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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/22: Dustin Peterson Homers and Ricardo Sanchez Shines

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4 Braves hitters hit home runs on the night including Dustin Peterson, Greg Cullen, Darling Florentino and Ray Hernandez.

Dustin Peterson

Gwinnett Stripers 0, Durham Bulls 5 (Game 1)

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 0-3

Xavier Avery, RF: 1-3, 2B

Kolby Allard, SP: 3IN, 3H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K

Kolby Allard got the start and pitched just 3 innings. All 3 hits he surrendered went for doubles. He left after only 58 pitches, so not sure if this was intentional or not. Chase Whitely relieved him and went on to give up 5 runs in 2 innings.

There was no offense in this game. Xaviery Avery got the only hit, a double, in the 2nd inning. The positive is that the Stripers only struck out 4 times, so they were making contact just nothing was finding holes or gaps.

Gwinnett Stripers 8, Durham Bulls 2 (Game 2)

Box Score

Austin Riley, 3B: 1-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R

Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, K

Rio Ruiz, 1B: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Luiz Gohara, SP: 5.2IN, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 5K

After getting shut down in Game 1, the Stripers wasted no time jumping all over the Bulls scoring 4 runs in the 1st inning and 3 in the 2nd inning. After a lead off double and single putting the runners on the corners, Austin Riley continued his power surge by hitting a double to score the first runner of the night. 5 players on the night had at least 1 RBI, and the biggest blast coming as Dustin Peterson hit the only home run of the game. After not hitting a home run in 23 straight games, Peterson now has 2 home runs in his last 6 games.

This is one of those “scouting the stat line” that doesn’t tell the entire story. Luiz Gohara was cruising through 5 innings. It was the 3rd time through the order in the 6th inning where the batters were timing the fastball. It’s curious that Giardina wasn’t calling for more offspeed stuff in the 6th. From watching the game, the hitters couldn’t touch his slider or change and Gohara was throwing them for strikes. To be fair, he wasn’t locating his fastball well and appeared to be catching a lot of the plate. It seriously looked like he was barely throwing the baseball and yet he was still hitting low to mid 90’s. Finally, Gohara hasn’t walked more than a single batter in 9 games now.

Mississippi Braves 4, Mobile BayBears 6 (Game 1 - cont.)

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, HR, RBI, R, K

Alejandro Salazar, 2B: 1-4, 3B, RBI, K

Ian Anderson, SP: 2.2IN, 5H, 4ER, 2BB, 3K

Thomas Burrows, RP: 1.1IN, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 1K

This game was a continuation from yesterday. Cristian Pache hit his 9th home run of the season, and his first in Double-A. This was an up and down game for Luis Valenzuela as he had a good day at the plate, but his 2 errors directly impacted the game as there were 2 un-earned runs. Those 2 runs decided the game.

As for Ian Anderson, who was making his 2nd AA start, he was anything but good. This is certainly not his shortest outing either as he’s had 5 starts where he didn’t make it out of the 3rd inning. He was leaving everything down, so I have to think he got out of whack mechanically. It wasn’t just one pitch, but all his pitches were catching dirt. If there is one positive, it’s that if you are going to miss, at least miss down and not up. Anderson’s last start wasn’t all that good either as he only went 4 innings with 4 walks. This is definitely something to keep an eye on. Hopefully he can figure things out and get back to striking out a ton of batters. Oh, Anderson did strike out Jo Adell twice.

Mississippi Braves 7, Mobile BayBears 2 (Game 2)

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, 2B

Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R, K

Luis Valenzuela, DH: 3-4, RBI 2 R

Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5.2IN, 6H, 1ER (2R), 0BB, 6K

Josh Graham, RP: 1.1IN, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K

Just like the Stripers game, the Braves won the 2nd game of the doubleheader after losing the 1st. The pitching was much better as Ricardo Sanchez tossed another great game. Sanchez still gives up a lot of hits, but he hasn’t walked anyone the past 2 games (12 innings). Not giving up free passes is a recipe for success. Josh Graham bounced back from his last relief appearance by throwing a scoreless 1.1 innings.

