After allowing a two-run homer to White Sox third base prospect Matt Davidson in the top of the first innings, Mike Minor settled down to pitch well in his final rehab start before rejoining the Braves' big league rotation. Minor threw 80 pitches, 52 of those being strikes, and allowed zero walks while striking out four Knights. After allowing the aforementioned homer and a triple to Carlos Sánchez in the first inning, Minor settled down to allow only two baserunners to reach base in the next 5 innings. Grant McAuley of 92.9 the Game attended the game and spoke to Minor after his performance.
#Braves Mike Minor allowed 2ER in 1st but only 1R thereafter. Said he started mixing breaking balls & changeups to get hitters off balance.
With all due respect to David Hale, it's a fantastic sign that Minor appears to be sharp and ready to contribute in the majors after recovering from shoulder soreness. Although it's tough to imagine Atlanta's rotation getting much better after the fantastic start that the starting pitchers have had, adding a pitcher of Minor's caliber to an already-strong rotation is still a reason for celebration and optimism. He looks to be on target to make his season debut this Friday, April 25th or Saturday the 26th at Turner Field against Cincinnati.
Gwinnett didn't have any trouble scoring runs, with Ernesto Mejía, Todd Cunningham, and Tommy La Stella being the main cogs to the offense. Mejía has been absolutely scorching hot throughout April, OPSing 1.172 so far through 15 games. Although he's a major liability defensively and 28 years old, it would be interesting to see if the Braves are forced to give the him a shot in a bench role as a power bat from the right side if injuries befall the big club at some point during the season.
The M-Braves failed to score a run for their third consecutive game, falling to the Biscuits 5-0 in Montgomery on Saturday night. The offense barely posed a threat at any point during the game, as they scratched out four measly hits, four of which were singles. Emerson Landoni and Gustavo Núñez were the only Braves with hits, and Nûñez's third inning triple was the team's only extra base hit. Kyle Kubitza's struggles at the plate continued, as he went 0-4 with a couple of strikeouts, and also committed a fielding error. He's hitting just .175 with a .227 on the young season, and has struck out 15 times and walked only three times. David Bromberg had a troublesome fourth inning, in which he allowed three doubles, a walk, and a single, although none of the runs that he yielded were technically earned. John Cornley was strong as Bromberg's replacement, allowing no runs in four innings of long relief.
Mauricio Cabrera: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 earned), 3 BB, 2 K, 2.61 ERA
Lynchburg had a rough go of it on Saturday, dropping a 10-4 blowout loss to the Potomac Nationals. Despite the team's struggles, Peraza and Wren once again set the table well, reaching base in 6 of their 10 combined plate appearances. Tyler Tewell swung the bat well again, doubling and driving in a couple of runs. After a bit of a scare on Wednesday, in which Mauricio Cabrera was scratched in the afternoon leading up to the Hillcats' game, Cabrera returned to the mound and was wild on Saturday. He walked three batters in only three innings of work, and part of me wonders whether or not he's dealing with an injury, or possibly recovering from one, that led the team to remove him after such a brief outing. It'll be something to monitor in the future. Cabrera departed with a 2-1 lead, but relievers Eric Pfisterer and Patrick Scoggin came in and ceded 3 and 6 runs, respectively, to give the Nationals a solid cushion. The same two teams will be back at it tomorrow afternoon.
Rome Braves: 3 at Charleston RiverDogs 2 (7 innings), Game 1
Johan Camargo, SS: 1-4, .204
Victor Reyes, RF: 1-2, R, 2B (2), BB, .308
Blake Brown, CF: 1-2, R, RBI (4), BB, K, .250
Mikey Reynolds, 2B: 0-2, R, BB, SB (4), .160
Andry Ubiera: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 6.94 ERA
Yean Carlos Gil: 2.2 IP, H, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Rome squeaked out a close 3-2 win over the RiverDogs in the first game of Saturday's pair of 7-inning doubleheaders. Andry Ubiera got the start for Rome and was wild, walking 5 batters in 4.1 innings while throwing 83 pitches, 44 of which found the zone. Yean Carlos Gil was outstanding in relief, however, pounding the zone and striking out four batters in 2.2 innings of work without yielding a free pass. Rome didn't do too much offensively, but Victor Reyes had a nice game, doubling and walking in three plate appearances to raise his average to a strong .308. So far, he's justifying the prospect hype that he began to receive in 2013 and during the offseason. His walk began a 7th inning rally during which Rome came from behind two to take a 3-2 lead. Blake Brown's RBI single to score Reyes cut the deficit to 2-1, and Brown circled the bases on two wild pitches by Charleston to tie the game 2-2. After reaching on a strikeout that led to a wild pitch, Bryan De La Rosa scored on a throwing error to give Rome a 3-2 lead that it wouldn't cede.
Rome Braves: 4 at Charleston RiverDogs: 8 (7 innings), Game 2
Victor Reyes, RF: 1-4, RBI (4), 2 K, E (1, throwing), .304
Victor Caratini, C: 1-4, 2B (4), 2 K, .224
François Lafrenière: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 8.83 ERA
Pete Pérez: IP, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
Michael Swanner: IP, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
Rome dropped the second game of their doubleheader 8-4 to split the twin bill against Charleston on Saturday night. François Lafrenière had a rough outing once again, giving up 6 runs (2 homers) in 3.1 IP. On the bright side, Pete Pérez and Michael Swanner both contributed a strong relief inning apiece, striking out two and three batters respectively without walking a batter. Daniel Carroll was the only Brave with a multi-hit game, but it was nice to see Victor Caratini check in with a double. Rome, now 6-11 on the season, will have tomorrow off as they travel back home to begin a seven-game homestand against Greensboro and Kannapolis.
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