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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Drew Waters homers again

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Drew Waters has hit a home run in three straight games.

2021 Sirius XM Futures Game Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

It was a hot July night in the Atlanta Braves farm system as the affiliates went 4-1. Drew Waters kept his strong streak of play alive with his third home run in his last three games. He leads the International league with 15 extra base hits in July and has a 1.005 OPS during the month. Shea Langeliers got in on the action as well with his fifteenth home run.

(36-35) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (25-42) Norfolk Tides 2

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-3, BB, SB, .243/.312/.400
  • William Contreras, DH: 1-3, BB, .388/.455/.857
  • Drew Waters, RF: 1-5, HR, RBI, .256/.346/.439
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 8.27 ERA
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.93 ERA

Gwinnett is on a roll and back over .500, taking a fourth straight victory from the Tides. The Stripers got the scoring started in the second inning when after loading the bases on singles, Yolmer Sanchez delivered a two run single. Norfolk came back to tie the game up in the top of the third inning, but Gwinnett came right back with an answer. Cristian Pache led off the bottom of the third inning with a single and scored from first when Alex Jackson ripped one down the line. Unfortunately, Jackson was also hurt on the play, stayed at first for a single and had to leave the game. Drew Waters led off the seventh with a home run - his third straight game with a big fly. The Stripers added another thanks to the wheels from Cristian Pache, as he drew a walk, advanced on a wild pitch, stole third base, and then came in to score on a ground out. That home run was the final hit for Gwinnett in the game and the bullpen held on to close out a win.

Nolan Kingham grinded through four innings for the Stripers and left Gwinnett in position for a win. He got through a 1-2-3 first inning, but ran into some trouble in the second on a one out double. He hit our old friend Brett Cumberland with a pitch a couple of batters later but escaped unscathed with the game still tied. Staked to a lead in the third he struggled, allowing four hits and two runs before he recorded an out. Fortunately two fly balls fell in the gloves of Waters and Pache, the runners couldn’t advance, and Kingham got a strikeout to close the inning. Kingham walked a batter in the fourth inning but got three fly outs to make sure that did not matter. Trevor Kelley was first out of the bullpen for the Stripers and he was fantastic. He sat down all six batters he faced and struck out four of those to send it to the seventh inning. There Dylan Lee pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, and Jacob Webb struck out three batters in the 8th. This brought on AJ Minter to close the game out and he had no problem with a perfect inning to end the game.

Next Game: 7/25 vs (25-42) Norfolk Tides @ 1:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: TBD

NOR: TBD

(40-31) Mississippi Braves 1, (24-45) Biloxi Shuckers 13

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 0-4, .247/.367/.359
  • Trey Harris, RF: 0-2, 2 BB, .259/.332/.345
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 1-3, HR, RBI, .242/.325/.493
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 6.65 ERA
  • Daysbel Hernandez, RP: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3.63 ERA

Shea Langeliers hit a home run in the sixth inning. It went a long way and was his 15th of the season. Langeliers has kind of struggled lately with a .608 OPS in July, so him hitting his first home run since July 8th is a nice sign. That was literally all that went right in this game for Mississippi though. Spencer Strider struggled on the mound in a big way, tying his season high with five runs allowed. He was able to mostly tiptoe around his command woes early in the game and had only allowed one run through three innings, but in the fourth, the problems caught up in a big way. A double and two hit batters loaded the bases with no outs and Strider allowed four runs before being pulled with two outs in the inning. The bullpen was not all that much better. Sean McLaughlin had the best day with only one run allowed over 2 13 innings. Will Latcham allowed two in his inning of work, Troy Bacon allowed four and didn’t even complete an inning, and Daybsel Hernandez finished it out with a run over 1 13 innings. Just an abysmal performance all around and a seventh straight loss for a team that is still somehow in first place after all of that.

That brings me to my conclusion to all of this. I believe that Spencer Strider personally hates me. Now you may be saying to yourself “Spencer Strider doesn’t know you exist” and this is true but he also hates me and it’s my fault when he plays poorly. I have somehow managed to get 7 of Strider’s 13 starts this season. That’s a lot. In days that I have written recaps for, Spencer Strider has pitched 25 ⅓ innings, allowed 17 earned runs, walked 17 batters, hit five batters, and struck out 36 batters. In days that anyone else has written for, Strider has pitched 27 ⅔ innings (in one fewer start), allowed five earned runs, walked only 10 batters, hit no one, and struck out 53 batters. So yeah. Spencer Strider hates me and it’s all my fault when he pitches poorly. I will gladly accept the blame on this one. If you’re reading this Spencer don’t worry I never cover MLB recap duty.

Next Game: 7/25 vs (24-45) Biloxi Shuckers @ 3:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Hayden Deal (2-2, 4.00 ERA)

BLX: Noah Zavolas (2-5, 5.52 ERA)

(34-37) Rome Braves 6, (49-22) Bowling Green Hot Rods 5

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-4, RBI, .288/.322/.429
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-3, 3B, RBI, .278/.357/.349
  • Jesse Franklin, DH: 0-4, .246/.318/.522
  • Connor McSteen, SP: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4.91 ERA
  • Matt Hartman, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4.50 ERA’

Rome put together a come from behind victory to finally take down Bowling Green. The Braves fell behind by a run in the first inning and didn’t get going early, but when Shean Michel walked with one out in the third they were able to start a rally. Michel stole second base and then scored on a single from Andrew Moritz. Moritz then scored on Cody Milligan’s game-tying triple and Milligan scored on a sacrifice fly to give Rome the lead. Then they gave it right back in the next half inning and trailed 5-3 after the fourth. A bunk single from Michael Harris got them going again in the sixth inning and he came around to score on a hit from Kevin Josephina to bring the Braves within a run. Michel then did his part again, tying the game in the seventh inning on a triple. They went into the ninth tied, and the inning got started in lackluster fashion as the first two hitters struck out. Moritz then hit a routine pop fly to the third baseman, but the fielder just missed the ball and Moritz reached as the go ahead run. Garrett Saunders got down 0-2, but ripped a double into right field and Moritz came around to score the go ahead run.

