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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Darius Vines makes first Triple-A start

Gwinnett made a late comeback to win on Sunday after Darius Vines made his debut for them

Photo Credit: Mills Fitzner

Late runs were the theme of the day for the Atlanta Braves system, with two late outbursts and a ninth inning comeback effort to provide some Sunday excitement. Darius Vines made his first Triple-A start while Tyler Tolve and Geraldo Quintero had strong days for Rome.

(53-58) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (66-44) Nashville Sounds 3

Box Score

  • Joe Dunand, 3B: 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, .245/.343/.381
  • Hernan Perez, SS: 2-5, .241/.283/.346
  • Ryan Casteel, C: 2-4, RBI, .233/.324/.533
  • Darius Vines, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4.50 ERA
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 6.38 ERA

Gwinnett lagged a bit on Sunday night, taking a 3-0 deficit late into the game, but exploded late to win the finale in Nashville. Gwinnett did have opportunities early in the game to score, with the biggest coming in the second inning. The Stripers made two quick outs after a leadoff walk to Joe Dunand, but a walk to Alex Dickerson and single from Pat Valaika had the bases loaded. Unfortunately Hernan Perez struck out, leaving the Stripers empty-handed. A leadoff double from Dunand in the fifth inning was also paid in dust, and after seven innings Gwinnett trailed 3-0. The eighth inning was more of the same after two quick outs, but Perez got a ball through into right field to kick off a big rally. Travis Demeritte, Ryan Casteel, Greyson Jenista, and Joe Dunand each strung together singles to tie the game with two men still left on base. After Dunand stole second base Delino DeShields Jr. delivered the hit of the game with a two-run single that would put Gwinnett on top for good.

Darius Vines made his Triple-A debut on Sunday night, and while one can’t say he dominated in any way he still had a solid enough start. Vines was certainly his strongest the first time through the lineup as he recorded three of his strikeouts on the day within the first nine batters and didn’t allow a walk. He got burned immediately with a two out double and single the second time through the order which gave Nashville a lead. He finished the third inning with his fourth and final strikeout of the game. His biggest struggles came in the fifth inning which opened with back-to-back doubles which both scored in the inning to make it 3-0 in favor of the Sounds. Vines finished out with a scoreless sixth inning — his fifth straight start of six or more innings pitched. The Gwinnett bullpen didn't allow a hit to the Sounds, with Connor Johnstone going two scoreless and hitless innings despite having some command troubles. Jacob Webb closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning and two strikeouts.

Next Game: 8/16 vs (58-42) Memphis RedBirds @ 7:05 PM ET

(49-59) Mississippi Braves 7, (59-49) Tennessee Smokies 8

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 3-5, 2B, .280/.350/.326
  • Landon Stephens, RF: 2-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .171/.256/.457
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 0-2, 3 BB, .271/.397/.417
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2.94 ERA
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA

Mississippi tried to pull off another big comeback win, but came up just short in the ninth inning. The Braves got off to an early start when a first inning double from Drew Lugbauer scored Cody Milligan, but with the bases loaded and one out in the inning they failed to score any more and it immediately bit them. Tennessee put up two runs in the bottom of the first inning and sat up 6-1 after the third. A two-run single from Javier Valdes in the fifth inning and a solo home run from Landon Stephens in the sixth got Mississippi back within striking distance until Tennessee put up two more runs to extend their lead back to 8-4. Down to their last three outs Milligan led off the Braves half of the ninth inning with an infield single and Riley Delgado followed with one of his own. A wild pitch and a passed ball scored Milligan, and though Delgado also scored it came at the expense of a Drew Lugbauer ground out which was the second out of the inning. Mississippi was not done, however, and Javier Valdes walked to set off another short burst. Andrew Moritz followed with a single to put the tying run on base and Landon Stephens snuck a base hit through to score Valdes and put Moritz just 90 feet away from tying the game. Cade Bunnell ripped a line drive right up the middle, but the shortstop had him played perfectly behind second base to record the final out of the game.

