Drew Lugbauer led a power-filled night down in the Braves’ minor league system.
There were plenty of highlights on both sides of the ball as the Braves’ minor league affiliates went a combined 4-1. Drew Lugbauer and Hernan Perez each had two homer games, Rome got a pair of grand slams and great pitching in both halves of their doubleheader, and Augusta was able to win a close one in extra innings. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 7, Buffalo Bisons 10
- Hernan Perez, 3B: 3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, .766 OPS
- Ryan Goins, SS: 3-4, RBI, R, .522 OPS
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 3 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.00 ERA
- Jared Shuster, RP: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4.15 ERA
It was a tough night for Freddy Tarnok on the mound as Gwinnett fell to Buffalo by the score of 10-7. The first three innings from Tarnok were mediocre, but at least passable, but things went very awry in the fourth where Tarnok allowed the first five hitters to reach base including giving up a grand slam which is obviously not great. Freddy was having trouble commanding his pitches, so when he went to dial things back in an effort to do so, the Bisons jumped all over him. One weird note here: Jared Shuster came in in relief to pitch the final four innings of this game. This was likely due to a combination of the weather issues, wanting to line up certain guys later on in the week, and accounting for Mike Soroka’s rehab start and NOT indicative of a prolonged switch. Also, he did not pitch particularly well with the bulk of the damage coming on a two-run homer he gave up in the sixth inning.
Offensively, it was the Hernan Perez show as he connected for two home runs on Wednesday evening and drove in four of Gwinnett’s seven runs. Perez is coming off a really strong month of August and while he is not exactly a prospect at 31 years old, he has seen time at seven different positions at Gwinnett this season and can hit a bit which makes him an interesting org depth piece. Ryan Goins had a three hit night to help the cause as well.
Mississippi Braves 13, Biloxi Shuckers 2
- Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB, .780 OPS
- Logan Brown, C: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 R, .505 OPS
- Andrew Moritz, RF: 4-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, .759 OPS
- Dylan Dodd, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.27 ERA
Mississippi’s offense exploded in the last two innings for eight runs as the Braves trounced Biloxi by the final score of 13-2. Dylan Dodd was on the mound for Mississippi and while he wasn’t quite as dominant as he was in his previous start, he was still very solid through five innings of work. Dodd has not given up more than two earned runs since July nor has he struck out less than a batter per inning in a start since June. The Mississippi bullpen locked things down from there as Creasy, Higginbotham, Wilcox, and Puckett combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
On offense, Drew Lugbauer had one of those games he has sometimes as he connected for two homers while driving in five runs in the game. Those two homers put him at 26 on the season and hopefully is a sign that he is coming out of the funk he was in for essentially the entire month of August. Andrew Moritz had a four hit night including his second home run of the season and Logan Brown got in on the fun as well with his first homer of 2022. Weirdly enough, the only guy in Mississippi’s lineup that didn’t contribute in this game is Cade Bunnell who has been one of Mississippi’s most consistent offensive producers ever since he got promoted. Baseball is weird sometimes.
Rome Braves 5, Hickory Crawdads 0 – Game One
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 1-2, HR, 4 RBI, BB, .706 OPS
- Cal Conley, SS: 1-3, HR, RBI, .756 OPS
- Luis De Avila, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 3.49 ERA
Rome Braves 8, Hickory Crawdads 2 – Game Two
- Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, .763 OPS
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R, .711 OPS
- Royber Salinas, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 4.11 ERA
Rome dominated on both sides of the ball in their doubleheader with Hickory as they swept the twin bill by the scores of 5-0 and 8-2. Luis De Avila got the start in the first game and he was coming off a start where he struck out 10 batters in six scoreless innings. He did not disappoint on Wednesday as he went six scoreless AGAIN while striking out eight batters. De Avila has been intermittently awesome this season and with his recent dominance, he is making the Braves looking awfully smart for selecting him in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Royber Salinas started the second game for Rome and threw five scoreless innings of his own with six strikeouts. Efficiency is definitely a concern with Salinas as he tends to throw a lot of pitches in search of strikeouts and a move to the bullpen feels a little inevitable to some of us, but Wednesday was a step in the right direction as he got through his five innings on just 74 pitches.
Rome got a pair of grand slams in their doubleheader which generally portends good things. In game one, the bulk of Rome’s offense came on Bryson Horne’s grand slam in the second inning. Horne would go on to have a pair of hits in game two as well, so he had himself a lovely day. In the second game, it was Geraldo Quintero who connected for a bases-clearing homer of his own for his second home run in high-A to help Rome explode for seven runs in the fifth inning of game two.
Augusta GreenJackets 3, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 2 – F/10
- Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 2-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, .772 OPS
- Noah Williams, RF: 3-4, 2B, RBI
- Landon Harper, SP: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 7.20 ERA
Augusta had to battle more than Mississippi and Rome did, but they managed to score the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the 10th to secure a 3-2 win over Kannapolis. Landon Harper got the start for Augusta and he struggled with a lot of baserunners while failing to finish the third inning although the damage was limited to just two runs. The Augusta bullpen crew of James Acuna, Juan Mateo, and Estarlin Rodriguez were the unsung heroes of this game as they combined for 7.1 innings of scoreless relief to keep Augusta in the game.
It was a night somewhat sparse in terms of offensive highlights for the GreenJackets although there were some key moments that helped Augusta steal this one. Mahki Backstrom had a two extra-base hit night including an RBI triple that tied the game in the top of the ninth inning. Noah Williams, the Braves’ 18th round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, made his Augusta debut and promptly had a three hit night including an RBI double in the 10th inning which proved to be the winning run in the game.