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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: William Woods returns to Gwinnett

Woods and Huascar Ynoa each made their first appearances after extended absences

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

If you’re coming here to see great pitching performances you’re going to leave disappointed, and if you’re coming here to see the Atlanta Braves affiliates win some games I would suggest stopping after Gwinnett. On the bright side you will hear about the returns of both William Woods and Huascar Ynoa for Gwinnett, as well as a very interesting game up in North Carolina between the Rome Braves and Hickory Crawdads.

(48-51) Gwinnett Stripers 10, (54-45) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 6

Box Score

  • Delino DeShields, CF: 2-5, RBI, .240/.384/.284
  • Preston Tucker, DH: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, .264/.343/.429
  • Joe Dunand, 1B: 2-3, BB, 2 RBI, .244/.329/.362
  • Tucker Davidson, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.59 ERA
  • Huascar Ynoa, RP: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 5.38 ERA
  • William Woods, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

The early returns on this game didn’t swing in Gwinnett’s favor, but the offense clicked in a big sixth inning to take the win over Jacksonville. Gwinnett trailed 2-0 before coming up to bat, and despite a few hard hit balls in the first inning they came up empty on their scoring chance. Alex Dickerson burned the center fielder on a double to lead off the second inning which led to a run a couple of batters later on a ground ball that skipped off of the second base bag for a hit. Jacksonville responded with two runs in the top of the third inning, which started up the Stripers chipping into that lead. Preston Tucker got one back with a solo home run in the third inning and Joe Dunand flipped a single into right field to score a run in the fourth. The two sides went into the sixth inning with Gwinnett trailing 4-3 before they turned it on and put the game out of reach. An error started off the Gwinnett rally and three batters in Dunand tied the game at four with an RBI single. Ryan Goins then walked to load the bases, setting up Delino DeShields Jr. for a go-ahead single. A hit batter, a walk, and a error then forced home four more runs before Jacksonville had even recorded an out. The final run came in on a Pat Valaika ground out, putting Gwinnett up 10-4. Also a quick note to take us home, Braden Shewmake has not appeared in any of the past three games.

Tucker Davidson did not get off to a great start in this one as the leadoff man for the Shrimp took his second pitch over the center field wall for a home run. A ground ball away from the shift by the next hitter led to a soft double and Jacksonville found themselves up 2-0 on a single from our old friend Ryan Lavarnway. Davidson allowed another home run in the third inning, this time a two-run shot to Lavarnway, to give Jacksonville four runs through three innings. Following this Davidson did his job and retired the final seven hitters he faced. The sixth inning was manned by Huascar Ynoa — the first outing from him since July 12th and his first minor league relief appearance since 2019. Outside of a hit batter he was great in that inning with two strikeouts and a ground out, though in the seventh inning he did allow three straight singles to score a run. William Woods made his first appearance back with Gwinnett in a scoreless eighth inning and Jay Jackson allowed a run on two hits in the ninth inning to finish the game.

Next Game: 8/2 @ (36-63) Charlotte Knights @ 7:04 PM ET

(46-50) Mississippi Braves 4, (49-42) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 7

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-3, .386/.441/.548
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 2-4, RBI, .226/.336/.469
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, DH: 2-4, .268/.369/.411
  • Dylan Dodd, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 4.91 ERA
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.82 ERA

This was not a game to write home about, as Mississippi fell to a 7-0 deficit and never threatened much to come back from that. Pensacola starter AJ Ladwig was in control of this game for the first six innings, allowing only two hits and no walks as his team jumped out to a lead. The third time through Mississippi started to get good looks against him, with Vaughn Grissom leading off the seventh inning with a single and later scoring on an RBI from Drew Lugbauer. The first four batters of that seventh inning got hits, with Jalen Miller doubling home Justyn-Henry Malloy for the second run and Hendrik Clementina bringing home Lugbauer on an RBI ground out. Hits from Malloy and Lugbauer gave Mississippi a breath of life in the ninth inning, and Malloy did score on a ground out from Miller, but Clementina grounded into a double play that ended the game.

Dylan Dodd gave up two key home runs in this game as part of the five runs he allowed over four innings. It started early, with a first inning home run from Griffin Conine giving Pensacola a lead. Dodd allowed two hits in the third inning that both scored, with one of those coming unearned on a throwing error during a stolen base attempt and the other coming via sacrifice fly. The fourth inning featured the second of those home runs, a two-out, two-run shot that put Pensacola well in command of this game up 5-0. After Dodd departed Coleman Huntley pitched a scoreless fifth inning, but Jason Creasy allowed two runs in the sixth inning that further grew the Blue Wahoos lead. Jake Higginbotham and Indigo Diaz both didn't allow hits as the pitched scoreless innings of relief.

