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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Contreras Slugs Third Home Run

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William Contreras and Trey Harris stayed hot at the plate to lead Mississippi to a win while Jasseel De La Cruz pitched five scoreless innings.

MLB: MAR 05 Spring Training - Braves at Yankees Photo by /Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

(70-49) Gwinnett Stripers, (67-52) Columbus Clippers PPD

Next Game: 8/15 vs (67-52) Columbus Clippers @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Touki Toussaint (1-3, 6.93 ERA)

COL: Shao-Ching Chiang (0-0, 8.53 ERA)

(57-63) Mississippi Braves 4, (53-65) Birmingham Barons 0

Box Score

  • Trey Harris, RF: 2-4, .321/.354/.462
  • William Contreras, DH: 1-4, HR, .238/.313/.336
  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 1-4, .108/.203/.215
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4.11 ERA

Jasseel De La Cruz led Mississippi on the mound with five scoreless innings and William Contreras crushed his third Double-A home run in a 4-0 Braves win. Ray-Patrick Didder got the game started off in the bottom of the first inning with a single and then scored the Braves first run on a double from Ryan Casteel. The teams traded zeroes for a couple of innings until the fourth, when William Contreras hit his third home run of the season to put Mississippi up 2-0. Contreras got off to a rough start in his Mississippi career, but has turned himself into a force at the plate with his recent success. Over his past 20 games Contreras is hitting .319/.385/.507 with all three of his home runs and has maintained a 15.4% strikeout rate. Trey Harris extended his on base streak to thirteen games in the sixth inning when he beat out a ground ball to shortstop for a base hit. Our old friend Mauricio Cabrera pitched in the seventh inning, and you’ll be shocked to hear that he immediately walked the first two batters he faced then threw two wild pitches to score a run. Another came in on a sacrifice fly from Riley Unroe to make it 4-0. Harris had his second hit of the game in the seventh inning and has recorded multiple hits in four of his last six games.

Jasseel De La Cruz has had his share of struggles on the mound over the past month, but he made a good step with five strong innings for Mississippi. De La Cruz rolled through the first four batters he faced and struck out three before allowing a one out walk in the second inning. Jasseel then got a double play to end the inning and pitched a perfect third and fourth. De La Cruz’s streak of nine straight batters retired was ended with a two out single in the fifth inning, but he rebounded to get a three pitch strikeout to close out his start. De La Cruz was pulled after just 53 pitches due to a pitch count relating to workload concerns, finishing off one of his best starts this season. This is the fewest baserunners he has allowed since his no hitter with the Fire Frogs. Kurt Hoekstra pitched two innings of scoreless relief to lower his Double-A ERA down to 0.73, though he did walk three batters in his outing. Bradley Roney had two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth and now has 31 strikeouts in 20 13 innings with Mississippi. Thomas Burrows closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning and allowed the second Barons hit on the day.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (53-65) Birmingham Barons @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Philip Pfeifer (1-2, 4.00 ERA)

BIR: John Parke (3-3, 2.78 ERA)

(47-74) Florida Fire Frogs 1, (64-56) Bradenton Marauders 4 GM 1

Box Score

  • Riley Delgado, SS: 2-3, .285/.331/.327
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-3, .242/.290/.359
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 5.11 ERA

(47-75) Florida Fire Frogs 1, (65-56) Bradenton Marauders 5 GM 2

Box Score

  • Brett Langhorne, CF: 3-4, RBI, .199/.285/.275
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-3, .243/.290/.359
  • Troy Bacon, RP: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 4.50 ERA

After sweeping the double header on Tuesday the Fire Frogs turned around and got swept in Wednesday’s, scoring only one run in each of the games. Odalvi Javier was keeping the game in hand early on the mound, and through the first two innings was able to keep the Marauders off the scoreboard despite allowing four baserunners. He couldn’t hold it in the third and allowed a run on a two out double, though Jefrey Ramos was able to keep it from being worse by throwing out the runner trying to advance to third base. Javier finally got a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth then turned it over to an offense who still didn’t have a run. That changed in a blink, with Kevin Josephina leading off with a double and then Garrison Schwartz coming through with a single. Florida was perhaps poised to have a big inning and take the lead, but Schwartz got picked off at first base and the Fire Frogs couldn’t add on. Javier cruised again the sixth, but the Fire Frogs couldn’t take advantage of Riley Delgado’s leadoff hit in bottom of the inning. Javier couldn’t give the Fire Frogs seven, allowing a leadoff home run and then loading the bases without recording an out. Daysbel Hernandez allowed two of the inherited runners to score on a wild pitch and a throwing error, and that score of 4-1 held as Florida went down in order in the seventh.

