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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Muller Spins Strong Start

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Kyle Muller had the best pitching performance of the day with 6 strong innings in Florida, while Jared James had 5 hits in a double header

Jeff Morris

(50-57) Gwinnett Stripers, (60-46) Durham Bulls POSTPONED

(49-58) Mississippi Braves 0, (53-53) Birmingham Barons SUSPENDED

Box Score

Alejandro Salazar, 2B: 1-1, .322/.341/.368

Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5.35 ERA

Mississippi and Birmingham traded zeroes in the early parts of the game before the rain hit and stopped the game in the bottom of the third. Mississippi’s offense only managed one hit from Alejandro Salazar, but had three walks and 1 hit batter reach base. They haven’t managed to take advantage of any of those, with a double play being the last play of the game before its suspension. Ricardo Sanchez was marvelous for Mississippi, getting early results that made him seem on his way to one of his best starts of the season. After he walked the leadoff man in the game he set down 9 of the next 10 batters he faced while striking out three.

(43-56) Florida Fire Frogs 4, (55-47) Charlotte Stone Crabs 5 Game 1

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, .286/.311/.433

Isranel Wilson, LF: 1-3, 3B, .241/.315/.380

Kyle Muller, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 3.24 ERA

(43-57) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (56-47) Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 Game 2

Cristian Pache, CF: 0-2, BB, .285/.311/.431

Jared James, LF: 3-4, 2B, SB, RBI, .254/.321/.410

Jeremy Walker, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4.62 ERA

The starting pitching in the first game of the double header held things down, but it got crazy when the bullpens got involved and ended with Florida losing on a walk off. Jared James doubled to lead off the game, and three batters later came in to score on a ground ball from Braxton Davidson. The offense couldn’t muster any more attack over the next 5 innings but a fantastic start from Kyle Muller kept them in the ballgame. Muller kept a no hitter going through 3 23 innings, walking two batters in that span but striking out 5 and holding a shutout. Muller allowed three consecutive hits against him with two outs in the fourth inning, scoring a run to tie the game up, then finished the game with two more scoreless innings. Isranel Wilson led off the top of the 7th inning with a triple into right field, scoring 2 batters later on a ground out from Marcus Mooney to give Florida a 2-1 lead. A Lucas Herbert hit by pitch and single from Jared James had runners at the corners with one out and Riley Delgado pushed the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single. Braxton Davidson had a two out hit to knock in his second run of the day and giving the Fire Frogs their 3rd of the inning to make it 4-1. Sean McLaughlin was brought in to pitch the 7th inning, a move that did not end well for the Fire Frogs. McLaughlin got the first batter of the inning to ground out but things quickly took a turn after a walk, with two singles scoring the first run of the inning and putting the tying run at first base with only one out. Another base hit followed to score the second run of the inning, and a fourth consecutive single tied the game back up and had the winning run sitting at second base. A walk loaded things up, and after a force out at home plate it seemed Florida may escape, but with two outs in the 7th Josh Lowe knocked a base hit into left field to win the game for the Stone Crabs.

The Fire Frogs never caught up to a 1st inning rally by Charlotte, eventually taking a 6-3 loss. Jeremy Walker got off to a tough start on the mound by loading the bases with no one out, and gave up his first run on a sacrifice fly. A triple brought in two more runs and a single scored that runner, putting Florida in a 4-0 hole after one inning. Charlotte added another run in the second on a couple of singles and a walk. The Fire Frogs got on the board in the top of the third inning with Kevin Josephina leading things off with a double. Jared James singled to push Josephina to third, and Josephina scored on the throw from a successful stolen base attempt by James. Walker settled in and was able to go the last couple of innings without allowing a hit, and forced three ground ball outs including one that turned into a double play. Jon Kennedy was brought in to pitch the 5th inning and had his share of the troubles, with a lead off walk and wild pitch coming back to haunt him on a 2 out RBI single. Kennedy struck out two batters in the inning. Chase Johnson-Mullins worked around two walks in his his inning of work, striking out 2 batters and not allowing a hit or a run. The Fire Frogs managed one last gasp in the 8th inning, scoring two more runs and one off of a double from Jared James, but they never got the tying run to the plate in the inning and fell 6-3.

Next Game: 8/1 vs (56-47) Charlotte Stone Crabs @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Tucker Davidson (6-8, 4.73 ERA)

CHA: TBD

(57-50) Rome Braves, (53-53) Greensboro Grasshoppers POSTPONED

(21-18) Danville Braves 5, (25-13) Princeton Rays 1

Box Score

Greg Cullen, 2B: 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, .283/.374/.383

Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 2-4, 2 2B, .261/.350/.348

Tanner Lawson, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.41 ERA

The Danville pitching staff shut down Princeton and the offense scored 5 runs to get a win. Princeton had the first crack in the first inning with an early run, but Danville came back in the second inning. The first of Ricardo Rodriguez’s doubles got things started in the inning, then a couple of walks loaded the bases. Justin Dean walked to force the tying run in to score, and then Greg Cullen gave the Braves the lead with a 2 run single to score Rusber Estrada and Carlos Baerga Jr. The Braves were back at it in the fourth inning, with Baerga Jr. getting on to lead the inning off due to an error by the Rays first baseman. A walk to Dean put another runner on and once again Cullen came through with the big hit, doubling into left field to score both. The Braves road this lead to a 5-1 win with the bullpen notching 6 scoreless innings.

Tanner Lawson only allowed one run over his three innings, with that run coming thanks to a couple of errors with one out in the first inning. After this Lawson was stellar, setting down 7 of the 8 batters he faced over the rest of the game and erasing the one he did allow on with a double play. Lawson only managed one strike out in the game but took advantage of the defense behind him by getting 6 ground ball outs. Lawson finished with only 34 pitches thrown and 23 of them in the zone for strikes. Jake Higginbotham was brought in for the next three innings, and he did not allow a hit or a run. Higginbotham did allow two walks and struck out two batters, and he lowered his ERA on the season to 0.87. Mitch Stallings dominated the 7th through 9th innings, only allowing one baserunner on a walk and striking out 4 batters. This was Stallings first appearance at Danville, and in 15 innings between Danville and the GCL he has recorded 19 strikeouts and only walked 3 batters.

Next Game: 8/1 vs (25-13) Princeton Rays 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters TBD