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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Drew Waters Homers Twice

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Drew’s two homer game has his OPS back up to .850 and extends his hitting streak to three games

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Media Day USA TODAY NETWORK

(9-4) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (7-5) Nashville Sounds 9

  • Drew Waters, CF: 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. .268/.362/.488
  • Orlando Arcia, SS: 2-for-4, 2B, 2R, BB, SB. .393/.462/.839
  • Sean Kazmar Jr., 3B: 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, R, .350/.423/.700
  • Kyle Wright, SP: 4.2 IP, 7 H 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 6.75 ERA
  • Jesse Chavez, RP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.00 ERA

Box Score

The buzz saw that is the Gwinnett Stripers offense couldn’t do enough to overcome a shaky outing by Kyle Wright, and poor performance by Daysbel Hernandez in Gwinnett’s 9-8 loss to the Sounds. Kyle Wright threw 93 pitches, 53 for strikes, over 4.2 innings of work where he struck out four, walked two and gave up a solo homer to former Braves player Jace Peterson. It came following the Stripers giving Kyle a three-run lead in the top of the first inning but Kyle was unable to make that last more than two innings - surrendering a pair of runs in the second. With the Stripers leading 6-5 into the seventh inning Daysbel Hernandez came into the game and lasted just .2 innings - giving up four earned runs and giving Nashville the lead again at 9-6, a lead they would not relinquish despite the best efforts from the Gwinnett offense.

Offensively, the juggernaut that is the Gwinnett Stripers continued to do its thing. The team collected 14 hits, six of which were extra-base hits. They scored three in the first inning thanks to some timely hitting by Jonathan Lucroy who scored Drew Waters, a Sean Kazmar single scored Orlando Arcia, and a Ryan Casteel walk scored Jonathan Lucroy. In the top of the fourth with the team trailing 4-3, Drew Waters delivered this shot to put Gwinnett up.

Abraham Almonte continued his torrid hitting to start the season and later doubled in Orlando Arcia in that same inning to extend the lead to 6-4. In the top of the eighth inning with Gwinnett trailing 9-6, Drew Waters did it again - connecting on his second homer of the game and lowering the lead to 9-7 and showcasing power from both sides of the plate.

Sean Kazmar homered again in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the shaky pitching of Wright and Hernandez and the Sounds won 9-8.

(9-4) Bowling Green Hot Rods 5, (8-5) Rome Braves 6

  • Michael Harris II, CF: 2-for-4, 2B, 2R, RBI, .347/.385/.531
  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 3-for-3, 2 RBI, R, HR, BB, .229/.429/.543
  • Andrew Moritz, LF: 3-for-4, R, 2 SB, .229/.289/.257
  • Tanner Lawson, SP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 8.44 ERA
  • Coleman Huntley, RP: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Kasey Kalich, RP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Box Score

The Rome Braves offense did just enough to overcome a poor pitching performance by the Rome Braves staff who gave up more walks (10), than hits (6). Tanner Lawson got the start for Rome and gave up just one earned run over two innings but walked three. He was followed by Coleman Huntley who gave up two walks over three innings, who was replaced by David Schwab who walked two in his 1.1 innings of work, before giving way to Marrick Crouse who walked two in his 0.2 innings of work while also surrendering two earned runs and three hits. Kasey Kalich worked a pair of scoreless innings and picked up his second save of the season - needing 33 pitches over the final two frames where he struck out three but also walked a player himself. Kasey has yet to give up a run this season but has a 4.15 BB/9 rate which is seemingly the main thing he will be working on before being promoted to Double-A Mississippi.

Offensively, the duo of Michael Harris II and Cody Milligan continued to get it done for Rome. Michael got the scoring started for Rome in the third inning as he singled in Garrison Schwartz to tie the game up at 1-1. He was then followed up by Logan Brown, later in the inning, who hit a sacrifice fly to the left fielder and Harris tagged up and scored to give Rome the lead 2-1. Cody Milligan then connected on a single in the fourth inning to score Beau Phillip and extend the Rome lead to 3-1, before doing it again in the sixth inning and scoring Andrew Moritz to build the Rome lead up to 4-1. After the pitching staff allowed Bowling Green to tie the game Bryce Ball took things into his own hands and hit his third homer of the season, scoring Michael Harris, and giving Rome their final lead.

(7-6) Fayetteville Woodpeckers 9, (5-8) Augusta Greenjackets 4

  • Stephen Paolini, CF: 0-for-4, .143/.294/.214
  • Willie Carter, RF: 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, .371/.463/.600
  • Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 1-for-4, R, .267/.421/.500
  • Alec Barger, SP: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3.18 ERA
  • Carter Linton, RP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA
  • James Acuna, RP: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2K, 5.79 ERA

Box Score

It was a day to forget for the Augusta GreenJacket pitching staff as they struck out 13 Woodpeckers, but surrendered nine earned runs on 13 hits. The GreenJackets actually lead this game 2-0 in the second inning thanks to a Bryson Horne two RBI single that scored Willie Carter, and Ricardo Rodriguez, but it was all downhill from there. The Woodpeckers were able to score three times in the third, four times in the fourth, and two more times in the seventh inning. Carter Linton, a free agent signing, and Justin Yeager, a 33 round draft pick in 2019, were the only two pitchers to not surrender a run in the game for Augusta. Carter, was rather impressive getting all six of his outs via strikeout, while Justin gave up a lone single in his one inning of work.

Offensively it was the Willie Carter show as Willie connected on his second homer of the season and is up to a 1.063 OPS. Catcher Ricardo Rodriguez continued his fine start to the season with a single in the second inning and later went on to score and is up to a .921 OPS on the season as well. The rest of the lineup has been struggling quite a bit - with the next highest OPS being Cade Bunnell’s .778 OPS, but following Cade is Braulio Vasquez and a meager .536 OPS. Yes, the fourth-highest OPS in the lineup last night was .536.

(8-4) Chattanooga Lookouts -, (4-8) Mississippi Braves - POSTPONED