Bradenton rode another big inning to a win in game two, this time getting on the board early. Walter Borkovich allowed a hit in each of the first two innings, but worked around them well and sent it to the third still tied at 0-0. That didn’t last very long, as he allowed a hit and then hit a batter before a one out single from Travis Swaggerty put the Marauders up by a run. A throwing error loaded the bases, and then Borkovich made the big mistake and allowed a grand slam that blew the door wide open to make it 5-0. The Fire Frogs offense got a run on a couple of singles in the fifth inning, but never even got close to having a chance to tie the game. Borkovich went two more innings without allowing a run, then turned the game over to Troy Bacon. Bacon struck out four batters and didn’t walk any over two innings, though it was not all smooth sailing as he allowed three hits and needed 44 pitches.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (65-56) Bradenton Marauders @ 12:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

FLO: Hayden Deal (5-9, 2.98 ERA)

BRD: Brad Case (3-4, 4.18 ERA)

(56-65) Rome Braves 3, (58-64) Asheville Tourists 7

Box Score

  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 3-4, .571/.571/.786
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-5, .287/.396/.447
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, BB, .325/.396/.482
  • William Woods, SP: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3.32 ERA

Asheville piled on runs against the Rome pitching staff, and the bats didn’t have enough firepower to keep up in a 7-3 loss. Asheville jumped out to a 2-0 lead after three innings, but the Braves top draft picks combined to erase that in the fourth inning. Braden Shewmake led off the inning with a single and then Shea Langeliers brought the game closer with an RBI double on an 0-1 count. That extended Langeliers on base streak to seven consecutive games and he has four RBIs over his past three games. Bryce Ball got Langeliers over to third base on a base hit and then Michael Harris drove in the tying run with a ground out. Asheville immediately answered back with two more runs and the Braves had no return. Ball had another hit to lead off the sixth inning, but three strikeouts stranded him at first base. Asheville went up 7-2 in the seventh inning and the Braves never made a run to come back from that. They got a little closer in the eighth when Ball singled again and Harris made it two runners on with two outs by drawing a four pitch walk. Hagen Owenby singled to score the Braves’s third run and put two runners in scoring position when he advanced on an error, but Jeremy Fernandez popped out on the first pitch to end the inning. Justin Dean singled in the ninth inning, but no other Braves reached base and a Shewmake ground out ended the game.

The Braves pitching staff got beat up a bit top to bottom, though William Woods had a decent start over three innings. Woods had a decent first inning, but in the second allowed a two out walk. A base hit followed that walk and then a throwing error from Braulio Vasquez allowed the run to score to give the Tourists a lead. After striking out the first two batters of the inning Woods allowed his first earned run with two outs in the third on a solo home run. Two more singles came to follow that, but Woods got a strikeout to end the frame and was bailed out of a loss by the offense in the next inning. Jose Montilla struggled for the Braves, and in his first inning on the mound allowed a two run home run that put Asheville back in the lead. Montilla worked around a hit in the fifth, but two hits in the sixth led to the third run charged to him. Montilla allowed two runs on three doubles in the seventh inning before being pulled with two outs for Luis Mora. Mora had a fun outing on the mound and walked three batters over 1 13 innings but managed to escape by striking out three batters.

Next Game: 8/15 vs (47-71) Columbia FireFlies @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Ricky DeVito (0-1, 4.91 ERA)

COL: Christian James (3-9, 4.70 ERA)

(20-34) Danville Braves 3, (26-28) Kingsport Mets 4

Box Score

  • Connor Blair, CF: 1-3, HR, BB, .219/.300/.342
  • Beau Philip, SS: 3-5, RBI, 2B, HR, .188/.305/.294
  • Darius Vines, SP: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 7.40 ERA

Danville kept up with the Mets on the offensive end, but four defensive errors cost them runs and potentially a win. The Braves jumped out to the lead in the second behind a lead off home run by Connor Blair, his third of the season. Mason Berne doubled with two outs in the inning to score another run and push the lead the two. Kingsport came back and got those runs back in the next inning, then in the fourth tacked on another to take the lead. Danville got a one out double from Beau Philip in the third and then a single from Brandon Parker, but Parker was caught attempting to steal second base so a line out to center field ended the inning. Danville only managed two more hits through the next four innings and went into the eighth trailing by two runs. Philip brought them a bit closer with a lead off home run, and then with two outs in the inning they managed to get the tying run around to third but could no score him. Garrett Saunders singled with one out in the ninth inning, but the Braves could not move him around and a Philip strikeout ended the game.

Darius Vines got off to a strong start for the Braves, setting down the first six batters he faced without a single ball leaving the infield. Vines got two quick outs on strikeouts in the third inning, but things got hairy for him and he didn’t record another out. A single and a walk put two runners on base, and then a single broke the shutout and brought the Mets to 2-1. Vines walked another batter and was then lifted from the game. Zach Daniels came in and was greeted with a run scoring single, but it could have been much worse as Brandon Parker came through with an outfield assist at home to save a run. Daniels allowed another hit to lead off the fourth, then the first baseman missed a pickoff throw and the third baseman made a fielding error to put two runners on with no outs. Daniels did well to get out of the inning with a ground out and a double play, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the go ahead run from scoring unearned. Daniels pitched a scoreless fifth inning then turned the ball over to Kenny Wells. Wells went 1-2-3 in the sixth, but in the seventh made an error on a pickoff throw that helped a run score to push the deficit to two runs. Alex Camacho pitched a scoreless eighth inning despite allowing two hits.

Next Game: 8/14 vs (27-26) Elizabethton Twins @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

DAN: TBD

ELZ: Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-1, 5.65 ERA)

(14-23) GCL Braves, (25-15) GCL Twins PPD