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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Darius Vines debuts in Rome

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It was not a banner day on the farm, but Darius Vines debuted for Rome and Touki Toussaint made a rehab start in Gwinnett.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It wasn’t the most notable day in the system as not much happened on the prospect front all around. Mississippi won again to stay on top of their division, and Darius Vines made his debut for Rome in a loss. Touki Toussaint pitched a couple of shaky, but scoreless innings for Gwinnett in a rehab start.

(22-24) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (19-25) Norfolk Tides 4

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-3, BB, RBI .222/.276/.407
  • Drew Waters, LF: 0-5, .237/.351/.352
  • Jason Kipnis, LF: 2-4, HR, RBI, .260/.365/.438
  • Touki Toussaint, SP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Thomas Burrows, RP: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.50 ERA

Gwinnett took an early lead in this game but couldn’t hold on as the offense went cold in the late innings. They jumped out in a big way in the top of the first inning thanks to Jason Kipnis, who hit his third home run of the season to give them a 1-0 lead. In the fourth a leadoff walk and a double from Jonathan Lucroy put the Stripers in a position to blow the game wide open, but they only managed one on a Cristian Pache RBI ground out and that was all the scoring they had in the tank. Drew Waters struggled again going 0-5 with three strikeouts. In his six games since returning from his injury he is 0-20 with 12 strikeouts, though he has managed six walks in that period and has an 11.7% walk rate this season. Cristian Pache has also struggled since his hamstring flared up, hitting .133/.212/.167 over his past 8 games with 15 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances.

Touki Toussaint day was the highlight for the Stripers team as he pitched a couple of scoreless innings. Toussaint wasn’t exactly crisp out there but he managed to get the job done. He struck out the first two batters he faced in the game but then allowed a walk and hit consecutive batters to load the bases before escaping via ground out. He walked the leadoff hitter in the second and then threw a ball away to put runners on the corners, but a double play and another ground out got him out of the game unharmed. Victor Arano pitched a perfect third inning in relief but in the fourth only got one out before allowing two runs to score and leaving two men on. He was replaced by Thomas Burrows, who had a fantastic outing with three strikeouts in 1 23 perfect inning. Mitch Horacek dominated the sixth inning, but loaded the bases with one out in the 7th before being pulled for Ty Tice. Tice gave up a sacrifice fly that gave Norfolk the go ahead run. Dylan Lee allowed an insurance home run in the ninth inning.

Next Game: 6/27 @ (19-25) Norfolk Tides @ 1:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: TBD

NAS: Kevin Smith (0-1, 6.23 ERA)

(29-18) Mississippi Braves 5, (15-30) Tennessee Smokies 0

Box Score

  • Trey Harris, RF: 2-4, .255/.335/.303
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, SB, .180/.236/.320
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 0-4, .235/.336/.523
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2.35 ERA
  • Matt Withrow, RP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.71 ERA

The top team in the Double-A South did it again with another shut out performance from their league-best pitching staff. The biggest hit in the game came off of the bat of Wendell Rijo, who gave Mississippi’s starter Odalvi Javier some breathing room with a three run home run in the fourth inning. The Braves also added a couple in the 8th, when Braden Shewmake sparked a two out rally with a single. After loading the bases an error and a walk brought in two more runs before the inning was closed out on a strikeout. Shea Langeliers struck out three times in the game, and that’s been a bit of a problem for him lately as he’s hit .154/.195/.308 over his last 10 games. He has 15 strikeouts in 41 plate appearances in that span and he’s started to not draw as many walks with only two in that span and five in the month of June.

Odalvi Javier has been the surprise of the season for Mississippi and he delivered his most impressive start of the season with 6 innings of one-hit shutout pitching. Javier set down the first 11 batters he faced in the game and struck out five of those before a two out single put him in the stretch. He recorded a strikeout to end the inning and then sat down the next six batters as well to finish off a class start. Matt Withrow finished off the game in just as impressive fashion, retiring the first six batters he saw with four via strikeout. There was a bit of trouble in the ninth with a leadoff single and then a two out error to put a couple of runners on, but Withrow had no problem working out of that and preserving the shutout.

