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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/27: Joey Wentz returns to the mound, Austin Riley homers again

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The good news is that Joey Wentz is back and Austin Riley can still hit balls far. The bad news is..well...

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 1, Charlotte Knights 3

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 K, .276/.345/.452
  • Wes Parsons, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 3.40 ERA

Wes Parsons pitched well for Gwinnett, but the offense failed to show up as the Stripers fell to Charlotte by the score of 3-1. Parsons held a very talented Charlotte squad in check for the most part as he went six innings with striking out seven batters and giving up just two runs. Parsons has bounced back and forth from the big league club a couple of times, but by and large he has still managed to consistently put up quality starts for Gwinnett. Peter Moylan and Brandon both made rehab appearances out of the bullpen with Moylan giving up an unearned run on two hits and McCarthy pitching a scoreless 8th inning.

Gwinnett only managed two hits in the game so we won’t linger long here. However, one of those two hits came as another home run from Austin Riley. A knee injury really derailed his 2018 season, but he has come on of late as he has six home runs in the month of August and he now has 17 on the season. With the time he missed, he seems to be a likely candidate to play in the Arizona Fall League and will compete for a roster spot in spring training after that.

Mississippi Braves 1, Biloxi Shuckers 7

Box Score

  • Daniel Lockhart, 3B: 1-3, run, 2B, .229/.319/.350
  • Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 1-4, .274/.358/.376
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 4.36 ERA

Another dud of a game on offense (this will be a theme today) as Mississippi got beat up by Biloxi by the score of 7-1. Ricardo Sanchez had an okay game for Mississippi as he went five innings with striking out just one batter. The Braves have a real 40 man roster crunch coming and with Sanchez’s injury issues and inconsistency, he may be one of the odd men out. Josh Graham and Dan Lietz each had scoreless appearances for Mississippi while Justin Kelly...well....did not.

The Mississippi offense managed just one run on six hits with the only extra-base hit for the team coming in the form of a double from Daniel Lockhart. After a very hot start to his time in Mississippi, Cristian Pache has struggled recently at the plate and has looked a bit tired which is common for players this time of year. After going 0-4 on Monday, he is batting .222 over his last 10 games.

Florida Fire Frogs 1, Tampa Tarpons 3

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, BB, .262/.313/.346
  • Riley Delgado, SS: 3-5, .308/.364/.333
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.10 ERA

Another tough game offensively overshadowed the return of Joey Wentz to the mound as Florida fell to Tampa 3-1. Wentz had not pitched since mid-July, so it was good to see him back out there. He was clearly on a pitch count and gave up a run on three hits while striking out three in 2.1 innings pitched. Its unclear as to what has been ailing Wentz this season, although one hopes that it is not continued issues with dead arm or worse. Tyler Watson came up big for Florida as he pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.

Drew Waters reached base twice for Florida as he continues to look more and more comfortable in high-A. William Contreras has cooled off in high-A a bit as he is batting .205 over his last 10 games although he did have a hit in yesterday’s game. Riley Delgado and Garrison Schwartz each had multi-hit games for Florida. Unfornately, the Fire Frogs were unable to string together hits to push more runs across. A out at home from a throw from the outfield and a pickoff at third base did not help matters either.

Rome Braves 2, Greenville Drive 6

Box Score

  • AJ Graffanino, SS: 2-5, 2B, run, .342/.365/.433
  • Derian Cruz, 2B: 2-4, .209/.238/.295
  • Keith Weisenberg, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 4.68 ERA

Rome wins the best offensive performance award for Monday, but that wasn’t nearly enough as the Braves were defeated by Greenville 6-2. Keith Weisenberg struggled mightily over five innings as he gave up six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. On the plus side, Kelvin Rodriguez and Cutter Dyals combined to throw four scoreless innings of relief.

AJ Graffanino continued his assault on Sally League pitching with two more hits on Monday. Derian Cruz also had a multi-hit game as he finishes out what has been a disappointing season for him. Marcos Almonte and Shean Michel each had doubles at the bottom of the order, but unfortunately Rome could not string together any big innings to try to keep pace with Greenville.

Danville Braves 0, Bristol Pirates 3

Box Score

  • Henry Quintero, RF: 1-4, 2B, .264/.285/.365
  • Carlos Baerga, CF: 1-3, 2B, .239/.321/.317
  • Jose Montilla, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 4.37 ERA

We won’t linger long here either as Danville managed just three hits in their 3-0 shutout loss to Bristol. Jose Montilla was excellent on the mound as he went five scoreless innings, although both Bradey Welsh and Connor Simmons both faltered after that. Danville did have doubles in the game from Henry Quintero and Carlos Baerga, but unfortunately they only managed just one single beyond that.