(7-2) Gwinnett Braves 10, (2-6) Norfolk Tides 0
Chase d'Arnaud, RF: 3-4, 1 2B, 2 R, .258/.281/.355
Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-5, .355/.429/.516
Tyler Moore, LF: 2-5, 3 RBI, .282/.300/.436
Tyrell Jenkins, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2.00 ERA
Gwinnett left no questions in this one, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning, and cruised to an easy 10-0 win. They now have outscored opponents 27-7 during a 4 game winning streak. Rio Ruiz was again good, collecting 2 hits to extend his system leading hitting streak to 7 games, and raise his triple slash to .355/.429/.516. The batting average ranks 10th in the International League, despite him being the 2nd youngest player in the league. The rest of the offense was on fire as well, with only Reid Brignac not recording a hit (he had 4 walks in the game)
Tyrell Jenkins struggled mightily with walks in his first game of the season, but was able to settle in nicely in this game and pitch 6 innings of shutout baseball while allowing only 1 walk. Jenkins will be in the mix for a midseason call up, and will need to show an improvement in his control to succeed at the major league level. Jenkins tends to have short spells in games in which he completely loses control and walks a couple of guys in a row, and he will get burned by that in Atlanta. It's also nice to see his strikeouts up and his pitch counts down this year, as he has always had difficulty putting away hitters. The rest of the bullpen for Gwinnett shut down the Tides in 3 innings, with Ryan Weber closing it out with another scoreless inning pitched.
Next Game: 4/16 vs (2-6) Norfolk Tides @ 7:05 PM ET
GWN: Casey Kelly (0-0, 7.20 ERA)
NOR: Terry Doyle (0-0, 6.00 ERA)
Gwinnett will be riding a 4 game win streak into the 3rd game of the series tomorrow, hoping to take a series win over the Tides. Gwinnett currently sits 1 game ahead of the Bulls for first place in the International League South Division, and will send out veteran pitcher Casey Kelly. Kelly is coming off of a rough start in his first outing of the year, the last loss the Braves suffered, and hopes to bounce back strong.
(2-7) Mississippi Braves 9, (4-4) Montgomery Biscuits 2
Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-4, BB, .289/.357/.316
Dustin Peterson, LF: 3-4, HR (1), 3 RBI, 3 R, .314/.375/.486
Willians Astudillo, C: 3-5, 2 RBI, .333/.385/.375
Rob Whalen, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.60 ERA
A day for losing streaks to be broken, Mississippi was the last game to go final on a 5-0 day for the system, snapping their 6 game losing streak. Mississippi got a much needed offensive outburst, having scored an average of just 2.1 runs through the first 8 games. The big blow came in the 5 run 8th inning during which Dustin Peterson slugged his first home run of the year, a 3 run blast. Jacob Schrader added a home run of his own in the 9th inning to round out the scoring. Dian Toscano recorded his long-awaited first hit in a Braves uniform with a triple that drove in 2 runs.
The pitching was fantastic for Mississippi as usual, with starter Rob Whalen bouncing back from a lackluster first start of the season. Whalen displayed the command he is known for and was able to limit what the Biscuits were able to do offensively in his 6 innings of work. Stephen Janas was coming off of a bad appearance as well, and responded with 2 scoreless innings though he did not strike any batters out. Bradley Roney came in to close out the game and was perfect in his inning of work. Roney struck out one batter.
Next Game: 4/16 at (4-4) Montgomery Biscuits @ 7:35 PM ET
MIS: Brandon Barker (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
MTG: Chris Kirsch (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Mississippi will send the extremely consistent Brandon Barker to the mound tomorrow night to make his second start in an MBraves uniform, to which the Biscuits respond with 24 year old lefty Chris Kirsch. Mississippi had high expectations coming into this season and are hoping to ride the momentum of this blowout win to their first winning streak of the season. Dustin Peterson will be a big player to watch tomorrow, as his hot bat going against a lefty arm could lead to a big night.
