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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Whalen, Povse, and Soroka dominate; Mississippi wins in 16

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The three prospect starters in today's games all put up fantastic performances, while Manny Banuelos made his first rehab start. A 16 inning marathon was ended by a home run from an unlikely source, and Austin Riley put up a nice day at the plate

Rob Whalen Garrett Spain

(22-23) Gwinnett Braves 8, (23-22) Charlotte Knights 9 F/11

Box Score

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, BB, 3 RBI, .258/.339/.364

Adonis Garcia, LF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .361/.426/.656

Ozzie Albies, PR-SS: 1-1, 2B, .241/.284/.398

Kanekoa Texeira, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.77 ERA

The GBraves took and failed to hold a lead twice in this game, finally falling in 11 innings. The offense was successful with 8 runs, but still left 8 runners in scoring position. Rio Ruiz led the team in RBI, 2 of those coming on a game-tying single in the top of the 9th inning. That run scored Ozzie Albies, who had been brought on to run for Adonis Garcia. When the lineup rolled back around to Albies he led the inning off with a double, which was followed by a Ruiz walk. Ronnier Mustelier grounded into a 5-3 double play, squelching a rally. Ruiz was stranded on second base and Charlotte scored the next inning to win it.

Kanekoa Texeira had a bit of a rough outing for Gwinnett, allowing 3 runs to score after getting a 2-0 lead after the top of the second. He was relieved by Joel De La Cruz, who allowed a home run along with another run to allow Charlotte to stretch the lead to 5-2. After a scoreless inning and 2 consecutive to runs frames he was given a 6-5 lead, but quickly allowed that to unravel. He loaded the bases with one out, and David Peterson allowed all 3 runs to score in relief. Peterson didn’t allow a run of his own though, and in the bottom of the 9th Cunniff stranded 2 of Peterson's base runners. Cunniff remained in for the remainder of the game before allowing a walk off sac fly.

Next Game: 5/23 @ (16-29) Norfolk Tides @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Tyrell Jenkins (4-2, 3.02 ERA)

NOR: David Hale (0-1, 3.71 ERA)

Yup, that David Hale.

(19-25) Mississippi Braves 3, (19-24) Mobile Baybears 2 F/16

Box Score

Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-7, 2 RBI, .307/.390/.500

Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-6, 2B, .261/.328/.430

Willians Astudillo, C: 2-7, .262/.285/.323

Rob Whalen, SP: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.42 ERA

It was a long road to victory for Mississippi, but finally a home run from Mel Rojas Jr. (his first since August 13, 2015) in the top of the 16th inning led Mississippi to a win. All my applause goes to Willians Astudillo, who caught all 16 innings in the game for a total of 213 pitches. To get them 16 innings though, Dansby Swanson had to provide a 2 run single in the third inning, a score that would hold until the bottom of the 9th.

Mel Rojas Garrett Spain

Unfortunately, Rob Whalen’s fantastic start was not rewarded with a win. It was the first time he completed 7 innings since July 31 of last season, when he was a Mudcat. The one run he allowed was in the first inning, so he completed the next 6 totally free of runs. Stephen Janas relieved him with a scoreless inning, bringing on Mauricio Cabrera for the save. Mauricio threw 17 pitches. 5 of those pitches were strikes. He struck out one batter, but walked the other 3 on a total of 14 pitches. That brought on Madison younginer, who allowed a game tying sac fly before getting a ground out to end the inning. Bradley Roney, Steve Kent, and Danny Burawa combined to pitch the next 7 innings without allowing a run, finally earning the win.