After seeing his batting average drop to .209, Travis Demeritte is another another one of his torrid hitting streaks. He continued that good work today by hitting a double and drawing a walk, pushing his average to a somewhat more respectable .224. Luis Valenzuela did his best to make up for Game 1 by collecting 3 hits on the day and scoring twice.

Braves released Matt Custred in January and he continues to pitch well in AA lowering his ERA to 1.91. Custred extended his scoreless streak to 7 games now. Why was he released again?

Mississippi Braves 7, Mobile BayBears 2 (Game 3)


Florida Fire Frogs 2, Jupiter Hammerheads 11

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R

William Contreras, C: 1-3, BB

Jordan Rodgers, 2B: 2-3, 3B, R, K

Filyer Sanchez, SP: 6IN, 8H, 4ER, 1BB, 3K

Alex Camacho, RP: 2IN, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 3K

The Fire Frogs lost 11-2 for the second time in 4 games. Filyer Sanchez and Sean McLaughlin combined to give up all 11 runs in 6.2 innings. Yeah, so that means McLaughing gave up 7 runs in 0.2 innings! On the positive side, Alex Camacho was just called up from the GCL and pitched a scoreless 2 innings with 3 strikeouts. Camacho wasn’t exactly pitching great in the GCL, so this was a bold move skipping him over Danville and Rome. Just a side note, all 3 stolen bases were successful against William Contreras, however, he still has a solid 30% CS-rate.

Drew Waters loves his extra base hits and he drove in 1 of the 2 runs today. Braxton Davidson drove in the other run, and managed to add to his strikeout totals too. Meanwhile, CJ Alexander went hitless ending his 5 game hitting streak.

Danville Braves 5, Bluefield Blue Jays 7

Box Score

Greg Cullen, 2B: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Nicholas Shumpert, SS: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, K

Hentry Quintero, RF: 3-4, RBI, K

Jose Montilla, SP: 5.2IN, 7H, 7ER, 2BB, 6K

Zach Seipel, RP: 1IN, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K

After the Blue Jays scored 2 runs in the 3rd, the Braves immediately responded with 3 runs of their own in the bottom half that included 2 doubles. The Braves kept the lead until the 6th inning where the Blue Jays pilled on 5 more runs. Although Montilla was charged with 7 runs, Tanner Allison allowed 2 of those inherited runners to score. Zach Seipel’s clean inning helped lower his ERA under 3.00.

Greg Cullen had a pretty big night with a double and a home run, his 2nd of the season. Cullen pushed his average up to .298. The 1-3 hitters of Cullen, Shumpert and Quintero had 7 of the 9 hits and drove in all 5 runs.

GCL Braves 9, GCL Phillies West 13

Box Score

Ray Hernandez, 1B: 3-5, HR, 2 RBI, R, K

Darling Florentino, 3B: 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, E

Christian Zamora, RF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R, K

Lisandro Santos, SP: 3.2IN, 9H, 7ER, 5BB, 1K

Miguel Pena, RP: 3.1IN, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K

The GCL Braves had an offensive explosion, yet that still wasn’t enough to get the win. Lisandro Santos was really bad, and all 7 runs were given up by him. Miguel Pena did his job replacing him and pitched brilliantly for 3 innings. Hard throwing but raw pitcher, Yoeli Lopez gave up 6 runs (4 un-earned) in his lone inning of work giving up 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 0. Lopez’s inning started off with, you guessed it, a walk. Them leadoff walks almost always get you. However, an error by Darling Florentino extended the inning. If he throws the runner out, Lopez would have escaped with just giving up 3 runs (1 un-earned). However, that error extended the inning another batter which was Trent Bowles who proceeded to hit a 3 run home run. So while Lopez’s stat line looks really bad, he was certainly a victim of poor defense.

The offense was on fire as 5 of the 12 hits went for extra bases. After only scoring 3 runs early, the Braves were down 13-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th. They would go on to score 6 runs, but simply couldn’t make up 10 runs in 2 innings. Darling Florentino took top honors of offense (certainly not defense) by hitting a double and a home run. Ray Hernandez also hit a home run, his 5th of the season. The scuffling Luidemid Rojas had his first 3 hit game of the season

The Braves played against former Brave great Abrhan Gutierrez, who went 2-4 with a double and 3 RBI. He’s hitting .314 on the season with a 22% CS-rate.