Next Game: 6/27 vs (15-30) Tennessee Smokies @ 3:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: AJ Puckett (1-1, 2.21 ERA)

TNS: TBD

(23-22) Rome Braves 0, (25-20) Aberdeen Ironbirds 5

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 0-4, .318/.337/.459
  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 0-4, .198/.340/.357
  • Jesse Franklin, RF: 0-3, BB, .281/.336/.518
  • Darius Vines, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K., 1.80 ERA
  • Marrick Crouse, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5.28 ERA

An error turned into a disastrous inning against Rome and led to their downfall as the offense struggled in a shutout loss. Rome had consistent chances to make something happen offensively as they had baserunners in eight of the nine innings, but they could not come up with enough hits to push a run across. Michael Harris reached on an error and stole second base in the first inning, but he got greedy with two outs and was caught stealing for the first time this season trying to get to third base. A baserunning blunder in the third led to Andrew Moritz getting thrown out on a fly out to left field. Brett Langhorne got himself into scoring position on a walk and a stolen base, but although he got to third on a ground out he was never able to score. A walk and error in the seventh inning was their biggest opportunity as it put two runners in scoring position with two outs, but a ground out ended that which was the last real scoring threat.

Darius Vines pitched a solid game in his debut for Rome, but had an implosion following an error in the third inning that led to four unearned runs against him. Vines started out his Rome career with two strikeouts in a perfect first inning, then followed that up by doing the same in the second inning. He got two quick ground outs in the third, but the final of those ground outs was not handled cleanly by Kevin Josephina and the floodgates opened in Vines’s second time through the order. A hit and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, and Vines left a two strike pitch up and it was snuck over the wall in left field for a grand slam. He bounced back to finish the inning off with a strikeout and got through the fourth despite a walk and a single. Vines allowed the first two of the fifth inning to reach base, but it seemed like he might get out of the inning as he struck out the next two. That was not meant to be and he allowed an RBI single for the first earned run against him in he game. Marrick Crouse pitched two scoreless innings, and he’s been really good of late with no runs allowed and nine strikeouts to one walk in his past 8 innings.

Next Game: 6/27 @ (25-20) Aberdeen Ironbirds @ 2:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Bryce Elder (1-1, 2.93 ERA)

ABD: Kevin Magee

(20-26) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (30-15) Charleston Riverdogs 9

Box Score

  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 1-4, HR, RBI, .266/.310/.426
  • Willie Carter, DH: 0-3, BB, .326/.421/.431
  • Victor De Hoyos, C: 1-4, .268/.302/.390
  • Malcolm Van Buren, SP: 1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 45.00 ERA
  • Ben Thompson, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.42 ERA

Yikes, well it was not a great first couple of innings for the Augusta pitching. The offense was not a whole lot better, with the only hit of note coming on a leadoff home run from Bryson Horne in the second inning. Other than that they managed only two hits in the game. Cade Bunnell had two walks in the leadoff spot for the Greenjackets, which put him in fifth in all of minor league baseball in total walks at 42.

Malcolm Van Buren, who was picked up on May 29th after being released by the Royals, made his debut with the Braves and it did not go so well. He did strike out two batters in his inning of work, but that was about the extent of the positives as he allowed five runs on three walks and two hits, with one of those being a three run home run. Lisandro Santos backed that up with a stinker of his own, allowing three runners in the second inning then walking two in the third before being pulled with one out. Miguel Pena finally gave the Greenjackets some length and got through 3 13 innings with only one run allowed. James Acuna pitched a scoreless inning and a third for Augusta and Ben Thompson closed out the game with two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth.

Next Game: 6/27 @ (30-15) Charleston Riverdogs @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: TBD

CSC: Cole WIlcox (1-0, 1.46 ERA)