Thursday was a busy day down on the farm with a pair of doubleheaders. The offense really struggled across the board, although Freddy Tarnok turned in a great outing and some of the recently promoted players such as Geraldo Quintero and Drake Baldwin had notable performances.
Gwinnett Stripers 3, Nashville Sounds 2
- Delino DeShields, CF: 0-3, BB, R, SB, .669 OPS
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 2.03 ERA
Freddy Tarnok got the ball to start the first game of the night for Gwinnett and turned in a very strong performance, going five innings while allowing just one run on five hits and a pair of walks. Tarnok also struck out six as he lowered his ERA in Triple-A to just 2.03 with a 0.94 WHIP through his first five starts after being promoted from Mississippi. Seth Elledge and Danny Young combined for a pair of scoreless innings in relief. William Woods tried to save it in the eighth, but allowed the inherited runner to score and tie the game, though Michael Tonkin was able to nail it down in the ninth.
There wasn’t much offense for the Stripers as they managed just one combined hit and scored just one run excluding the two inherited runners in scoring position that came across during extra innings. That hit was a Hernan Perez single. If there had to be a star at the plate in a game like this, it would be Delino DeShields, who was hitless, but walked, stole his 25th base, and scored a run.
Nashville Sounds 5, Gwinnett Stripers 1
- Taylor Motter, 2B: 1-3, 2B, RBI, .884 OPS
- Huascar Ynoa, SP: 0.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.94 ERA
Game 2 was as ugly as Game 1. It started out in the first as Huascar Ynoa couldn’t make it out of the inning, getting victimized for three homers and giving up five runs while recording just two outs. Fortunately the rest of the Striper pitching staff kept Nashville off the scoreboard, led by Connor Johnstone who tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
The offense wasn’t much better through the first seven innings in this one, as instead of one run on one hit, they put up one run on two hits here. Hernan Perez singled again, and Taylor Motter picked up a double that knocked in Perez for the lone Gwinnett run.
Tennessee Smokies 1, Mississippi Braves 0
- Cade Bunnell, SS: 2-3, 2 2B, BB
- Cody Milligan, CF: 2-3, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB, .644 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.18 ERA
Alan Rangel got the start and turned in five excellent innings, but was done in by a lack of run support. Rangel allowed just one run, three hits and a walk while striking out five, but the Braves offense didn’t manage to get on the scoreboard in this one. He was followed by a scoreless inning apiece from Lisandro Santos, Jason Creasy, and Justin Maese, as Braves pitching allowed a combined five hits and three walks in this tough loss.
The offense managed just five hits in the game. Cody Milligan had a nice game with two doubles and also walked twice. The recently promoted Cade Bunnell also had two doubles and a walk of his own. The only other hit by the Braves was a single from Andrew Moritz, who also walked to reach base twice in this one.
Asheville Tourists 6, Rome Braves 3
- Geraldo Quintero, 3B: 2-3, 2 2B, RBI, R, SB
- Cal Conley, SS: 2-4, 2 R, SB, .889 OPS
- Royber Salinas, SP: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 4.81 ERA
It was Royber Salinas night for Rome, and unfortunately he struggled with his command. Salinas gave up four runs (three earned) in just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and walked four while throwing just 48 of his 76 pitches for strikes. Alex Segal and Alex Barger were tagged for a pair of runs in relief before Austin Smith was able to pitch a clean inning to finish this game off for the staff.
The offense may have struggled a bit here, but two recent promotions certainly didn’t. The recently promoted Geraldo Quintero doubled twice and stole a base. Cal Conley, who has been up for a few weeks now, had two hits and scored a pair of runs. .
Fredericksburg Nationals 8, Augusta GreenJackets 2
- Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 1-3, 2B, .745 OPS
- Brandol Mezquita, CF: 1-3, R, .762 OPS
- Drake Baldwin, C: 1-3, 2B, R
The first game of this doubleheader was pretty much written off as soon as it started as Jorge Bautista got the nod and gave up runs in each of the first three innings. Bautista didn’t make it out of the third before allowing seven runs.
The offense was quiet, though three guys whose names you are likely familiar with had some impact. Recent third round pick Drake Baldwin, who just joined the team, had a double and scored one of the three runs. Mahki Backstrom also doubled in the loss while Brandol Mezquita had a hit and scored a run.
Augusta GreenJackets 8, Fredericksburg Nationals 7
- Kadon Morton, CF: 2-5, 3 RBI, 2B, .678 OPS
- Justin Janas, 1B: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI
- Francisco Floyd, 3B: 2-2, 2 BB, R, 3 RBI
The second game went a little better with the Braves top Day 3 draft pick, Ian Mejia, on the mound. Mejia allowed just one unearned run on a walk and no hits over 2 1/3 with two strikeouts. Rolddy Munoz would allow two runs over two innings while he picked up four strikeouts. It wasn’t until the final inning that things got close, as Juan Mateo allowed four runs in that inning of work.
This was the one game in the system where the offense didn’t have any trouble on Thursday. Kadon Morton had two hits, including a double and drove in three. Francisco Floyd also had two hits and reached base four times. Recent 12th round pick Justin Janas also had a two-hit night, going 2-for-4 with a double, while Braulio Vasquez was the final member of the lineup with a multi-hit night, going 2-for-4.