Davidson continued his dominant season with nine more strikeouts over seven innings in a loss. Braden Shewmake had three hits in Rome and Kevin Gausman made a rehab start.
(48-38) Gwinnett Stripers 0, (53-34) Durham Bulls 5 GM 1
- Travis Demeritte, LF: 0-2, BB, .295/.399/.578
- Alex Jackson, C: 0-2, .217/.311/.489
- Kolby Allard, SP: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 3.83 ERA
(49-38) Gwinnett Stripers 9, (53-35) Durham Bulls 7 GM 2
- Travis Demeritte,RF: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, .298/.401/.585
- Adam Duvall, LF: 1-3, BB, RBI, .256/.340/.581
- Jeremy Walker, RP: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 11.57 ERA
- Thomas Burrows, RP: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4.43 ERA
Gwinnett opened up their double header in a disappointing fashion by getting no hit over seven innings by the Bulls pitching staff. The pitching staff did similarly poor with Kolby Allard struggling to limit contact through much of the five innings in his start. Allard got in trouble early in part due to his defense. Emilio Bonifacio knocked a single to lead off the game and then following an error by Pedro Florimon to put two runners on Allard allowed the big hit in the game with a three run home run. Gwinnett did not take a single at bat in the game with a chance to tie it up. Following the home run Allard really settled in quite nicely and pitched the next 3 2⁄3 innings scoreless with with four strikeouts and only two hits allowed. Allard then allowed three hits that scored one run in the fifth inning and in the sixth he hit the first batter and then allowed a double before being pulled for Jason Creasy. Creasy allowed one of the inherited runners to score but finished out the final two innings without allowing another run to score.
Game two went much more smoothly for the Gwinnett batters, who scored nine runs in a come-from-behind, walk-off win. Gwinnett starter Ben Rowen rolled through hitters in the first two frames but he hit trouble in the third and that put the Stripers behind by a couple of runs. No problem for the offense, though, and an RBI double from Adam Duvall and two run home run from Sean Kazmar pushed them on top of the Bulls. Jeremy Walker made his Triple-A debut and had some struggled against Durham, allowing seven hits over 2 1⁄3 innings but all but one of those were just singles and he struck out three batters with no walks. He did allow two runs in the fifth that put the Bulls back on top. Travis Demeritte came back with an RBI double and then scored on a ground out to put Gwinnett up 5-4 in the next inning. Durham went into the bottom of the eighth leading by two runs but the Stripers had more left in the bats to come back and tie it. A Rafael Ortega singled to score Demeritte, who had just knocked his second double of the game, and then Jonathan Morales tied the game with an RBI double. In the bottom of the ninth inning Luis Marte was the hero, crushing a two run home run to walk the game off and send Gwinnett home with a split of the double header. Shortstop Sean Kazmar pitched the top of the ninth inning in a tie game, and he managed to pitch a perfect inning with one strikeout in his first career professional pitching appearance.
Next Game: 7/6 vs (53-35) Durham Bulls @ 6:05 PM ET
(39-46) Mississippi Braves 0, (49-37) Biloxi Shuckers 3
- William Contreras, C: 0-3, .169/.260/.185
- Cristian Pache, LF: 0-4, .293/.352/.518
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-3, .326/.373/.508
- Tucker Davidson, SP: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 2.04 ERA
Tucker Davidson played well for the Braves in this game. Nobody else did. The Mississippi Braves offense was pitiful throughout the game, and through four innings they found themselves down by two runs with only hit coming off of the bat of Riley Unroe. Greyson Jenista singled to lead off the fifth inning, but this was no spark for the offense as William Contreras grounded into a double play on a 3-0 pitch and the inning was erased. A prospect did something in the seventh inning with Drew Waters knocking a bloop hit into left field and then he got stranded where he stood on a pop out to the infield, a weak fly out to center field, and then a ground out to the first baseman. The last nine batters of the game were retired, and Drew Waters was curiously removed from the game in favor of Ray-Patrick Didder with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Tucker Davidson had his struggles in the first two innings of the game, but he was dominant over the last five and finished out another marvelous start. Davidson worked around a hit in the first inning, but in the second three consecutive hits led off the inning and put Mississippi in a hole. A sacrifice bunt brought in a second run before Davidson was able to get out of the inning. After that third hit of the inning Davidson retired eight straight batters and struck out four of those before allowing a two out single in the fourth. Davidson struck out two more batters in the fifth and then one each in the sixth and seventh to bring his total on the day to nine strikeouts. The nine strikeouts are his second highest total this season and this was his first start this season without allowing a walk. His walk rates this season aren’t elite, but he’s made strides and since the start of June has 39 strikeouts and 9 walks in 29 1⁄3 innings with only two home runs allowed. Connor Johnstone pitched two innings of relief and allowed one run.
