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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom slugs 14th home run

Grissom brought the lumber in Misssissippi’s close loss

Vaughn Grissom follows through on a swing for the Rome Braves Photo Credit: Mills Fitzner

The Atlanta Braves farm system delivered some fun moments on Sunday, with the offenses carrying the torch across the system. Vaughn Grissom slugged an early home run for Mississippi, while Mahki Backstrom him a ninth inning grand slam in Augusta’s win.

(50-55) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (40-65) Charlotte Knights 1

Box Score

  • Alex Dickerson, LF: 2-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .254/.312/.438
  • Ryan Casteel, C: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, .230/.325/.556
  • Greyson Jenista, RF: 1-3, BB, HR, .212/.28/.385
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 4.21 ERA
  • Kirby Yates, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1.69 ERA

Gwinnett rain away with this game early and rain called a mercy rule in the sixth inning to give the Stripers a nice cap to their weekend. After both teams traded zeroes in the first inning Ryan Casteel led off the second with a home run and Gwinnett never looked back. The Stripers netted another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Goins then came out in the fourth inning and broke the game open. Joe Dunand and Yariel Gonzalez reached base to lead off the inning and Goins drove in his second run of the game on a double. After a walk to Delino DeShields to load the bases Alex Dickerson squibbed one towards the third baseman and beat it out for an RBI infield single to put the Stripers up 4-1. With two outs Casteel did the same, beating out his for another RBI on his day. Taylor Motter and Alex Dickerson each got RBI hits in the fifth inning to further inflate the Gwinnett lead, and Greyson Jenista added on a sixth inning home run to give us the final score. That home run proved to be a rain maker, as the skies opened up while the next batter drew a walk and not long after the umpires called for a delay which led to a premature ending to this contest.

Gwinnett’s pitching staff benefitted heavily from this rain-shortened affair because they needed to only use three pitchers in what was a planned bullpen game. Nolan Kingham struggled at the outset and allowed three hits and a walk early, but after an RBI double with no outs in the second inning he settled down and retired the final six batters he faced. Kirby Yates made his fifth rehab start with Gwinnett and took only seven pitches to retire the side in order in the fourth inning. Jacob Webb struck out two in a perfect fifth inning to give Gwinnett twelve straight batters retired to end the game.

Next Game: 8/9 @ (63-41) Nashville Sounds @ 8:05 PM ET

(47-55) Mississippi Braves 5, (51-49) Biloxi Shuckers 6

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-5, HR, .345/.394/.494
  • Logan Brown, C: 2-2, 2 BB, 2 HR, .200/.254/.238
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 2-3, BB, .289/.386/.408
  • AJ Puckett, SP: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7.45 ERA
  • Jason Creasy, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 8.31 ERA

Mississippi fell behind early in this game and despite a furious late effort could never make up the ground. Biloxi netted three runs in the top of the first inning and Vaughn Grissom delivered the first response to this when he ripped a solo home run to put Mississippi on the board. Unfortunately this was all the Braves would get off of Shuckers starter Victor Castaneda as he blanked them over the final four innings while Biloxi jumped to a 5-1 lead. Trailing 6-1 after six and a half innings Mississippi had their work cut out for them, but got a good jump start with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the 7th inning from Andrew Moritz. Moritz scored a couple of plays later on a Riley Delgado sacrifice fly and the Braves finally had something rolling. Mississippi made their first two outs of the eighth inning quickly, but they wouldn’t go down too easily as two walks put them in a strong position to add on more runs. Jalen Miller came through with an RBI single, and when Moritz walked to load the bases the Braves found themselves with the tying run on first base. Logan Brown delivered a big single to drive in two runs and get Mississippi within one but a ground out ended the inning and the Braves went 1-2-3 in the ninth to come up short in a 6-5 loss.

Get used to bullpen games because that’s all we have on tap for you today, with Mississippi running out six pitchers in this game. AJ Puckett simply could not find it in the first inning and allowed three runs on three hits and a walk to put Mississippi in that big early hole. Due to him throwing 36 pitches in that inning he wasn’t able to come out and give them the length they had hoped and it fell on the rest of the pen to pick up innings. Coleman Huntley did a fantastic job by retiring the first seven batters he faced before being pulled after a one out double in the fourth inning. This brought in Odalvi Javier, who has been solid all season, but his struggles to find his command led to two runs scoring in the inning to extend the lead. Jason Creasy covered two scoreless innings for Mississippi and handed the ball to Justin Maese in the seventh. Maese allowed a leadoff single and then on what would end up being a key play in the game the runner stole second and then advanced on an error by the second baseman Jalen Miller. This put him in position to score Biloxi’s sixth and final run, unearned, on an RBI ground out. Maese was otherwise good, pitching a scoreless eighth, and Kyle Wilcox pitched a scoreless ninth despite having to work around three walks.

