After sweeping the competition as an organization on Tuesday, last night the Braves received just one win from its minor league system as Gwinnett’s offense rolled over Memphis.
Here’s a recap of the Braves minor league action from Wednesday…
AAA – Gwinnett Stripers (11-9)
W, 11-5 vs. Memphis
- SP, J. De La Cruz – 3 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB, 5 K, HR
- C, J. Lucroy – 2 for 4, 2B, 4 RBI
- 3B, S. Kazmar – 1 for 3, HR, 3 RBI
This one tilted in Gwinnett’s favor early when the Stripers hung six runs on Memphis in the 1st, with recently-signed big league veteran, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, slapping a bases-clearing double to right.
Two batters later, following a walk by Abraham Almonte, Tuesday’s walk-off hero Sean Kazmar kept the offensive surge going with his third homer of the season to give Gwinnett a 6-2 lead.
That four-run lead was enough to allow starter Jasseel De La Cruz to settle down following the 1st-inning homer he allowed. Cruz was nearly perfect until the 4th. But a single, a walk and a three-run double ended his day after just 65 pitches, which gave way to an army of five different Stripers relievers, including an appearance by recently-signed Shane Greene (who threw 16 pitches in 1 ⅓ innings, walking one and striking out one).
Cruz left his outing with just a two-run lead in the 4th, but Gwinnett’s lineup made sure the lead stuck in the bottom-half of the frame as Lucroy knocked in another run via a sac-fly and Almonte contributed with an RBI single.
Yolmer Sanchez tacked on the 11th and final run for the Stripers in the 7th with an RBI single.
Every batter in Gwinnett’s lineup, save for Cruz, reached base in this one. Other notable performances included a 1 for 4 night for Drew Waters that also featured a walk and a run; Johan Camargo finished 2 for 5 with a double, two runs and an RBI; and Orlando Arcia went 1 for 4 with two runs and a walk.
AA – Mississippi Braves (8-12)
L, 3-0 vs. Montgomery
- SP, H. Deal – 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 5 K
- RF, T. Harris – 2 for 2, 2B, 2 BB
- C, S. Langeliers – 2 for 4
Following a productive Tuesday offensively, Mississippi’s lineup went quiet again last night and managed just six hits as a team, including nine base runners left stranded.
Hayden Deal made the start for the M-Braves, and after facing just two more than the minimum through the first three frames, he wound up getting in quite a jam in the 4th when he allowed a two-out double followed by a walk and a hit-by-pitch. However, the 26-year-old lefty got out of the inning with a clutch swinging-strikeout.
Hayden Deal with some clutch pitching in the 4th inning. He escapes a bases loaded jam to keep us scoreless.
Deal: 4.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K pic.twitter.com/VAoqsXI7PZ
— Mississippi Braves (@mbraves) May 27, 2021
Montgomery scored one run in each of the 5th, 6th and 8th innings, all off relievers Sean McLaughlin, Chris Nunn and Matt Withrow, respectively, before Mississippi’s lineup went down in order in the 9th.
One of five to enter from Mississippi’s bullpen last night, Troy Bacon’s scoreless 9th inning now gives him 10 ⅓ consecutive frames without allowing a run.
— Mississippi Braves (@mbraves) May 27, 2021
This is getting crazy, and I’ll have a post on the topic at some point today, but Shewmake again finished 0 for 4 on Wednesday, dropping his AVG to .086 for the season. The prospect shortstop only struck out once, though, while grounding out twice and flying out… so at least he’s putting the ball in play.
A+ – Rome Braves (11-9)
L, 9-3 vs. Greenville
- SP, R. DeVito – (L), 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR
- 1B, B. Ball – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI
- CF, M. Harris – 1 for 4, 2B
Rome’s starter Ricky DeVito had a rough opening inning and after three-straight singles to start the game, followed by a steal of home, he found himself down 2-0 after one. But first baseman Bryce Ball helped him out in the 2nd when he led off with a double and eventually came around to score from a wild pitch.
The outing got progressively worse for DeVito, though, as innings three and four featured 10 more Greenville batters and another two runs. At 69 pitches the 22-year-old righty was done, and his four runs allowed on Wednesday raises his ERA for the 2021 season from 1.35 up to 3.12. Four Rome relievers pieced together the last five frames of the game with mixed results as Davis Schwab, Luis Santos and Gabriel Noguera all allowed five runs over the next three consecutive innings following DeVito’s departure.
Rome mustered a decent rally in the 9th when Cody Milligan led off with a single and wound up scoring after Kevin Josephina singled, Michael Harris hit into a fielder’s choice and Ball drew a bases-loaded walk. However, the next three Braves batters went down in order to end the game.
Harris — the hottest prospect in the organization — saw his RBI streak die at four games last night, though the 20-year-old outfielder still managed a hit for the eighth consecutive game.
A – Augusta GreenJackets (9-11)
L, 4-0 vs. Columbia
- SP, J. Estes – (L), 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K
- 3B, V. Grissom – 2 for 4
- CF, J. Bermudez – 1 for 3, 2B
Augusta really should’ve won Wednesday’s game, or at least avoided the shutout. The GreenJackets started the game with three-straight singles by Braulio Vasquez, Vaughn Grissom and Willie Carter, but then followed that up with back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to strand three. Then in the 2nd, Jose Bermudez — who had himself a helluva game as the team’s no. 9 hitter — slapped a two-out double only to be left on base by Vasquez’s strikeout. The 3rd inning was much of the same: a lead-off single by Grissom… then three consecutive outs.
In the meantime, Augusta’s starting pitcher, Joey Estes, pitched around a messy 3rd. Following a lead-off walk and an error by Estes on a pick-off attempt, Columbia executed a sac-bunt that resulted in another throwing error by the pitcher, which in turn, ended with a Fireflies run. That misplay by Estes would prove costly as the safe runner at first wound up scoring three batters later off an RBI single. Estes committed yet another throwing error in the 3rd (!), but was able to pitch through it, and in the 5th he faced only the minimum, resulting in a rather decent outing given those three blunders.
The GreenJackets lineup went down in order in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, and in the 9th only managed a walk, ending the game with just six hits as a team.
As of Wednesday night, only Rome’s Alan Rangel has been announced as a probable starter for Thursday’s slate of games.