Next Game: 7/3 vs (49-37) Biloxi Shuckers @ 7:05 PM ET
MIS: Joey Wentz (4-7, 4.81 ERA)
BLX: Alec Bettinger (4-5, 3.77 ERA)
(29-55) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (47-47) Bradenton Marauders 5
- Ender Inciarte, CF: 0-3, .111/.200/.111
- Trey Harris, RF: 0-5, .283/.371/.435
- CJ Alexander, DH: 0-3, 2 BB, RBI, .000/.400/.000
- Kevin Gausman, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1BB, 6 K, 5.40 ERA
Florida had chances in this game but once again could not come through with a win and lost their sixth straight game to fall to 4-14 in the second half of the season. Despite the presence of two literal Major League Baseball players they fell into an early hole and could not climb out. Florida got their first hit in the bottom of the fourth inning, then in the seventh they finally were able to come through with some runs. A single, a hit batter, and a walk loaded the bases with two outs and then the Marauders walked three consecutive Fire Frogs batters with the bases loaded to score three runs and bring the game within a run. Despite this the Fire Frogs still could not tie the game up and then didn’t get a hit over the final two innings. Ender Inciarte went 0-3 in his rehab start with a ground out to the pitcher, a fly out to left field, and a ground out to shortstop.
Kevin Gausman made a rehab start and it was clear early on that he had some rust to shake off. Gausman allowed hits in each of the first two innings, but it was the third that he got into some trouble. Gausman allowed a walk and a single to lead off the inning, then after a sacrifice fly he gave up a two run home run to give the Marauders a three run lead. Gausman then dominated the remainder of the game with five strikeouts, although he still couldn’t get Travis Swaggerty out and gave up the third hit of the game to him alone. Philip Pfeifer pitched the final three innings and while he was decent on his own the defense did him no help and he allowed in unearned runs in the sixth and eighth innings that proved to be the difference in the game.
Next Game: 7/6 vs (47-37) Bradenton Marauders @ 6:30 PM ET
FLO: Hayden Deal (3-7, 2.81 ERA)
(36-50) Rome Braves 5, (39-46) Asheville Tourists 1
- Shea Langeliers, C: 1-4, RBI, .209/.300/.372
- Justin Dean, CF: 2-4, RBI, HBP, 2 SB, .289/.402/.438
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI, .438/.471/.625
- Jose Olague, SP: 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.28 ERA
Jose Olague took advantage of Rome’s early runs and was able to pitch an efficient near shutout over his first complete game. Justin Dean led off the game by getting hit by a pitch and a single from Greg Cullen put a second man on with no outs for Braden Shewmake. Shemake took advantage, driving the first pitch he saw in the game for a triple to score both runners and give Rome an early lead. Shea Langeliers grounded out to bring in Shewmake and the Braves had a dominant early lead. Jose Bermudez walked in the second inning and got to third base on a single from Justin Dean, setting up a double steal that allowed Bermudez to sneak home for the Braves second run. Shewmake notched another hit with an infield single but the Braves couldn’t extend the lead further with Langeliers striking out to end the inning. Bermudez and Dean teamed up again in the fifth inning, with Bermudez setting the table after beating out an infield single and then stealing second base. After a wild pitch moved him over to third base Dean came through with his second hit of the game to score Bermudez and make the lead effectively insurmountable. Dean has not missed a step since his return from injury, and he’s now hit safely in thirteen consecutive games and has eleven stolen bases in the fifteen games since he returned to action. Dean should be just a call away from Florida and I would expect that call to come sooner rather than later especially if Cristian Pache sees a promotion soon that would set off a chain reaction in the system.
