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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Drew Waters Clubs First Triple-A Home Run

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It was a big day in Gwinnett, with Drew Waters driving in three runs, including his first home run at the level. Bryse Wilson set his season high with nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings.

Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

(68-48) Gwinnett Stripers 10, (64-53) Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, BB, .286/.444/.286
  • Drew Waters, RF: 2-5, HR, 3 RBI, .368/.368/.579
  • Alex Jackson, C: 1-5, .232/.321/.528
  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 3.58 ERA

Bryse Wilson had a dominant outing and the Stripers bats were on fire late in their 10-2 win. The Stripers were not looking good early and only had one hit through four innings, but that all changed with a one out hit from Cristian Pache. Jack Lopez followed with a base hit and then Sean Kazmar but Gwinnett on top with a two run double. Two batters later and it was Drew Waters crushing a line drive over the right field fence for his first Triple-A home run to put Gwinnett’s lead at 4-0. Pedro Florimon extended the lead with a solo shot in the seventh, then in the ninth the bats came to play again. Lopez led off the inning with a single and then Kazmar crushed his 12th home run to make the score 7-2. Luis Marte doubled in front of Drew Waters, and Waters brought in another run with an RBI single up the middle. Pedro Florimon doubled to score Waters and then came in to score himself on a sacrifice fly from Lucas Duda. Drew Waters and Cristian Pache couldn’t ask for better starts to their Triple-A career. Waters already has racked up seven strikeouts and looks a little lost against more mature Triple-A pitchers, but when he makes contact he blisters everything and the high BABIP he had in Double-A wasn’t entirely due to pure fluke. Pache’s numbers are a bit more pedestrian, but the most incredible development for him is that he has four walks in four games and has only struck out three times.

Bryse Wilson is finally hitting his groove at the Triple-A level, and he hit a new peak last night with a season high of nine strikeouts. Wilson was in full control early, needing ten pitches to get through the first inning with three ground ball outs. Wilson allowed a walk and a single in the second inning, but with a strikeout and a double play was right back out of trouble for Gwinnett. After that single Wilson was able to set down nine of the next ten batters he faced and recorded six strikeouts. The sixth was a bit of a rough patch for Wilson, as he allowed a leadoff single and then a one out double that put him in his biggest danger in the game. Wilson had no issues though, and forced an infield pop out and got a strikeout to end the inning. He worked around a walk in the seventh with a couple of ground outs and a pop out, and then turned the ball to his bullpen. Over his past four outings with Gwinnett Wilson has completed seven innings three times, pitched 27 total innings, allowed only one earned run and struck out 25 batters with six walks allowed. More importantly for Wilson he has not allowed a home run in any of those four games. Corbin Clouse struggled in his relief outing, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. AJ Minter closed out the game with a scoreless ninth and struck out two batters with no walks allowed. Minter threw 12 of his 16 pitches for strikes and allowed one hit.

Next Game: 8/10 vs (64-53) Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Tucker Davidson

SWB: Adonis Rosa (4-0, 4.35 ERA)

(56-60) Mississippi Braves 1, (56-61) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimps 2

Box Score

  • Trey Harris, RF: 0-3, BB, .290/.333/.419
  • Greyson Jenista, LF: 1-3, HR, BB, .250/.344/.356
  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 0-4, .113/.213/.245
  • Philip Pfeifer, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 4.00 ERA

The Mississippi offense didn’t create many chances for themselves, and didn’t take advantage of those they did have in a 2-1 loss. The Braves went down in order for the first three innings, and in what will become the theme of their game struck out six times. They found themselves trailing by a run in the fourth, but Ray-Patrick Didder drew a walk and then did his little bit of magic. Didder stole second and then third base, and the Braves got more walks from Trey Harris and Greyson Jenista, but the big hit never came and they lost a big opportunity. Jacksonville added a second run in the bottom of the fourth inning to go up 2-0. Didder tried again in the sixth with a leadoff walk, then stole second base and got to third on a passed ball, but was again stranded as three strikeouts ended the inning and brought the MBraves strikeout total to thirteen on the day. Finally the Jacksonville starter was pulled after six and the Braves got their first hit from Connor Lien in seventh, but they couldn’t stop striking out and added two more in the inning to strand Lien. William Contreras gave the Braves life off of the bench in the top of the eighth when he mashed a leadoff double the opposite way, but despite getting to third base on a ground out he was stranded like all the runners before him. A Jenista bomb in the top of the ninth finally put the Braves on the scoreboard, but two strikeouts and a foul pop out ensured they would not get a chance to tie. The Braves struck out nineteen times in the game and after the top of the first didn’t have another inning with fewer than two strikeouts.