Next Game: 8/2 vs (46-48) Biloxi Shuckers @ 7:35 PM ET

(55-41) Rome Braves 10, (52-44) Hickory Crawdads 11

Box Score

  • Jacob Pearson, RF: 3-5, 2B, BB, RBI, .259/.345/.350
  • Cal Conley, SS: 2-6, HR, .323/.371/.538
  • Willie Carter, LF: 3-4, 2B, HR, BB, 4 RBI, .233/.306/.403
  • JJ Niekro, SP: 4 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 6.60 ERA
  • Austin Smith, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.54 ERA

Rome made a furious late comeback in this game, but fell just short as Hickory’s 11 runs were too much for them to overcome. The Braves fell behind 3-0, but quickly made up that deficit starting with a Willie Carter solo home run in the fourth inning. Carter was again part of the action the next inning, driving in two runs on a base hit to tie the game 3-3. Cade Bunnell followed with an RBI single to give Rome a short-lived lead. Hickory scored four runs in the bottom of that fifth inning and Rome never again caught up. They got a run in on a Cal Conley eighth inning home run, but the Crawdads responded with another run in the eighth inning that proved vital. Trailing 11-5 the Braves had little chance in the ninth inning, but an RBI double from Carter and a walk to Bunnell had the bases loaded and got hickory sweating a bit. Caleb Durbin then cleared the bases with a triple to bring the tying run up with only one out in the inning. Jacob Pearson represented that run, and his clutch double put him in scoring position and scored Durbin. Pearson advanced to third on a ground out by Conley, but Landon Stephens struck out to end the game with the Braves 90 feet short of an amazing comeback.

Some days everything seems to find a hole against you, and for JJ Niekro this was that day. Niekro allowed 10 hits over four innings and a total of six runs before being pulled with no outs in the fifth inning. It started early as Niekro tip-toed around two hits and a walk to pitch a scoreless first inning, but that luck was short-lived. A two run home run in the second inning gave Hickory an early lead, and a wild pitch after two more singles scored the third run of the inning. Niekro had relatively quiet innings in the third and fourth, but after being given a lead allowed three hits to load the bases before being pulled in the fifth inning. Jake McSteen allowed all of those runs to score and one of his own on a sacrifice fly and then a three-run home run that put Hickory back on top. The game still felt in reach, but a two run home run in the sixth off of Benjamin Dum made that feel like a bigger stretch with the score now 10-4. Austin Smith thankfully gave the scorekeeper some rest with an easy seventh inning and two strikeouts, but Hickory was right back to it in the eighth netting a run on two hits and a walk off of Alec Barger.

Next Game: 8/2 vs (36-58) Greenville Drive @ 7:00 PM ET

(46-48) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (64-32) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 11

Box Score

  • Kadon Morton, LF: 1-4, SB, 2 RBI, .216/.317/.340
  • Braulio Vasquez, CF: 1-3, 2B, BB, .253/.349/.364
  • Brian Klein, 2B: 1-3, HR, BB, 3 RBI, .222/.296/.333
  • Samuel Strickland, SP: 2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.26 ERA
  • Alex Segal, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2.16 ERA

Augusta had a six run explosion of an inning and still never once took an at bat with a chance to take the lead in the game. Myrtle Beach poured on runs early and after three comfortably led 9-0. Meanwhile the GreenJackets offense was blanked for six innings, recording only one hit in that span. Finally Augusta offered a little bit of life on a three run home run by Brian Klein. Not just any home run either, as Klein benefitted from a wicked hop off of the right field wall that rolled the ball nearly all the way to center field as he was able to streak around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Augusta kept getting help and drew three walks to load the bases before a wild pitch and a two-run single from Kadon Morton got them respectably within four runs.

It was just not Samuel Strickland’s day on the mound as he lasted just two innings. The reason being the eight hits and six runs he allowed, taking his ERA on the season from 1.99 all the way to 3.26. His bullpen wasn’t significantly better in his stead either. Rolddy Munoz allowed three runs in the third inning to push the Myrtle Beach lead up to 9-0. The game settled down for them after this, with Tyler Owens giving them two decent innings with only one run allowed. Alex Segal had by far the best performance of the day for Augusta as he went two scoreless and hitless innings while striking out three batters to drop his ERA to 2.16. Estarlin Rodriguez finished us up with two more innings and one run allowed.

Next Game: 8/2 @ (34-61) Delmarva Shorebirds @ 7:05 PM ET

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