Sheets And Starn Debut, Hefflinger Drives In Six, And Rohm Homers To Highlight Wednesday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

Ben Sheets began his comeback tonight, allowing 4 earned runs over 5 innings for Mississippi. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Ben Sheets and David Starn made their Braves debuts, Rome's offense exploded, led by Robby Hefflinger's 6 RBI, and David Rohm led a big offensive day for Lynchburg.

Gwinnett Braves 6, Charlotte Knights 2

Jose Constanza had a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to 9 games. During that span he's gone 16-40 with a double, a RBI, 4 walks, and 8 runs scored. Felix Pie reached 3 times and stole his eighth base of the season, which is more than he's stolen in any year since 2008. Ernesto Mejia had a pair of singles, making him 5-17 with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI in his last 4 games. After a horrible June that saw him hit .167 with a .445 OPS and strike out 26 times in 78 at bats, Stefan Gartrell got his July off to a great start tonight, with a pair of hits, including his 12th homer of the season. Luis Durango reached base 3 times and picked up his league leading 29th stolen base. Jose Lugo picked up his second win by allowing 2 runs over 7.2 innings of work, a nice comeback after allowing 9 earned runs in just 3.1 innings in his last start. Jaye Chapman picked up his fourth save of the year, stranding a pair of inherited runners and tossing 1.1 scoreless innings. In his last 4 appearances, Chapman has struck out 6 in 5.1 scoreless innings.

The G-Braves and Knights will play their regularly scheduled game and finish their suspended game from Tuesday. Eric Junge is scheduled to start the regular game.

Mississippi Braves 2, Jackson Generals 4

  • Todd Cunningham CF 2-4, 2B, RBI, .310 AVG
  • Tim Smith LF 2-3, 2B, .317 AVG
  • Keenan Wiley RF 2-4, .269 AVG
  • Ben Sheets 5 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 7.20 ERA
  • Chris Jones 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.78 ERA
  • Ryan Bucther 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.17 ERA

Former Major League All-Star Ben Sheets made his first appearance in a Braves uniform, and his first since 2010, taking the loss while allowing 4 earned runs over 5 innings. He showed his rust early, allowing a pair of triples to lead off the game. He allowed 2 runs in the first, but he also struck out the side. He would allow 2 more runs on a 2nd inning double, but finished strong, putting up zeros in his last 3 innings. The plan was for Sheets to throw either 75 pitches or 5 innings, and he threw 74 pitches in 5 innings. Chris Jones tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, and in his last 7 appearances he's only allowed 1 earned run in 8.1 innings. Ryan Buchter struck out 2 in 1.2 scoreless innings. In his first appearance of the season, the 25 year old left allowed 3 earned runs in 1.1 innings. Since then, he's allowed just 1 earned run in 29.1 innings over 23 appearances, posting a 0.31 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.4 K/9. Todd Cunningham had a pair of hits, making him 5-10 in his last 3 games. Tim Smith reached base 3 times tonight, busting out of a 2-10 skid over his last 5 games. Keenan Wiley was just 1-19 in his last 6 games, but he went 2-4 tonight.

David Hale will face the Generals tomorrow.

Lynchburg Hillcats 11, Winston-Salem Dash 7

  • Myke Jones CF 1-5, 3B, 2 RBI, .258 AVG
  • Tommy La Stella 2B 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, E (7), .265 AVG
  • David Rohm RF 2-4, HR (1), 2 RBI, .234 AVG
  • Shawn McGill C 3-4, 2B, HR (1), 4 RBI, .375 AVG
  • Aaron Northcraft 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, (8), 3.29 ERA
  • Chasen Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1.54 ERA

Aaron Northcraft picked up his eighth win, tying him with teammates JR Graham, Cody Martin, Gus Schlosser, and Winston-Salem's Matthew Heidenreich for the league lead. Northcraft struck out 9 and allowed 2 runs over 7 innings, and in his last 6 starts he has a 1.62 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, 13 walks, and 39 strikeouts in 39 innings. Chasen Shreve tossed a scoreless inning, and the 21 year old lefty has allowed just 1 earned run in 13.1 innings since the beginning of June, striking out 14 in that span. After hitting a walkoff double last night, David Rohm hit his first homer of the season tonight. He also extended his hitting streak to 7 games, going 9-24 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI in that stretch. Shawn McGill had a 3 hit day, rapping out his first double and first homer of the season. The 28 year old has been used sparingly this season, going 5-28 in 15 games with Gwinnett and 3-8 in 3 games with the Hillcats.

Dimasther Delgado will face the Hillcats tomorrow.