Next Game: 8/9 @ (55-47) Tennessee Smokies @ 7:15 PM ET

(61-41) Rome Braves 3, (36-64) Greenville Drive 1

Box Score

  • Cade Bunnell, 1B: 1-3, HR, BB, .183/.356/.317
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-3, 3B, .310/.365/.575
  • Willie Carter, LF: 2-4, RBI, .231/.310/.381
  • Dylan Spain, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 5.57 ERA
  • Alec Barger, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.24 ERA

Rome’s bullpen dominated Greenville, allowing only one unearned run to finish off the sweep of Greenville. The Braves didn’t have a huge day offensively but took advantage of their few opportunities to squeak out runs in support of the pitching staff. Two singles in the second inning led to Rome’s first run as a Caleb Durbin sacrifice fly broke an early scoreless tie. Greenville got that run back, but Rome came out in the third inning and got a leadoff triple from Cal Conley to put them in business. Willie Carter reached on an infield single with one out in the inning which brought Conley home to give Rome the lead back. Rome’s final run came the easy way as Cade Bunnell just crunched a home run and took the slow trot to put them up 3-1.

Dylan Spain made his second start of the week and for the second time he held Greenville down for three innings. Spain retired six straight batters with three strikeouts to start the game before a leadoff double in the third inning put him in the stretch. He would have likely escaped the inning unharmed had he not made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt which allowed the runner to advance to third where a one out ground out brought him in to score. After Spain’s three strong innings Jose Montilla matched him with three scoreless innings. Montilla allowed two hits in the first inning he pitched, but a double play ended that inning and he never faced a serious threat over the final two. Montilla ended his outing in style by striking out the side in order in the sixth inning. The rest of the bullpen closed the game out in typical fashion. Alex Segal threw a scoreless seventh inning which was followed by a scoreless inning from Isrrael De La Cruz. Alec Barger got the ball in the ninth inning and closed the game with ease and two strikeouts in a perfect frame.

Next Game: 8/9 @ (44-55) Asheville Tourists @ 6:35 PM ET

(52-48) Augusta GreenJackets 13, (34-67) Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Box Score

  • Brandol Mezquita, CF: 1-4, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, .286/.375/.385
  • Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 2-5, HR, BB, 4 RBI, .197/.337/.404
  • Stephen Paolini, RF: 3-6, 2B, 3 RBI, .223/.332/.310
  • Rolddy Munoz, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 6.57 ERA
  • Peyton Williams, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 5.40 ERA

Augusta’s dismantling of the Shorebirds finished with another beatdown on Sunday. Delmarva took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but they couldn’t keep pace with Augusta who had 17 hits and 13 runs. The bottom of the order got those two runs back quickly for Augusta, with Victor De Hoyos and Kadon Morton each driving one in to tie the game. Stephen Paolini had a three hit night, and one of those gave Augusta the led in the fourth inning by driving in Morton and Geraldo Quintero. Braulio Vasquez had an RBI single in the sixth inning to make it 5-2, but the action really got started for the final three innings. De Hoyos and Morton led off in the seventh inning with base hits and Paolini brought in his third RBI with a ground rule double. A fielders choice and a sacrifice fly then brought in Morton and Paolini to give Augusta an 8-2 lead. After a quiet eighth inning the same crew of names loaded the bases in the ninth inning. Morton and Paolini had hits to open the inning and Brandol Mezquita drew a walk which loaded the bases. A two out error scored a run and extended the inning, giving Mahki Backstrom just enough time to put the icing on this cake. Backstrom unloaded on a ball to the opposite gap for a long grand slam.

Rolddy Munoz struggled mightily with two runs allowed in a shaky first inning, but that was not a sign of things to come as Augusta shut Delmarva down after this to complete the series sweep. Munoz redeemed himself with a clean second inning, striking out one batter while getting two ground outs for a shutdown inning. The rest of the bullpen was outstanding, starting with Elison Joseph’s two scoreless innings immediately in relief of Munoz. Darling Florentino followed with two hitless innings before giving the ball to Miguel Pena. Pena allowed an infield single to leadoff the inning, then got an infield pop out, a strike out, and a routine ground out that ended a strong frame. Peyton Williams had the best day of the group with two perfect innings of relief and three strikeouts to close out a win.

Next Game: 8/9 @ (57-44) Fredericksburg Nationals @ 7:05 PM ET

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