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MiLB Recap 6/7: Toussaint twirls gem, Ozzie collects 3 hits

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Ozzie Albies Garrett Spain

(32-26) Lehigh Valley IronPigs 11, (25-34) Gwinnett Braves 6

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, 2B: 3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB, R, .241/.285/.369
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .259/.355/.374
  • Matt Tuiasosopo, RF: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2RBI, .234/.340/.437
  • Manny Banuelos, SP: 4.0 IP, 5H, 4ER, 2BB, 1K, 6.23 ERA

It was a night to forget for the Gwinnett pitching staff as they gave up as a whole 15 hits, 11 runs, 9 earned runs, 5 walks, and only struck out 3. The most encouraging news on that side of things is that Manny Banuelos was able to go 4 innings last night, throwing 57 pitches as he slowly returns from his latest elbow scare. It wasn't particularly effective, but at least he got through it without facing anymore pain. Tyrell Jenkins came in out of the pen again, unfortunately this time wasn't as effective as the defense really let him down as well. Jenkins fell victim to a passed ball by Anthony Recker, as well as a fielding error by Rio Ruiz that helped lead to a pair of runs in the 4th. Recently signed Dale Thayer made his Gwinnett debut, and it was forgettable, as the righty was only able to retire one batter while giving up 3 hits and 2 earned runs while also walking one. There was a point in the game that Lehigh scored in a total of 7 runs over 4 innings while scoring in each inning. Gwinnett was actually winning 2-1 through 2 innings but then everything fell apart after that.

Led by Ozzie Albies, the offense did its job last night collecting 12 hits and 6 runs. Albies had his first 3 hit game since May 16th, however more encouraging he has now reached base in 11 of the last 12 games. Also of note Albies played 2nd again with a rehabbing Aybar in Gwinnett taking the role of SS.

Rio Ruiz also had a good night at the plate connecting on his first double since the 19th of June. More surprisingly this was Rio's first multi-hit game since May 2nd. The possible oblique injury he suffered a while back has really impacted his season and perhaps those few days off will get things started again. He has now reached base in 6 straight games.

Next Game: 6/8 vs Lehigh Valley @ 7:05 PM ET

Probables

LEH: Eflin, 5-1 3.14 ERA

GWI: De La Cruz, 0-1 6.61 ERA

(25-33) Tennessee Smokies 1, (27-30) Mississippi Braves 5

Box Score

  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 3-4, 2B, R, .265/.329/.409
  • Chris Ellis, SP: 1-3, .273/.273/.364
  • Chris Ellis, SP: 6.2IP, 1H, 1ER, 5BB, 4K

Ellis was wildly effective last night allowing 5 free passes but only 1 hit over the course of the game. He allowed a hit in the 1st inning (second batter of the game) and nothing after that. It looked like it would be a particularly rough outing for Chris after he walked 3 batters in the first, along with walking in a run, but the rest of the way he allowed no hits, and 2 walks through the remaining 5.2 innings. This has by far been the best year of his career in terms of ERA (2.85), and WHIP (1.101). He's brought his HR/9 rate way down this year as well (0.2). You could make a case that he's gotten slightly lucky this year as his BABIP is down to .253 on the season but even so his FIP is a solid 3.51 on the season. He's not the sexiest pitcher with the incredible arsenal and potential like Newcomb, but he knows what he can do and does it well. He's already shown the capacity to eat innings (140 in 2015), and with his decreasing walk rate (3.55 BB/9) he could a solid future in the Atlanta rotation.

The offense was effective last night collecting 12 hits, and hitting .307 with runners in scoring position despite missing shortstop Dansby Swanson who missed last nights game to attend the funeral of former Vanderbilt pitcher Donny Everett who shockingly passed away a few days ago. Dansby was seen as "visibly shaken" and had left the team a couple days ago to be with his family and friends in Tennessee.

There is no good segue going back into baseball but it's a question some have asked and there you have it.

