The Braves had several strong pitching performances on Saturday night down in the minors.
Gwinnett Stripers 7, Durham Bulls 3
- Andres Blanco, 2B: 3-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, .802 OPS
- Ryan LaMarre, RF: 2-4, 3 RBI, .819 OPS
- Travis Demeritte, DH: 1-4, R, .979 OPS
- Patrick Weigel, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.18 ERA
The Stripers backed up a strong outing from Patrick Weigel with a five run outburst in the 5th inning to take down Durham by the final score of 7-3. While he hasn’t put up the gaudy strikeout totals he did before he underwent Tommy John surgery, Weigel has been improving each time he has gotten back out on the mound as he finds his command again and builds his innings back up. He has pitched at least into the 5th inning in his last three starts and has continued to be difficult for hitters to square up (opposing batters are hitting just .186 against him this season between Double-A and Triple-A).
On offense, the star of the show was Andres Blanco as he had a big day at the plate with three hits out of the leadoff spot including a three-run homer in the 5th inning. Ryan LaMarre drove in the Stripers’ other three runs and also had Gwinnett’s only other multi-hit game on the evening. Adam Duvall continues to be a bit of an enigma because while the power has been pretty consistent the entire year, his hit tool has not as he batted .213 for the month of May after a strong start to the season, bounced back in June, but is now hitting .179 (in a very small sample) so far in the month of July.
Mississippi Braves 1, Biloxi Shuckers 3
- Tyler Neslony, RF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .798 OPS
- Greyson Jenista, LF: 1-4, .520 OPS
- Joey Wentz, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 4.52 ERA
Mississippi tried to rally in the late innings against Biloxi, but fell short as they were defeated by the Shuckers by the final score of 3-1. Over his last three starts, Joey Wentz has been flat out dominant as he has struck out 27 batters in 18.2 innings of work while giving up a total of two earned runs. The walks are still a bit of an issue, but the recent spike in his strikeout rate is a very encouraging development. Brad Roney came on and pitched an inning of scoreless relief, but unfortunately Biloxi got a pair of runs off of Jonathan Aro which proved to be the difference in the game.
There wasn’t much going on with the offense as Drew Waters had the night off (although he did have a pinch hit double late in the game that helped spark Mississippi’s rally that fell short) and Cristian Pache was on his way to the Futures Game. Tyler Neslony had a pair of hits including a double to pace the offense. While he isn’t an impact bat and his defensive game is limited, Neslony has shown an ability to hit and remains a guy to keep tabs on. Greyson Jenista now has hits in five of his past six games, but has yet to really demonstrate a hit or power tool that would justify a status as a real prospect in the Braves’ system.
Florida Fire Frogs 2, Bradenton Marauders 0
- CJ Alexander, 1B: 2-4
- Drew Lugbauer, DH: 1-4, HR, RBI, .567 OPS
- Tristan Beck, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.40 ERA
Tristan Beck’s return to the Fire Frogs after a long layoff due to a groin injury was a good one as he went six scoreless innings in Florida’s 2-0 win over Bradenton. Beck has not had a banner start to his pro career as he barely pitched in 2018 and 2019 did not start off well for him before he went down due to injury, so it was quite nice to see him put up a strong outing where everything seemed to be working well for him. Sean McLaughlin worked out of a jam to post two scoreless innings and Daysbel Hernandez closed the game out for Florida.
On offense, Florida got just enough of it to get out with a win. Drew Lugbauer hit a solo home run while Trey Harris had another night where he reached base multiple times with a hit and a walk. CJ Alexander had his first hits since returning from elbow surgery with a pair of singles as he looks to get back on track. Ender Inciarte continues to rehab from a back injury and went 0-4 with a strikeout and a GIDP.
Rome Braves 0, Asheville Tourists 4
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-3, 2B, 1.099 OPS
- Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 2-4, .585 OPS
- Odalvi Javier, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.66 ERA
We won’t linger here long as Rome was shutdown by Colten Schmidt and the Tourists as they fell by the score of 4-0. Odalvi Javier certainly did his part as he went seven scoreless innings. That is back to back scoreless starts for Javier. Unfortunately, a four run 8th inning that was started by a wild pitch letting a runner on and a throwing error on pitcher Jose Montilla proved to be the difference in the game.
There wasn’t a ton of action on offense as Rome failed to score at all. Justin Dean for his sixth triple of the season while Ricardo Rodriguez had Rome’s only multi-hit game on the evening. Braden Shewmake connected for his 8th double of the season to keep his OPS well above 1.000 to start his professional career.
Danville Braves 15, Princeton Rays 6
- Bryce Ball, 1B: 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 R, 1.243 OPS
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 3-6, 2 RBI, 2 R, .673 OPS
- Beau Philip, SS: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, .635 OPS
- Mitch Stallings, RP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1.25 ERA
Danville had themselves a night as the offense went wild again in their 15-6 win over Princeton. Mitch Stallings was the star of the show yet again on the pitching side as he went five strong innings and looks like a guy that could crack full season ball before the year is done. Bryce Ball just continues to hit the crap out of the ball as he has 11 extra base hits through his first 15 games as a pro. He reached base four times last night including a pair of walks. Danville got multi-hit games from all but two of their lineup regulars and one of the other two guys (Ray Hernandez) hit a home run. Willie Carter has hit safely in five straight games and connected for his second home run of the season.
GCL Braves – Suspended