Michael Harris II is on one again, and has four doubles already in Mississippi’s series
Two brilliant pitching performances from Darius Vines and Dylan Dodd headlined a decent day down on the Atlanta Braves farm system. Michael Harris II has gotten hot again for Mississippi and has hit safely with a double in all four games played this week.
(20-20) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (21-19) Memphis Redbirds 2
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, .295/.311/.455
- Phil Gosselin, 3B: 1-4, 3B, RBI, .305/.370/.475
- Preston Tucker, RF: 1-4, RBI, .288/.361/.433
- Kyle Muller, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.68 ERA
- Nolan Kingham, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.01 ERA
Gwinnett’s offense ran into trouble for a few innings this game, as they only had one hit through three innings in a scoreless pitcher’s duel. Phil Gosselin finally broke things open a bit when in the fourth inning he led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly for the game’s first run. Memphis tied the game up in the top of the fifth inning and with one out in the bottom of the frame the Stripers got two hits to threaten to re-take the lead. This did not come to fruition and Memphis got a run in the fifth to take a lead that stuck for a bit. In the eighth inning Delino DeShields Jr. led off with a base hit and Gwinnett had a chance to rally late in the game. Drew Waters drew a count full with one out and laced a one out single up the middle which the center fielder bobbled allowing Waters to get to second base. Gosselin tied the game on a ground out and Preston Tucker gave Gwinnett the lead with a base hit into the shift that the second baseman couldn’t come up with on a dive.
Kyle Muller spent most of his outing tip-toeing around damage as he frequently had multiple runners on base against him over his five innings and two batters of work. A walk and a base hit in the first inning were the first signs of slight shakiness for Muller, and another one out walk in the second inning had him back into the stretch. A fielding error deepened the waters, but Muller got a double play to escape the jam and did the same in the third inning to erase a one out single. He seemed to be getting his footing with a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but he finally broke in the fifth inning as a one out double and a single scored the first run against him. The first two batters of the sixth inning singled against Muller and he was quickly removed to make way for Nolan Kingham. Kingham had a tall task to protect a still-tied game, and he failed to do so as the first batter got a go ahead single. Fortunately he escaped with no further damage and after that single retired the next six batters. Thomas Burrows worked around a leadoff single to pitch a scoreless eighth inning and Brad Brach closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
Next Game: 5/21 vs (21-19) Memphis Redbirds @ 6:05 PM ET
(16-21) Mississippi Braves 3, (18-19) Biloxi Shuckers 4
- Michael Harris II, CF: 2-4, 2B, .303/.357/.500
- Yariel Gonzalez, SS: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .269/.310/.507
- Luke Waddell, SS: 0-4, .293/.380/.415
- Darius Vines, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 4.35 ERA
- Tyler Ferguson, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1.15 ERA
Michael Harris II and Yariel Gonzalez were the driving forces behind Mississippi’s offense, but no one else did much else and the Braves fell 4-3. The first of Harris’s contributions came in the fourth inning when he doubled to lead off the inning in front of the middle of the lineup. The next two batters then popped out in the infield to keep Harris at second base, but Drew Lugbauer doubled to break a scoreless tie. Again tied in the sixth inning Harris led off with a single, and Gonzalez gave the Braves a comfortable margin when he crushed a two run home run. After the loss of his on base streak last week Harris has come aflame once more, with seven hits in four games this week and a double in each one.
Darius Vines is starting to round into form a bit, and with this start he has three consecutive outings of six or more innings and more strikeouts than innings pitched. Where Vines has struggled has been with the long ball, and that got him in this one on a sixth inning solo home run. Vines has allowed 8 home runs in 27 innings over his past five starts. In his past three starts he has 18 1⁄3 innings with 26 strikeouts and only three walks. After Vines left the game Troy Bacon became responsible for protecting a two run lead, and he got into quite a bit of trouble immediately and loaded the bases in the seventh inning. He escaped this unharmed, but failed to do so in the eighth inning as a two-out, two-run home run tied the game. Tyler Ferguson was the victim of an error by Yariel Gonzalez in the ninth inning, which extended the inning where a two out base hit could bring home the go ahead run.
