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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Jesse Franklin Stays Hot

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It’s been quite the month for Rome outfield Jesse Franklin who extended his hitting streak to nine games.

College World Series - Michigan v Vanderbilt - Game One Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The minor league system had a great day all around with all four affiliates picking up win, although it was somewhat light on big prospect performances. Jesse Franklin stayed blazing hot for Rome with a couple of hits and Jared Shuster had a strong start. Willie Carter led a big offensive day for Augusta.

(20-18) Gwinnett Stripers 9, (24-13) Nashville Sounds 3

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, .300/.364/.600
  • Orlando Arcia, SS: 0-3, BB, .316/.420/.516
  • Johan Camargo, 1B: 2-4, 2B, 3B, .313/.424/.506
  • Connor Johnston, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.34 ERA
  • Ty Tice, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.08 ERA

Gwinnett answered every time Nashville put together a rally, finally putting the game away with a big inning in the 8th. After the Sounds took a quick lead in the top of the first inning, Gwinnett was right there to answer back with Johan Camargo ripping an RBI double to tie the game up. They took their first lead courtesy of Phillip Ervin who hit his third home run of the season in the second inning to make it 2-1. All was quiet for the Stripers over the next couple of innings, and in the top of the 5th Nashville was able to get a run to pull even. Gwinnett responded with a two out hit from Cristian Pache leading to a go ahead two run home run from Jason Kipnis. Gwinnett added insurance in the sixth when Camargo tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly and Nashville was never able to catch up. A couple of fielding errors with two outs brought in a run and put Gwinnett in prime position to score, where Yolmer Sanchez became the final Gwinnett regular to hit a home run this season with a three run shot that blew the game open.

Connor Johnstone has turned into the half the Gwinnett rotation at this point as he made three starts over a one week span (6/10, 6/13, 6/16). Like his previous two Johnstone only went two innings today and he allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Tanner Roark also provided multi inning relief by pitching the third and fourth innings and he didn’t allow a run despite allowing three hits and a walk in that span. Chasen Bradford was rudely met with a couple of hits to score a run in the fifth inning, but he kept the Stripers from getting behind and pitched a shut down sixth inning to protect when they got the lead back. Ty Tice continued his lock down relief work for Gwinnett and pitched a perfect seventh inning with a strikeout. Thomas Burrows allowed a run on two hits in his inning, though he did show better ability to get the ball in the strike zone with two strikeouts and no walks. Trevor Kelley pitched a nerve-wracking ninth inning in which he loaded the bases on singles with no outs in the inning. He came back to get a huge strikeout for the second out and then closed out the game with a ground out.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (24-13) Nashville Sounds @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: TBD

NAS: Bowden Francis (2-1, 2.12 ERA)

(21-17) Mississippi Braves 2, (23-14) Birmingham Barons 1

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-3, RBI, .242/.368/.392
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 0-3, RBI, .127/.176/.229
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 1-3, .267/.374/.571
  • AJ Puckett, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2.21 ERA
  • Matt Withrow, RP: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.01 ERA
  • Josh Graham, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.08 ERA

Mississippi has been on fire of late, and this win against the top team in the league puts them just one game back of the division in the Double-A South’s South Division. Good job on the creative league naming scheme MLB, that really rolls off the tongue. Anyways, the offense was pretty much non existent for much of the game, but they all came through in a bunch and the Mississippi pitching staff dominated for the win. Greyson Jenista led off the third inning with a walk and a Jalen Miller base hit had the Braves in prime scoring position in a 0-0 game. Braden Shewmake hit a soft ground ball that the shortstop could only make a play at first on to score the game’s first run and then Justin Dean made it 2-0 by blooping a line drive into left field to score Miller. This was all the offense Mississippi would need in the game, and that’s a good thing too because it’s all that they got.

AJ Puckett has been a force for Mississippi in his first five starts, with this five scoreless innings dropping his ERA since promotion to 2.21. He has 23 strikeouts in 20 13 innings on the season, and had his best control day of the season with only one walk. Matt Withrow was the only reliever to allow a run on the day as he allowed a couple of singles in the sixth inning to allow Birmingham to claw within a run. He also struck out three batters across two innings and through 22 13 innings this season, he is striking out a career-best 30.7% of batters faced. Josh Graham was lights out with a perfect eighth inning and he needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side. Brandon White closed out his seventh save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning that dropped his ERA to 1.93.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (23-14) Birmingham Barons @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Jose Rodriguez (0-1, 1.62 ERA)

