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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Folty and Lawlor dominate

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Pitching was the name of the game for all 4 teams, with good pitching from the Mudcats and GBraves setting the tone for wins and a few pitching gaffes dooming Rome and Mississippi.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(5-2) Gwinnett Braves 6, (4-3) Durham Bulls 2 F/11

Box Score

  • Sean Kazmar, 1B: 1-4, 1 HR (2), 2 RBI, .278/.263/.667

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-3, 2B, BB, .318/.423/.409

  • Mike Foltynewicz, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0.90 ERA

  • David Peterson, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4.91 ERA

The headline for minor league action yesterday has to be Mike Foltynewicz's strong performance. Folty has been frustratingly inconsistent, but flashed the dominant ability he has over 6 innings and ended with still just 90 pitches. Rio Ruiz has been on fire as well, now carrying a 5 game hitting streak with 2 straight 2 hit games. Gwinnett never trailed in this one after Sean Kazmar's solo home run as the second batter of the game, and continued to tack on runs as Folty did his work, peaking with a 5-0 lead after the top of the 8th inning.

With Mallex now seemingly in the midst of an extended or perhaps permanent stay in Atlanta, Gwinnett will have to piece together offense to remain in first place. Ruiz has been a good start, and is showing a resurgence at such a young age that he has begun to ignite the hope he came into the organization with. It is early, but if Rio can continue his strong performance he will make a run at the starting third base job in 2017.

(1-6) Mississippi Braves 2, (3-3) Montgomery Biscuits 3

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-4, .333/.375/.367

  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 0-4, .296/.387/.407

  • Chris Ellis, SP: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1.59 ERA

  • Mauricio Cabrera, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2.45 ERA

Mississippi continues to lose games in some of the most unfathomably bad ways possible, this time with a walk off walk in the ninth inning. Let's start with the positives, Ozhaino Albies extended his hitting streak to 6 games with an infield single, and Matt Marksberry got outs from all 5 batters that he faced. Unfortunately, all other pitchers for Mississippi struggled with walks, allowing 7 in the 6.2 innings that Marksberry did not pitch. Chris Ellis did manage to limit the effects of 10 baserunners allowed, but was not as effective as his first start of the season.

Mauricio Cabrera came in to close it out, and after walking the first batter he faced settled down to get outs from the next 3. The wheels fell off in the ninth after he retired the first batter, with 2 consecutive singles, an intentional walk, and a 4 pitch walk to Braxton Lee to allow the winning run to score. Mississippi has now lost 5 consecutive games and sits at the bottom of the league standings. At least they aren't 0-8.

(4-3) Carolina Mudcats 3 vs. (1-5) Wilmington Blue Rocks 1

Box Score

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-4, .379/.455/.552

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 2-4, RBI, .222/.313/.259

  • Tanner Murphy, C: 1-4, .067/.125/.067

  • Ryan Lawlor, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2.00 ERA

The Mudcats won their second straight game behind a great pitching effort from Ryan Lawlor. The 8th rounder was phenomenal again, and has struck out 11 in his 9 innings of work this year. Braxton Davidson showed much welcome signs of life at the plate with his second multi hit game of the season, and has now had an RBI in 4 straight games. Unfortunately, he has also struck out at least once in every game this season, with 2 strikeouts in 4 of 7 games. Carolina took an early lead with 2 runs in the second inning after Braxton Davidson singled in Jordan Edgerton and a base hit from Omar Obregon scored Davidson.

Ryan Lawlor cruised until allowing a run in his final inning of work, but Carolina answered back 2 innings later after Keith Curcio scored Joseph Daris on a sacrifice bunt to push the lead back to 2. Raymar Navarro and Chase Johnson-Mullins shut it down in the bullpen, and Carolina walked out with a series win. Tomorrow is Carolina's home opener, and the first chance for fans to see Dansby Swanson on MILB.tv.

(2-5) Rome Braves 2, (4-3) Columbia Fireflies 3

Box Score

  • Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 1-3, SB, CS, .368/478/.632

  • Ronald Acuna, DH: 1-4, RBI, 2 SB, .240/.296/.280

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4 3 K, .308/.333/.577

  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 4 IP, 3H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1.80 ERA

Rome managed to get swept by a team called the Fireflies, and somehow still were impressive in every game. Ronald Acuna stole his first and second bases of the year in this one, and although he has been off to a slow start he has been making a lot of solid contact and will likely improve. Austin Riley got a hit to extend his hitting streak to 5 games and keep his batting average over .300, but his 44.4% strikeout rate and .538 BABIP suggest he may be due for some slight regression at the plate. Justin Ellison and Luke Dykstra both had 2 hit days, with the former adding a double to his batting line.

Patrick Weigel was good again, though he struggled walking 3 in 4 innings pitched. In 10 innings pitched this season Weigel has struck out 12 batters. Rome fell behind in the 3rd inning, but were able to fight back with a run each in the 4th and 5th innings, getting those runs off of a Lucas Herbert RBI single and Ronald Acuna scoring Luke Dykstra on a fielder's choice. Rome was unable to hold on, as Grayson Jones allowed 2 in the 6th to give Columbia the 3-2 they held until the game went final.