Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 6/8

Christian Bethancourt had a two-hit game yesterday. - Rob Foldy

The Braves' Minor League affiliates swept their opponents on Sunday, including a pair of walk-off wins.

Gwinnett Braves: 4 vs. Rochester Red Wings: 2

Gwinnett took the second game of their series against Rochester with a 4-2 triumph. Jordan Walden made his second and final tuneup appearance for the G-Braves before returning to the Major League club, and was effective, pitching one inning, striking out two batters and walking one (he threw 19 pitches, 12 of which were strikes). Walden is now set to join Atlanta in Denver on Tuesday, meaning that someone (likely David Hale) is going to be headed back down to AAA. Zach Stewart got the largest portion of the game on the mound for Gwinnett, throwing 5.2 innings of six-hit ball. He allowed two runs, although only one was earned, but also didn't strike out any batters. Ian Thomas picked up the final 2.1 innings of the game, and allowed two walks and nary a hit. The biggest offensive day for Gwinnett came courtesy of Christian Bethancourt, who picked up a pair of hits, including a double, and an RBI. Phil Gosselin, Ozzie Martinez, and Steven Lerud also doubled in the contest, while noted speedster Joe Leonard picked up a triple. Gwinnett will look to clinch a series win tonight, sending Cody Martin to the bump.

Mississippi Braves: 14 vs. Chattanooga Lookouts: 1
Mississippi thrashed Chattanooga yesterday evening, scoring a couple of touchdowns in a 14-1 victory. Mitch Atkins got the start today in his second appearance for Mississippi since being demoted from AAA, and was brilliant, pitching six no-hit innings, allowing only two baserunners via a walk and a hit by pitch, and striking out seven hitters.  Jorge Reyes pitched a pair of strong, scoreless innings himself, and John Cornely gave up a run in the final frame. Mississippi's offense more than backed the pitchers' strong day, putting up 14 runs. Cedric Hunter stole the show for the M-Braves, doubling, tripling, and hitting a home run. He drove in five runs and scored three runs himself; I'd say he had a decent day at the plate. Seth Loman and Gustavo Núñez also aided the offensive output with multi-hit games. Kyle Kubitza picked up another hit and walked, however, he did throw a ball away, committing his twelfth error of the season. Kubitza has had a rough go of it in the field lately, but don't be mistaken--Kubitza is an above-average defender whose arm is generally strong and accurate, so I wouldn't fret too much about his defensive miscues lately. The M-Braves will send Aaron Northcraft to the mound tonight in their series finale with Chattanooga before an off-day and a trip up to metro Knoxville to face the Smokies.

Lynchburg HIllcats: 12 vs. Salem Red Sox: 11
  • José Peraza, 2B: 2-6, 2 R, 2B (12), RBI (26), .331
  • Kyle Wren, CF: 2-5, 2 R, 2B (6), 4 RBI (24), SB (28), 2 E (fielding, fielding), .277
  • David Nick, LF: 4-6, 3 R, 3B (2), 2 RBI (12), .313
  • Kevin Ahrens, DH: 5-6, 2B (14), 2 RBI (29), .258
  • Daniel Castro, SS: 2-4, R, RBI (29), BB, .293
  • Anthony Nunez, C: 2-3, 2 R, BB, .188
  • Lay Batista: IP, 6 H, 7 ER, BB, 2:1 GO:FO, 6.61 ERA
  • Ronan Pacheco: 2.2 IP, H, 3 BB, K, 6:1 GO:FO, 4.43 ERA
  • Nate Hyatt (W): 3 IP, H, 3 BB, K, 4:3 GO:FO, 2.54 ERA
Well, that's quite the bizarre score, isn't it? The Hillcats overcame an eight-run deficit in the fourth inning of their game yesterday to somehow win, 12-11. Lynchburg was put in a seven-run hole right off the bat in the top of the first after starter Lay Batista had a, well, disastrous outing. Batista allowed, sequentially, a single, a double, a hit by pitch, a single, a walk, a single, a double, a single, and a wild pitch that eventually permitted seven Red Sox to cross the plate. Believe it or not, Salem was held scoreless in seven of the nine innings of the game, but they also put up a four-spot in the fourth inning on Matt Chaffee. Ronan Pacheco and Nate Hyatt kept the Red Sox off the board in the final 5.2 innings of the game to give the offense a shot, and they took their opportunity. Down 11-3 in the bottom of the fourth, the 'Cats scored nine unanswered runs to miraculously win, including a three-spot in the bottom of the ninth inning culminating in a walk-off RBI single by Kevin Ahrens. I know you'll be shocked to hear this, but José Peraza had a two-hit game including a two-bagger, his twelfth of the season. There's been a lot of chatter in the recaps about a possible Peraza promotion due to the 20-year-old's fantastic performance in the Carolina League thus far. He's hitting .331, which is good for a wRC+ right around 130. This, considering his allergy to taking a free pass and young age, is excellent. Despite being the fifth-youngest player in the Carolina League, and younger than every single pitcher in the league outside of Lucas Sims and Tyler Danish, he's put up a strong line. It wouldn't shock me to see Peraza get rewarded with a late-season call-up to Mississippi, but in the immediate future, I wouldn't hold my breath. Peraza still needs some work with his approach at the plate, and he's also continuing to adapt and learn to play second base defensively after switching from short. I guess what I'm saying here is that he's been excellent, yes, but there's no immediate need to rush him and still some work to be done on his part. Other notable hitters on the afternoon for Lynchburg include Kyle Wren, who also had a pair of hits including a double, David Nick, who turned in a four-hit game including a double, and the aforementioned Ahrens, who recorded five hits. Lynchburg will now begin a series in Myrtle Beach starting tonight with Greg Ross on the mound, who is probably glad that the Rangers decided to send Joey Gallo to double-A yesterday.

Rome Braves: 5 vs. Greenville Drive: 4
  • Connor Oliver, DH: 0-3, R, RBI (9), BB, K, .260
  • Victor Reyes, RF: 1-4, 2 K, .295
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 1-3, R, BB, K, .234
  • Connor Lien, CF: 1-3, R, .197
  • Orrin Sears, C: 1-4, R, .273
  • Blake Brown, LF: 2-4, R, GW HR (2), 2 RBI (17), K, .233
  • Steve Janas: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 3 K, 7:5 GO:FO, 3.60 ERA
  • Michael Swanner: 2 IP, H, K, 1:2 GO:FO, 5.01 ERA
  • César López (W): 2 IP, H, 3:2 GO:FO, 2.25 ERA
Rome was able to squeak out a 5-4 victory against Greenville yesterday on a walk-off Blake Brown solo home run. Steve Janas took the mound for Rome and had a middling start, allowing four runs (three of which were earned) on seven hits and a walk in five innings. Janas was able to notch three strikeouts in his outing, but he simply wasn't quite as sharp as he was in his strong start earlier in the week. Michael Swanner and César López both did a quality job in relief, with both pitchers going two innings without surrendering a run on just one hit. Brown's walk-off shot broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth and he was Rome's unquestioned offensive MVP on the day, driving in a pair of runs with a pair of hits. Brown's homer was the only extra-base hit on the day for Rome, but Victor Reyes, Carlos Franco, Orrin Sears, and Connor Lien all contributed a single apiece. It's nice to see Rome playing a bit better, as they went 5-2 on the week beginning with their series in Augusta. They're still 21-42 on the season, playing .333 ball, but I'm sure they're content with the better baseball they've played this week. They'll attempt to stay hot with another series against Augusta beginning tonight in Rome.

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