Philip Pfeifer had a decent game on the mound, but his struggles with walks were notable and prevented him from going deeper in the start. Pfeifer was able to work around a single and a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning, but in the second allowed a leadoff home run that put the Braves in an early hole. Pfeifer didn’t allow another hit over his final four innings, but it was the walks that caused him trouble in the fourth. Pfeifer allowed a leadoff walk, and then allowed that runners to steal second and third base where he was brought in on an RBI ground out. Pfeifer also allowed another walk in the inning but was able to strand the runner on a strikeout to end the inning. The fourth walk came with one out in the fifth, but a strikeout and an infield pop out meant it would do no damage and ended the start for Pfeifer. Kurt Hoesktra continued his run with a couple of scoreless relief innings. He struck out two batters and didn’t walk any to lower his ERA with Mississippi to 0.87 in 10 13 innings. Hoekstra has pitched at four levels this season, pitched 54 23 innings, and has a 1.98 ERA with 68 strikeouts and 20 walks.

Next Game: 8/10 vs (56-61) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Nolan Kingham (0-1, 1.80 ERA)

JAX: Sixto Sanchez (8-4, 2.76 ERA)

(45-71) Florida Fire Frogs 8, (52-62) Lakeland Flying Tigers 4

Box Score

  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 3-3, BB, RBI, .191/.246/.376
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-4, 2 2B, .242/.291/.364
  • Hayden Deal, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2.98 ERA

Hayden Deal was able to give the Fire Frogs seven innings despite some early struggles, and the offense came to play with eight runs of support in an 8-4 win. Florida wasted no time getting themselves on the scoreboard, with hits from Riley Delgado and Jefrey Ramos setting the stage for a two run single from Drew Lugbauer. Logan Brown followed with an RBI double and the Fire Frogs had hopped out to a 3-0 lead. That crashed in the second as Deal allowed three runs, but Florida came back and took advantage of a throwing error to put them back in the lead 4-3. The teams didn’t do much through the middle innings, but Florida came alive in the seventh and sealed the win for themselves with a big inning. After a single by Andrew Moritz it was Delgado reaching on an error, and the Fire Frogs didn’t let their opportunity go to waste. Andy Wilkins singled in a run before Jefrey Ramos crushed his second double of the game to score another and make the Florida lead 6-3. Drew Lugbauer stretched that further with his second RBI hit of the game and then the Flying Tigers walked in a run to seal the win up for the Fire Frogs at 8-3 after the seventh inning.

Hayden Deal didn’t look like he would give the Fire Frogs much early in his start, but he settled in to pitch a decent game and keep them in it for seven innings. Deal allowed a double in the first inning and worked around it, but the second is where the struggles began for him. He loaded the bases on a couple of walks and a single, but after a mound visit seemed like he was prepared to work out of trouble with consecutive strikeouts. Then he walked in a run and allowed a two run single to Brock Deatherage that tied the game at 3-3. Deal got a line drive to finally end the inning, but threw 34 pitches in the inning and was already at 46 overall. That was the last chance the Flying Tigers had against Deal, as he started mowing down hitters over the next five innings. Deal threw nine pitches to get back on track in a scoreless third inning, then in the fourth brought his strikeout total to four to finish the inning. The final hit Deal would allow in the game led off the fifth inning, but he needed just three pitches to strike out Deatherage and then got a quick fly out and ground out to strand the runner. Deal retired the final nine batters he faced in the game, three via strikeouts. Daysbel Hernandez came on in relief and struck out three batters in the eighth inning, and he needed to as he got into trouble with a one out triple and a hit batter. Hernandez struck out the first two batters of the ninth, but then allowed consecutive hits and a hit batter to score a run before finally ending the game with a ground out.

