Garcia Hits Extra Inning Walkoff Homer, Graham And Moore Dominate, And Cunningham And Drury Have 3 Hit Days In Tuesday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

Chris Garcia hit a walkoff, 2 run, extra inning homer for Lynchburg tonight.

Chris Garcia hit a walkoff homer in the 13th for Lynchburg, JR Graham and Navery Moore dominated, Todd Cunningham and Brandon Drury had 3 hit days, Luke Sims struggled, and Tommy La Stella and Andy Otero returned from their injuries.

Gwinnett Braves 0, Norfolk Tides 8

Not much went well for the G-Braves today, as starter Yohan Flande allowed 5 earned runs in 6 innings and the offense only mustered 3 hits. Flande has allowed 8 earned runs in 11.1 innings in his last 2 starts, and after posting a 3.83 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 94 innings before the All-Star break, he has a 5.15 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in 50.2 innings since the break. Peter Moylan had a great day, coming in with the bases loaded and stranding all 3 runners en route to pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. The 33 year old Australian has allowed 7 earned runs, 17 hits, 2 walks, and has struck out 11 in 8.2 innings over 9 appearances with Gwinnett. Jose Constanza has a modest 4 game hitting streak, going 7-21 with a RBI and 2 walks in that stretch. Josh Wilson has a 6 game hitting streak, going 7-24 with 4 RBI and 2 walks during that span.

The G-Braves are off on Wednesday before beginning a 4 game series with the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday. Sean Gilmartin is scheduled to start the opener.

Mississippi Braves 2, Huntsville 0

  • Todd Cunningham CF 3-4, 2B, SB (21), .314 AVG
  • Evan Gattis LF 2-4, 2B, RBI, .265 AVG
  • Jason Christian SS 2-3, 3B, BB, .215 AVG
  • JR Graham 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W (2), 3.41 ERA
  • Chasen Shreve 1.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 4.24 ERA
  • Chris Jones 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K, SV (1), 3.60 ERA

JR Graham was outstanding, allowing just 1 hit over 6 shutout innings, striking out 5. M-Braves radio man Kyle Tait tweeted that Graham hit 99 with a fastball for a strikeout in the first inning. Graham has struck out more batters in AA, with 7.9 K/9 compared to 6 K/9 with Lynchburg, though that has been paired with an increase in wildness, as he's giving up 3.9 BB/9 with the M-Braves after allowing 1.5 BB/9 with the Hillcats. In his last 4 appearances, Chris Jones has struck out 9 in 7 scoreless innings. Todd Cunningham had a 3 hit day that included his 22nd double of the year and his 21st stolen base of the year. He's currently leading the league with a .314 batting average. During his current 5 game hitting streak, he's gone 8-24 with a walk and 3 steals. In his last 3 games, Evan Gattis has gone 4-10 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a walk. In his last 2 games, Jason Christian has gone 3-6 with a triple and 2 walks. Matt Kennelly went 0-4, ending his 11 game hitting streak.

Gary Moran will face the Stars tomorrow.

Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Winston-Salem Dash 4, 13 innings

  • Dan Brewer LF 2-6, .288 AVG
  • Chris Garcia 1B 2-4, HR (11), 2 RBI, 2 BB, .299 AVG
  • Edward Salcedo 3B 1-4, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, .246 AVG
  • Mike Lee 7 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.94 ERA
  • Blaine Sims 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 B, 1 K, 3.72 ERA
  • Matt Chaffee 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 5 BB, 3 K, 3.93 ERA

Lynchburg was down 4-3 going into the bottom of the 13th, but Chris Garcia hit a walkoff 2 run homer to finish off the Dash. Garcia reached base 4 times in the game, and his 78 walks and .420 OBP both lead the league. Edward Salcedo hit a 3 run triple in the eighth inning that tied up the game, but despite going 2-8 with 4 RBI in his last 2 games, Salcedo has struggled in August, hitting .197 with a .730 OPS, striking out 29 times in 66 at bats. Mike Lee had a solid game, allowing 3 runs, only 1 earned, in 7 innings of work. In his last 3 starts, the 25 year old righty has allowed 4 earned runs in 19 innings of work. In his last 7 appearances, Blaine Sims has allowed 1 earned run in 12 innings. Matt Chaffee pitched 2 hitless innings, but he did walk 5 batters. Still, he managed to strike out 3, and the 23 year old lefty has struck out 10.4 batters per 9 innings this season.

