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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Cristian Pache homers in Stripers loss

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Bryce Elder put up a strong showing in Mississippi and Braden Shewmake delivered a home run in support.

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It was another home run filled night across the levels for the Atlanta Braves affiliates, with nine total being hit. Cristian Pache delivered the most notable among prospects, with Alex Jackson adding a couple of his own in Gwinnett’s loss. Braden Shewmake hit one down in Mississippi to keep his good stretch of play alive and Bryce Elder pitched a fantastic game to lead them to a win.

(38-36) Gwinnett Stripers 7, (37-37) Memphis Redbirds 8

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-5, HR, RBI, .238/.311/.404
  • Alex Jackson, C: 2-4, 2 HR, BB, 3 RBI, .290/.369/.701
  • Drew Waters, LF: 1-5, 2B, .250/.338/.431
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 5.89 ERA
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2.76 ERA

Gwinnett fought valiantly to overcome an early deficit in this game, but they couldn’t overcome being a Braves affiliate and lost in extra innings. Drew Waters opened the game with a searing double down the left field line on the first pitch, but the offense did nothing with it to strand him. That was the only Stripers hit until the sixth inning and they found themselves trailing 5-0 going into the latter stages. That was until Cristian Pache hit this blast to bring them a bit closer.

The next inning Alex Jackson joined the party, slugging his tenth home run of the season to bring the Stripers dangerously close with two innings to go.

Memphis added a run to stretch the lead to 6-3 but the Stripers had more offense in them down to their final chance in the ninth. Alex Jackson hit his second home run of the night to pull them closer, and a single from Sean Kazmar had the tying run to the plate and one out. That tying run was Yolmer Sanchez, and he deposited one over the wall to tie the game up. Gwinnett set the pace with a run in the 10th inning on a single from Travis Demeritte, but came up empty in the 11th and Memphis got a run to take a win.

Jasseel De La Cruz had a night to forget as he once again struggled with command from the outset. De La Cruz gave up a lot of contact early while struggling to find the zone as his pitches seemed to lack the life typical of him. He got a bit more on track with a couple of strikeouts of the bottom of the order in the third inning, but the second time through the order he came unglued. De La Cruz allowed a walk and a couple of hits before recording an out in the fourth inning and all three runners came in to score to give Memphis a lead. A two run home run in the fifth inning extended that lead to five runs. That was the end of the road for De La Cruz, and the Stripers bullpen provided good support as Gwinnett made a comeback. Mitch Horacek and Chasen Bradford pitched the sixth and seventh innings scoreless, but Bradford didn’t last long in the 8th as he allowed a leadoff home run. Thomas Burrows completed the inning scoreless despite loading the bases on a hit and two walks. The ninth belonged to Jacob Webb who forced three consecutive infield fly outs for his three outs. Trevor Kelley nearly closed it out in the tenth inning, but a two out double scored a run to tie the game back up and send it to another extra inning. The second batter of the inning singled off of Dylan Lee in the 11th to walk the game off.

Next Game: 7/29 @ (37-37) Memphis Redbirds @ 8:10 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: TBD

NOR: Miles Mikolas (1-1, 2.93 ERA)

(42-32) Mississippi Braves 5, (37-37) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2

Box Score

  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, HR, RBI, .228/.271/.413
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-3, HR, RBI, .259/.371/.497
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 2-4, .250/.329/.518
  • Bryce Elder, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 3.41 ERA

The Braves battled rain all night but were able to overcome an early deficit thanks to more of the long ball. Mississippi fell down by a couple of runs in the first inning but after getting two hits in the second inning from Shea Langeliers and Wendell Rijo the Braves were able to come up with two runs thanks to Blue Wahoos starter Max Meyer throwing three wild pitches. They had another scoring chance in the fourth thanks to Langeliers leading off with a hit, but he was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. They finally did get back on the grind in the seventh when Drew Lugbauer took the first pitch of the inning deep to give the Braves a lead. Later in the inning Jalen Miller hit a home run to pad the lead a bit. The game ended early after the top of the eighth inning with a Braves win, but the game didn’t end before Braden Shewmake got one final chance and hit his second home run in as many nights.

Bryce Elder came out of the gates slowly and struggled with his command in the rain, but he was able to battle for seven innings and turn in an impressive start. After two quick ground outs in the first inning he got himself into trouble by allowing a two out double, and the next batter followed with a home run to put two on the board. Elder responded by striking out the next four batters he faced. Elder didn’t allow another hit until the sixth inning, and that hit was of the infield variety and turned into no runs. That was the last batter that reached against Elder and he completed seven innings for the fourth consecutive start.

