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Atlanta Braves AFL Recap: AJax Goes Grande

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Braves prospects put up another strong week in Arizona, headlined by big home runs from Alex Jackson and Austin Riley

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Games

(2-1) Peoria Javelinas 10, (1-2) Mesa Solar Sox 9 Box Score

(2-2) Peoria Javelinas 2, (2-2) Mesa Solar Sox 4 Box Score

(3-2) Peoria Javelinas 12, (2-3) Salt River Rafters 1 Box Score

Ronald Acuna

1-4, 2 BB, HBP, RBI, .333/.467/.333

Acuna’s weekend got off to a scary start, as in his second plate appearance of Thursday’s game he was hit by a pitch on his hand. Acuna had to leave the game with a bruise, but only missed one game and was back in the leadoff spot for the Javelina’s blowout win on Saturday. Acuna grounded out in his first at bat of the game but then reached safely in each of his next 3 plate appearance with 2 walks and a single. Acuna struck out in his final at bat of the game, which was only his second strikeout in 15 plate appearances in the early going of the season. Acuna has yet to record and extra base hit but has been putting the ball in play sharply and showing much of the same form he showed during the regular season.

Max Fried

DNP

Touki Toussaint

2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

It’s not déjà vu, Touki Toussaint put up an identical stat line to his first appearance of the fall as the first man out of the bullpen as part of Peoria’s no hit bid on Saturday. Touki started his day by getting the first man swinging at a curveball in the dirt for a 3 pitch strikeout. He followed that by forcing a fly ball and then another strikeout to end the inning on just 10 pitched. Toussaint got a 3 pitch strikeout, all looking, to open his second inning of work before an 8 pitch plate appearance led to his first and only walk of the game. Toussaint quickly worked around that by forcing Corey Ray to fly out and then getting a strikeout to end another strong outing.

Alex Jackson

2-9, HR, BB, 5 RBI, .167/.231/.417

AJax had a solid weekend for Peoria, started by reaching base twice in his appearance on Thursday. Jackson hit the ball hard in his first at bat and couldn’t find a hole, but in his second plate appearance worked a 7 pitch walk and scored on Austin Riley’s home run. Jackson singled and scored in his next turn at the plate before ending his day with a couple of pop outs. The Solar Sox managed to run well against Jackson going 3-3 on the basepaths. Jackson only got one hit in his second game but made the most of it, crushing a grand slam that put Peoria up over Salt River by 11 runs. Jackson struck out twice in his other four at bats and had a pop out, but also was calling the shots in the near no hitter for Peoria.

Austin RIley

3-8, HR, 4 RBI, HBP, SB, .250/.308/.500

Austin Riley went off for Peoria in Thursday’s game, and his 3 hits were key in propelling a 10-9 win for the Javelinas. Riley wasted no time getting going at the plate in the first inning, knocking a first pitch the other way for a single that score Peoria’s 3rd and final run of the inning. Following a 3rd inning walk to AJax, Riley came through with the big hit in the game launching a home run to center field that stretched the Peoria lead to 7-4 and gave Riley 3 RBIs through 3 innings. Riley came through again in the 5th with his 4th RBI of the game, knocking a single up the middle to score Peoria’s 8th run. Riley struck out in his final two at bats, but in the final one worked the count full and fouled off a pitch before striking out to end the inning. Riley was the only Brave active on Friday and got hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance but did not have a hit on the day.

Josh Graham

1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 4.50 ERA

Graham came in to the game for Peoria in the ninth inning in an attempt to close out a no hitter, and started off on the right path by forcing a ground out to the leadoff man in the inning. Grame got the next batter down in the count 0-2, but left a ball over the zone that was driven in the game for a double to end the no-no. The next batter knocked an infield single on the first pitch, and the next followed him with a sacrifice fly on the first pitch to score the first run of the game for Salt River. Graham bounced back and got a pop out to end the inning, ending a slaughter at 12-1 in favor of Peoria.

Corbin Clouse

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

Corbin pitched the 7th inning of Peoria’s game on Saturday, and worked quickly to his first batter to get a ground out on the second pitch. Clouse had to battle the next man up, but after an 8 pitch at bat managed to get his man looking for his only strikeout of the day. Clouse got a fly out from the final batter to end his only inning of work and extend Peoria’s no hitter. Clouse threw 10 of his 12 pitches for strikes, an important note given Clouse’s tendency to go through spans in which he struggles with his control.

Jared James

2-6, BB, .250/.364/.250

Jared James came in to replace Acuna following his hit by pitch and filled in nicely at the top of the order with a base hit in one of his three at bats. James hit the ball hard in each of his other two at bats but couldn’t come through with any luck, flying out to center field and grounding out to the third baseman. James walked in his first plate appearance on Saturday’s game and singled in his next, and has reached base in all 3 games in the AFL and in 5 straight counting his time in Mississippi. James hasn’t produced much power, but is sticking to his profile by putting the ball in play (only 1 strikeout in 11 PA) and getting on base at a high rate.