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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Alex Jackson Slugs Home Run

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Mississippi managed a win thanks to a home run from Tyler Neslony. Alex Jackson hit his 12th home run of the season for Gwinnett.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

(35-26) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (35-26) Durham Bulls 12

Box Score

  • Alex Jackson, C: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .220/.322/.508
  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-4, .290/.374/.585
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 3.12 ERA
  • AJ Minter, RP: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.53 ERA

A long game for the bullpen turned sour for the Stripers as they allowed ten runs over three innings in a 12-3 loss. Durham struck first in the second inning on a home run from Emilio Bonifacio (no I’m serious that actually happened) and Gwinnett came up to bat looking to answer down 2-0. Adam Duvall led off the inning with a single and it looked as if the Braves had something working, but he was thrown out by Bonifacio trying to stretch the hit into a double for the first out of the inning. Sean Kazmar singled to follow Duvall, and then Alex Jackson tied the game back up with his 12th home run of the season. Gwinnett was set down quietly over the next three innings while the Bulls blew the game open, and they went into the bottom of the sixth down 8-2. The Stripers put up a small fight with singles from Andres Blanco and Travis Demeritte, but could only push across one run on a Duvall ground out and didn’t put together any real scoring opportunities over the final three innings.

Patrick Weigel got the start for Gwinnett and stretched himself out with a season high in pitches at 59, but struggled elsewhere in the game and left the game with a mediocre-at-best start. Weigel cruised through the first thanks to a double play and his lone strikeout of the game, but put himself in trouble again in the second inning. He got the first two outs of the inning quickly, but after a base hit he allowed a two run home run that produced both of the runs against him on the day. He allowed leadoff walks in each of the next two innings but worked around both of them and forced a double play to end off his outing. That brought in Ben Rowen, who pitched his worst game of the season. Rowen got the out to end the fourth but in the fifth inning he allowed four runs on five hits to give Durham a commanding lead. Shane Carle wasn’t much better in the sixth inning and allowed a couple of runs, then in the seventh inning he allowed the first four batters of the inning to reach base and was pulled with no outs. All of those runs scored and the game sat at 12-3. Jose Rafaeul De Paula stoked the fire a bit in that 7th and pitched a scoreless inning, then Grant Dayton and AJ Minter combined for a scoreless inning before catcher/first baseman Sal Giardina pitched an inning of scoreless relief.

Next Game: 6/8 vs (35-26) Durham Bulls @ 6:05 PM ET

Probable Starters



(27-32) Mississippi Braves 7, (34-27) Jackson Generals 6

Box Score

  • Greyson Jenista, LF: 1-4, 2 RBI, .125/.111/.125
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-3, 2 BB, SB, .288/.345/.484
  • Tyler Neslony, RF: 3-4, HR, HBP, SB, RBI, .279/.357/.488
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 5.05 ERA

Mississippi and Jackson played a back and forth game, with Mississippi managing to hold on to win in the ninth inning thanks to three late runs. Mississippi fell behind by a run in the first inning but came out firing in the top of the second, with singles from Riley Unroe and Carlos Martinez setting up a game tying double from Luis Valenzuela. Two batters later Joey Wentz grounded out to bring in a run and give Mississippi a lead. Jackson pulled back even in the bottom of the second but Tyler Neslony provided an answer to that in the third with a solo home run to lead off the inning. The Braves extended that lead in the fourth thanks to the legs of Ray-Patrick Didder, who reached on an error then stole second and third base before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Greyson Jenista. This score held for a bit as the teams played their only scoreless full inning in the fifth, then Jackson jumped out to a one run lead thanks to two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh. This brought the Braves within six outs of a loss, but they had more left in the tank to come out with a big 8th inning. Walks to Martinez and Ray Patrick Didder brought in Drew Waters to pinch hit, and Waters took a hit by pitch to load the bases up for Cristian Pache. Pache didn’t come through with a hit, but struck out on a wild pitch that allowed him to reach and all runners to advance safely and tie the game. A single from Greyson Jenista gave them the lead, though Waters was thrown out at home to end the inning and prevent an even bigger inning. Riley Unroe knocked in Neslony with an RBI double in the top of the ninth inning to make it 7-5, a run which proved to be pivotal in the game as Jackson was able to add a run in the bottom of the ninth but nothing more.

