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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Bryce Elder shuts down Birmingham

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2020 Braves draft pick Bryce Elder just keeps shoving on the mound since he was promoted to Double-A.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Cristian Pache
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday saw a big game out of Bryce Elder and Cristian Pache while Joey Estes had a big strikeout game down in Augusta. Also, Travis d’Arnaud had a solid game and is getting closer to reclaiming his job in Atlanta.

Gwinnett Stripers 4, Charlotte Knights 3

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, LF: 2-4, 2 R, 2B, SB, .255/.349/.422
  • Travis d’Arnaud, C: 2-4, RBI, .551 OPS
  • Kyle Wright, SP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.65 ERA

Game 1 of the double header saw a red hot Kyle Wright fail to make it five complete innings, as he fell an out shy while giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out six. Jesse Biddle followed by pitching an inning and a third of scoreless ball, while Jacob Webb got the win while pitching a scoreless inning to close this one out.

The stars of the offense were Drew Waters and Orlando Arcia, though a rehabbing Travis d’Arnaud also went 2-4 with a RBI. Arcia collected three hits in four at bats, including a homer, while batting in two and Waters went 2-4 with a double and a steal as he scores a pair of runs. The only other source of offense here came via a Sean Kazmar solo homer. Cristian Pache would go 0-2 with a walk in this one.

Gwinnett Stripers 8, Charlotte Knights 2

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2B, HR, .243/.322/.409
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 6.09 ERA
  • AJ Minter, RP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

A struggling Jasseel De La Cruz got the start and pitched one of his better games in a few weeks, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. Tanner Roark followed by pitching an inning and two thirds of clean relief, while AJ Minter finished it off with a spotless inning and a third to bring his Triple-A total to 7.1 innings with a 0.00 ERA.

At the plate game two on the day belonged to Cristian Pache who homered, doubled, and walked in his three plate appearances, scoring two runs and batting in two as well. Ryan Casteel and Travis Demeritte also went yard in the win, while Orlando Arcia and William Contreras each picked up an RBI on the day.

Mississippi Braves 5, Birmingham Barons 2

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, BB, .238/.357/.368
  • Bryce Elder, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.60 ERA
  • Daysbel Hernandez, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.12 ERA

Bryce Elder got the start and pitched six very strong innings, giving up two runs on just five hits and a walk while striking out seven. This outing would lower his Double-A ERA to a 3.60 mark with a 1.06 WHIP through exactly 50 innings since his promotion from A-ball. Elder was followed by scoreless innings out of the pen from a trio of arms, Odalvi Javier, Brooks Wilson, and Daysbel Hernandez, to close this one out.

The Mississippi offense was more quiet than the final score indicated as two run homers by both Wendell Rijo and Hendrik Clementina accounted for four of the five Braves runs. CJ Alexander (2-4, 2B) was the lone Brave with a multi-hit game, though Justin Dean (1-4, BB) and Greyson Jenista (1-3, BB) joined him as Braves who got on base multiple times in this game. Shea Langeliers went 1-4 with a single and scored a pair of runs in the win.

Greenville Drive 2, Rome Braves 1

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-4, RBI, 2B, SB, .293/.340/.445
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-3, R, BB, 2B, .573 OPS
  • AJ Puckett, SP: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 3.09 ERA

AJ Puckett pitched well, but got stuck with the no decision since his offense couldn’t get him any support. Puckett went five and two thirds, allowing just a single run on four hits and two walks while striking out five. Emmanuel Ramirez followed and took the loss, giving up an unearned run in his inning and a third. Trey Riley pitched a scoreless frame in the 8th.

The Rome offense really struggled on Sunday though the two most accomplished hitters in the lineup avoided being shut down completely. Michael Harris went 1-4, doubled, stole a bag, and batted in the lone run of the game. Recent draftee Luke Waddell went 1-3 with a walk, double, and scored the only run of the game. The only other member of the offense who did anything of note was Rusber Estrada, who went 0-1 while drawing three walks.

Charleston RiverDogs 8, Augusta GreenJackets 1

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 1-3, .298/.396/.428
  • Christian Robinson, RF: 1-3, R, BB, .425 OPS
  • Joey Estes, SP: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 8 K, 2.77 ERA

Joey Estes Day didn’t go as planned for Augusta as Estes allowed three runs on four hits and four walks over 4.2 innings of work, though he did rack up eight strikeouts among the 14 outs he recorded. James Acuna followed and allowed just an unearned run over his two innings before a rough inning out of Peyton Williams (four runs while recording just four outs) went on to open into more of a rout.

There wasn’t much offense to talk about from Augusta as Christian Robinson, Stephen Paolini, and Cade Bunnell were the only players to do more than just have one single. Both Robinson and Paolini singled and walked, while Bunnell would draw a pair of walks in the loss.