It’s been a while, but the Braves pulled off the organizational sweep yesterday as not only did the big league team beat the scorching-hot Red Sox, but all four minor league affiliates won its games as well.
Here’s a recap of Tuesday’s Braves minor league action, marking the start of Week 4 of the MiLB season…
AAA – Gwinnett Stripers (10-9)
W, 2-1 vs. Memphis
- SP, K. Wright – 5 IP, 4 H, BB, 4 K
- SS, O. Arcia – 1 for 4, HR, RBI
- LF, A. Almonte – 2 for 4
This was exactly the start Kyle Wright needed as he worked around just four singles and a walk on his way to what should’ve been a win for him on Tuesday, if not for a 9th-inning rally by Memphis against reliever Jesse Chavez. Oh, and Wright even made a fantastic play while fielding his position…
And like so many times already this season, Gwinnett’s scoring started with shortstop Orlando Arcia, who scored the game’s first run with a solo-homer in the 3rd…
ZAMMM Orlando Arcia hits his 8th homer of the year!
So far this season Arcia is batting a HOT .333 and also holds the team high OPS at 1.090.
Stripers: 1 Redbirds: 0 pic.twitter.com/IsS6xJFcdE
— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) May 26, 2021
However, the heroics last night went to minor league journeyman Sean Kazmar. After Memphis pushed across the tying run in the top of the 9th, Kazmar came to the plate with the bases full for Gwinnett. The veteran hitter was all over the 2-2 pitch and sent a line drive to left to walk it off…
34-year-old second baseman Jason Kipnis made his Stripers debut on Tuesday, finishing the night 2 for 4. And catcher Jonathan Lucroy made a pinch-hit appearance in the 9th, drawing the key walk to set up Kazmar’s game-winning hit. Lucroy is hitting just .118 so far in his first seven games. Also, prospect Drew Waters finished last night 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
AA – Mississippi Braves (8-11)
W, 4-3 vs. Montgomery
- SP, N. Kingham – (W), 6 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 5 K
- CF, J. Dean – 2 for 3, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SB
- 3B, C. Alexander – 2 for 3, RBI, SB
Mississippi won a pretty exciting, back-and-forth game against Montgomery on Tuesday. M-Braves starter Nolan Kingham enjoyed a 2-0 lead through the first four innings of his outing, thanks to RBI singles by Trey Harris and Drew Lugbauer.
The M-Braves strike first with an RBI single by @JustCallMe_Duce scoring @Big_Popaa, who doubled to start the rally! pic.twitter.com/R3xmvTbxiX
— Mississippi Braves (@mbraves) May 26, 2021
Justin Dean was a busy body throughout the entire game, scoring that 1st-inning run from Harris’ single and then adding two doubles and two stolen bases of his own…
Have a night @Big_Popaa!
His second double increases the M-Braves lead to 4-2 in the 7th! He also has two SB! pic.twitter.com/6gW4FWBfKJ
— Mississippi Braves (@mbraves) May 26, 2021
It was also a good sign seeing CJ Alexander part of the offense last night as Mississippi’s third baseman contributed with an RBI single as well…
All in all, it was a solid game for the M-Braves’ lineup, who had been struggling of late. Also, that makes three starts in a row of at least five innings for Kingham, including back-to-back outings of at least six frames. The 24-year-old righty sort of just ran out of gas in the 7th last night, getting the hook after allowing two consecutive hits and a run.
Who knows what’s going on with shortstop Braden Shewmake, but the 2019 draft pick once again finished 0 for 4 last night.
A+ – Rome Braves (11-8)
W, 6-5 vs. Greenville
- SP, J. Shuster – 2 ⅔ IP, BB, 3 K
- 3B, K. Josephina – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI
- SS, B. Philip – 1 for 2, HR, RBI, BB
Making his second pro start, Braves 2020 first-rounder @JaredS_14 twirls 2 2/3 hitless frames for @TheRomeBraves. pic.twitter.com/7Yrq9mKHL5
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 26, 2021
Last year’s top pick in the draft, 22-year-old lefty Jared Shuster, made just his second pro start for Rome on Tuesday, and though he was on a tight pitch count, all signs pointed to a successful outing. Shuster induced three-straight flyouts in the 1st, struck out two and walked one in the 2nd, and struck out his third of the game in the 3rd before being replaced by reliever Marrick Crouse.
Jared Shuster was 93-94 and touched 95 tonight, which is a great sign. FB looked livelier than his first time out. Positive outing.
— David Lee (@David11Lee) May 26, 2021
Perhaps the real storyline for Rome last night was the offense, though. Despite just six team hits, the R-Braves managed to skate by Greenville with a walk-off RBI single by Andrew Moritz in the 9th inning.
Beau Philip, the Braves’ 2nd-round pick in 2019, slugged his first homer of the season, and 20-year-old Michael Harris kept the hitting going with his fourth consecutive game with an RBI when he tied things up in the 5th with a single. Third baseman Kevin Josephina had a much-needed big night, tallying two hits and knocking in two to push his season AVG up to .200.
A – Augusta GreenJackets (9-10)
W, 4-3 (10 inn.) vs. Columbia
- SP, S. Strider – 4 ⅔ IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K
- 2B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 5, HR, 2B
- C, R. Rodriguez – 3 for 4, 2B, RBI
Another one of the Braves’ recently-drafted pitchers from 2020, 22-year-old righty Spencer Strider took the hill for Augusta on Tuesday. He once again blew through the opposition with nine strikeouts, giving him 19 punchouts combined over his last 9 ⅓ innings and 26 overall in 11 ⅓ frames. This kid is ready for a promotion.
The GreenJackets led after three innings last night when outfielder Willie Carter knocked in Cade Bunnell with a single, and then Augusta added two more runs in the 7th when Bunnell belted a two-run home run. However, the Fireflies clawed their way back to tie things after scoring a run apiece in the 7th, 8th, and 9th.
The Jackets prevailed, though. With Stephen Paolini placed on second base as the phantom-runner in the 10th, catcher Ricardo Rodriguez provided the go-ahead RBI for Augusta when he drove a double to left. Reliever Miguel Pena then sat down Columbia in order to preserve the lead and the win.
Willie Carter’s three hits on Tuesday give him two three-hit performances this season to go with a solid .327 AVG and .936 OPS for 2021.
As of Tuesday night, probables that have been announced so far for Wednesday’s slate of games include Mississippi’s Hayden Deal (5.54 ERA) and Rome’s Rickey DeVito (1.35 ERA).
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