BIR: TBD

(20-18) Rome Braves 5, (25-13) Bowling Green Hot Rods 0

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-4, .333/.356/.465
  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 1-4, RBI, .206/.341/.373
  • Jesse Franklin, RF: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .272/.311/.491
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. 3.00 ERA
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.98 ERA

Pitching dominance was the story of the game in this one as well as the Rome pitching staff allowed only two hits and struck out 13 batters in shutting out the league’s top team and offense. The Braves offense wasn’t able to get going early in the game despite being given quite a few runners on walks as they only had one hit in the game through four and had no runs. The fifth represented a bit of a breakthrough as Shean Michel reached on an infield single, advanced on a group out, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then came in to score on a walk. In the sixth inning, Kevin Josephina led off reaching on an error and Rome took advantage with Bryce Ball bringing him home on a double. Jesse Franklin stayed scorching hot and scored Ball on an RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0. Franklin again came through in the 8th inning and extended the lead with an RBI double. He then stole third base and scored on a single from Logan Brown. Franklin finished the month of May with a .481 OPS, but has gone completely nuclear over the past two weeks and on June 17th his OPS is now over .800 for the first time since opening day. In twelve games this month, he has hit .410/.465/.949 with six home runs and three stolen bases. He’s also currently on a nine game hitting streak.

Jared Shuster is still not being able to work deep into games due to a pitch count, but he’s making the most of his very limited action and was able to get through four innings today on less than 50 pitches. Shuster retired the first five batters he faced in the game before a two out double in the second inning, and he quickly got around that with a three pitch strikeout for a dominant end to the second inning. Shuster struck out three of his next five batters before allowing a walk with two outs in the fourth. That runner was caught stealing and the book was closed on Shuster’s best start of the season. He has 21 strikeouts to 4 walks in his 15 innings this season and has been absolutely untouchable for left handed batters with a .298 OPS against. Zach Daniels built on Shuster’s good work with two scoreless innings which lowered his ERA on the season to 1.53. Kasey Kalich also put in two fantastic innings, with two strikeouts and four ground outs with the only runner reaching on an error. Indigo Diaz finished the game in his typically dominant fashion, striking out the side in the ninth to lower his ERA to 0.98. He has struck out 40 of the 70 batters he has faced this season.

Next Game: 6/17 vs (25-13) Bowling Green Hot Rods @ 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Alan Rangel (1-4, 6.20 ERA)

BG: Jayden Murray (4-0, 1.93 ERA)

(18-20) Augusta GreenJackets 7, (20-15) Columbia Fireflies 5

Box Score

  • Landon Stephens, 1B: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .231/.306/.389
  • Willie Carter, RF: 3-5, 2 2B, RBI, .339/.433/.466
  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-4, 2B, BB, .288/.394/.378
  • Jake McSteen, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.60 ERA
  • James Acuna, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3.95 ERA

Augusta pulled ahead with a bunch of runs in the middle innings and held on late to take a win over Columbia. The Fireflies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game after three innings, but Vaughn Grissom sparked things in the fourth with a lead off double into the left center field gap. Landon Stephens followed by hitting one out to the big part of the park in right center field tying the game 2-2. In the fifth, the GreenJackets made it happen with their legs as a double steal allowed Cam Shepherd to trot home with the go ahead run. They pulled even further ahead in the sixth inning as Willie Carter led off the inning with a double and then came around to score on a single from Bryson Horne. Carter got another opportunity in the seventh, this time with two runners on, and he ripped another double that scored Vaughn Grissom. Unfortunately, Landon Stephens was thrown out trying to score from first base on the same play. Carter later came in to score on a fielding error and Augusta had a fairly commanding 6-2 lead. They added on another run on a sacrifice fly and all of these runs proved important when Columbia tried to stage a 9th inning comeback.

Jake McSteen was recently demoted to fill in due to injuries in Augusta’s rotation, and he did his job admirably by getting through five innings. He did allow a couple of runs early, but kept Augusta in the game and was able to get better as he went along. Lisandro Santos had one of his games and walked the bases loaded in the sixth inning. He also allowed three stolen bases. Fortunately, Santos struck out two batters and ended the inning with a ground out to kept Augusta in the lead. James Acuna got two innings of work and was dominant, recording all six outs on strikeouts to preserve the lead. Things got a bit tighter in the ninth inning as Ben Thompson allowed a three run home run, but he stopped the bleeding by retiring the final two batters and Augusta took home a win.

Next Game: 6/17 @ (20-15) Columbia Fireflies @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: TBD

COL: Devin Capellan (1-2, 3.51 ERA)