Next Game: 7/29 @ (37-37) Pensacola Blue Wahoos @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Freddy Tarnok (0-0, 3.38 ERA)

PNS: TBD

(35-39) Rome Braves 9, (30-41) Asheville Tourists 4

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 3-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .297/.340/.435
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 3-5, 2B, RBI, .288/.363/.360
  • Jesse Franklin, CF: 1-5, 2B, RBI, .258/.331/.567
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.28 ERA
  • Justin Yeager, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.60 ERA

Rome rode two big offensive innings to a commanding win. Beau Philip opened the scoring in the second inning for the Braves, hitting a solo home run with one out to put them up 1-0. Later hits in the inning from Andrew Moritz and Cody Milligan brought in two more runs and Michael Harris put the nail in with a two run single. The offense then went a bit colder over the middle innings and Asheville was able to climb back in the game and get it to 5-4. Finally in the eighth the Braves were able to string something together with Kevin Josephina and Michael Harris getting hits to lead off. Jesse Franklin followed with a double high off of the wall in center field to bring in a run and Logan Brown followed with another double to make it 7-4. A wild pitch and sacrifice fly brought in the final two runs and the pitching staff shut it down in the ninth to preserve the win.

Jared Shuster had a fairly average start with some dominant moments mixed in with a big mistake and a few hits. Shuster started the game off with two shutout innings with the second being his best frame as he struck out the side in order. The contact ticked up in the third and a walk was followed by a two out home run that was the only damage Shuster allowed in the game. Shuster worked around a couple of hits in the fourth inning with the help of a big double play and then departed the game with one out in the fifth inning. Mitch Stallings replaced him and recorded four outs without allowing a hit. Then they brought him out in the seventh and he allowed a home run on the first pitch. A walk and a double later and the Braves found themselves in a one run game with the tying runner on and no outs. Fortunately, thanks in part to a questionable decision on the runner’s end Michael Harris completed a double play on a fly ball into left field by throwing out the runner attempting to tag up to third base. The rest of the Braves bullpen held with Matt Hartman and Justin Yeager each spinning a scoreless inning to close the game.

Next Game: 7/29 vs (30-41) Asheville Tourists @ 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: TBD

ASH: Jose Bravo (2-4, 4.79 ERA)

(32-42) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (34-40) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-2, 2 BB, .292/.391/.415
  • Stephen Paolini, CF: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .159/.259/.261
  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 1-3, HR, RBI, .217/.378/.438
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 3.63 ERA
  • Alec Barger, RP: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.71 ERA

Augusta jumped out of the gates with early runs but the offense went cold down the stretch and fell to the Pelicans. The Greenjackets got on the board as quickly as one can, with Cade Bunnell taking the first pitch out of the yard for a leadoff home run. Stephen Paolini delivered a two run home run in the second inning for Augusta and they seemed to be off to the races, but they only recorded one more hit in the game and did not score a run. Vaughn Grissom has been the team’s best offensive player since returning from the injured list. In nine games this month he has a 1.113 OPS, as many walks as strikeouts, and five extra base hits. His OPS has now reached its high water mark on the season sneaking in over .800.

Tanner Gordon had an alright start with a fair few strikeouts but left the game tied after only four innings. The first run came off of him in the second inning when a solo home run tied the game up at one. He pitched a clean third and struck out a batter, but the fourth proved troublesome as he struggled to get the final out. After a walk and a hit he allowed a run scoring single and an error on the play from Stephen Paolini allowed a second run to score to tie the game up at 3-3. Gordon finished his outing with a strikeout. The Augusta bullpen was not really up to the task and allowed four runs over the final five innings. Estarlin Rodriguez had the best outing of the group pitching a scoreless fifth before allowing a run in the sixth. Malcolm Van Buren had a scoreless seventh inning but only recorded one out before being pulled in the eighth. Alec Barger struggled and allowed a walk and two hits to score two runs in the inning. He again had trouble in the ninth and Peyton Williams had to be brought on to finish the final out.

Next Game: 7/29 vs (34-40) Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: Rainery Rodriguez (1-0, 3.00 ERA)

MB: Didier Vargas (4-2, 4.79 ERA)