Joey Wentz struggled to control the ball throughout his start and it cost him a lot of pitches and a lot of walks and he only managed three innings on 80 pitches. Wentz looked good to the first two batters and forced infield pop ups to each but he got himself into trouble with three straight singles to score a run. He then walked a batter to load the bases but got out of the jam with yet another pop up to the infield. Wentz was given a lead in the top of the second but he couldn’t hold on, allowing a double and then later a sacrifice fly that tied the game back up. Wentz allowed two walks (one intentional) and a base hit in the bottom of the third to again load the bases, but with two outs and the pitcher batting he was able to record his second strikeout of the game to finish off his start. Andres Santiago came in to relieve Wentz and he got to work quickly with a couple of scoreless innings, but things began to fall apart in the sixth inning. Santiago allowed two runs to come in to score, then loaded the bases thanks to a couple of walks and got himself ejected from the game by arguing balls and strikes (it was a ball, sorry bud). Jonathan Aro came in to finish off the inning without allowing any more runs, though he had less luck when he was brought out in the seventh and allowed a run that gave the Generals a 5-4 lead. Josh Graham was brought in to pitch the final two innings and he did so marvelously, starting by protecting a Braves lead by striking out the side in order in the 8th inning. After a strikeout in the ninth inning, he allowed a lead off double that brought the tying run to the plate, and although that run ended up scoring he forced a ground out and a strikeout that ended the game.

Next Game: 6/8 vs (34-27) Jackson Generals @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Tucker Davidson (2-4, 1.82 ERA)


(25-36) Florida Fire Frogs 0, (25-35) Tampa Tarpons

Box Score

  • Riley Delgado, C: 1-4, .300/.351/.357
  • Shean Michel, CF: 0-3, BB, .260/.383/.390
  • Philip Pfeifer, SP: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 4.00 ERA

The Fire Frogs pitching staff had a strong game, and it might still be going on now if not for errors from the defense to allow runs to score. There’s not really much to say about what the Fire Frogs offense did, because well they didn’t really do anything. They had a bit of early success and put runners on in each of the first four innings, but none of those players ever advanced past second base because Florida only managed two hits in the game. Florida’s last hit came from Riley Delgado with one out in the third inning, and 17 of the final 18 batters and all of the last ten did not reach base. Yikes.

Philip Pfeifer was unbelievable on the mound for Florida, and after a bit of a shaky start in which he allowed the first two batters of the game to reach base he never really got into trouble over his five innings of scoreless work. Pfeifer retired eleven of the last twelve batters he faced (with only an error thrown in) and struck out seven of those to hold the scoreless tie. Walter Borkovich came in for the final out of sixth inning and did so nicely, then in the seventh things got ugly. Borkovich struck out the first batter of the inning, then allowed the first Tarpons base hit since the third inning. Another hit followed that, but Izzy Wilson made a bad throw in right field that allowed the first and only run of the game to score. Borkovich worked out of the inning with no further damage, but with the offense in aestivation that was enough to lead to a loss. Sean McLaughlin pitched a scoreless eighth inning with a strikeout.

Next Game: 6/8 vs (25-35) Tampa Tarpons @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Matt Hartman (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

TAM: Jio Orozco (0-1, 6.23 ERA)

(26-34) Rome Braves 2, (31-29) Lexington Legends 7

Box Score

  • Greg Cullen, 2B: 1-4, .251/.380/.389
  • Derian Cruz, DH: 1-4, 2B, .214/.328/.286
  • Trey Riley, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 6.30 ERA

This game happened and for the sanity of everyone involved it’s probably best to pretend it didn’t. Lexington got out to a three run lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a two run single (THANKS A LOT ERIC) and then added three more in the second. Down 6-0 the Braves had a big hole to climb out of but they did not. They broke up the no hitter in the fourth inning with a couple of singles from Henry Quintero and Logan Brown, then they got themselves on the board when Griffin Benson grounded out to score Quintero. They stopped getting a lot of hits again and allowed another run, but in the ninth they had a little fight left in them. A double and a single brought the tying run reasonably close to being in the hole and they scored a run on that single from Jose Bermudez. It just wasn’t a banner day for the Rome Braves.

Trey Riley didn’t have a strong start to his outing and he struggled to find his footing allowing six runs on three walks and six hits in the first two innings. Things settled down for Riley and he was able to retire six of the final seven batters he faced with two strike outs, but the team was never able to climb out of that hole he dug. Jose Montilla looked solid over his three innings of relief, allowing a lone run in the final inning of his outing but filling out innings to save bullpen arms. Montilla struck out three batters and didn’t walk any. Tanner Lawson pitched the final two innings of the game and did not allow a run, striking out three batters and walking none.

Next Game: 6/8 vs (31-29) Lexington Legends @ 6:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Odalvi Javier (2-2, 4.47 ERA)