Jose Olague was fantastic for the Braves and were it not for a ninth inning error would have had a complete game shutout. Olague set down the Tourists in order in the first inning, but in the second he faced his only real trouble of the game after a leadoff single and then a hit batter put two runners on base. Olague got a fly out and then Shea Langeliers nailed a runner trying to steal second base and Olague escaped unscathed and shut down the Tourists from there. After a one out single in the third inning Olague got a double play and then set down fifteen more batters in a row until the ninth inning. A throwing error from Braden Shewmake allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the inning, and then a sacrifice bunt in a five run game (???, sure why not) and a ground out brought in the only run of the game off of Olague. None of the final 20 batters Olague faced were able to get hits off of him. Olague was incredibly efficient as well, using just 86 pitches to complete the nine innings. Olague has only allowed one walk over his past six starts, a span of 40 1⁄3 innings dating back to the start of June although he does have seven hit batters in that span. He has also increased his strikeouts a bit and has 33 in that time frame.
Next Game: 7/6 vs (36-50) Asheville Tourists @ 6:00 PM ET
ROM: Odalvi Javier (2-5, 3.96 ERA)
ASH: Colten Schmidt (2-4, 2.43 ERA)
(8-9) Danville Braves 4, (9-8) Princeton Rays 5
- Willie Carter, RF: 1-4, SB, .267/.377/.422
- Beau Philip, SS: 0-4, .167/.279/.270
- Filyer Sanchez, RP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1.93 ERA
A five run inning sunk the Braves as they couldn’t mount a comeback despite trailing by just a run over the final four innings. Willie Carter got the Braves started with a leadoff single in the top of the second inning and then after stealing a base he came in to score the games first run on a Mitch Calandra single. Charles Reyes followed up with a single to score Calandra and that put the Braves up 2-0 in the early stages of the game. In the next half inning the Princeton offense exploded for five runs and Danville found themselves playing catch up. The third and fourth inning went by with no noise, but in the fifth the leadoff batter got on base after a strikeout and a single from Charles Reyes put the Braves in business. A walk loaded the bases and then with two outs Connor Blair came through with a two run base hit to bring Danville back within one run. The Braves unfortunately could not capitalize further, and then the next twelve batters were retired before a two out walk in the ninth. That final opportunity went unanswered as well and Danville lost in a close, but not that close one run game.
Starter Peyton Williams had a clean first inning but he got hammered in the second to take the loss for Danville. Williams loaded the bases on singles and then with two outs allowed a grand slam to put Princeton up 4-2. The Rays then went back-to-back off of Williams to make it 5-0, and after Williams allowed his sixth hit of the inning he finally was able to end it on a ground ball. Filyer Sanchez was pushed into the game to cover innings that Williams could not, and he pitched another good game in what has been a nice start to his season. Sanchez covered four scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.93 in 18 2⁄3 innings this season. This kept Danville in the game although the offense was asleep at the wheel and couldn’t get back ahead in the game. Justin Yeager pitched two hitless, scoreless innings in relief with only one walk against him. Yeager struck out three batters and in his first six professional innings he has already racked up eleven strikeouts.
Next Game: 7/6 vs (9-8) Princeton Rays @ 6:30 PM ET
(3-7) GCL Braves 4, (5-5) GCL Rays 7
- Kadon Morton, LF: 1-5, RBI, .091/.200/.091
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-4, .194/.275/.250
- Stephen Paolini, CF: 1-4, .115/.273/.115
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 9.00 ERA
- Tyler Owens, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2.25 ERA
The GCL Braves couldn’t answer a six run third inning from the Rays in their 7-1 loss. Freddy Tarnok looked improved in his second rehab start, dominating the Rays bats with four strikeouts over 2 1⁄3 innings of work. The problem for Tarnok came when he hit two batters with pitched and that led to runs against him. Tyler Owens pitched a fantastic game with a couple of perfect innings and two strikeouts. The offense was limited and after a first inning Stephen Paolini single didn’t have another hit until the sixth inning. Kadon Morton had an RBI on his second career hit in that sixth inning. Vaughn Grissom had his lone hit of the game as part of the Braves two run ninth inning, but they were too far behind to ever threaten a comeback and only managed that one hit in the inning.