Atlanta Braves 2011 Draft Picks Ahmed, Kubitza, And DeSantiago Shine In A Danville Loss To Highlight Thursday's Minor League Action

The Braves saw 3 of their top 6 picks from this year's draft play well tonight in a loss for Danville, Zeke Spruill had another solid start that his bullpen wasted, and both Edward Salcedo and Matt Lipka made committed errors for Rome.

Gwinnett Braves 2, Syracuse Chiefs 4

  • Matt Young CF 2-4, .295 AVG
  • Erik Cordier 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 3.77 ERA
  • Juan Abreu 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 2.45 ERA

Gwinnett tried to make a comeback, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the 9th, but they still fell short, wasting a decent start by Erik Cordier. Cordier allowed a ton of baserunners, giving up 4 walks and 6 hits over 5.2 innings, but he still only allowed 2 runs. Juan Abreu did a fine job relieving him, taking over with the bases loaded in the 6th and leaving all those runners stranded, finishing with 3 strikeouts over 1.2 scoreless innings. This was Abreu's seventh consecutive scoreless appearance, and over that span he's struck out 12 over 7.2 innings while allowing 2 hits and 7 walks.

Tomorrow the G-Braves head to Columbus where Todd Redmond will take on the Clippers.

Mississippi Braves 4, Mobile Bay Bears 2

Dan Nelson had a pair of hits in his first game of the year with Mississippi after being sent down from Gwinnett. Ernesto Mejia became the the first M-Braves to hit double digits in home runs this year, and the 25 year old is having a nice season, with a .273 average anda  .826 OPS. Kenshin Kawakami got a chance to return to the rotation because 4/5 of the Mississippi rotation was at the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday, with 3 of those players pitching in the game. In the last 2 months, Kawakami had only thrown 8.1 innings, so it was impressive he could stretch himself out to throw 5 tonight, and even more impressive that he was able to strike out 7 in the process. Of course he makes 7 million dollars a year and is AA, so maybe impressive is a poor word choice. Billy Bullock picked up the win with his third straight scoreless and baserunnerless appearance, striking out 3 in the process. He can be dominating, as his 12.6 K/9 rate shows, but he's also been susceptible to having the occasional terrible performance, as his 5.52 ERA and 1.43 WHIP show.

Randall Delgado will face the Bay Bears Friday night, his first appearance with Mississippi since making his Major League debut last Friday.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Wilmington Blue Rocks 10

  • Keenan Wiley RF 2-4, 2B, SB (6), .303 AVG
  • Barrett Kleinknecht S 1-1, 2B, RBI, .264 AVG
  • Phil Gosselin 2B 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB (3), .274 AVG
  • Adam Milligan DH 2-5, RBI, .280 AVG
  • Joe Leonard 3B 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, E (9), .251 AVG
  • Christian Bethancourt C 1-5, 2B, RBI, E (1), PB (1), .200 AVG
  • Zeke Spruill 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.32 AVG

Christian Bethancourt had a RBI double in his first game with the Hillcats, but unfortunately he also commmitted an error, on a pickoff attempt, and allowed a passed ball. Hopefully he got all his jitters out tonight and tomorrow will be mistake free. Phil Gosselin really filled up his line score, with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Fresh off his appearance in the Carolina Leauge-California League All-Star game, Adam Milligan had a pair of singles and a RBI. You wouldn't know it from the final score, but Zeke Spruill had another fine start, allowing just 1 run while striking out 5 over 5 innings. Over his last 3 starts, Spruill has been dominant, with a 0.43 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, 3.9 H/9, 0.9 BB/9 and 7.5 K/BB. Unfortunately, his bullpen let him down, as Matt Crim was credited with 4 earned runs without recording an out, and Andrew Russell, who allowed all three of the baserunners he inherited from Crim to score, allowed 4 more earned runs in an inning of work. Even Eliecer Cardenas gave up a run in an inning of work, though he did manage to strike out the side.

Blaine Sims will face Wilmington Friday night.

Rome Braves 4, Asheville Tourists 10

  • Matt Lipka SS 2-4, 2B, E (6), .246 AVG
  • Edward Salcedo 3B 1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 E (24, 25), .268 AVG
  • David Rohm RF 2-4, 2B, RBI, .254 AVG
  • Hilton Richardson LF 2-4, 2B, RBI, .220 AVG
  • Ronan Pacheco 4.1 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 1 K, 4.42 ERA
  • Tom Berryhill 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.48 ERA

Edward Salcedo had an RBI double, but unfortunately he also committed a pair of errors, bringing his season total to 25. He committed 7 of those errors in his 19 games at shortstop, and the remaining 18 have come in 46 games at third base. Matt Lipka also committed an error, just his 6th of the year, but he did manage to rap out a pair of hits, including his first double in a month. David Rohm had a pair of hits, extending his hitting streak to 4 games, and over that span he's gone 8-17 with 2 doubles, a triple, and 3 RBI. Ronan Pacheco allowed too many baserunners, giving up 4 walks and 6 hits, allowing 7 runs, 5 of those earned.

Rome faces Asheville again tomorrow.

Danville Braves 3, Pulaski Mariners 13

  • Nick Ahmed SS 2-4, BB, 2 SB (1, 2), .222 AVG
  • Kyle Kubitza 3B 3-5, 2B, RBI, .444 AVG
  • Nick DeSantiago C 2-4, BB, .429 AVG
  • David Filak 4 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 11.25 ERA

Danville dropped its third straight game to start the season. David Filak got knocked around the last few months for Rome, putting up a 7.54 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP in 45.1 innings while walking more, 33, than he struck out, 32, and things didn't go much better in his first start with Danville, as he allowed 7 runs, 5 earned, while giving up 8 hits. On the bright side, he didn't walk anyone. Nick Ahmed showed off the skills that made him the Braves' second round pick this year, reaching base 3 times and stealing twice. This year's 3rd rounder, Kyle Kubitza, continued his hot start, with 3 hits, including an RBI double. This year's 5th round pick, Nick DeSantiago, also reached base 3 times.

GCL Braves 7, GCL Phillies 8

  • Logan Robbins DH 2-4, BB, .444 AVG
  • Matt Weaver RF 1-3, HR (1), 2 RBI, .200 AVG
  • Gerardo Reyes 2B 2-3, BB, SB (2), .417 AVG
  • Ronald Luna SS 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, SB (1), .417 AVG
  • Andy Otero 3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 9.00 EERA

Matt Weaver's rehab continues, and he made the most of it, homering and driving in a pair of runs while working out in right field. Logan Robbins had a pair of singles and a walk, and in hist first 2 pro games he's reached base 6 times in 11 plate appearances. At 28 Ronal Luna is likely the oldest player in the GCL, but at least the Columbian is playing well, rapping out 3 hits today, including a pair of doubles, driving in 2 runs and stealing a base. Andy Otero continues to work his way back after missing all of the 2010 season, and while there were some hiccups, allowing 3 runs over just 3 innings, he also managed to fan 5 batters in that time.

DSL Braves 3, DSL Yankees 4

  • Luis Caballero 3B 2-4, BB, E (3), .292 AVG
  • Jose Peraza SS 0-1, 2 BB, SB (7), .247 AVG
  • Michael Flores 3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.93 ERA
  • Reymi Ruiz 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 2.25 ERA

In his last 8 games, Luis Caballero has hit .364 with a .868 OPS. 17 year old Jose Peraza managed to work a pair of walks and steal his team leadig 7th base of the season. Michael Flores only allowed 2 unearned runs while striking out 4 over 3 innings.

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