After playing just an inning, after which the Braves led 1-0 on the strength of a Phil Gosselin home run, play was suspended due to rain. This interrupted Aaron Northcraft's first AAA start for the G-Braves.
Tonight's game has been suspended. We will resume play tomorrow night at 5pm and play a double header.
The M-Braves were outhit by Birmingham en route to a 6-3 loss last night. Jason Hursh was able to go seven innings in his outing, but was ineffective, allowing seven runs on ten hits and four walks in those seven innings. Hursh only struck out 4 of the 33 batters that he faced on the night, and threw 63 of 104 (60.6%) of pitches for strikes. He didn't seem to have his best stuff last night, and the GO:FO ratio suggests to me that his sinker may have been flattening out for hitters. Ryan Weber finished off the final frame for the Braves and pitched a clean, perfect inning. José Peraza extended his 19-game hit streak with a single early in the game, and also reached via a walk later in the game. However, he was picked off on the basepaths once. Kyle Kubitza smacked his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot off of Barons starter Mike Recchia.
Cedric Hunter and Seth Loman also doubled in the game, but the M-Braves just couldn't get much going offensively, gathering only five hits total. They'll try to even up the series this afternoon, sending Greg Ross to the mound in his AA debut in the Rickwood Classic, which is an annual game held at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, the oldest pro baseball stadium in the country. Dwight Gooden will be the guest of honor, and the teams should be donning some sweet 1920's throwbacks.
The Hillcats ended up on the wrong end of a pitchers' duel last night, falling 3-1 to Winston-Salem. Wes Parsons was strong on the mound for Lynchburg, pitching seven solid innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Parsons exhibited strong control, as per usual, issuing no free passes. He struck out four hitters and induced loads of ground ball outs. Parsons did allow a solo home run, but that was the only extra-base hit he surrendered. David Peterson, an 8th-round pick by the Braves back in 2012, made his season debut after recovering from Tommy John surgery last April, surrendering one run on a Courtney Hawkins home run in an inning of work. The 'Cats couldn't get anything going offensively last night, with onyly five hits on the night. Daniel Castro and Levi Hyams both chipped in doubles, with a Daniel Carroll sac fly that brought in Hyams netting the only run for the club of the night. The Hillcats will now hit the road and head to Wilmington, Delaware to face the Blue Rocks for a series beginning tonight with Zach Jadofsky on the bump.
Alec Grosser: 4 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K, 6:1 GO:FO, 3.52 ERA
Michael Flores (W): 2 IP, H, ER, BB, 3 K, 2:0 GO:FO, 9.00 ERA
Caleb Dirks: 2 IP, H, 2 K, 2:1 GO:FO, 3.00 ERA
Bradley Roney: IP, K, 1:0 GO:FO, 0.00 ERA
Danville won the rubber game of their series in Johnson City, taking down the Cardinals in a 7-2 victory. I was actually in attendance at this game, mostly to check out Alec Grosser myself, and he did not disappoint. Grosser pitched four impressive innings, striking out five hitters and walking only one. The lone run surrendered by Grosser was on an RBI "double" that was struck hard, but misplayed by Fernelys Sanchez and should have been caught. I'm planning on writing up Grosser's outing in a Scouting the System post, but I'll give you a preview--he throws in the low 90's with good life on his fastball and flashed a slider that was inconsistent, but wicked at times with sharp, late break. I also came away impressed with 2014 eight-round pick Bradley Roney, who pitched the final frame for Danville. He worked in 94-95 mph range and snapped off a sharp slider for a strikeout in his brief outing. He'll be a bullpen arm going forward, but the velocity and slider that he flashed make me think that he could have a future in the Majors. Offensively, Danville had a strong day, with Cody Livesay and Gerald Chin each having solid nights at the top of the lineup. Livesay smacked a pair of singles and walked, and also stole a base. Chin dropped the barrel on a hanging breaking pitch for a home run, which surprised me considering his slight frame. He also stole a base and added two more hits. Alejandro Piloto also got in on the home run act, smacking a mammoth shot over the left-center field fence. Danville heads back to Virginia for their home opener tonight, hosting the Greeneville Astros with Andrew Waszak on the mound.
Hey, no one ever claimed that complex-level games are always crisp. Nonetheless, the GCL Braves won a 12-11 slugfest down in Orlando yesterday in eleven innings. The Braves used seven pitchers in this game (the Yankees used six), and most were shaky, at best. Garrett Fulenchek, the Braves' second-round pick in this month's draft, made his pro debut and struck out the side, although he also allowed a single and a walk. Luis Gamez also made his professional debut, although it didn't go quite as well, as he allowed four hits and a walk and recorded only one out. Jorge Zavala earned the win after providing some stability in the final two frames of the game, as he pitched two innings and only allowed a single baserunner in the form of a walk. There were quite a few strong offensive performances yesterday, and the Braves really opened their bench up and gave many guys the opportunity to pick up some plate appearances. Luke Dykstra only had two plate appearances but made the most of them, picking up a walk and a double, and also stealing a base. Altuve-sized shortstop Ozhaino Albies also made an impact at the dish, singling and scoring twice. He also stole a base. Kelvin Estevez and Franklin Azuaje also contributed to the attack, with each doubling in the contest. The Braves will host the GCL Tigers this afternoon, provided that they have any arms left on the staff.
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