Jake McSteen did not have a banner night on the mound for the Braves, but the bullpen came up big as the offense attempted the comeback. McSteen got off to a rough start allowing back to back doubles to open his night, and quickly the Braves found themselves in a two run hole after one inning. McSteen had a strong fifth inning with two strikeouts but then after being given a lead gave up a two-run, go-ahead home run. He allowed another solo home run in the fourth inning and then finished his day with a scoreless fifth. Tyler Ferguson was greeted in the sixth inning with a double and then committed a pickoff error to allow the runner to reach third. He followed this with a strikeout, but with one out sailed one to the backstop. Fortunately the ball took a friendly carom and Logan Brown was able to pick it up and get back to home plate in time to make a diving tag ahead of the runner. Ferguson finished the sixth with another strikeout. He struck out two more in the seventh, but once again needed help from the defense. A hit and a wild pitch got the runner to second base and the next man up serve a single into left field. The runner attempted to score on the shallow single, but it was a poor send and he was thrown out fairly easily. Davis Schwab pitched a perfect eight inning with a strikeout and Matt Hartman finished the game by striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth

Next Game: 7/25 @ (49-22) Bowling Green Hot Rods @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Darius Vines (0-2, 2.65 ERA)

BG: John Doxakis (1-1, 3.63 ERA)

(30-40) Augusta GreenJackets 7, (34-34) Columbia Fireflies 5

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI .290/.384/.395
  • Willie Carter, RF: 3-5, 3 RBI, .300/.394/.432
  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 1-3, 2 BB, .222/.384/.439
  • Jared Johnson, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 7.59 ERA
  • Peyton Williams, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5.14 ERA

Augusta is on a winning streak. How about that? The offense out hit the Fireflies 15-4 and somehow only won 7-5 but at least they won. Singles from Vaughn Grissom, Bryson Horne, and Willie Carter gave them a lead in the first inning, but Columbia came back with two to go ahead. A double from Grissom in the second inning tied the game back up, but that lasted until the third when Columbia once again took the lead. This time the GreenJackets weren’t messing around and in the fifth inning they scored three runs. A double from Brandon Parker brought in the first to tie the game and then a wild pitch brought in the second before Grissom capped off the inning with his second RBI single. That lead held for like 15 minutes until they allowed a walk and a two run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Finally in the seventh inning the decisive blow was dealt with Willie Carter ripping a two run double to put Augusta up for good.

Jared Johnson struggled again and it’s really a wonder they keep running him out there when he clearly isn’t ready for Low-A. He walked five batters over four innings and so far this season has 17 walks in 21 13 innings. He struck out five and he has racked up strikeouts all season, but he allowed three runs over four innings to lower his ERA to 7.59. He managed to part the game with Augusta in the lead but Kenny Wells allowed a two run home run in the fifth to tie the game back up. Wells pitched a scoreless sixth despite a couple of walks and took the win as the Greenjackets went ahead in the next inning. Peyton Williams closed out the game quickly with a 1-2-3 inning and a strikeout.

(31-40) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (34-35) Columbia Fireflies 2

Box Score

  • Cam Shepherd, SS: 1-3, RBI, .180/.284/.217
  • Willie Carter, LF: 1-3, .300/.393/.430
  • Jose Bermudez, RF: 2-3, .218/.259/.255
  • Rainery Rodriguez, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.00 ERA
  • James Acuna, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.38 ERA

You read that right, Augusta actually swept a double header. The pitching had a strong night behind Rainery Rodriguez and the offense did enough to give them a win. It was a tight contest through the first half of the game and the two sides combined for only one hit in the first three and a half innings. Then the Fireflies took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth and Augusta found themselves needing a comeback. They got that comeback immediately as three hits scored a run in the top of the fifth and a sacrifice fly brought in the tying run. In the seventh inning it was Jose Bermudez doing the work for Augusta. He led off the inning with a single, then stole second base before advancing on a ground out and scoring on a sacrifice fly to give Augusta the lead. The pitching held on in the ninth and Augusta has a three game winning streak.

Rainery Rodriguez was called up from the FCL Braves prior to this game and he immediately gave the GreenJackets length they rarely see from a starter. Rainery started the game in wonderful fashion by going three hitless innings. Unfortunately he got hit around in the fourth, with a solo home run breaking through against him and then a later double and single scoring a second run. Rodriguez settled down and finished the inning with two strikeouts then shut down the Fireflies over the next two innings. Based on the way this season has gone I’m pretty sure going six innings qualifies Rodriguez as the GreenJackets number two starter already. After the GreenJackets took the lead in the seventh they turned to James Acuna to close out the game, and he did just that with a 1-2-3 inning and one strikeout.

Next Game: 7/25 @ (34-35) Columbia Fireflies @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: TBD

COL: Anderson Paulino (4-3, 5.89 ERA)