Next Game: 5/23 at (19-24) Mobile Baybears @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Brandon Barker (3-2, 2.00 ERA)

MOB: TBD

Brandon Barker Garrett Spain

Game 1 (17-24) Carolina Mudcats 5, (12-29) Wilmington Blue Rocks 1

Box Score

Joey Meneses, 1B: 1-4, RBI, .315/.373/.469

Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-2, 2 BB, .217/.313/.318

Jordan Edgerton, 3B: 1-3, BB, .171/.217/.289

Max Povse, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2.66 ERA

Game 2 (17-25) Carolina Mudcats 4, (13-29) Wilmington Blue Rocks 6

Box Score

Joey Meneses, 1B: 1-3, BB, .315/.377/.466

Joseph Odom, C: 2-4, 2B, .260/.318/.420

Braxton Davidson, RF: 0-4, .211/.305/.308

Ryan Clark, SP: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB,3 K, 6.64 ERA

Game 1 was interesting, for lack of a better word here. 6 runs were scored by the 2 teams, and not a single one was earned. The Blue Rocks committed 5 errors in the game, and I no longer wonder why they are 13-29. Braxton Davidson provided a flash in game one reaching base 3 times, and then went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in his second game, which is quite symbolic for his career thus far. Jordan Edgerton now has a hit each in his last 3 games, but hasn’t had a multi hit game since April 26.

Povse day was delayed for a bit, but when it was time he did not disappoint. Povse shut down the Blue Rocks for 5 innings, and did so on just 76 pitches. I can’t imagine it will be long before Mississippi calls him. AJ Minter dominated as well in game one, with 2 perfect innings with 4 strikeouts. Game 2 didn’t go quite as well, as Ryan Clark had another rough start and allowed 6 runs in 5 innings. 5 of those were in the first inning, with in order a double, ground out, walk, single, single, walk, double, ground out, and fly out. Interestingly as well, third baseman Wander Franco, a switch hitter for the Blue Rocks, chose to bat right handed against the right handed Clark and got a base hit. Zach Quintana closed off the day with a scoreless inning pitched.

Next Game: 5/23 @ (13-29) Wilmington Blue Rocks 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

CAR: Enderson Franco (3-2, 6.00 ERA)

LYN: Zach Lovvorn (0-5, 3.60 ERA)

(16-27) Rome Braves 4, (21-22) Augusta GreenJackets 7

Box Score

Luke Dykstra, 2B: 2-5, .313/.358/.381

Justin Ellison, C: 2-4, 3 RBI, .223/.262/.331

Austin Riley, 3B: 2-4, 2B, .242/.293/.389

Manny Banuelos, SP: 2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 13.50 ERA

Mike Soroka, “RP”: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.37 ERA

Well Rome lost again, which is now 3 straight losses and has them perched in last place and 11.5 games out of first. Good thing minor leagues play halves. The offense produced 2 multi-hit games, including the 2, 3, 4, and 5 hitters consecutively. For all of the 13 hits Rome got in the game, only one was an extra base hit-a double from Austin Riley. Justin Ellison knocked in 3 of the 4 runs in the game, on 2 base hits in the 4th and 8th inning. Alejandro Salazar, Luke Dykstra, and Wigberto Nevarez claim the other multi hit games. Lucas Herbert went 1-4 in the game, and is now hitting .264/.344/.358 in May. He’s also thrown out 17 of 34 attempted baserunners this year, though 3 GreenJackets were successful today (all off Manny Banuelos, who has bad Stolen base numbers against him in his career.)

Lucas Herbert Garrett Spain

Speaking of Manny Banuelos, he made his 2016 debut with a rehab start today, and it was not so good. He threw 52 pitches, 34 for strikes, but gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in 2 innings while striking out 4 and walking 2. Mike Soroka came on for his start, and did typical Mike Soroka things for 6.2 innings. He only allowed 6 hits and 2 runs, while walking one with 5 strikeouts. Finally, Bladimir Matos ended things off with a fly out to end the day.

Next Game: 5/23 @ (27-16) Hickory Crawdads 6:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Patrick Weigel (2-3, 3.27 ERA)

HIC: Brett Martin (2-2, 4.91 ERA)

Here we have a matchup of 2 pitchers with Nascar names. Always a fun watch. Baseball that is.