We seem to be in the midst of a Dustin Peterson hot streak as he has multi-hit games in 4 out of the last 5 games. His seasons are very Justin Upton-esque as his hot streaks make it seem impossible to get him out, and you are left wondering if he will ever hit again during his cold streaks. Alas, we are on the cusp of his hot streak and I'm fully prepared to watch him take over the offense.

Jacob Schrader extended his hitting streak to 5 games including a double, and he has 11 hits in those past 5 games. Matt Lipka extended his hitting streak to 3 games as well and picked up his 12th stolen base of the season. Lipka has reached base in 5 out of the last 6 games. His single in the 6th drove in Levi Hyams, and Johan Camargo and really put the game out of reach for the Smokies.

Next Game: 6/8 vs Tennessee @ 7:00 PM CT

Probables

LGH: Skulina, 2-3 3.88 ERA

MIS: Newcomb, 3-2 3.47 ERA

(23-33) Carolina Mudcats 4, (28-30) Frederick Keys 8

Box Score

  • Joseph Odom, C: 2-4 2B, RBI, .281/.337/.477
  • Joseph Daris, LF: 2-4, HR .187/.261/.259
  • Max Povse, SP: 6.0 IP, 11H, 8R, 6ER, 1BB, 3K, 3.55 ERA

I don't think I've ever typed these words before but Max Povse struggled...a lot last night. He absolutely labored through 2 innings allowing 7 runs over those 2 innings. The game wasn't on MiLB.tv so I was not able to watch it but outside of a homer by Conor Bierfeldt it appears as though Povse was blooped to death with a bunch of singles in the first two innings. After an impressive start to the season that saw just one gamescore under 45, the pitcher has struggled to miss bats a bit over his last two starts (20 hits in 11 innings). Will be interesting to see what adjustments he makes for his next start so that he can return to the form starts 1-9 where he compiled a 2.55 ERA while allowing opponents to collect a measly .573 OPS.

Carlos Salazar and Chase Johnson-Mullins returned to form and both pitched scoreless innings out of the 'pen.

Offensively I'm always happily surprised when this team scores because a majority of it is slumping (2 batters hitting over .250), but there's no one hotter maybe in the entire organization than Joseph Odom who is enjoying the best year of his professional career. Odom collected another extra-base hit last night and now leads all of Braves minor league organization with a .477 slugging percentage. He cites the work in the AFL, and the opportunity to work with the coaches in Atlanta during spring training as really helping him get his career together. He, along with the help of various coaches, have helped him shorten his swing and it's showing as his .814 OPS on the season is significant higher than any other season he's had (.688 OPS last year). He has now reached base in 13 out of the last 15 games and during that stretch is hitting .333/.381/.596.

Joey Meneses also collected a hit and extended his hitting streak to 3 games as well. He too is enjoying a resurgent season with a solid .814 OPS after slumping in 2015 (.625 OPS). He's the lone first base (outside of Yepez, 18, in Rome) "prospect" but at 24 he's 2 years younger than Freeman and still in A+ ball. Nonetheless, it's a nice rebound season for him.

(34-22) Charleston Riverdogs 4, (22-35) Rome Braves 2

Box Score

  • Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 1-4 3B, .288/.391/.423
  • Luke Dykstra, 2B: 2-3, RBI, .320/.358/.376
  • Touki Toussaint, SP: 6.0 IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 9K, 5.51 ERA

Didder continues to hit and playing a surprisingly good centerfield with Acuna out on injury. The CFer has been rewarded with a nod to the SAL All-Star game.

Luke Dykstra, singles machine, collected 2 more singles and now sits at 52 on the season. It's just something neat that I'm tracking as I've never seen someone hit so many singles.

The night, however, belonged to Touki Toussaint and instead of telling you about it I'm going to just embed a tweet and you enjoy all 9 of his career high in strikeouts(tip: a lot of swinging strikeouts).

Next Game: 6/8 vs Charleston @ 1:00 PM ET

Probables

CHA: Vargas, 4-2 2.23 ERA

ROM: Soroka, 1-5 2.66 ERA