Aside from obvious huge news that Vaughn Grissom got called up to the big leagues (and showed out I might add), it was still a fun night down in the minor leagues for the Braves as their affiliates went a combined 2-1. Jared Shuster had an up and down start for Gwinnett, Javier Valdes continued to rake for Mississippi, Rome put up a huge rally, and Augusta sadly got rained out. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 1, Nashville Sounds 2
- Alex Dickerson, RF: 1-2, 2B, RBI, BB, .757 OPS
- Delino DeShields, CF: 1-4, 2B, R, .674 OPS
- Jared Shuster, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4.60 ERA
Jared Shuster didn’t have his best command on Wednesday evening and while he largely limited the damage, the Gwinnett offense was essentially nonexistent as the Stripers fell by the score of 2-1. Shuster did not get off the to hottest start to this game as he gave up a two-run homer to Bryce Turang in the bottom of the first. Oddly enough, that is where the scoring in this game ended as neither squad would plate a run the rest of the way. Shuster struggled at times to find the strike zone and wasn’t getting the swings and misses he needed on his changeup to shorten at-bats. He did absolutely limit the damage on an off for him, though, but it still wasn’t the sharpest we have seen him.
Unfortunately, despite Shuster and the bullpen battling to keep the game close, the Gwinnett offense did nothing after the top of the first inning. Alex Dickerson had a very decent night at the plate where he reached base multiple times including a double while also driving in Gwinnett’s only run on a sac fly. Unfortunately, Gwinnett only managed four hits the entire game to go along with one walk and 13 strikeouts. Tough to win games that way. With the roster being a lot of quad-A types and one of the better ones they have had, Chadwick Tromp, currently helping out elsewhere and Braden Shewmake out for the foreseeable future, there are going to be rough nights the rest of the way for Gwinnett.
Mississippi Braves 10, Tennessee Smokies 3
- Javier Valdes, C: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 3 R, .810 OPS
- Tanner Gordon, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 6.22 ERA
Mississippi scored early and often as they did not miss a beat after star Vaughn Grissom was promoted to the big leagues in route to a 10-3 win over Tennessee. Tanner Gordon was on the mound and he put together a perfectly fine start in going seven innings while giving up three runs. While Tanner has not been able to consistently miss bats anywhere close to the rate he was during his brief stay in Rome this season, he hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since 7/9 and has largely been a consistent member of the Mississippi rotation all season long. Jake Higginbotham and Kyle Wilcox combined for two scoreless innings of relief to close the game out.
As for the offense, Javier Valdes continued his hot start at Mississippi as he reached base four times including a home run. Valdes’ season, at times, gets lost in the shuffle because he was sharing time with Tyler Tolve (a fine player in his own right) at Rome. As our own Garrett Spain noted last night on the Twitters during Mississippi’s game, over his last 25 games, Valdes has slashed .298/.385/.638 with nine homers which seems pretty good. Justyn-Henry Malloy connected for this third Double-A home run in the first inning to put Mississippi ahead early and ended up with three RBI in the game. Riley Delgado had a nice night at the plate as well as he reached base three times and drove in a pair of runs.
Rome Braves 10, Asheville Tourists 9
- Beau Philip, DH: 2-5, 3 RBI, R, .670 OPS
- Drew Campbell, RF: 2-4, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R, .719 OPS
- Jake McSteen, SP: 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 5.11 ERA
Rome was down 7-0 by the time the third inning was over and things looked dire, however they would score nine runs over the next four innings and roar all the way back to win by the final score of 10-9. It was a bullpen game for Rome with Jake McSteen getting the start and, uh, things did not go well for him. Asheville would score six runs in the first inning and McSteen would only record a pair of outs. The Rome bullpen was also not particularly crisp as they walked six batters over the game’s final 8.1 innings while also giving up three runs of their own, but they held up just enough to allow the offense to mount their comeback.
It is quite difficult to come back from a seven run deficit when you also go 2-15 with runners in scoring position, but Rome managed to pull the feat off. A sac fly from Bryson Horne and a two-run double from Brandon Parker game Rome three runs in the fourth inning. A run scored on a force out off the bat of Beau Philip gave Rome another run in the sixth inning. Asheville then had a full-on bullpen implosion in the seventh as a wild pitch, a force out, another wild pitch, and a two run single from Philip resulted in five more runs for Rome giving them the lead for good. Drew Campbell’s solo homer in the ninth inning did prove to be valuable insurance as Asheville would have tied the game in the bottom of the ninth otherwise.
Augusta GreenJackets, Fredericksburg Nationals - Postponed