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Atlanta Braves AFL Recap: Jackson Hits Another Bomb

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Alex Jackson, Ronald Acuna, and Jared James all provided bright spots on the offensive side of things, while the pitching for the Braves struggled mightily.

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
What’s that? You want more of AJax in a Mariners uniform?
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Games

(5-4) Peoria Javelinas 7, (5-4) Scottsdale Scorpions 13 Box Score

(6-4) Peoria Javelinas 2, (5-5) Scottsdale Scorpions 0 Box Score

Ronald Acuna

1-3, 2B, .292/.400/.333

Acuna’s only action on the weekend (outside of being a defensive sub) was in Peoria’s Thursday game, and he put up another solid performance on both sides of the ball. Dropped from the leadoff spot to the third spot in the order for the first time this fall, Acuna went down swinging in the first inning. Acuna didn’t waste time waiting for pitches in his second plate appearance, and lifted a sacrifice fly on the first pitch to score Peoria’s 3rd run of the game and bring them within one of the Scorpions. With Peoria down one in the 5th inning Acuna came through with an RBI ground-rule double that tied the game, then came around to score on a single from Eric Filia that gave Peoria the lead (prior to Braves pitchers imploding and giving the game back). Acuna lined out in the 8th inning in his next at bat, ending his 1-3 day. He also contributed to the Javelinas in the field in the 3rd inning, when he fielded a base hit from Estevan Florial and was able to gun down Florial who was trying to stretch a single with two outs in the inning.

Max Fried

DNP

Touki Toussaint

1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3.60 ERA

The previously-mentioned implosion started with Toussaint, when he was brought in to pitch the fourth inning and prevent a one run deficit for Peoria from growing any larger. Touki got a ground out to open his outing, but fell behind to the next two batters and allowed back-to-back home runs that stretch the Scorpions lead to three. Toussaint settled back in and ended his inning with a ground out and a fly out.

Alex Jackson

1-7, HR, BB, RBI, .321/.387/.714

Alex Jackson was at it again on Thursday with the big bat, but for the first time this fall wasn’t behind the plate in either game, instead DHing for the Javelinas. Jackson ended the Javelinas’s first inning with a swinging strikeout, but bounced back in the 4th inning to mash his 3rd home run of the fall, moving him all alone into second place in the league in that category. Jackson struck out in each of his final 2 at bats, both in drastically different fashions. In the 6th inning Jackson didn’t pull his bat off of his shoulder, watching all 5 pitches go by and getting set down without a battle. In the 8th inning Jackson swung at all 5 pitches that were in the zone, fouled off 3 of the 8 pitches he saw, and finally struck out swinging after a long battle. In his first at bat of Friday’s game AJax went with the no swing approach once again, and it paid off for him in the form of a 2 out walk. Jackson didn’t reach base again in the game, striking out while watching all four pitches go by in his at bat in the fourth and then grounding out and lining out in his next two at bats on the first and second pitches, respectively. (I promise I’ll try to get some non-Mariners pictures of Jackson that we have permission to use)

Austin Riley

DNP

Corbin Clouse

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

Clouse was brought in to replace Toussaint in the 5th inning for the Javelinas, and immediately walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches. Clouse settled in in the inning nicely after the walk, forcing the next batter to fly out and then getting swinging strikeouts from Thairo Estrada and Estevan Florial to end the inning. The Javelinas offense, led by Acuna, gave Clouse a lead to work with in the 6th inning and a chance to earn a win, but things got hairy for him and he quickly coughed it back up. single from Kevin Kaczmarski led off the inning, and then another walk and a Kyle Holder triple gave Scottsdale a one run lead and ended the day for Clouse.

Josh Graham

1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 15.00 ERA

Graham was brought in to clean up Clouse’s mess in the 6th inning, and set down the Scorpions in order including a strikeout. Graham was brought in to pitch a second inning for Peoria, and like Clouse that is where things began to unravel. Graham allowed a 5-pitch walk to open the inning, then gave up a single, a triple to Estevan Florial, and another single to Kaczmarski to stretch Peoria’s deficit all the way to 4 runs. Graham was lifted from the game, and his replacement allowed Kaczmarski to score. The four earned runs for Graham are his highest total in a game since July 16th when he allowed 5. Graham had 3 games in the regular season in which he allowed 4+ earned, accounting for 14 of his 27 earned runs allowed on the season, so if history serves Graham should be lights out for the rest of the fall.

Jared James

1-3, BB, .333/.450/.467

James once again put up a solid performance for the Javelinas, reaching base twice and contributing to a run. James led off the 3rd inning for Peoria with a single then came around to score on a walk and a base hit to give Peoria their 2nd run of the game. In his next at bat James worked the count full but grounded out to end the 4th inning for Peoria. After a ground out in the 7th inning James was left with one last plate appearance with 2 outs in the ninth, drew a walk, but was then stranded at second base when the game ended. Jared James has the 4th highest OBP on the Javelinas so far this fall, and has the second-best walk to strikeout ratio of any player in the league with 4 or more walks.