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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 5/17: Gwinnett pitching stifles Columbus - 17Ks

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Gwinnett pitching staff with a ridiculous outing last night, highlighted by Evan Phillips 2IP 6K performance.

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(15-23) Gwinnett Stripers 6, (18-20) Columbus Clippers 0

  • Peter Bourjos, CF: 4-for-5, 2B, 2R, .308/.379/.538
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-for-4, RBI, .325/.378/.575
  • Rio Ruiz, LF: 0-for-4, RBI, .233/.286/.320
  • Carlos Franco, 1B: 1-for-4, HR, 3RBI, .248/.305/.456
  • Miguel Socolovich, SP: 3.0IP 1H 0R 0BB 3K
  • Evan Phillips, RP: 2.0IP 0H 0R 0BB 6K

Gwinnett got off to a lead quickly in this game as Peter Bourjos lead it off with a double. Bourjos, enjoying Gwinnett, has played well since his release and re-signing with the team - to the tune of an .917 OPS. Danny Santana singled right after and and scored Bourjos to put Gwinnett up 1-0. After a single by Austin Riley, and a groundout by Carlos Franco, Gwinnett had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out for Rio Ruiz who grounded to secondbase which scored Santana and put Gwinnett up 2-0 in the first.

That was really all the staff needed as the quartet of Socolovich, Jackson, Phillips, and Hursh absolutely dominated the Clippers. The four pitchers limited Columbus to two hits, walked just one, and struck out 17. The most impressive might have been Evan Phillips who struck out all six of the batters he faced and has now lowered his ERA to 1.77 on the season, with opponents hitting .191 against him, an 11.29 K/9, and a quickly improving walk rate that is now down to 3.93 BB/9. Phillips really wants to be in Atlanta, and it might not be too long before it happens.

Gwinnett went on to tack on four more runs in the seventh inning - mainly because of a three-run homer by Carlos Franco, his eighth of the season.

(19-22) Mississippi Braves 9, (20-20) Tennessee Smokies 5

  • Michael Reed, RF: 1-for-4, 2B, 3RBI, .336/.451/.509
  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2RBI, .240/.343/.405
  • Kyle Wright, SP; 5.2IP 6H 5ER 3BB 3K

It wasn’t particularly pretty but Mississippi picked up the win in this absolute back-and-forth game. Kyle Wright didn’t miss many bats, yielding five runs over his 5.2 innings pitched. Wright has struggled with consistency this season, something that plagued him his final year in college, but he gave up just two extra-base hits last night, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Wright came out of the game in the sixth inning after giving up a homerun, and two walks and was replaced by Elian Leyva who recorded one out and got the win. Chad Sobotka then worked two innings giving up one hit and one walk, and Josh Graham pitched a perfect ninth to preserve the win for Mississippi.

Offensively, Mississippi was a juggernaut while compiling 16(!!!!) hits, of which five were of the extra-base variety. Travis Demeritte continued his fine recent work - homering and doubling. While he’s struggled generating contact at times he has still been getting on base so despite the .240 average he still has a .748 OPS, and that has been rising rapidly. He, Valenzuela, and Connor Lien all had three-hit games, while Alay Lago and Daniel Lockhart came away with two-hit games themselves. The lone non-position player that failed to record a hit was Alex Jackson who is now hitting .194/.304/.286.

(14-23) Asheville Tourists 0, (24-15) Rome Braves 1

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-for-4
  • Drew Waters, CF: 0-for-3, .233/.298/.453
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-for-4, 2(2B), .250/.291/.356
  • Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 3-for-4, HR, RBI, .292/.324/.423
  • Bruce Zimmermann, SP: 7.0IP 2H 0R 1BB 9K

In what turned out to be an absolute pitchers duel, the BABIEST BRAVES (yes, I will continue to call Rome this) came out victorious after Jean Carlos Encarnacion went deep for his third homer of the season in the sixth inning. That was all the offense Rome needed as Bruce Zimmermann turned in yet another fantastic outing - needing just 80 pitches to go seven innings while striking out nine batters. Zimmermann is now 3-2 on the season with a 2.82 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 2.63 xFIP, 11.27 K/9, all the while having a 1.64 BB/9 rate. Bruce, a fifth round pick out of Mount Olive, is a bit older for his competition (23) but has done exactly what you would want him to do - absolutely dazzle his competition. Would be surprising if he didn’t get the bump up to A+ ball by mid-season. Brandon S. White then come into the game and pitched a perfect two final frames to preserve the win for Rome. Brandon, also a bit older for Rome, has excelled this season with a 1.86 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, and 0.93 BB/9.

Dansby Swanson made a rehab appearance and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Jefrey Ramos was the third player to register a multi-hit game last night as well. William Contreras saw his five game hit streak come to an end as well, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. William is hitting .269/.367/.410 on the season, and has played very well since his late addition to the Rome roster.