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Braves Minor League Recap: Mike Soroka flings four one hit innings

Soroka’s road back to Atlanta gave us its best outing so far

MLB: All Star Game-National League at American League Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

There were some good times on the Atlanta Braves farm system tonight as both Mike Soroka and Ozzie Albies turned in fine performances for the Gwinnett Stripers. There were also some bad times as first round pick Owen Murphy had an awful second start for Augusta as they got absolutely crushed by Salem.

(60-66) Gwinnett Stripers 7, (68-58) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0 SUSPENDED

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, DH: 2-3, RBI
  • Alex Dickerson, RF: 1-1, HR, 2 RBI
  • Tyler White, 1B: 1-2, HR, 3 RBI
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.50 ERA

It was a big evening for those hoping for Atlanta’s stars to come back healthy as both Ozzie Albies and Mike Soroka gave us promising performances in Gwinnett’s short Friday. Albies led off the first inning for Gwinnett with a single, but a double play erased him and both teams stayed locked scoreless until the third inning. Here a two out walk from Rylan Bannon and an error on a grounder from Taylor Motter would open the floodgates for the Stripers to jump on top. Hernan Perez drove in Bannon with an RBI single and Tyler White cleared the bases with his 16th home run to break the game open at 4-0. Albies got back on the board in the fourth inning with an RBI single and then was able to give his foot a rest as he just needed to jog home on Alex Dickerson’s home run. That home run was the last play before rain halted action.

The only thing that was stopping Mike Soroka in last night’s game was the weather because he turned in a vintage Maple Maddux outing in a dicing of the Jumbo Shrimp. He started the game out with two strikeouts and a ground out in the first inning to set the tone for what was to come. The only baserunner he allowed in this game was a two out single in the second inning which was quickly followed by an inning ending strikeout. He struck out the next two batters after this before getting four consecutive ground ball outs to end his outing. That is still a notable point however, as Soroka has struggled the second time through lineups. He struck out five of the first nine batters he faced but in the second look at him those four jumbo shrimp hitters were able to make contact though without any success at finding hits.

Game Resumes: 9/3 vs (68-58) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp @ 5:05 PM ET

(57-66) Mississippi Braves 9, (66-58) Tennessee Smokies 7

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .288/.357/.324
  • Javier Valdez, C: 1-3, BB, RBI, .265/.446/.449
  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 1-4, BB, RBI, .286/.406/.456
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4.94 ERA
  • Justin Yeager, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.82 ERA

Mississippi had trouble slowing down the Tennessee offense but produced enough firepower of their own to keep pace and win the game with a late comeback. The Braves only managed one hit their first time through the order but in the fourth finally got the bats moving. Cody Milligan drew a walk to lead off the inning and Jalen Miller’s double but both men in scoring position for the middle of the order. While no one managed to get a hit Justyn-Henry Malloy and Drew Lugbauer each recorded RBI ground outs to bring Mississippi back to a 3-2 deficit. The pitching staff then gave those two runs back and going into the sixth the Braves were down 5-2. Once again Milligan led off by getting on base, this time with a single, but Miller grounded into a double play to give Mississippi two quick outs. The Braves had a two out rally planned though, with Malloy’s single starting it off. Lugbauer followed with a walk and Javier Valdes broke through with an RBI double. Cade Bunnell had the big hit of the inning and drove in Lugbauer and Valdes on a double to tie the game at 5-5. Mississippi’s bullpen still couldn’t hold the Smokies off of the board and the Braves were once again down with a 7-5 deficit heading into the eighth inning. That Lugbauer, Valdes, Bunnell trio got the clutch rally started as they loaded the bases with no outs in the inning. This brought up Riley Delgado who ripped a double down the left field line to tie the game at seven. Not too long later Milligan came through with a two-run single to put Mississippi on top for the first time in the game.

