(66-67) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (68-65) Norfolk Tides 2
Austin Riley, DH: 1-4, BB, .275/.346/.449
Dustin Peterson, LF: 3-3, BB, RBI, .271/.327/.409
Touki Toussaint, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1.43 ERA
Touki Toussaint continued his dominance of minor league baseball with 6 more stellar innings, and the Gwinnett offense scored 5 runs in the first 4 innings to drive a win over Norfolk. Gwinnett jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the first inning, with Luis Marte and Austin Riley getting on base for Dustin Peterson. Peterson’s first hit of three on the day brought in Marte to score to give Gwinnett the 1-0 advantage. Norfolk tied the game in the top of the second inning, but Gwinnett quickly punched back in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Flaherty doubled to lead off the inning, then a hit by pitch and another double from Lane Adams gave the Stripers the lead back. They weren’t done scoring in the inning, with Michael Reed coming up with a 2 run single to give Gwinnett a 4-1 lead. Singles from Austin Riley and Carlos Franco and a walk to Dustin Peterson loaded the bases in the fourth inning, then a wild pitch brought in the 5th and final run of the game for Gwinnett. The Stripers didn’t show much of a scoring threat for the remainder of the game, but they didn’t need to with Touki Toussaint and the rest of the pitching staff shutting down the Norfolk offense.
Touki Toussaint had a bit of trouble settling into the game early, including a hit and a wild pitch in the first inning. Then, in the second he allowed a double and an infield single, with a throwing error from Luis Marte allowing an earned run to score and tie the game. Toussaint then forced a double play to work out of it, and the Tides had no further hope against the red hot Toussaint. Touki allowed a couple of walks over the final four innings of his outing, but didn’t allow any more hits and erased one of those walks on a double play. Touki struck out 5 batters over his final three innings of work which pushed him to 163 strikeouts on the season which is 7th in all of minor league baseball. Over his last 14 starts Touki has a 1.34 ERA, has struck out 95 batters and walked 30 in 87 innings pitched, and only allowed 1 home run. Hitters have a .184 batting average and .499 OPS against him in that span. Shane Carle pitched an inning of scoreless relief, working around a couple of hits while striking out one. Kyle Wright made his second scoreless relief appearance with a strikeout and no walks. Jacob Webb broke the scoreless streak for the pitchers in the ninth inning by allowing a run on two hits and a walk while striking out two batters.
Next Game: 8/29 vs (68-65) Norfolk Tides @ 7:05 PM ET
GWN: Kolby Allard (6-4, 2.72 ERA)
(63-69) Mississippi Braves 3, (78-57) Biloxi Suckers 6 F/10
Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 1-2, BB, HBP, .277/.370/.378
Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-5, HR, 2 RBI, .223/.321/.420
Enderson Franco, SP: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 4.04 ERA
Mississippi lost a lead in the ninth inning, then struggled in extra innings and took a 6-3 loss. Mississippi fell a run behind in the first inning on a solo home run, then the two teams locked up over the next 5 innings and the score sat the same after 5 1⁄2 played. Travis Demeritte then broke this quiet spell with a 2-run home run, giving Mississippi their first lead of the game. Demeritte’s home run was his team leading 17th of the season and he is now 8th in the league in home runs. Mississippi held this lead until the top of the ninth, then allowed the game-tying run that sent it to extra innings. Biloxi scored 4 runs in their half of the 10th, and the Braves seemed ready to match with consecutive singles to lead off the inning and bring in a run. They had no luck doing any further damage, with Cristian Pache walking to load the bases in the bottom of the 10th but with all three runners being stranded.
Enderson Franco put in work on the mound for Mississippi, with only a 2 out home run in the first inning to put a damper on his start. Franco allowed just 2 hits after his second inning of work. After getting a pop out to lead off the 7th inning Franco allowed his only walk of the game and was pulled for Thomas Burrows. Burrows pitched 1 2⁄3 perfect innings and struck out two batters. Burrows has not allowed a baserunner in his last 4 outings, with 6 strikeouts in 6 1⁄3 innings. Jason Hursh was brought in to close out the game in a one run contest, and quickly loaded the bases with one out. A base hit brought in the game tying run, and Hursh was pulled for Rex Brothers. Brothers finished the inning without allowing any more runs to score, but struggled in the 10th inning. Brothers allowed 3 walks and 2 hits before being pulled from the game with 2 outs and 4 runs in to score. Dan Lietz struck out the final batter of the 10th innings.
