Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 5/2

Jason Hursh got the nod for the M-Braves on Friday. - Tate Nations

Jason Hursh and Lucas Sims took the mound for the Braves' affiliates on Friday night.

Gwinnett Braves: 1 vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6

This game was pretty much a boar. The G-Braves struggled mightily offensively in a 7-2 loss to the Phillies' AAA affiliate on Friday night. Gwinnett didn't muster a single extra base hit and walked once throughout the game. Granted, they did face Jonathan Pettibone, Jeremy Horst, and Phillippe Aumont, all guys with MLB experience, but still. Yikes. Christian Bethancourt got a hit and scored Gwinnett's sole run, as Constanza drove him in with a fifth inning RBI single. After a string of strong outings and two consecutive awards as TC's Minor League Pitcher of the Week, Cody Martin struggled today, laboring through 6 innings. The big blow came in the 4th inning, when IronPig first baseman Jim Murphy hit a two-out, three-run home run. Wirfin Obipso had another nice outing in relief, pitching around a walk and recording a strikeout. The Braves' metal will be tested as they attempt to pick up a win tomorrow night in another dual with Lehigh Valley.

Mississippi Braves: 6 vs. Jacksonville Suns: 5 (10 innings)

The M-Braves made the Suns gloomy by emerging victorious 6-5 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inningby utility man Barrett Kleinknecht. Jason Hursh took the mound for Mississippi and pitched ok, inducing lots of ground balls but also walking a pair of batters and yielding 6 hits, including a sixth inning solo home run by the Suns' Alex Burg. After Ryan Weber allowed the Suns to tie the game in the 7th inning, James Hoyt allowed the Suns to score again in the top of the ninth to put the M-Braves down 5-4. However, a rally started by a Rohm single and a Kleinknecht single gave Matt Kennelly the opportunity to bring in Rohm with a game-tying single. After Chasen Shreve pitched a fantastic tenth inning, Rohm singled once again and Kubitza walked, bringing Kleinknecht up to the plate, who delivered with a game-wining sharp single to left field. Loman had the M-Braves' only extra base hit, but the team's "death by paper cuts" strategy ended up working. It's nice to see Kyle Kubitza playing better offensively, reaching base in 3 of 5 plate appearances. He's slashing .316/.409/.632 with a pair of home runs, a pair of doubles, and a pair of triples in his last ten games.

Lynchburg Hillcats: 7 vs. Salem Red Sox: 2
  • José Peraza, 2B: 2-5, 2B (5), 2 RBI (9), SB (13), .346
  • Kevin Ahrens, 3B: 1-3, R, 2B (7), BB, K, E (3, throwing), .247
  • Will Skinner, RF: 2-3, 2 R, HR (3), 2 RBI (12), .226
  • Daniel Carroll, LF: 2-4, 2 R, 2B (1), HR (1), 2 RBI (4), .400
  • Daniel Castro, SS: 3-4, R, RBI (9), E (4, fielding), .278
  • Lucas Sims: 6 IP (W), 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 12:1 GO:FO, 4.18 ERA
The Hillcats cruised to a victory on Friday night over the Salem Red Sox to snap a 9-game losing streak. It's tough to know just what witchcraft José Peraza is employing, but he continued to be an absolute menace offensively, picking up a pair of hits, including a double, as well as a pair of RBIs while stealing a base, his 13th of the season. Oh yeah, and his 20th birthday was just on Wednesday. Damien Sordelett, who covers the Hillcats for the Lynchburg News & Advance and is an excellent twitter follow for news on the team, sums it up nicely:

Will Skinner and Daniel Carroll, the game's corner outfielders, each contributed a home run to back a solid outing by Atlanta's top prospect, Lucas Sims. Sims has had some mild bumps in the road as he adjusts to pitching as a 19-year-old in advanced-A ball, but he put a hex on Salem's batters on Friday night, limiting them to a single run in 6 innings of work, striking out four and walking two. Perhaps most encouraging was the fact that Sims recorded 12 ground ball outs as opposed to a single flyout.

Rome Braves: 1 at Savannah Sand Gnats: 2

  • Connor Oliver, CF: 1-4, 3 K, CS (2), .259
  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 1-4, R, K, .245
  • Victor Reyes, RF: 2-4, K, .333
  • Johan Camargo, SS: 0-3, K, .156
  • Bryan De La Rosa, C: 0-3, K, .128
  • Chuck Buchanan: 4.2 IP (L), 2 H, ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 6:2 GB:FB, 2.63 ERA
  • Navery Moore: IP, H, 1:1 GO:FO, 0.00 ERA
Rome dropped a close game to the pesky Sand Gnats on Friday night, bringing their record to a rough 8-20 mark. I said earlier this season that Rome was probably the organization's weakest team relative to its level of competition, and...yeah. It hasn't been a pretty season for the Braves' class-A affiliate, and Friday's loss was their 9th in their last 10 games. The R-Braves couldn't get much of anything going offensively on the night, and just like their AAA counterparts, failed to produce an extra base hit. The only player with a multi-hit game was Victor Reyes, who's riding a modest 5-game hitting streak. Despite his gaudy batting average, Reyes has had 28 of his 33 hits on the season go for singles, and his only extra base hits are 5 doubles. Granted, I'm not too worried, as the gangly Reyes is still lithe and growing into his 6'3" frame at only 19 years old, but it'll be worth monitoring if Reyes can start banging some balls into the gap or over the fence this season. Chuck Buchanan started for Rome and had a bizarre line, walking 5 batters and allowing 2 hits (including a first inning triple to Gavin Cecchini, New York's 2012 first round draft pick) in 4.2 innings of work, but permitting only one run to score. Carlos Salazar will look to build on a good outing in his last start and right the ship tonight in Savannah.
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