(6-3) Carolina Mudcats 2 vs. (3-6) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 0
Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-3, BB, 2B, .333/.415/.500
Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-2, 2B, BB, .194/.278/.226
Joseph Odom, C: 1-4, .267/.313/.400
Max Povse, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA
The Mudcats managed another win despite a poor offensive showing, this time riding the fantastic performance of Max Povse. Dansby Swanson, who knocked his sixth double of the season in this one, scored the lone run the Mudcats would need in the 4th. He drew a one out walk, stole second base and advanced to 3rd on the throw, then came in to score on a passed ball. Braxton Davidson had a solid game at the plate as well, and Omar Obregon knocked in a run in the 5th to extend the lead to where it went final.
The biggest performance was that of Max Povse, who was undoubtedly the star of last night's games and has been arguably the best pitcher in the system through the early going. He dominated for 7 innings tonight, and now through the first 2 starts has pitched 13 innings, given up 0 runs, allowed 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 14 batters. Had he not been injured last season, he likely would have begun this season at AA, and now looks to potentially move quickly through the ranks. He's surprisingly controlled for a 6'8" tall pitcher, and combines good present value with a high ceiling for a college arm. Chase Johnson-Mullins came on to close the game out, and looked good in his inning of work while earning his league-leading 3rd save.
Next Game: 4/16 vs (3-6) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5:00 PM ET
CAR: Ryan Clark (0-1, 7.50 ERA)
MB: Erick Leal (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
Carolina will be putting 2 UNC-Greensboro alumni back to back on games, with last year's 5th round pick making his first start of the season. Clark had a rough first outing giving up 10 runs and 5 hits in 6 innings pitched, and hopes to justify an aggressive promotion to Carolina with his performance tomorrow. He will be opposed by Erick Leal, a 21 year old Venezuelan righty who has progressed slowly but steadily through the Cubs organization.
(3-6) Rome Braves 4, (2-7) Asheville Tourists 3 F/12
Ray-Patrick Didder, RF: 2-5, 2B, 3B, RBI, .357/438/.643
Ronald Acuna, CF: 2-4, RBI, SB, BB, .324/.378/.353
Austin Riley, 3B: 1-6, 2B, 3 K, .278/.316/.528
Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 4 IP, 3H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 5.63 ERA
It took 12 innings and some heroics from the unlikely source of Bradley Keller, but Rome finally managed to get back into the win column. Both teams traded 2 run innings in the first, and then offensively shut down for the next 8. Bradley Keller knocked his first hit of his Rome career, a triple, and was scored by Ronald Acuna on a base hit. Asheville responded with a run in the bottom of the frame, and in the 12th Keller again led off with a hit. Acuna sacrificed him over, and after advancing to third on a Jonathan Morales single Keller was able to score on a passed ball. Oriel Caicedo came in to shut Asheville down in the bottom of the 12th and give Rome their long-awaited third win.
Finally Ronald Acuna is being rewarded for hitting every ball hard, and has raised his average well over .300 now. He has stolen 4 bases in the past 3 games and has yet to get caught stealing, bringing his career total to 20/24 on stolen bases. Jonathan Morales is on the type of tear he went on with Danville last season, and his batting average is up to .424. The strikeouts are starting to rack up for Austin Riley, and his numbers have taken a dive because of it, but he is showing power and should improve his contact skills. The surprise is Ray-Patrick Didder continuing his dominance of Sally pitching, with 2 extra base hits. He ranks in the top 10 in the league in all triple slash categories, and is 5th in OPS. Ricardo Sanchez didn't have his best stuff today, and although he struggled to miss bats he was able to get outs and get through with a good enough start to give Rome a chance to win.
Next Game: 4/16 at (2-7) Asheville Tourists @ 6:05 PM ET
ROM: Caleb Beech (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
NOR: Trey Killian (0-1, 6.35 ERA)
Rome will be sending Caleb Beech to the mound tomorrow. Beech was good last year for Rome before struggling with injury, and looked good in his 2 outings of relief this season. Hitters are batting .083 against Beech in the early going. Facing him will be Trey Killian, who has had a rough go of it since being drafted in the 9th round last year. He has a career 8.69 ERA in 10 career starts, and hitters are batting .368 against him.