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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Austin Riley collects four hits

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Austin Riley had four hits on Friday night, and CJ Alexander added three of his own in his High A debut.

Atlanta Braves Photo Day
Austin Riley
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Friday saw plenty of action on the farm. Jeremy Fernandez and Connor Lien each hit a pair of homers, CJ Alexander didn’t slow down at all in his High A debut, Austin Riley had a four hit evening, and William Contreras had a pair of hits. On the pitching side we saw Matt Rowland with another strong start and Jasseel De La Cruz made his first strong start in a while. Michael Mader also quietly threw six scoreless innings despite command issues.

Gwinnett Stripers 4, Syracuse Chiefs 0

Boxscore

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 4-5, 2B, .280/.352/.400
  • Dustin Peterson, LF; 2-5, RBI, .275/.330/.407
  • Michael Mader, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6 BB, 7 K, 3.71 ERA

This was scheduled to be Touki Toussaint’s turn until he was scratched for an upcoming call to the big leagues. Michael Mader made the start and while he walked six over six innings, he didn’t allow any runs and gave up just three hits. Two scoreless innings from Miguel Socolovich and another from Phil Pfeifer closed out the shutout of Syracuse.

All the scoring happened in the eighth inning, as a four run inning broke a scoreless tie. Austin Riley played a big part in the win, going four for five with a double. Both Rio Ruiz and Dustin Peterson went two for five with a pair of singles, and Sean Kazmar and Chris Stewart also had two hit games in the win.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 visiting Syracuse @ 7:05 PM. Probable Starters: Gwinnett-TBD, Syracuse-TBD

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5, Mississippi Braves 4- 10 innings

Boxscore

  • Connor Lien, CF: 2-5, 2 HR, .193/.280/.343
  • Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 1-4, 2B, SB, 2 RBI, .321/.402/.452
  • Kelvin Vasquez, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 5.63 ERA

Reliever Kelvin Vasquez got the start and went four one run innings. Vasquez gave up four hits and a walk while only striking out one, but he pitched well. Tyler Pike came in with three scoreless innings and Jason Hursh pitched a scoreless eighth. Rex Brothers blew the save in the ninth, giving up a run. Josh Graham came into the tenth with a lead and gave up three runs- only one earned.

Connor Lien homered twice, a pair of solo shots. It’s been a tough year for the elite defensive outfielder, but he showed he’s still capable of occasionally producing with the bat here. Ray-Patrick Didder doubled, stole a base, and batted in a pair of runs to give the Braves a lead in extra innings. Didder just keeps hitting since his promotion to Double A, and is a guy worth watching as a potentially valuable utility guy. The only other hit by the Braves was a Jonathan Morales single.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 visiting Jacksonville @ 6:35 PM. Probable Starters: Mississippi-Kyle Muller, Jacksonville-Cody Poteet

Fort Myers Miracle 6, Florida Fire Frogs 4

Boxscore

  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 3-4, 3B, RBI, .500/.750/1.250
  • William Contreras, DH: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .400/.448/.520
  • Riley Delgado, SS: 3-5, 2 R, .281/.349/.302

CJ Alexander’s first game after skipping right over Rome on his way from Danville to Florida went just like he was still dominating the Appalachian League. Alexander went three for four with a triple in his full season debut and just keeps hitting at every level he’s been at this year. William Contreras has the day off from behind the plate, but as the DH he still managed two hits, including a double. Riley Delgado added three singles and scored a pair of runs.

Jeremy Walker got the start and went eight very strong innings, giving up eight hits and a walk as he allowed three runs(two earned) and struck out seven. Walker was very good and left with the Fire Frogs holding a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth inning. Daysbel Hernandez came in to close it out and did not fare well, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 hosting Fort Myers @ 6:31 PM. Probable Starters: Florida-Walter Borkovich, Fort Myers-TBD

Rome Braves 4, West Virginia Power 3- 10 innings

Boxscore

  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-5, 2 RBI, HR, .244/.285/.427
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 5.09 ERA
  • Hayden Deal, RP: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2.45 ERA

Jasseel De La Cruz has been struggling a bit lately, but on Friday he bounced back with his best start in a few weeks. JDLC was one out shy of seven innings of three run ball and gave up six base runners as he struck out five. Hayden Deal came in relief and went three and a third innings giving up just one run and picking up his seventh win of the season.

