwing errors at short.
Mississippi Braves 4, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, two errors, .973 OPS
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 1-3, 2B, RBI, R, BB, .798 OPS
- Tanner Gordon, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 6.50 ERA
Despite strong games from starter Tanner Gordon and top prospect Vaughn Grissom, Mississippi’s bullpen would falter and the Braves fells to Pensacola by the score of 6-4. Tanner Gordon got the start for Mississippi and was quite good (a rarity for a starter on Wednesday). Gordon has been uneven this season to be sure, but he seems to have settle down a bit in July. Unfortunately, AJ Puckett and Jake Higginbotham had rough relief appearances as they combined to give up five runs in two innings of work.
On offense, it was Vaughn Grissom again showing up to do damage as he had a double and his second Double-A homer on Wednesday evening. So far in Double-A, he has a .973 OPS with four extra-base hits in 11 games. Not too shabby, although we could have done without his two errors yesterday. Justyn-Henry Malloy had a double and a RBI as well, but unfortunately the rest of the lineup combined for just three hits and the Mississippi just didn’t have enough scoring chances to keep up once the bullpen imploded.
Rome Braves 6, Hickory Crawdads 14
- Landon Stephens, RF: 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, .848 OPS
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, .779 OPS
- Dylan Spain, SP: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 6.50 ERA
A pair of homers from some usual suspects was not anywhere near enough as Rome got blown out by Hickory by the score of 14-6. It was a bullpen game for Rome with Dylan Spain getting the start and...uh...we won’t linger long here. In fairness, there was also some suspect defense throughout this game from Rome that proved costly, but Rome was down seven runs by the end of the first inning and things only got worse from there.
On the plus side, both Landon Stephens and Bryson Horne connected for homers for Rome to at least keep things somewhat interesting. Both players tend to be a bit feast or famine at the plate with a large portion of their offensive value coming from their power, but when they do their thing...it is fun to watch. Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup combined for two singles including one from Cal Conley who has played quite well since getting promoted to high-A.
Augusta GreenJackets 5, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 10
- Brandon Parker, 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, .938 OPS
- Francisco Floyd, SS: 2-4, BB, SB, R, .733 OPS
- Rainery Rodriguez, SP: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 3.14 ERA
Finally, our suffering comes to an end as Augusta was also blown out by a relentless Pelicans offense by the score of 10-5. Rainiery Rodriguez, who had been really good for Augusta all year long, had his worst start of the season with a grand slam given up to Kevin Alcantara being the beginning of the end in the third inning. There were more self-inflicted wounds as an error on the pickoff throw led to a couple of runs scoring and the wheels were fully off for Rainiery and Augusta at that point.
In more fun news, Brandon Parker is very hot at the plate as he connected for two homers on Wednesday after reaching base five times in yesterday’s game. Francisco Floyd reached base three times as he seems to be settling into his time in Augusta nicely. Adam Zebrowski had another big hit for the GreenJackets with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning.