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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/12: Muller Ks 10, Riley Goes Deep

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Many top prospects put up strong games, with Kyle Muller making headlines with his 10 strikeout performance. Austin Riley hit a home run and Drew Waters had 3 hits.

Jeff Morris

(55-60) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (50-68) Syracuse Chiefs 3

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, .289/.359/.426

Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, .276/.331/.409

Connor Johnstone, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.50 ERA

Austin Riley had another big day for the Stripers, but it wasn’t enough and they took a 3-2 loss. Riley doubled with 2 outs in the first inning of the game to represent the Stripers’s first scoring opportunity, but a fly out from Rio Ruiz ended that. Gwinnett didn’t threaten again until the 4th inning, when Riley led off the inning with his 12th home run of the season and first Gwinnett home run since May 30th. This cut the Syracuse lead to 2-1, and the Stripers were not done in the inning. Rio Ruiz followed with a ringing double, and Dustin Peterson brought him in with another double to tie the game at 2. Gwinnett couldn’t capitalize any further on this opportunity, settling to just tie the game up. This proved problematic, as Gwinnett wasn’t able to put another run on the board in the game and lost 3-2. This was the third game in August in which Riley has had multiple extra base hits and his 4th multi hit game of the month.

Connor Johnstone filled up 5 key innings for the Stripers in a spot start, with one big mistake ruining an otherwise brilliant day. Johnstone hadn’t allowed a hit until a leadoff single in the third inning, then got a couple of quick outs before allowing the big hit against him, a 2 run home run that gave Syracuse a 2-0 lead. Johnstone allowed only one hit the rest of the way and finished without allowing another run, giving the Stripers offense time to tie the game up. Johnston was replaced by Corbin Clouse for Clouse’s Gwinnett debut. Clouse retired the first 4 batters he faced but then worked himself into a jam with one out in the 7th inning by walking 3 consecutive batters. Clouse then got a double play to end the inning and finish with two scoreless innings pitched. Philip Pfeifer pitched the bottom of the 8th inning and allowed a go ahead home run with 2 outs that ended up being the game winner for the Chiefs.

Next Game: 8/12 vs (50-68) Syracuse Chiefs @ 1:05 PM ET

Probable Starters TBD

(54-64) Mississippi Braves 6, (47-69) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-5, .317/.333/.390

Travis Demeritte, LF: 2-3, HR, RBI, 2 BB, .216/.315/.410

Kyle Muller, SP: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 4.09 ERA

A big fourth inning from the offense and a strong start from Kyle Muller drove the Braves to a 6-4 win. The Braves offense opened up the scoring in the game in the top of the second inning when Travis Demeritte led off the inning with a solo home run, his 15th of the season. In the fourth inning it was once again Demeritte starting a Braves rally, this time with a single to lead off the inning. Tyler Marlette followed with his 12th home run of the season, pushing the Braves lead to 3-0. Connor Lien repeated Marlette’s feat with a 2 run home run to make it 5-0, Lien’s 3rd home run in two games and 7th of the season. Lien scored the 6th and final run for the Braves after being hit by a pitch, stealing second base, and then scoring on Ray-Patrick Didder’s base hit. Demeritte reached base four times in the game for the second time in this series, and in his last 12 games has drawn 13 walks.

Kyle Muller had one of the better starts of his career, striking out 10 batters over 5 23 innings. Muller got off to a quick start in the first with 2 strikeouts, then struck out three consecutive batters after an error led off the second inning. Muller added two more in a scoreless third inning, and through three had allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out 7 batters. The fourth was the only big inning against Muller, when a walk and a hit batter came back against him with a 3 run home run with two outs. Muller struck out 2 more in the inning. Muller allowed a couple of hits in the 5th inning, then finished off his game by retiring the final 4 batters he faced while striking out one of those. Muller was replaced by Justin Kelly, who finished off the final out of the sixth and then the entire 7th inning without allowing a run. Jason Hursh got a two inning save, allowing one run in the bottom of the 9th to make it 6-4 but retiring the final two batters with each representing the tying run in the game.

Next Game: 8/12 vs (47-69) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Ian Anderson (Double-A Debut)

JAX: Max Duval (2-11, 7.48 ERA)

(45-66) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (56-60) Fort Myers Miracle 2

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 3-5, .233/.283/.302

CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI .387/.466/.556

Walter Borkovich, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

Florida blew a late 2-0 lead, but pulled off a walk off win to end a 5 game losing streak and a stretch of 15 lost out of 16 games. The two teams traded zeroes through the first four and a half innings, but the Fire Frogs were finally ready to break through in the bottom of the 5th inning. Isranel Wilson walked with one out, and Drew Waters and Riley Delgado singled to score him and make it 1-0 Fire Frogs. CJ Alexander then knocked in the second run of the inning with a base hit. The Miracle tied things up in the top of the 8th inning, while the Fire Frogs only managed one baserunner on a walk through the next 3 innings. In the bottom of the ninth Jordan Rodgers got things started by being hit by a pitch with one out, and the Drew Waters came through with a two out single to move him to third. This set the stage for Riley Delgado’s walk off single to give Florida a 3-2 win. This was Delgado’s second straight 3 hit game and his 12th of the season. CJ Alexander has had a multi hit game in 15 of his 33 games this season and has as many 3 hits games (6) as games without a hit.

