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Braves Minor League Recap: Drew Lugbauer sets Mississippi home run record

Lugbauer’s 27th blast set the new high watermark in Mississippi’s franchise history

Mesa Solar Sox v. Scottsdale Scorpions Photo by Norm Hall/MLB Photos via Getty Images

While the offenses on the Atlanta Braves farm system didn’t have the most spectacular days, they were able to string hits together when it mattered to put up big innings in three wins. FIrst round pick Owen Murphy put up a flawless outing in Augusta’s win while Drew Lugbauer set the single season home run record for Mississippi.

(61-70) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (69-62) Buffalo Bisons 3

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 0-3, .167/.167/.167
  • Taylor Motter, DH: 1-2, HR, 2 BB, .250/.344/.516
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 3.06 ERA
  • Seth Elledge, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.07 ERA

(61-70) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (69-62) Buffalo Bisons 3

Box Score

  • Delino DeShields, CF: 0-1, 2 BB, .227/.374/.270
  • Taylor Motter, RF: 2-3, HR, 4 RBI, .261/.356/.609
  • Hernan Perez, 2B: 1-3, .280/.324/.422
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 5.06 ERA
  • Michael Tonkin, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.53 ERA

Life was tough for the Gwinnett bats in game one, with Taylor Motter’s solo home run in the fourth inning being the only run they scored in the game. Only two Gwinnett hitters reached base in the game with Motter having the honors thrice and Joe Dunand recording a single and a walk. That home run in the fourth did tie the game 1-1, but Buffalo was right back at it in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Kyle Muller was shaky at times throughout this start and the first inning hurt him when he allowed a run on two hits and a walk. He could have been in for a longer evening, but on the final play of the first Jake Marisnick was successful in cutting down a second runner trying to score to get Muller out of it. Muller again got eaten up in the fifth inning when a two run home run put Buffalo on top for good.

Game two was a bit better for Gwinnett in that they at least were able to string their baserunners together from multiple players to score enough runs to win. After three innings of futility Delino DeShields led off in the fourth with a walk which was quickly followed by a single from Hernan Perez. This brought up the red-hot Taylor Motter who stayed streaking when he cranked his second home run of the day to put the Stripers up 3-0. Unfortunately for the Stripers this coincided with the end of the line for Mike Soroka. Soroka retired nine of the first ten batters he faced in the game but the second time through the lineup was unkind to him and in the fourth inning he allowed three runs before recording an out. He managed to settle down and get out of it with a tie still in play and Gwinnett was able to pick him up later in the game. Motter drove in every single Gwinnett run during the double header, and the final one didn’t come via the long ball. He lined a sixth inning single to score DeShields and give Gwinnett a lead they did not relinquish. Michael Tonkin shut down the game with a perfect ninth inning to give the Stripers their first win of the series.

Next Game: 9/10 @ (69-63) Buffalo Bisons @ 6:05 PM ET

(59-69) Mississippi Braves 3, (60-67) Biloxi Shuckers 8

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 1-4, BB, 2 SB .293/.368/.347
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .213/.333/.448
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 3-5, RBI, .291/.415/.448
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5.45 ERA
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.09 ERA

Mississippi has no claim to a good evening, but one player did reach an important milestone in Friday evening’s game. The Braves offense struggled early and found themselves down 8-0 after four innings making the rest of the game mostly just procedural. Drew Lugbauer finally got Mississippi on the board in the sixth inning with a two run home run, his 27th of the season. That blast sets a new single season record for Mississippi, though unfortunately it proved to be a meaningless play in the scheme of the game. Justyn-Henry Malloy drove home Cody Milligan in the seventh inning for the third run of the game and Mississippi went down quickly after that.

Alan Rangel will not want to remember this game, as he got absolutely pounded to the tune of eight runs. It wasn’t one particular bad inning for Rangel either, he just couldn’t find it all game and allowed three runs as part of an eight-run outing. The bullpen for Mississippi was absolutely fantastic however, and over 4 23 innings combined didn’t allow a single hit. This started with AJ Puckett, who struck out a game-high three batters in 1 23 perfect innings immediately in relief of Rangel. Lisandro Santos was the only one who didn’t manage a strikeout in his scoreless sixth inning, and he was followed by Justin Maese and Indigo Diaz each taking innings.

