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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 2022 Draftees Continue to Impress in Augusta Win

Ambioris Tavares adds to impressive summer with first pro homer in FCL finale

MLB: Game One-Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It was a mixed bag for the Atlanta Braves farm system on Tuesday night as the club’s 2022 MLB Draft picks continued to show out in Augusta, leading the GreenJackets to a come-from-behind victory. Mississippi couldn’t quite rally for a win of their own while Rome managed just three hits in a loss. Gwinnett ran into the first minor league rehab appearance for Bryce Harper, who homered twice to beat the Stripers.

In short season ball, the Braves’ Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League teams wrapped up their campaigns as 2021 international signing Ambioris Tavarez hit his professional home run in the FCL finale for the Braves.

(58-60) Gwinnett Braves 5, (65-53) Lehigh Valley IronPigs 10

Box Score

  • Alex Dickerson, RF: 2-4, HR, RBI, R, .244/.304/.418
  • Taylor Motter, 2B: 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, R, .230/.329/.473
  • Hernan Perez, LF: 0-4, RBI, R, SB, .263/.303/.382

Bryce Harper is still Bryce Harper. Despite the Stripers tallying three first inning runs, a pair of homers for the 2021 NL MVP in his rehab debut for the IronPigs sunk the Stripers on Tuesday.

Thanks in part to an error from former Brave to extend the inning, Hernan Perez, Taylor Motter and Tyler White all recorded first inning RBIs for Gwinnett before Harper cut into the lead in the bottom of the inning, tagging Stripers’ starter Jared Shuster for a solo home run on a 2-2 pitch in the middle of the zone. That three-run lead was restored in the top of the third when Alex Dickerson answered a solo homer of his own.

Shuster flirted with danger in the bottom of the third, issuing three consecutive walks, but got out of the inning with no damage done after Harper made an out on the bases, attempting to steal third. A clean fourth was Shuster’s final inning on the night with a pitch count at 71, 39 for strikes.

Darren O’Day pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning, and Gwinnett welcomed Victor Vodnik back to the mound in the sixth. It was Vodnik’s first appearance in six weeks and the rust was clearly visible as the righty reliever was unable to complete the frame, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while retiring just two batters. It was only the second time all season that Vodnik had allowed multiple runs in an appearance.

Three more IronPigs runs off Stripers reliever Tyler Ferguson in the seventh swung the game in Lehigh Valley’s favor and Gwinnett was unable to mount a comeback. Like Vodnik, Williams Woods also made a return to the mound in the game after a two-week absence. Unfortunately, also like Vodnik, Woods was not effective as he allowed four runs in an inning of work, including Harper’s second home run of the night, a three-run shot.

(52-62) Mississippi Braves 7 vs. (52-63) Birmingham Barons 11

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R, .251/.357/.363
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-4, 2 RBI, .220/.335/.461
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, R, .283/.397/.425
  • Allan Winans, SP: 5.2 IP, 13 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5K, 3.29 ERA

This was a wild game as it looked like Birmingham was going to run away with this one before the Mississippi bats exploded to life in the final two innings of the game, but came up just short of a win. The Braves scored seven runs in the final two innings after trailing by 7, but four runs allowed in the bottom of the eighth doomed Mississippi to the loss.

After managing just three hits through the first seven innings, Mississippi used four hits and two walks to shave a 7-0 deficit to 7-5. The inning included a two-run triple for Justin Dean, an RBI double by Justyn-Henry Malloy and a 2-RBI single from Drew Lugbauer.

Reliever Lisandro Santos couldn’t keep it a two-run game as the lefty allowed a pair of homers in a four-run inning as the Braves fell behind 11-6 heading to the ninth. Cade Bunnell pulled two more back in the ninth for Mississippi with a two-run triple, but that’s where the rally ended for the Braves.

Allan Winans was roughed up in his start as he allowed 13 hits in 5.2 innings with seven runs, although only three were earned. It’s the first time Winans has allowed more than seven hits in an appearance this season, although its his fourth consecutive loss suffered since the start of August.