Next Game: 8/10 vs (52-62) Lakeland Flying Tigers @ 6:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: TBD

LAK: Elvin Rodriguez (9-7, 3.90 ERA)

(53-62) Rome Braves, (62-52) Augusta GreenJackets PPD

Next Game: 8/10 vs (62-52) Augusta GreenJackets @ 5:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Ricky DeVito

AUG: Seth Corry (9-2, 1.72 ERA)

(19-31) Danville Braves 0, (29-21) Burlington Royals 6

Box Score

  • Bryce Ball, DH: 0-4, .324/.414/.676
  • Beau Philip, SS: 0-4, .168/.292/.259
  • Lisandro Santos, SP: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 2.08 ERA3

Danville, well they just didn’t have a very good day. The Braves got out to a roaring start for the first three innings, getting exactly one base runner on a walk and seeing him get caught stealing. Brandon Parker came through with the first hit to lead off the fourth inning, but a line out from Beau Philip and then two strikeouts ended the inning and brought Danville up to seven strikeouts on the day. Parker had his second hit of the day to lead off the ninth inning and again was stranded on the bases. The Braves struck out twelve times in the game, though nine of those came in the first five innings because Royals’s starter Angel Zerpa completely dominated the lineup.

Lisandro Santos had an off day on the mound and allowed thirteen base runners and five runs in less than four innings. Santos allowed three hits and a walk in the first inning, but was able to escape with no runs thanks to a caught stealing and a Willie Carter outfield assist. Forward to the second inning and he was not so lucky, as two hits and a walk brought in a run to score and then following another walk he threw a wild pitch to push the score to 2-0. Santos held it to one hit in the third inning, but luck ran thin in the fourth and he couldn’t complete the inning. After two quick ground outs an error by Bryce Ball put a runner on base and then two hits and two walks brought in three runs to score before Santos was pulled from the game. The bullpen did a solid job, led by Zach Daniels who finished up the fourth and then pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The bullpen combined to go 4 13 innings and only allow one run on three hits.

Next Game: 8/10 vs (29-21) Burlington Royals @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

DAN: Tyler Owens (0-1, 4.91 ERA)

BUR: TBD

(12-22) GCL Braves 3, (19-16) GCL Rays 6

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-4, .263/.333/.404
  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-3, BB, RBI, .349/.405/.519
  • Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 0-2, 2 BB, .344/.417/.500
  • Jared Johnson, SP: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3.86 ERA

(13-22) GCL Braves 4, (19-17) GCL Rays 0

Box Score

  • Mason Berne, 1B: 2-3, .262/.342/.415
  • Michael Harris, DH: 1-3, .349/.403/.514
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA

The Braves had a decent offensive output in game one of the double header and got a strong performance from starter Jared Johnson, but fell to the Rays in extra innings and could only manage a split. Both teams trades zeroes early before Vaughn Grissom got the first hit of the game in the bottom of the second. Mahki Backstrom followed with a walk, but with two on and nobody out the Braves failed to score a run and the game stayed tied at 0-0. Meanwhile starter Jared Johnson had cruised through the first two innings, notching three strikeouts and not allowing a baserunner. In the third Johnson allowed two hits and only recorded one out before being pulled, and Eudi Asencio was able to shut down the inning and keep it scoreless. In the fourth the Braves broke through first on the scoreboard, as following walks from Backstrom and Darling Florentino it was Stephen Paolini coming through with a two run double to put them up 2-0. That lead would not last, as three hits and an error in the top of the fifth led to two runs off of Asencio and tied the game. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh, so the two teams went to an extra eighth where the Rays exploded. The Rays got four hits and four runs off of Carlos De La Cruz, and the Braves couldn’t come back in the bottom of the eighth. Michael Harris had a run scoring single, and Grissom singled to put two runners on base and bring the tying run up to bat, but Backstrom and Florentino both struck out to end the game.

The Braves pitching staff dominated game two and led the Braves to a 4-0 win. Early on both teams were again getting strong pitching, with the Braves running out Wander Polanco to start the game. Polanco allowed a single to the second batter he faced in the game, but didn’t allow another hit or a walk over the next 3 23 innings he pitched. Polanco’s final line over four innings included five strikeouts and no runs allowed. In the third inning the Braves got singled from Christian Zamora and Eliezel Stevens to open up the inning, and despite grounding into a double play Cade Bunnell was able to force home the first run of the game to put the Braves on top. The Braves got their opportunity to break the game open in the fourth inning when Harris, Mason Berne, and Brandol Mezquita each had base hits to load the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch got a run in and moved everyone up, and two sacrifice flies brought home two more runs to push the lead out to four runs. Indigo Diaz was equal to Wander in his dominance this game, putting up a strong three innings on the mound. Diaz allowed a double with two outs in the fifth inning, but that was the only hit he would give up on the day. He set down seven of the final eight batters he faced and struck out four of those to finish his day with five strikeouts in total.