Mejia And La Stella Extend Hitting Streaks To 12 Games In Thursday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

Tommy La Stella extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Ernesto Mejia and Tommy La Stella each extended their hitting streaks to 12 games, Luis Durango And Josh Wilson had 3 hit days for Gwinnett to support Yohan Flande's solid start, Christian Bethancourt and Todd Cunningham stayed hot for Mississippi, Adam Milligan had a breakout game for Lynchburg, and Rome split a doubheader behind homers from Kyle Kubitza, William Beckwith, and Brandon Drury.

Gwinnett Braves 1, Rochester Red Wings 3

  • Luis Durango CF 3-3, SB (22), SAC, .286 AVG
  • Ernesto Mejia 1B 1-4, .304 AVG
  • Josh Wilson SS 3-4, .248 AVG
  • Yohan Flande 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.97 ERA
  • Jaye Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 2.53 ERA

Ernesto Mejia singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, and during that span he's hit .419 with a 1.224 OPS, 4 doubles, a triple, 3 homers, and 12 RBI. Luis Durango had a perfect day at the plate, with 3 singles, a sacrifice bunt, and his league leading 22nd stolen base of the season. In his last 2 games, he's gone 6-8 with a double, a RBI, and 2 steals. Josh Wilson also had a 3 hit day, making him 6-15 during his current 4 game hitting streak. After allowing 9 earned runs in 7.2 innings in his last 2 starts, Yohan Flande got back on track tonight, allowing only 1 run in 7 innings. Jaye Chapman struck out 2 in a scoreless inning tonight, and the 25 year old righty has a 2.53 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, 11 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 3.3 K/BB in 21.1 innings over 18 appearances.

Eric Junge is scheduled to start against the Red Wings Friday night. John Smoltz will be at Coolray Field prior to the game to sign copies of his book Starting And Closing.

Mississippi Braves 2, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4

  • Todd Cunningham CF 2-5, .317 AVG
  • Ian Gac 1B 1-3, BB, .235 AVG
  • Christian Bethancourt C 2-4, .300 AVG
  • Joe Leonard 3B 2-3, HR (2), 2 RBI, BB, .263 AVG
  • Cory Harrilchak RF 2-3, 2B, .200 AVG
  • Gary Moran 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.27 ERA
  • Chris Jones 0.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.78 ERA
  • Andrew Russell 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.21 ERA

Christian Bethancourt followed up yesterday's 2 hit performance with another 2 hit showing today, and since returning from the disabled list, he's hitting .421 with a .842 OPS in 6 games. Todd Cunningham also had a 2 hit day, extending what has been an outstanding May that's seen him hit .357 with a .857 OPS, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 9 RBI, and 5 stolen bases in 70 at bats. Joe Leonard also had a 2 hit day that included clubbing out his second homer of the year. He extended his hitting streak to 6 games, going 8-19 with 2 doubles, a homer, 6 RBI, and 4 walks in that span. After allowing 2 earned runs in 14.2 innings over his last 4 appearances, Gary Moran had an ineffective start today, allowing 3 walks and 3 earned runs in 5.1 innings. Chris Jones made his first appearance since May 5th, striking out 1 of the 2 hitters he faces. Andrew Russell hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 5 appearances, striking out 5 over 5 innings in that span.

Luis Avlian will start for Mississippi tomorrow.

Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 8

  • Tommy La Stella 2B 1-5, .299 AVG
  • Adam Milligan DH 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB, .250 AVG
  • Chris Garcia 1B 3--5, 2B, 2 RBI, .336 AVG
  • Aaron Northcraft 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.86 ERA
  • Caleb Brewer 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 4.05 ERA
  • Ronan Pacheco 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 6.85 ERA

This game had some fireworks, as Hillcats center fielder Matt Lipka broke up a pair of double plays by sliding hard into second, and Pelicans second baseman Santiago Chirino took offense when Lipka slid into him in the eighth, confronting Lipka and shoving him. The benches cleared and Chirino and Pelicans manager Jason Wood were ejected. Tommy La Stella extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and during that span he's hit .319 with a .841 OPS, a double, 2 homers, and 6 RBI. Adam Milligan had been 3-20 in his first 5 games with the Hillcats, but he doubled that hit total in 4 at bats today, rapping out a RBI single, a pair of doubles, and working a walk in five plate appearances. Chris Garcia also had a 3 hit day, driving in two runs and upping his batting average to .336, which is third in the league, and his OBP to .444, which is second in the league. Aaron Northcraft had his worst start of the year, allowing 13 baserunners and 7 earned runs in just 4.1 innings. His last start was his best of the year, as he allowed just 1 earned run over 7 innings, but in his last 3 starts, he has a 7.80 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in 15 innings.

Cody Martin gets the start Friday night as the Hillcats return to Lynchburg to begin a series against the Potomac Nationals.

Rome Braves 4, Asheville Tourists 6, Game 1

  • Tony Mueller CF 1-3, BB, .219 AVG
  • Sergio Miranda 2B 2-4, E (3), .250 AVG
  • Will Skinner 1-3, 2B, RBI, .256 AVG
  • Brandon Drury 3B 1-3, RBI, .167 AVG
  • Abner Abreu RF 2-3, .333 AVG
  • Rafael Briceno 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 6.89 ERA
  • Bryam Garcia 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 3.18 ERA

Rafel Briceno had yet another poor start, allowing 6 earned runs over 5.1 innings. In his last 2 starts, he's allowed 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings, and his 6.89 ERA is the worst in the league, while his 1.68 WHIP is second worst, just ahead of Asheville's Ben Alsup's 1.69 WHIP.

Rome Braves 4, Asheville Tourists 3, Game 2

  • Will Skinner RF 1-2, 2 BB, .261 AVG
  • Kyle Kubitza 3B 1-4, HR (6), RBI, SB (8), .261 AVG
  • William Beckwith 1B 1-3, HR (2), RBI, .289 AVG
  • Brandon Drury DH 1-2, HR (1), RBI, HBP, .171 AVG
  • Abner Abreu CF 2-3, SB (1), .444 AVG
  • Ernesto Silva 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 6.34 ERA

Will Skinner combined to go 2-5 with a double, a RBI, and 2 walks in the doubleheader, extending his hitting streak to 5 games. During that span he's gone 6-12 with 3 doubles, 2 RBI, and 4 walks. Kyle Kubitza hit his sixth homer and nabbed his eighth stolen base in the second game, making him 6-15 with a triple, a homer, 7 RBI, 2 walks, and 2 steals in his last 5 games. William Beckwith hit his second homer of the year in the second game, after doubling in the first game. Brandon Drury combined to go 2-5 in the two games, hitting his first homer of the season and driving in a pair of runs. Abner Abreu went 4-6 in the double header, his first hits with his new team. Ernesto Silva had a nice start in the second game, allowing 1 run over 5 innings. In his last 2 appearances, he's allowed 2 runs over 8 innings, but has also given up 5 walks in that span.

David Filak will face the Tourists Friday night.

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