Jefrey Ramos hit a two run homer, his 13th of the season, and added a single to help lead the Braves offense. That was actually the only extra base hit in the game, but Ramos was far from the only player who had a multi-hit game as AJ Graffanino, Derian Cruz, and Shean Michel all singled twice.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 hosting West Virginia @ 6 PM. Probable Starters: Rome-Odalvi Javier, West Virginia-Hunter Stratton

Danville Braves 8, Kingsport Mets 6

Boxscore

  • Brett Langhorne, 3B: 3-4, BB, RBI, .309/.413/.381
  • Justin Smith, LF/RF: 2-5, HR, .203/.320/.438
  • Matt Rowland, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.02 ERA

Matt Rowland’s return from two lost years continued with another strong start on Friday, as he went five innings of one run ball. Rowland gave up only one hit, and walked three as he struck out five. He’s now up to 10 starts and 41.2 innings, and has a 3.02 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Considering before this year he hadn’t pitched above high school and the fact he has missed two calendar years with injury, it’s hard not to consider this a huge success. Mitch Stallings was next up and gave up three runs(one earned) in his two innings of work, and Zach Seipel picked up a save by going two innings, despite allowing a pair of runs himself.

A pair of Braves reached base four times apiece and each had an RBI in the win. Brett Langhorne stayed hot for Danville, going three for four with a walk, while former Niagara star Greg Cullen reached base four times as well with a single, double, and two walks. Justin Smith added his fourth homer in just 64 at bats since being sent down from Rome. Luis Mejia picked up a pair of RBI with a single, and Zack Soria added a single and double.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 hosting Kingsport @ 7 PM. Probable Starters: Danville-Jose Montilla, Kingsport-Matt Cleveland

GCL Braves 7, GCL Yankees East 2

Boxscore

  • Trey Harris, RF: 1-2, BB, HR, SB, . 314/.450/.467
  • Victor De Hoyos, DH: 4-5. 2B, HR, .339/.408/.581
  • Albinson Volquez, RP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.40 ERA

The first game of the double header started play on August 1st and saw Trey Harris hit his first pro homer- even though he had already been promoted to Rome before this game was completed. Harris’s last game saw him homer, walk, and steal a base to further pad his impressive GCL stats. Young catcher Victor De Hoyos homered, doubled, and singled twice in a four hit game, raising his average to .339 on the year. Jeremy Fernandez, Ray Hernandez, and Darling Florentino all added doubles in the victory.

Lisandro Santos gave up one unearned run over his three innings of work, and Albinson Volquez allowed a run over five innings when the game resumed as the Braves pitchers allowed just five hits and two walks over nine innings.

GCL Braves 6, GCL Yankees East 4

Boxscore

  • Jeremy Fernandez, CF: 2-4, 2 HR, .277/.324/.511
  • Braulio Vasquez, 3B: 2-4, SB, HR, 2 RBI, .293/.333/.472
  • Joel Reyes, RF: 1-3, HR, .133/.182/.225

Game two of the double header saw a total of five homers hit in just seven innings. Four of the homers came from the Braves, as Jeremy Fernandez hit his sixth and seventh of the season. If any Brave prospect is deserving of a promotion right now it is Fernandez, who has proven himself in the GCL. Close behind Fernandez for that honor is Braulio Vasquez, and the versatile infielder hit his fourth homer of the season in addition to stealing his fourth base. The last homer came from young Joel Reyes, who has struggled with an aggressive assignment this year but showed his power with his first homer of the year.

William Woods started and lasted an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Yoeli Lopez allowed two runs on two walks in his inning of work, showing that his command is still a work in progress. Rehabbing Chase Whitley worked a scoreless inning, before Luis De Jesus went the final four innings as he allowed just one run to score.

Next Game: Saturday 8/11 visiting GCL Phillies East @ 10 AM. Probable Starters: GCL Braves-TBD, GCL Phillies East-TBD