Next Game: 5/21 vs (18-19) Biloxi Shuckers @ 7:05 PM ET
(21-16) Rome Braves 6, (26-9) Aberdeen IronBirds 0
- Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 0-5, .267/.377/.389
- Javier Valdes, C: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, .250/.382/.446
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B: 2-5, HR, RBI, .319/.407/.496
- Dylan Dodd, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.46 ERA
- Dylan Spain, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 8.78 ERA
The Rome pitching staff delivered a gem and the bats supported them with a big sixth inning. Justun-Henry Malloy got the scoring started in the third inning with his fourth home run of the season— a lined shot that cleared the wall in the left field corner. The sixth inning was the big inning and it started on a ground rule double from Landon Stephens. Javier Valdes ripped a single to score Stephens and double the lead, and two batters late Bryson Horne went deep to break the game open and give Rome a 5-0 lead. Valdes added to the home run and run tally in the eighth inning with a solo blast to make it 6-0.
Dylan Dodd seems to be finding his way for Rome now, and he delivered his second consecutive scoreless outing to lead Rome to a win. An increase in ground balls has been pivotal to his newfound success, and in this outing he recorded ten ground ball outs over six innings. Dodd threw just 66 pitches, with more than 70% of those being strikes, and departed without really facing serious trouble in the game. Two of the three hits he allowed came in the sixth inning, but were split up by a double play that erased any threat. The bullpen kept Dodd’s momentum going, and that started with Dylan Spain who struck out two batters in a perfect seventh inning. Alec Barger struck out two of his own in a hitless and scoreless eighth inning and Austin Smith closed the game out in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning and a strikeout.
Next Game: 5/21 @ (26-9) Aberdeen IronBirds @ 6:05 PM ET
(20-17) Augusta GreenJackets 2, (25-12) Charleston Riverdogs 8
- Cal Conley, SS: 1-5, .222/.274/.396
- Brandol Mezquita, LF: 1-5, .328/.404/.456
- Braulio Vasquez, DH: 2-4 .274/.384/.411
- Luis Vargas, SP: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.00 ERA
- Kris Anglin, RP: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2.40 ERA
This game got Low-A ugly early and it never got back in hand for Augusta as they committed five errors on the way to an 8-2 loss. Augusta’s offense had a real shot in the first inning to jump out to a lead as Geraldo Quintero and Cal Conley had back-to-back singles to open the game, but a strikeout and a double play ended any hopes. A couple of two out walks in the fourth inning finally delivered the first run for Augusta as Quintero ripped his third hit of the game to drive in Mahki Backstrom to make it 6-1. In the fifth Brandol Mezquita led off with a base hit and Stephen Paolini followed with a double, but neither runner scored as the next three batters struck out swinging. Augusta tacked on a late run with a Connor Blair RBI single in the eighth inning, but this game was over fairly early and Augusta fell 8-2 despite actually outhitting Charleston 11-9.
Luis Vargas had the day off to a solid start by retiring the first two batters of the game, but a two out error opened the flood gates and a three run home run put Augusta behind early. The second inning was all Vargas, however, as he allowed two walks, two hits, and hit a batter to give up three earned runs and put the game well in favor of Charleston. Vargas couldn’t get out of the second inning and it was up to Kris Anglin to provide Augusta some bulk after those struggles. Anglin did a solid job of that going 3 1⁄3 innings with only one run allowed to save the GreenJackets bullpen. Darling Florentino struggled with his command and allowed three walks over two innings of relief, but managed to only allow one run. Isrrael De La Cruz pitched the final inning and struck out two batters in a perfect inning.
Next Game: 5/17 @ (25-12) Charleston RiverDogs @ 6:05 PM ET