Sunday marked the conclusion of Week 2 of the minor league season as all four of the Braves full-season clubs enter an off day on Monday before cranking up their next six-game series. And boy, did they end the week with a bang. From Gwinnett down to Rome, there was offense everywhere…
AAA – Gwinnett Stripers (9-3)
W, 5-4 vs. Louisville
- SP, B. Wilson – 6 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 2 HR
- SS, O. Arcia – 2 for 5, HR, RBI
- 1B, R. Casteel – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI
Gwinnett rather fittingly won its second series of the season on Sunday as one of Triple-A’s hottest hitters, shortstop Orlando Arcia, slugged a 3-2 pitch over the wall in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off home run to beat Louisville…
ORLANDO ARCIA WALKS US OFF!!!
He hits his seventh home run in twelve games to secure the victory as the Stripers come from behind to win 5 – 4. pic.twitter.com/mhmAfAMXdP
— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) May 16, 2021
Arcia’s long ball won the game for the Stripers, despite them being down 4-1 entering the 5th inning. That three-run lead was chipped away thanks to a solo-homer by Ryan Casteel in the 5th…
Here's a quick video of Ryan Casteel's casual jog on a Sunday afternoon.
End 7: Stripers – 4. Bats – 4. pic.twitter.com/gnW5QhQDbR
— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) May 16, 2021
Other notable offensive contributors in this one: Prospect Drew Waters recorded a hit for the second-straight game, leading off Gwinnett’s half of the 1st with a double. Waters also walked twice (hallelujah!) and picked up his third stolen base of the season. Johan Camargo and Aberham Almonte each finished 1 for 3 with a walk, while the former knocked in the Stripers’ first run of the game with an RBI single in the 3rd inning.
As you can see by his line, Bryse Wilson wasn’t fooling anybody on Sunday as he allowed seven singles, two homers, and a double in his start while managing just three strikeouts. Still, Wilson didn’t walk anyone, and as a pitcher for Gwinnett, even allowing four runs will keep the team in the game.
The quartet of Victor Arano, Jay Flaa, Thomas Burrows, and Edgar Santana worked out of the Stripers bullpen, and they all combined to pitch three innings of one-hit ball.
AA – Mississippi Braves (4-8)
L, 14-10 vs. Biloxi
- SP, M. Stallings – ⅓ IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB
- 3B, C. Alexander – 2 for 5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
- 1B, D. Lugbauer – 2 for 5, HR, 3 RBI
Since when do five home runs not win a game? I guess it can happen when the other team scores 14 runs, which is exactly what happened to Mississippi on Sunday.
I’ll save you the words, but if you’re interested in a scoring summary for this one, here’s a clip of all the runs in this one, including two homers for M-Braves third baseman CJ Alexander…
RECAP: Five M-Braves homers aren't enough in wild 14-10 loss in Biloxi on Sunday.
Story > https://t.co/2o5gCgY8K4 pic.twitter.com/5DLelrZ5FU
— Mississippi Braves (@mbraves) May 16, 2021
While Mississippi’s offense matched a club record for homers in a game, Sunday’s starter Mitch Stallings may have come close to matching a record for the shortest outing that didn’t feature an injury. Biloxi sent 13 batters to the plate in the 1st, which featured seven runs; all but one of those runs came against Stallings as his season ERA blew up to 21.60.
The 25-year-old lefty (Stallings) got the lead-off batter to ground out, but then the next six batters reached base for the Shuckers in the opening frame. Reliever Will Latcham entered the game for Mississippi with bases loaded, but he too got hit around as he came in and immediately allowed a two-run single and then hit a batter. Latcham also surrendered another RBI single in the inning.
In all, counting Latcham, six M-Braves relievers worked together to finish this one, combining to allow six more runs over 7 ⅔ frames. Yuck.
A+ – Rome Braves (7-5)
W, 4-1 vs. Greensboro
- SP, T. Gordon – 4 ⅔ IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K
- CF, M. Harris – 4 for 4, RBI, SB
- RF, J. Franklin – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB
Prospect outfielder Michael Harris continues to show everyone that the hype surrounding him this past offseason was well-deserved. On Sunday versus Greensboro, Harris homered in the 1st inning and then added three singles to push his season AVG/OPS to a healthy .333/.886. This kid is the real deal.
Cody Milligan (sac-fly) and Brett Langhorne (solo-homer) each added an RBI as well in yesterday’s game. And along with two stolen bases, outfielder Jesse Franklin finished 2 for 4 with a double, to go with two runs scored. In fact, Rome tallied five stolen bases as a team, with Harris, Langhorne, and Kevin Josephina providing the other three steals.
After the starting pitching lines listed above, it was nice to see Tanner Gordon’s solid performance for the R-Braves on Sunday. Following a rough first start to the 2021 season back on May 5, the 23-year-old Gordon has now notched back-to-back strong outings that have included just one run allowed over his last 7 ⅔ innings.
Righty A.J. Puckett continued his run of good work out of Rome’s bullpen as he picked up the win yesterday after relieving Gordon and pitching 3 ⅓ hitless innings. Indigo Diaz, another pitcher off to a solid start, worked the 9th for his second save of the season.
A – Augusta GreenJackets (5-7)
L, 9-7 (10 inn.) vs. Myrtle Beach
- SP, T. Owens – 3 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 K
- CF, S. Paolini – 3 for 5, 3B, 4 R
- SS, V. Grissom – 2 for 3, 2B, R, SB
Despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead through the first three innings on Sunday, Augusta wound up going to extra-innings with Myrtle Beach for the second-straight game… only to allow three runs in the 10th.
One of the GreenJackets’ hottest hitters this season, outfielder Willie Carter (.355 AVG / 8 RBI), sat out yesterday’s game, although his replacement in left field, Brandon Parker, did his best to fill in. Despite going 0 for 3, Parker led Augusta with three RBI, thanks to an RBI groundout in the 1st and a pair of sac-flies (one in the 7th and one in the 10th).
Shortstop Vaugn Grissom kept up the good work at the plate with two more hits, and he’s now up to a .310 AVG for the season. And perhaps one of the highest-regarded players on the team, outfielder Stephen Paolini, finished with three hits that he desperately needed. Even with his 3 for 5 game on Sunday, Paolini is hitting just .158 to go with a .556 OPS in 2021.
Tyler Owens is looked at as the “ace” of this GreenJackets starting staff, but so far, that hasn’t really been the case. His three innings yesterday was the longest outing of his 2021 season so far, and his last two starts combined consisted of just 3 ⅓ frames.
The 20-year-old Owens was relieved by Kenny Wells, who pitched a perfect 4th inning by striking out all three batters. However, the hard-throwing Roddery Munoz entered the 5th and proceeded to surrender five runs from seven hits, including a home run, in five innings of relief. Alger Hodgson attempted to hold the Pelicans in the 10th, but he promptly walked the leadoff hitter before giving up a walk-off two-run homer to end the game.
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