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Braves minor league recap: Spencer Strider strong in Double-A debut; Michael Harris goes yard

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It was an eventful night in the Braves’ farm system with Spencer Strider making his Double-A debut.

Michael Harris takes a swing for the Rome Braves during a day game. Camera is looking down the third base line at the left handed swinging Harris. Harris’s foot is lifted in anticipation of the pitch and the catcher has his glove out to receive the ball. Image Credits: Mills Fitzner

Shea Langeliers and Spencer Strider are hopefully going to make a beautiful battery for the Atlanta Braves one day soon. The two were instrumental in Mississippi’s win on Thursday, a night when the young Braves farm teams went a perfect 4-0.

Here’s how it went down.

(22-22) Gwinnett Stripers 6, (17-25) Norfolk Tides 2

  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
  • Drew Waters, LF: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 1 SB
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-5
  • Ryan Casteel, DH: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI
  • Phillip Ervin, RF: 1-for-3, 2 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI

BOX SCORE

Jasseel De La Cruz had a rough go, never looking comfortable and walking three batters in two innings pitched. He landed just 23 of his 49 pitches for strikes. Gwinnett’s fortunes changed when it went to the bullpen as Chasen Bradford, Trevor Kelly and Jay Flaa pitched two innings a piece, allowing one combined hit and no runs. Jacob Webb closed out the ninth, striking out the side.

Cristian Pache’s strikeout struggles continued at the plate. He struck out three more times and has now struck out 15 times in his last seven games. Ryan Casteel put the game away in the fourth with a grand slam. He and Phillip Ervin were responsible for driving in all the runs on the night.

(27-18) Mississippi Braves 6, (15-28) Tennessee Smokies 2

  • Spencer Strider, SP: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB 8 K
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-for-3
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 SB
  • Trey Harris, RF: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
  • Brooks Wilson, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

BOX SCORE

Spencer Strider’s Mississippi debut was short, but sweet. He did allow two runs, but he came out firing, lighting up the radar gun with 97s while striking out the first two Double-A batters he faced. Altogether he struck out eight in his first go-round against a Double-A lineup. Not too shabby for a guy that’s been promoted twice in a month. Not too shabby at all.

Kurt Hoekstra, Brooks Wilson and Brandon White went 5.1 shutout innings to secure the win. The trio combined to allow just two hits while striking out six.

Shea Langeliers hit another bomb, delivering a two-run homer — his 11th of the season — in the third. Justin Dean reached base four times and continues his hot June, picking up his Double-A South-best 14th stolen base. Braden Shewmake is on a bit of a, for lack of a better word, heater. He recorded his second two-hit game in a row and fourth multi-hit performance in his last six games.

(22-21) Rome Braves 4, (24-19) Aberdeen IronBirds 3

  • Jared Shuster, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Coleman Huntley, RP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
  • Gabriel Noguera, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Michael Harris II, CF: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI
  • Beau Philip, SS: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 1-for-3, 1 BB

BOX SCORE

Things started off okay for Jared Shuster, but things quickly turned sour in the third inning. That was when Shuster was tagged for two home runs in the same frame, watching a 4-0 lead quickly evaporate to a one-run lead. He pitched a scoreless fourth and is clearly still being worked in slowly, throwing just 59 pitches on the evening. Coleman Huntley and Gabriel Noguera were able to clamp down, not allowing a run over the final five innings. Noguera picked up his first save of the season.

Michael Harris hit his fourth home run of the year, which wound up scoring the runs needed to win. He’s now hitting .322 with an .812 OPS and 24 RBIs. Jesse Franklin V had a quiet night but picked up his 12th stolen base of the season. Kevin Josephina was the only Rome Brave with multiple hits and is somehow hitting .294 as we approach July.

(20-24) Augusta GreenJackets 7, (28-15) Charleston RiverDogs 2

  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Willie Carter, RF: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI
  • Braulio Vasquez, 2B: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

BOX SCORE

Tanner Gordon had his best start of the year and it wasn’t even close. Runs had been being scored rather easily on Gordon of late, but that wasn’t the case on Thursday. Gordon plowed through the RiverDogs lineup landing 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes and allowing just a lightly hit single and a walk as the only blemishes on a nearly perfect evening. Gabriel Rodriguez and Justin Yeager allowed a run each closing out the final three innings.

The Augusta bats came to play Thursday, as four GreenJackets recorded multi-hit games. The wonderfully weird season of Braulio Vasquez continued. With a home run and a single, he raised his total bases to 30, which finally gives him more TBs than stolen bases, still a league-best 26. Willie Carter seems more than ready for a promotion. Thursday was his 12th multi-hit game of the season. He’s now hitting .328 with a .858 OPS.