Next Game: 8/30 vs (53-78) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp @ 5:05 PM ET
Probable Starters TBD
(67-63) Rome Braves 2, (61-72) Greenville Drive 1
Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-4, .237/.283/.400
Derian Cruz, 2B: 2-3, RBI, .213/.241/.297
Walter Borkovich, SP: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.87 ERA
A stingy start from Walter Borkovich put the Braves in a position to walk this game off in the ninth inning. Rome fell behind after the top of the first inning, but had their response in the bottom of the second. Drew Lugbauer was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, then advanced to second base on a ground out before being driven in by a single from Derian Cruz. The Rome offense was quiet over the next 6 innings, with neither team being able to bring in a run until the bottom of the ninth. AJ Graffanino got the ball rolling by leading off the inning with a base hit, and Jefrey Ramos made it a precarious situation by doubling to put the winning run on third base with nobody out. An intentional walk and a strikeout followed, but the Drive couldn’t escape for long and Hagen Owenby lifted a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Owenby and give the Braves a win.
Walter Borkovich made another strong start for Rome, this time completing 8 innings on less than 100 pitches. Borkovich did not get off to a great start in the game, with the Drive bringing a run in to score in the first inning on two hits and a walk, but Borkovich quickly settled into the game and started getting outs. Borkovich forced 9 ground ball outs and only allowed one of the Drive’s 7 hits to go for extra bases and did not allow any more runs in the game. Over Borkovich’s 5 starts in August between High-A and Rome he has pitched 32 innings and only allowed 2 runs. Brooks Wilson came in to pitch the 9th inning and fired a perfect inning on 12 pitches with no strikeouts. Wilson has not allowed a run in 6 outings with Rome and has a 1.01 ERA in 26 2⁄3 innings between Danville and Rome.
Next Game: 8/29 vs (61-72) Greenville Drive 7:00 PM ET
ROM: Odalvi Javier (3-10, 4.30 ERA)
GVL: Alex Scherff (1-5, 5.56 ERA)
(32-35) Danville Braves 2, (31-36) Bristol Pirates 4
Justin Smith, RF: 1-2, HR, RBI, 2 BB, .237/.331/.474
Michael Mateja, 3B: 1-3, .275/413/.294
Tanner Lawson, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.68 ERA
Justin Smith had a big day at the plate for Danville, but he wasn’t enough as the rest of the team struggled and lost 4-2 to the Pirates. The Braves fell behind by a run after three innings, then in the fourth Henry Quintero took advantage of some of Bristol’s mistakes to tie the game. Quintero led off the inning with a single into left field, then advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a fly out before finally coming in to score on a wild pitch. Smith later homered leading off the top of the 7th to make it 4-2, but the Braves couldn’t come any closer and the only baserunner they had for the remainder of the game reached by error. Smith reached base three times in the game and also stole 2 bases.
Tanner Lawson got the start for Danville to try to shut down the Pirates. Lawson struggled to limit contact in his 3 innings of work and allowed 5 hits, but none of those were extra base hits and it helped him to hold Bristol to only 1 run in his third inning of work. Lawson did not walk any batters in the game to extend his streak of 7 straight starts totaling 18 innings without a walk. Jake Higginbotham continued his good play on the mound in relief, firing two scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts. Over his last 5 outings Higginbotham has struck out 19 batters in 13 1⁄3 innings while walking 4. Zach Guth was brought in to protect a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the 6th, and this is when things got hairy for the Braves. Guth got a fly out to open the inning, then walked 3 batters and hit another to force in the go ahead run before being pulled from the game. Zach Seipel replaced him and struck out the next two batters, but a wild pitch and a passes ball forced in two more runs charged to Guth and gave Bristol a 4-1 lead. Seipel pitched 2 more scoreless innings, lowering his ERA on the season to 2.63.