(67-46) Rome Braves 1, (69-44) Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

Box Score

  • Geraldo Quintero, DH: 1-4, HR, RBI, R, .256/.396/.410
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-4, .287/.350/.473
  • Luis De Avila, SP: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.86 ERA

It was a struggle for the Rome offense as the High-A Braves managed only three hits and one run, a first inning solo shot courtesy of Geraldo Quintero. The only other hits on the night were singles by Cal Conley and Caleb Durbin, who also reached via a hit-by-pitch. No Rome baserunner reached second after Quintero’s first inning homer.

Luis De Avila was effective in his start for Rome, allowing two runs in five innings while striking out six and not issuing a walk. It took just 66 pitches for De Avila to get through his five frames, but he was saddled with the loss. The Rome bullpen allowed a final Bowling Green run in its three innings of work.

Despite the loss, Rome remains ahead of Bowling Green for the South Division’s second half playoff spot as the Braves now have a 3.5 game lead. With a Sally League-best 31-16 record in the second half of the season, Rome is a near-lock for the postseason.

(59-55) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (70-45) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3

Box Score

  • David McCabe, DH: 2-4, BB, 3 RBI, .327/.370/.449
  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-3, 2 BB, RBI, .278/.381.361
  • Ignacio Alvarez, 3B: 1-5, RBI, .200/.200/.200
  • Tyler Owens, RP: W, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.91 ERA

The Atlanta Braves 2022 Draft picks continued to show out in full season ball as the Augusta GreenJackets rallied for a 6-3 victory with three runs in the decisive ninth inning. Fourth-rounder David McCabe drove in three runs while fifth-rounder Ignacio “Nacho” Alvarez recorded a hit and RBI in his full season debut. Keshawn Ogans and Drake Baldwin also chipped in with RBI hits as Augusta reversed a 3-0 sixth inning deficit to a three-run win.

McCabe especially has been white-hot, with his sixth multi-hit game and a dozen RBI in 12 full season ball appearances, raising his average to .327. Catcher Drake Baldwin was on base all night with a pair of hits and a pair of walks, the last of which scored the go-ahead run.

Augusta starter Jorge Bautista allowed Myrtle Beach to rack up 11 hits, all singles, but didn’t allow a free pass. Five of those 11 hits came in the third inning where the Pelicans scored all three of their runs. Bautista stabilized after the third with three scoreless innings before turning it over to his bullpen for the final three frames. Tyler Owens pitched a scoreless seventh and eight, earning the win, while Rob Griswold recorded the save.

One scary moment happened amidst the GreenJackets rally in the ninth as Kadon Morton was hit in the head by a pitch and had to be removed from the game.

(20-35) FCL Braves 1, (39-16) FCL Rays 4

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-3, HR, RBI, R, .689 OPS

On the final day of Rookie ball in the Florida Complex League, the FCL Braves were one-hit by the team with the best regular season record, the FCL Rays. The lone hit was notable, however, as Ambioris Tavares, the prize of the Atlanta Braves 2021 international class, recorded his first professional home run to cap a solid debut in pro ball. The 18-year-old registered a .277 average over 17 games with eight RBI and five extra base hits.

(36-24) DSL Braves 4, (31-26) DSL Marlins 3

Box Score

  • Alexander Martinez, DH: 1-4, 2B, RBI, .630 OPS
  • Diego Benitez, SS: 1-3, BB, R, .646 OPS
  • Douglas Glod, CF: 0-4, .708 OPS

The DSL Braves closed out a successful summer in the Dominican on Tuesday afternoon with a 4-3 win over the DSL Marlins. Despite being outhit 10-5, the Braves stranded 10 Marlins baserunners, coming behind from a two-run deficit to win. The Braves DH, Alexander Martinez, drove in the game’s first run with an RBI double in the first inning, but the Braves fell behind after allowing three runs in the second. However, walks and putting the ball in play jumpstarted the Braves comeback as two Marlins errors and a wild pitch resulted in the Braves tying up the game at 3-3 in the sixth on runs from Robert Gonzalez and Diego Benitez. Another Marlins error in the seventh helped turn Elian Garcia’s double into a little league home run and the Braves closed out the 4-3 victory.

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