Mississippi had to piece together a bullpen game to try to get through Sunday afternoon, and it was a bit of a mess especially in the early going. Odalvi Javier allowed a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning which netted Tennessee a lead and after two innings handed the ball to Lisandro Santos out of the bullpen. While Santos is normally a guy that can give a team multiple innings he did not have his best stuff in this one. The first batter hit a home run off of Santos and five total hits in the inning led to a four run outburst from the Smokies. Justin Maese settled things down for two scoreless innings, but it was back to struggles with Troy Bacon on the mound in the sixth inning. He allowed a walk and a triple which scored two runs to add on to the Tennessee lead. Jasseel De La Cruz was perfect in the seventh inning with two strikeouts and Jake Higginbotham repeat that feat in the eighth to keep the game within reach for the Mississippi offense.

Next Game: 8/16 vs (55-48) Pensacola Blue Wahoos @ 7:35 PM ET

(65-43) Rome Braves 13, (46-59) Asheville Tourists 3

Box Score

  • Tyler Tolve, DH: 3-5, HR, BB, 5 RBI, .264/.337/.473
  • Cal Conley, SS: 3-6, .312/.367/.523
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 3-4, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, .278/.380/.44
  • Jose Montilla, SP: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1.00 ERA
  • Alec Barger, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.15 ERA

Keeping with our theme of late runs Rome put up ten across the seventh and eighth innings to seal a blowout win. Asheville got the first blow in this game with a run in the second inning, but Rome responded with two in the third to take the lead. Geraldo Quintero had a single to tie the game and Tyler Tolve started his big day off with the first of his RBIs to take the lead. The teams went tied at two into the sixth inning where Caleb Durbin broke that with a double to score Brandon Parker. Finally in the seventh they got a little breathing room as the first two batters reached base before Tolve hit a three-run home run to break it open. Drew Campbell doubled behind Tolve and Beau Philip made it 8-2 with his tenth home run of the season. The inning still wasn’t over there as Nick Clarno doubled and scored on two wild pitches to finish a six-run seventh inning. Just to cap it off Tyler Tolve singled to score Quintero for his fifth RBI of the game in the eighth inning. Brandon Parker doubled home two runs in the same inning and Caleb Durbin finished off Rome’s offensive efforts with a double to score Parker. Rome holds a 29-13 record in the second half, good for a 3 12 game division lead and the second best record in all of minor league baseball.

Jose Montilla had made eight scoreless appearances for Rome coming into this game, and thus earned his first High-A start on Sunday. He retired the first four batters he faced but three straight hits in the second inning scored the first runs against him at the level. Montilla allowed another run in the fourth inning and was pulled from the game with two outs in the fourth inning. Alex Segal had a strong relief outing cleaning up that fourth inning and earned the win in the game with a hitless fifth. This was followed by a parade of one inning outings from the bullpen. Malcolm Van Buren struck out two batters in a perfect sixth inning and Landon Leach shut down the seventh despite allowing two walks. Asheville netted their final run off of Benjamin Dum in the eighth inning, but he and Alec Barger had no real issue getting through the final two innings to close the game out.

Next Game: 8/16 vs (46-60) Greensboro Grasshoppers @ 7:00 PM ET

Note: Mike Soroka is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance in this game.

(56-50) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (59-48) Fredericksburg Nationals 9

Box Score

  • Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 1-3, BB, .429/.500/.571
  • David McCabe, DH: 1-4, RBI, .316/.364/.421
  • Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 1-3, BB, .202/.338/.408
  • Rainery Rodriguez, SP: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 5.72 ERA
  • Rolddy Munoz, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6.38 ERA

Augusta’s week ended in a bummer as they got knocked around early and never put up a fight in Sunday’s loss. They got a nice start thanks to Stephen Paolini, who doubled to lead off the game and was brought in to score on a single from David McCabe. This lead didn’t last long as Fredericksburg put up six runs in the bottom of the first inning to seal a win. Paolini is currently in the midst of the best month of his career, as during August he has hit .313/.358/.521 while only striking out nine times in 53 plate appearances. Paolini saw his 19 game on base streak and seven game hitting streak come to an end on Friday, but hit safely in both weekend games to keep his strong work rolling.

Rainery Rodriguez got absolutely smashed in the first inning, allowing three runs before he had recorded his first out. He ended up failing to get out of the first inning and had allowed six runs before being pulled for Elison Joseph. Joseph had an impressive outing and ate a few innings with three strikeouts over 2 13 with one run allowed. Rolddy Munoz had the top pitching performance of the day with his three strikeouts over two scoreless innings.

Next Game: 8/16 vs (71-36) Charleston RiverDogs @ 7:05 PM ET

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