Next Game: 9/10 @ (60-67) Biloxi Shuckers @ 7:35 PM ET

(73-54) Rome Braves 5, (66-64) Hickory Crawdads 4

Box Score

  • Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 1-4 .211/.304/.263
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-3, 2B, BB, .260/.337/.429
  • Kadon Morton, CF: 1-3, HR, 4 RBI, .167/.231/.417
  • JJ Niekro, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4.88 ERA
  • Rolddy Munoz, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 6.23 ERA

Rome only scored in one inning, but that big fourth was enough to lift them to a win over Hickory and clinch the South Division title for the second half. After falling behind 1-0 after three innings Rome got it started thanks to Geraldo Quintero, who was hit by a pitch to spark the rally. Keshawn Ogans then reached on a bunt single and Adam Zebrowski tied the game on a sacrifice fly. A walk and an error then loaded the bases, which brought up Kadon Morton who has struggled since his promotion to Rome. This time however he saw one pitch and turned on it for a grand slam to give Rome a commanding 5-1 lead. This was Morton’s first home run in a Rome uniform and his seventh in his past 22 games across two levels. Rome only had one other hit in the rest of the game, so there was not much of intrigue outside of Morton’s blast.

JJ Niekro put together a solid outing for the Braves, dancing around a handful of trouble spots to deliver a one run outing over five innings. Niekro faced runners on second and third in the first inning with only one out, but got a clutch strikeout and then a ground out to escape unharmed. Hickory got to Niekro on an RBI double in the third inning but otherwised managed little success. The bullpen was a bit of a different story. Rolddy Munoz shut things down in the sixth inning but Miguel Pena allowed three hits in the sixth inning before being pulled from the game with only one out. Benjamin Dum stranded both of the runners Pena left to him to keep the game at 5-2 and Grant Holmes pitched a scoreless eighth inning to give the ball to close Austin Smith for the ninth. Smith made things far to interesting when a two run home run got the lead down to one run. Needing just one out he struggled to shut the door and a single and fielding error put the tying run in scoring position. Finally Smith was able to get the finally out and seal a Rome win.

Next Game: 9/10 @ (66-64) Hickory Crawdads @ 7:00 PM ET

(68-61) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (57-73) Kannapolis Cannonballers 1

Box Score

  • David McCabe, 3B: 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, .242/.336/.326
  • EJ Exposito, 2B: 2-4, 2B, .224/.371/.365
  • Ignacio Alvarez, SS: 0-2, 3 BB, .279/.492/.372
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 7.71 ERA
  • Rob Griswold, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.12 ERA

Big innings were the theme in Friday’s wins and Augusta gave us another one with a late rally to take a win over Kannapolis. Both teams were locked in a scoreless battle through six innings until Ethan Workinger cracked an RBI double to score David McCabe and give Augusta a lead. This lead lasted all of half an inning as Kannapolis was able to tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. In classic GreenJackets fashion they just waited around for the other team to mess up, and in the eighth inning that began with a hit batter and two walks to load the bases with no outs. McCabe then drew an RBI walk and Augusta was once again in the lead. Noah Williams was hit by a pitch to force home a second run all without the GreenJackets putting a ball in play in the inning. A balk, a fielding error, and a sacrifice fly scored three more runs in the inning and Augusta somehow managed a five run inning without a single hit.

Owen Murphy showed off why he was Atlanta’s first round pick with his best performance as a professional. Over four innings Murphy didn’t allow a single hit while striking out five and getting through it all on just 47 pitches. Murphy’s only blemish was a two-out walk in the second inning and he now has 10 strikeouts in seven innings with Augusta. Rainery Rodriguez got the ball for an extended relief outing and he too was brilliant with four innings and only one run allowed. Rodriguez kept the no-hitter going for two more innings but consecutive hits led off the seventh and put Augusta in their only real trouble of the game. A sacrifice fly scored a run and tied the game but Rodriguez kept the game there and skated through the eighth inning. Rob Griswold got the ball to close it out and was perfect to clinch an Augusta win.

Next Game: 9/10 @ (57-73) Kannapolis Cannonballers @ 7:00 PM ET

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