Walter Borkovich was stellar again in his second start for Florida, going 6 shutout innings. Borkovich hasn’t allowed a run yet in his 11 innings with the Fire Frogs, and since the beginning of July has only allowed one earned run in 24 23 innings of work. That’s a 0.36 ERA. Victor Cavalieri was called up all the way from the GCL to make his first appearance for Florida and he got off to a nice start by retiring the side in order in the 7th. Things broke down in the 8th inning though, as he allowed a single, a triple, and a walk to score a run and then ended his appearance by allowing a game tying sacrifice fly. Chase Johnson-Mullins was brought in to clean up the mess and did so retiring the only batter he faced and picking off another runner. CJM allowed a hit in the ninth inning but struck out two batters and got the win on the day.

Next Game: 8/12 vs (56-60) Fort Myers Miracle @ 11:00 AM ET

Probable Starters TBD

(62-54) Rome Braves 2, (59-54) West Virginia Power 8

Box Score

Justin Dean, CF: 1-3, BB, .307/.418/.455

Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-3, BB, 2 RBI, .247/.289/.429

Odalvi Javier, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 4.04 ERA

Odalvi Javier dominated for the Braves, but struggled from the bullpen mounted and the offense wasn’t able to do much in an 8-2 loss to West Virginia. Rome got off to a quick start in the bottom of the 1st inning, with AJ Graffanino doubling with one out to get the party started. A Jefrey Ramos single followed, scoring Graffanino to make it 1-0 Braves. The Power tied it in the 5th and then took a three run lead in the 8th, all while the Rome offense sat stagnant. A single from Shean Michel opened up the Braves 8th inning, and a wild pitch and ground out moved him to third base with two outs. Once again it was Jefrey Ramos who came through, knocking in his second run of the game to cut the Power lead to 4-2. The Braves had nothing else left in the tank and West Virginia scored four more in the ninth to cruise to a win.

Odalvi Javier was had a nice outing, posting his third highest game score of the season at 69. Javier allowed his second hit of the game with one out in the second inning, but then set down the next 8 batters with 3 strikeouts before allowing a walk to lead off the 5th. Javier didn’t allow another hit until there were two outs in the 6th inning. The 8 strikeouts for Javier were his second highest total of the season, and his 114 strikeouts on the season leads the Braves and is the 8th most in the league. The lone run against Javier was on a double steal in the 5th inning after a walk, a wild pitch, and a hit batter had runners on the corners with two outs. Cutter Dyals pitched a scoreless 7th inning but struggled in the 8th, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and an error by Derian Cruz. Kelvin Rodriguez pitched the 9th inning, and with 2 outs in the inning the Power put the game away with a grand slam. This was the first home run Rodriguez has allowed this season in 50 13 innings.

Next Game: 8/12 vs (59-54) West Virginia Power 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Freddy Tarnok (4-3, 3.77 ERA)

WV: Sergio Cubilete (3-5, 5.48 ERA)

(28-22) Danville Braves 6, (26-24) Kingsport Mets 14

Box Score

Greg Cullen, 2B: 2-5, HR, RBI, .297/.396/.413

Brett Langhorne, 3B: 2-3, 2 BB, .317/.424/.387

Jose Montilla, SP: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.86 ERA

After taking a 5-0 lead the game went into a downhill spiral for the Braves and they lost 14-6. The Braves had two hits with one out in the bottom of the first to get things rolling, and then 3 consecutive batters walked to bring in 2 runs and give the Braves a lead. After a strikeout Carlos Baerga Jr. drew the 4th walk of the inning to score the 3rd run, and a hit batter by a new pitcher scored the 4th run of the inning. If you’re scoring at home, the Braves had 3 RBI walks and an RBI hit by pitch in the same inning. Greg Cullen led off the second inning with a solo home run to give the Braves a 5-0 lead, and it seemed they would cruise to victory. Nope. Kingsport brought the game within one run after 5 innings, then took a 7-5 lead in the 6th. Danville answered back in the bottom of the 6th, with hits from Nicholas Vizcaino and Justin Smith and a walk to Ray Soderman loading the bases. Carlos Baerga Jr. came through with an RBI single that brought the game within a run, but Smith was thrown out at home trying to score and the final rally of the day for the Braves was snuffed out.

Jose Montilla was solid through the first couple of scoreless innings, but struggled in the third. Montilla allowed 4 hits in the inning and threw two wild pitched to allow in three runs. After a scoreless 4th inning Montilla allowed a double and single with none out in the 5th inning to score a run, but shut down the Mets for the rest of the inning and departed the game with a 5-4 lead. That didn’t last long, as Luis Mora struggled in his first taste of action since May 15 of last season. Mora allowed 2 hits, a walk, and hit a batter before leaving the game with three runs already in and a 7-5 deficit for the Braves. Bradey Welsh finished off the inning without allowing a run. Trey Riley allowed 4 runs (3 earned) and only recorded one out in his first game since June 29, walking 4 batters in the process. Mason McReaken allowed 3 runs over 2 13 innings, and Connor Simmons was brought in to get the last out of the game and thankfully didn’t give up any more runs in his 13 inning of work.

(19-22) GCL Braves 0, (23-19) GCL Phillies East SUSPENDED

Box Score

Braulio Vasquez, 2B: 0-2

Lisandro Santos, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3.14 ERA

The Braves offense was struggling against the Phillies, and had gone 0-12 with a walk in 4 innings before the game was suspended due to rain. Lisandro Santos was on the mound for the Braves and was in the midst of a solid start. After a leadoff single in the first inning Santos settled in and didn’t allow a run over his three innings of work. The remainder of this game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 21st.