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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Zimmermann Strikes Out 11

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Bruce Zimmermann was the star of the day with his fantastic performance for Rome, while Gwinnett and Florida both made late inning comebacks

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Rafters Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

(9-14) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (10-14 Charlotte Knights 6

Box Score

Rio Ruiz, DH: 2-4, .258/.313/.371

Jose Bautista, 3B: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .212/.333/.333

Dustin Peterson, RF: 2-4, HR, BB, RBI, .282/.344/.471

Matt Wisler, SP: 6 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 4.00 ERA

The Stripers put up a big ninth inning comeback to topple the Knights for their second straight win. The Stripers got a couple of early runs and a lead in the second inning off of the bat of Peter Bourjos, who tripled in Rio Ruiz and then scored on a sacrifice fly. Going into the 6th inning they still hadn’t put together anything more offensively, and trailed 6-2. Once again it was Ruiz and Bourjos getting a rally started, as Ruiz led off the inning with a single and Bourjos got him to third with a double. Danny Santana hit a ball to first baseman Casey Gillaspie that he couldn’t handle, scoring both runs and bringing the Stripers within two. A triple from Santana and a double from Rob Brantly to open the ninth inning had Gwinnett trailing by only a run, bringing up Jose Bautista with one out. In a 3-2 count Bautista got a pitch he could handle, and crushed one halfway up the scoreboard in left field to give Gwinnett a 7-6 lead. Two batters later, Dustin Peterson extended the lead with a home run of his own, taking an outside curveball and driving it just over the wall in left field.

Matt Wisler was extremely hittable in this one, allowing nine hits and six runs in total to give Charlotte 6 runs. After being given a 2-1 lead Wisler came into the third inning and seemed to be doing well, but an error by Jose Bautista put a second runner on base with one out and had Wisler in a bit of trouble. Wisler imploded from there, allowing a double that scored two runs and then a wild pitch to score another. Wisler then gave up a home run before being able to work out of the inning. Miguel Socolovich came in to relieve Wisler, and despite allowing a couple of hits in the inning was able to work a scoreless frame. Rex Brothers followed him with a perfect 8th inning, striking out 2 batters and earning the win. In completing a full pitching staff of “Guys Atlanta Rejected”, Josh Ravin came in to earn the save with a perfect 9th.

Next Game: 5/2 @ (10-14) Charlotte Knights @ 11:05 AM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Luiz Gohara (0-1, 5.63 ERA)

CHA: Matt Tomshaw (0-0, 7.20 ERA)

(9-16) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (13-12) Palm Beach Cardinals 2

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, 2B, .287/.301/.406

Anfernee Seymour, RF: 1-4, .195/.247/.273

Brett Cumberland, C: 0-2, BB, HBP, .253/.366/.456

Ian Anderson, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.21 ERA

After a pitcher’s battle through 6 inning this started to heat up late, and Florida found themselves down 2 late in the game. A fielding error to lead off the 7th inning put Garrison Schwartz on base, and th Fire Frogs were able to scrap together a run by way of a sacrifice bunt, a passed ball, and then a sacrifice fly. That cut the Cardinals lead in half going into the 8th inning. Brett Cumberland led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and then a single on a bunt from Alejandro Salazar and a throwing error put two men on and set the stage for a late inning comeback. With two outs in the 8th Kevin Josephina came through with the big hit, singling to score both runners and putting the Fire Frogs up 3-2.

Ian Anderson got on track with a big start, controlling the Cardinal bats and putting up 5 scoreless innings. Anderson allowed a double to leadoff the game, but then retired the next 8 batters he faced in the game before a single broke that streak. Anderson’s only real trouble was in the fourth inning, when he got a strikeout that could have ended the inning, but the ball couldn’t be handled by Brett Cumberland (charged as a wild pitch) and the runner was able to reach first base. Anderson then gave up a hit and a walk to load the bases, but came through with his third strikeout of the inning to end the threat. Anderson then pitched a clean 5th before being lifted at 87 pitches. Justin Kelly came in to relieve Ian and pitched a perfect 6th, but got into trouble in the seventh and was pulled before completing the inning with a run already on the board. Sean McLaughlin came in to finish off the inning, but allowed a hit to the first batter he faced to bring in the second run of the inning. McLaughlin pitched a scoreless 8th inning, and Chad Sobotka finished off the game with a perfect 9th inning.

Next Game: 5/2 vs (13-12) Palm Beach Cardinals 6:31 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Bryse Wilson (2-0, 0.45 ERA)

PMB: Austin Warner (1-1, 5.66 ERA)

(15-9) Rome Braves 5, (14-11) Lakewood BlueClaws 2

Box Score

Isranel Wilson, CF: 2-4, 2B, .183/.280/.310

Drew Lugbauer, C: 1-4, 2B, .190/.273/.329

Jose Bermudez, RF: 2-3, .125/.176/.125

Bruce Zimmermann, SP: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 2.36 ERA

Rome got their offense going in the third inning when Isranel Wilson led off the inning with a double. Jose Bermudez put down a bunt single to get Wilson to third, and then they pulled off a double steal that scored Wilson and got Bermudez to third when the catcher’s throw sailed into center field. A strikeout and a pop out had the Bermudez in danger of being stranded, but Jefrey Ramos came through with a base hit to give Rome a 2-0 lead. Lakewood tied the game up in the seventh inning, but the Braves took the lead right back and it was once again Izzy Wilson leading off with a hit. After a sacrifice bunt two straight Braves walked to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly from Ramos and bases-clearing triple by Kurt Hoekstra put Rome up 5-2. Isranel Wilson is starting to turn things around at the plate, and over his last 10 is hitting .303/.361/.576 albeit still with a high strikeout rate.

Bruce Zimmermann was the story in this game, and he got off to a roaring start by striking out the side to open the game. Zimmermann didn’t allow a hit until there was one out in the fourth inning, and at that point he had already struck out 6 batters. At the end of six Zimmermann was absolutely cruising, with no runs or walks allowed and a career high 10 strikeouts. Zimmermann has set a career high in strikeouts in each of his last three starts. Zimmermann got into a bit of trouble and allowed 2 hits in the seventh inning, and was pulled with two outs in favor Jacob Belinda. Belinda walked the first man and then got a ground ball that could have ended the inning, but Jean Carlos Encarnacion made an error that allowed two runs to score and tied the game. Belinda finished off that inning and then pitched a scoreless 8th, and Kelvin Rodriguez got the save with a scoreless ninth inning. Over his last 3 starts Bruce Zimmermann has pitched 17 23 innings, struck out 26 batters, walked only 1, and has not allowed an earned run.

Next Game: 5/2 vs (14-11) Lakewood BlueClaws 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Odalvi Javier (0-0, 4.50ERA)

LWD: Will Stewart (2-0, 2.05 ERA)