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Braves Minor League Recap: Lucas Braun racks up 8 more K’s

Lucas Braun was back at work on Sunday and

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Cody Milligan had a big day on Sunday.
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday saw Lucas Braun take another turn on the mound on a day that featured strong work by the bullpens at all four levels and five home runs on the day. We also got to see a combined shutout led by Samuel Strickland and a big game from Cody Milligan, though the teams in the system only ended up with wins in one of the four games on the day.

Worcester Red Sox 6, Gwinnett Stripers 4

Box Score

  • Joe Hudson, C: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, .233/.375/.398
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .235/.301/.408
  • Dalton Guthrie, LF: 2-4, BB, .270/.361/.395

The Stripers were forced into a bullpen game with Allan Winans recalled and Mike Soroka’s injury, leading to Mike Morin getting a start. Morin went three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out a pair. Seth Elledge followed and allowed five runs during his inning, though only two of those runs were earned. Kodi Whitley and Grant Holmes each went two scoreless innings, with Ben Heller giving up a run during one inning sandwiched between them. Excluding the inning from Elledge, Gwinnett pitchers allowed one run on just two hits over the other eight innings of this bullpen game.

The star at the dish was Joe Hudson, who homered and doubled while picking up a pair of RBI. Braden Shewmake also homered for the 15th time this season, and picked up the other two RBI for the Stripers. Unfortunately those three hits were the only extra base hits for the Stripers on Sunday. Dalton Guthrie added two hits and a walk in his five trips to the plate in the loss.

Tennessee Smokies 6, Mississippi Braves 4

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, 2B/CF: 3-5, HR, SB, R, 3 RBI, .285/.382/.423
  • Drake Baldwin, DH: 2-4, 2B, R, .323/.364/.355
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 3-4, 3B, RBI, .324/.360/.437

Mississippi also got a bullpen effort from the pitching staff with Patrick Halligan getting the start. Like Gwinnett’s starter, Halligan went three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit, adding four strikeouts. Jake McSteen and Domingo Gonzalez followed with a pair of scoreless innings apiece before things started to unravel for the Braves. Tyler Owens and Hayden Harris each came on to pitch one inning, and both of them allowed three runs. Similar to the Gwinnett bullpen day if you take out those two innings, Mississippi pitchers didn’t allow a run on two hits and two walks through seven innings of work.

The Mississippi offense was led by a big game from Cody Milligan. Milligan went three for five with a solo homer and a steal, and picked up three total RBI on the day. Bryson Horne also had a three-hit game, going three for four with a triple and picking up the other run batted in. The recently promoted Drake Baldwin went two for four with a double, and scored a run. Hendrik Clementina also had a two-hit game that included a double and scored two runs.

Asheville Tourists 4, Rome Braves 3

Box Score

  • Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 2-5, 2 2B, R, .265/.360/.397
  • David McCabe, 3B: 1-3, 2 BB, SB, .281/.388/.428
  • Lucas Braun, SP: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 5.59 ERA

Lucas Braun got the start and after allowing a run in the first seemed to have settled in to pitch really well for the next four innings. He came back out for the sixth and allowed two runs there, including a solo homer and finished his day one out shy of six innings, with three hits and two walks allowed to go with eight strikeouts. Braun continues to miss bats since making his pro debut and was efficient, needing just 71 pitches to by an out shy of the quality start. Shay Schanaman followed Braun to get the final out of the sixth inning and then Rolddy Munoz and Miguel Pena threw scoreless frames. Jared Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth, but allowed the inherited runner to score in the tenth and took the loss. Overall it was another impressive bullpen outing as after Braun left, the Rome pitchers combined to allow just the inherited extra-inning runner to score on two hits and a walk over four and a third.

The top of the order provided basically all of the offense for Rome in this one as three players combined for four of the five Braves hits. Leadoff man Keshawn Ogans was two for five with a pair of doubles. Hitting second Nacho Alvarez singled in his five trips to the dish, while three hole hitter David McCabe was one for three with a pair of walks and stole a base. The only other hit was from Kadon Morton, who singled and picked up two RBI.

Augusta GreenJackets 8, Down East Wood Ducks 0

Box Score

  • Cam Magee, SS: 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, .184/.271/.289
  • Will Verdung, 2B: 2-4, 2B, BB, R, .237/.304/.247
  • Kade Kern, LF: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, .242/.337/.374
  • Samuel Strickland, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.76 ERA

Five Augusta pitchers combined to shut out Down East in this one-sided game. Samuel Strickland got the start and allowed just one hit through five innings, striking out five. From there four relievers each pitched a scoreless frame, as LJ McDonough, Cory Wall, Zack Austin, and Chad Bryant combined to allow three hits and two walks over those four innings in what was another strong bullpen effort in the system.

The Augusta offense was led by a pair of three-run homers from a pair of the Braves recent draft choices, the second of the season from Cam Magee and the third by Kade Kern. A third recent draft pick, Will Verdung, was two for four with a walk and a double, while Sabin Ceballos was one for two. Jeremy Celedonio was hitless in one at bat, but did draw three walks and scored a pair of runs in the process. Ambioris Tavarez was hitless in three at bats, but drew a walk and scored a run as he continues his improved run to end the season.

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