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Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom homers, Luis De Avila shines

Sunday saw Vaughn Grissom’s first homer since early-May as well as five no hit innings from Luis De Avila.

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers
Luis De Avila
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Sunday saw the Braves organization take three out of four games and we saw the first Vaughn Grissom homer in over two months. We also got to see Nacho Alvarez record another extra base hit, a three-hit game from David McCabe, and five no hit innings out of Mississippi starter Luis De Avila.

Gwinnett Stripers 11, Memphis Redbirds 3

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-6, HR, R, 4 RBI, .317/.396/.469
  • Chadwick Tromp, C: 0-2, 2 R, 4 BB, .203/.356/.398
  • AJ Smith-Shawver, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 5.59 ERA

Sunday was AJ Smith-Shawver’s turn in the rotation, and while he didn’t have his best outing he was still able to keep the team in it through four innings. AJSS allowed a pair of runs on two hits with four strikeouts, but struggled with his command the entire outing. AJSS walked five guys and threw nearly as many balls as strikes in this one, 35 balls to 40 strikes. Still this is the type of performance that top big league pitchers are able to get through in a way similar to what AJSS did - keeping his team right in it while not having his best stuff or command. Seth Elledge and Daysbel Hernandez followed with a scoreless inning apiece, then Roel Ramirez allowed a run over two innings of work, followed by a scoreless ninth from Beau Burrows to finish off the win.

The Stripers mashed their way to 11 runs going up against Cardinals top prospect Matt Liberatore, with Vaughn Grissom’s grand slam being the big highlight. The homer was Grissom’s first since May 9th - though it isn’t like he hadn’t been putting up plenty of extra base hits since that point, and was one of his two hits on the day. Magneuris Sierra also homered, his first with the Stripers and against his former organization. The Grissom and Sierra homers were far from the only extra base hits in this one, as Braden Shewmake, Joe Dunand, Luke Williams, and Dalton Guthrie all added a double on the day. Guthrie, Williams, Shewmake, and Yolmer Sanchez all joined Grissom as Stripers with multi-hit games as well. Chadwick Tromp also stood out in this one, going hitless in a pair of at bats but drawing four walks and scoring a pair of runs.

Mississippi Braves 8, Chattanooga Lookouts 0

Box Score

  • Tyler Tolve, C: 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB, .238/.324/.373
  • Hudson Potts, 1B: 2-4, HR, R, RBI, .176/.290/.344
  • Luis De Avila, SP: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.28 ERA

Not only did Mississippi pick up the combined shutout, but starter Luis De Avila pitched five innings of no hit ball. De Avila didn’t allow a hit or a run over hit five innings while striking out six and walking three, but didn’t get to continue the no hitter as he was at 84 pitches through five. Victor Vodnik went the next inning and two thirds, giving up the first Chattanooga hit of the game and walking a pair as he struck out three. Kyle Wilcox went an inning and a third and Ty Tice the final inning to complete the shutout. Combined the four Mississippi pitchers allowed just two hits and five walks with 13 strikeouts in a dominant pitching performance.

A pair of homers were the big offensive highlights of the day as Hudson Potts hit a solo shot in the seventh and Tyler Tolve hit a three-run homer in the ninth. Potts would also add a single and was joined in the multi-hit club by Cody Milligan, who went 2-3 with a pair of walks and scored twice. Tolve also drew a walk, and was one of three guys beyond Milligan and Potts to reach base twice, as Justin Dean (1-3, BB) and Jacob Pearson (0-2, 2 BB) were the others.

Rome Braves 7, Jersey Shore BlueClaws 6 - 11 innings

Box Score

  • David McCabe, DH: 3-6, .274/.377/.410
  • Nacho Alvarez, SS: 2-6, 2B, 2 R, .297/.411/.420
  • Adam Zebrowski, C: 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI, .206/.295/.390

The final score says that the Braves allowed six runs, but it was a better combined pitching performance than that as this one went 11 innings. Cedric De Grandpre got the start and went four and two thirds, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Daniel Martinez went two and a third scoreless, followed by another scoreless inning out of JJ Niekro. Hunter Riggins went the final three innings allowing three runs (two earned), blowing a save by giving up a pair in the ninth, allowing the inherited runner to score in the 10th, and pitching a scoreless 11th to pick up the win.

The 7-6 final score might make this one look close, and the final score was close - but that doesn’t tell you the story of how the Rome offense dominated this game. Rome pumped out 15 hits, but was just 6-19 with runners in scoring position and left a bunch of runs off the board in this one. David McCabe (3-6) and Brandon Parker (3-4, 2B, BB) led the way with three hits apiece, while Kadon Morton (2-4, 3B), Nacho Alvarez (2-6, 2B), Geraldo Quintero (2-5, BB), and Adam Zebrowski all had two-hit games. Zebrowski’s two hit game included his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot that tied the game in the third inning. Overall seven of the spots in the lineup had hits, and eight spots reached base.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers 9, Augusta GreenJackets 2

Box Score

  • Jeremy Celedonio, DH: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, .190/.337/.403
  • Justin Janas, 1B: 2-4, .310/.394/.412
  • Seth Keller, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.09 ERA

Sunday was Seth Keller’s turn in the rotation and the young right-hander went three innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Nolan Martinez went the next three innings, allowing three runs as well. Three additional runs came off of Chad Bryant in his inning of work, before a scoreless frame from Elison Joseph.

Offense was a bit of a struggle in this one as Augusta scored two runs on six hits. The extra base hits weren’t hard to come by, as Jeremy Celedonio hit his 14th homer of the season, Bryson Worrell tripled, and they got doubles from Jair Casanova as well as Nick Clarno - but those were all of their hits minus a pair of Justin Janas singles. Augusta got runners into scoring position, but they just couldn’t get them home. Tyler Collins was hitless in a pair of at bats, but drew two walks in the loss.

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