Rome Braves 13, Greenville Drive 6

  • Tony Mueller CF 2-4, RBI, BB, OF Assist, .275 AVG
  • Kyle Kubitza 3B 1-3, HR (9), RBI, 2 BB, .255 AVG
  • Robby Hefflinger LF 2-5, 3B, HR (3), 6 RBI, E (4), .254 AVG
  • Chase Anselment RF 2-5, HR (2), RBI, .279 AVG
  • Brandon Drury 1B 2-4, BB, .209 AVG
  • Elmer Reyes SS 3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, E (20), .265 AVG
  • David Filak 5 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K, W (4), 5.05 ERA
  • David Starn 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Wilson Rivera 2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.68 ERA

Robby Hefflinger tripled and homered, driving in 6 runs. In his last 3 games, he's gone 5-12 with 8 RBI. Elmer Reyes doubled and tripled as part of a 3 hit day that made him 5-6 in his last 2 games and extended his hitting streak to 5 games. Unfortunately he also committed his 20th error of the season in his 70th game at shortstop. Brandon Drury had a pair of singles and a walk, and in his last 9 games he's gone 13-31, raising his average from.183 to .209 in the process. Kyle Kubitza reached base 3 times and hit his ninth homer of the year. In his last 10 games, he's hitting .306 with a .895 OPS. Tony Mueller reached base 3 times tonight, and in 13 games since the All-Star break he's hitting .308 with a .705 OPS, after hitting .266 with a .615 OPS in 50 games prior to the break. Chase Anselment hit his second homer of the year and in his last 2 games he's gone 4-9. David Filak picked up the win despite allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, in 5 innings. After getting off to a great start this year, he's struggled in his last 7 starts, posting a 9.18 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP in 34.1 innings. David Starn, the Braves 7th round selection this year, made his professional debut, striking out 2 in 2 scoreless innings.

Alex Wood and Navery Moore will both pitch tomorrow against the Drive.

Danville Braves 3, Bluefield Blue Jays 4

  • Carlos Franco DH 1-2, BB, .283 AVG
  • Felix Marte RF 2-4, HR (2), 3 RBI, .438 AVG
  • Mauricio Cabrera 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2.45 ERA
  • Zach Jadofsky 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Nathan Hyatt 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.60 ERA

Mauricio Cabrera allowed just 2 earned runs in 14 innings over his first 3 starts, but he allowed 3 in 4.1 innings tonight, taking his first loss of the year. He did manage to strike out 7, giving him 19 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. Zach Jadofsky tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, and he has 9 strikeouts in 8 scoreless innings over 4 appearances this year. Felix Marte had his third straight multi-hit game, making him 7-12 in that span. He's raking for Danville, hitting .438 with a 1.127 OPS in 48 at bats.

Eduardo Castillo will face the Jays tomorrow.

GCL Braves 6, GCL Pirates 13

  • Jose Peraza DH 1-4, RBI, BB, SB (9), .314 AVG
  • Jordan Parraz RF 1-5, RBI, .250 AVG
  • Jackson Laumann 1B 1-3, RBI, .308 AVG
  • Tyler Tewell C 1-1, HR (1), 3 RBI, E (1), .250 AVG
  • Andry Ubiera 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 2.84 ERA
  • Brandon Rohde 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.42 ERA

Jose Peraza reached base twice today and stole his ninth base in only 12 games played. He's hitting .314 with a .803 OPS and 14 runs scored this season. Jordan Parraz continued his rehab after missing time with a broken hand, singling and driving in a run. He's 3-12 in 3 games. Tyler Tewell, the Braves 14th round pick this year, hit the first homer of his career, driving in 3 runs. Brandon Rohde, the Braves 25th round pick this year, struck out 2 in 2 scoreless innings, giving him 4.1 scoreless over his last 3 appearances.

Luis Merejo will face the Pirates tomorrow.

DSL Braves 4, DSL Tigers 0

  • Luis Monasterio 2B 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB (2), .292 AVG
  • Alejandro Piloto CF 2-4, SB (6), .440 AVG
  • Victor Reyes DH 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .309 AVG
  • Michael Flores 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K, W (1), 0.82 ERA
  • Adrian Rivero 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Jose Rosario 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 1.88 ERA

Michael Flores had a great start, striking out 8 over 6 shutout innings. In his last 2 starts, the 19 year old Dominican has struck out 14 in 11 shutout innings, and for the year he has a 0.82 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP, and 25 strikeouts in 22 innings. Adrian Rivero, a 21 year old lefty out of Cuba, made his professional debut, striking out the side in a scoreless inning. Jose Rosario tossed 2 scoreless innings, and he's only allowed runs in 1 of his 6 appearances this season. Luis Monasterio, a 17 year old Venezuelan, reached base 3 times today, and in his last 10 games he's hitting .414 with a .997 OPS, 7 RBI, and 9 runs scored. 20 year old Cuban Alejandro Piloto joined the team last week and has hit in all 7 games he's played in, batting .440 with a .961 OPS and 6 steals in 25 at bats. Victor Reyes had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI, and in his last 4 games he's gone 6-16 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI.

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