Mississippi’s pitching staff really struggled in this game as all but one pitcher they ran out there allowed at least one run. Alan Rangel got off to a poor start when he allowed two runs in the first inning and kept that going when a solo home run in the second made it 3-0. After that home run he retired nine of the next ten batters he faced, but couldn’t get through the fifth without allowing another run to score on two more hits. After five the bullpen took over, and the first batter Kyle Wilcox faced took him deep to extend Tennessee’s lead to 5-2. Jake Higginbotham only allowed one hit in the seventh inning, but the runner stole second and third base to be in position to score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. Jasseel De La Cruz allowed a run on two hits in the eighth inning, but got the win as Mississippi was able to make a comeback after that. Justin Yeager finally brought some peace to the box score as he worked around a leadoff walk to pitch a scoreless ninth and earn his fifth save.

Next Game: 9/3 vs (66-58)Tennessee Smokies @ 7:05 PM ET

(70-52) Rome Braves 5, (48-75) Greenville Drive 8

Box Score

  • Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 1-3, RBI, .333/.375/.333
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-3, 2B, BB, .258/.335/.421
  • Brandol Mezquita, CF: 1-4, RBI, .244/.313/.293
  • JJ Niekro, SP: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.23 ERA
  • Davis Schwab, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 4.69 ERA

Bullpen woes sank Rome to their third loss this week, though they remain seven games up on the second playoff spot with less than two weeks to play. Jacob Pearson put the Braves on top in the first inning when he lead off with a single, stole second base then advanced on a ground out and sacrifice fly to score. While Greenville was able to overcome that lead quickly the Braves were not yet down. Cal Conley doubled and scored on an error to tie the game in the fourth inning and Beau Philip gave Rome the lead with his 12th home run of the season. Bryson Horne doubled to score Brandon Parker to complete a three run inning and put Rome up 4-2. Rome’s offense fell off after this however with the only other run scored coming on a base hit from Brandol Mezquita in the eighth inning.

JJ Niekro put up a solid start for Rome though he had one inning in which everything fell against him. Niekro had allowed only one hit through two innings but got into trouble in the fifth inning when each of the first three hitters found holes for singles. After a strikeout for the first out of the inning Niekro allowed a fourth hit which gave Greenville a 2-1 lead. Overall in four innings Niekro recorded 11 of his 12 outs via ground out or strikeout, but had his line tainted when those ground balls found holes in the third inning. The rest of the bullpen did not see the same success Niekro had as they allowed six runs over five innings. Ronaldo Alesandro allowed the first of three two-run home runs in the game which tied the game in the sixth inning. One inning later the leadoff batter reached on an error against Alex Segal, which came back to bite him on a two-out, two-run home run that gave Greenville a lead. Davis Schwab avoided the big hit with a scoreless eighth inning, but it was right back to old ways in the ninth when Austin Smith surrendered a two-run home run to ice the game.

Next Game: 9/3 vs (48-75) Greenville Drive @ 6:00 PM ET

(63-60) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (63-60) Salem Red Sox 17

Box Score

  • Kadon Morton, RF: 1-5, HR, .227/.342/.385
  • Stephen Paolini, LF: 1-3, HR, BB, .217/.327/.332
  • Francisco Floyd, 2B: 1-4, HR, .248/.348/.368
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 18.00 ERA
  • Rob Griswold, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.24 ERA

I honestly wouldn’t blame you if you just exited the window on this one because it’s gonna be just as awful to read as i was to witness. We’ll start with the good news. Stephen Paolini and Kadon Morton each kept their strong second halves going as they hit home runs. Paolini has six of his seven home runs in 41 games since the start of July while posting a respectable 22.6% strikeout rate and 13.6% walk rate. Morton has likewise come alive with five home runs in his past nine games and a .254/.378/.500 line over his past 36 games. Now we will get into the bad news, which is everything else that occurred in this game.

Owen Murphy’s second Single-A start is best forgotten about as his command was awful and he allowed five runs while recording only one out. Estarlin Rodriguez didn’t give anyone much more to cheer about as he allowed six runs over 2 23 innings as Salem jumped to an 11-0 lead. This tasked Juan Mateo with just eating up some garbage time innings, and he gave Augusta four of those albeit with five runs allowed on two home runs. Rob Griswold gave Augusta their only scoreless inning as he shut down the Red Sox with a clutch ninth inning performance.

Next Game: 9/3 vs (63-60) Salem Red Sox @ 6:05 PM ET

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