Lynchburg, who won the first half, is 2 games back with 12 games to go in the second half. Aaron Northcraft will face the Dash tomorrow.

Rome Braves 5, Hickory Crawdads 4, 6 innings

  • Robby Hefflinger LF 1-3, 2B, .280 AVG
  • Brandon Drury DH 3-3, RBI, .233 AVG
  • Cory Brownsten C 1-3, RBI, .207 AVG
  • Elmer Reyes SS 1-2, RBI, SB (5), .258 AVG
  • Navery Moore 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W (7), 3.90 ERA

Rain forced this game to be called official after 5 and a half innings. Navery Moore made his first start since June and was outstanding, tossing 4 shutout, hitless innings. In his last 2 appearances, the 22 year old righty has struck out 9 in 7 shutout innings. Brandon Drury had a great day at the plate, going 3-3 and driving in his 47th RBI of the year. In his last 10 games, he's hitting .378 with a .946 OPS, 2 doubles, a triple, a homer, and 11 RBI. In his last 4 games, Robby Hefflinger has gone 7-16 with 2 doubles, a homer, and 5 RBI.

Rome has a 3 game lead over Asheville with 12 games to go. Fabian Williamson will face Hickory Wednesday morning at 11 AM.

Danville Braves 2, Princeton Rays 5

  • Ronald Luna SS 1-4, 2B, .309 AVG
  • Josh Elander C 1-4, 2B, E (4), .283 AVG
  • Edison Sanchez LF 1-4, HR (5), 2 RBI, E (2), .252 AVG
  • Luke Sims 1.2 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 3.91 ERA
  • Mike Hashem 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.05 ERA

The Braves have challenged Luke Sims by having him pitch in the Appy League, and that's led to some rough games like tonight, where he allowed 2 hits, 3 walks, hit 2 batters, and committed 2 throwing errors in 1.2 innings of work, allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, though, to be fair, 2 of those runs were allowed by Zach Jadofsky after he came on in relief of Sims. Despite the bumps in the road, Sims' pro debut has been a good one, as he's posted a 3.30 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 3 K/BB in 30 innings between Danville and the GCL. In his last 10 games, Josh Elander is hitting .385 with a 1.400 OPS, 2 doubles, a triple, 3 homers, and 8 RBI.

The D-Braves are 3.5 games behind Burlington for first place, but 3 games ahead of Princeton for the second playoff spot in the division with 7 games left in their season. Frank Lafreniere will face the Rays tomorrow in the series finale.

GCL Braves 6, GCL Pirates, 7 innings

  • Tommy La Stella 2B 1-2, HR (1), 2 RBI, .500 AVG
  • Connor Lien CF 1-3, BB, .232 AVG
  • Eric Garcia SS 1-3, HR (3), 2 RBI, BB, .253 AVG
  • Andry Ubiera 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 4.04 ERA
  • Magdiel Avendano 1.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K, W (1), 4.86 ERA
  • Andy Otero 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

Rain forced this game to be called after 7 innings. Tommy La Stella played his first rehab game in the GCL, rapping out a 2 run homer. La Stella is looking to get back into shape to join Lynchburg for their playoff run. Connor Lien has shown his youth at the plate this year, hitting just .232 while slugging only .290, but he's also shown an advanced batting eye, walking in 12% of his plate appearances, helping him to a .348 OBP this year. Eric Garcia hit his third homer of the year, extending his hitting streak to 5 games. The 21 year old has gone 7-19 wit 2 homers, 6 RBI, and 2 walks during that stretch. Andry Ubiera has allowed 6 earned runs in 9 innings in his last 2 starts, after the 19 year old Dominican righty had allowed just 1 earned run in 10 innings in his previous 2 starts. Andy Otero made his first appearance of the year, striking out 1 in a scoreless inning. The 20 year old lefty out of Panama was touted as a top prospect thanks to a devastating 12-6 curveball and his superior athleticism, and he showed his promise in 2009 by putting up a 0.84 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 93 strikeouts in 64 innings as a 17 year old in the DSL, but various arm injuries have forced him to miss all of 2010 and pitch just 11 innings in 2011. He's already missed most of this season, but hopefully today's appearance will be a step toward a healthy 2013.

Roberto Estrella will face the Blue Jays tomorrow.

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