Nolan Kingham looked to rebound from a rough Triple-A debut and was on the hill for the Gwinnett Stripers as they looked for their 24th win of the season. Spencer Strider stepped onto the mound for the Mississippi Braves and looked to keep them rolling while the lower minors turned to Tanner Gordon, and Alan Rangel.
(34-19) Nashville Sounds 8, (23-31) Gwinnett Stripers 0
- Drew Waters, RF: 1-for-4, .708 OPS
- Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-4, .632 OPS
- Johan Camargo, 3B: 0-for-3, BB, .887 OPS
- Alex Jackson, C: 2-for-4, 2B, 1.050 OPS
- Nolan Kingham, SP: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 12.27 ERA
All things considered, it wasn't a terrible start for Kingham, who hasn’t quite been as effective since being promoted to Triple-A. Most of the damage done against him came from a rocky fourth inning where he gave up a three-run homer to Jamie Westbrook of the Nashville Sounds. What’s been surprising has been his issues with command as his four walks last night were equal to the number of walks he gave up in the month of June. He is finding out the hard way that hitters in Triple-A tend to be a little more polished and knowledgeable of the zone than they do in Double-A, but despite the homer and four walks, he did give Gwinnett a chance. The Sounds offense, wanted nothing to do with that though, as they scored off of every single Gwinnett pitcher: Ty Tice, Thomas Burrows, and Connor Johnstone gave up a combined four earned runs in an absolute rout by the Sounds.
The offense couldn’t get things really going outside of Alex Jackson who had another multi-hit game, including his third double of the season. Jackson and Kipnis were the lone Stripers to record a multi-hit game, and Jackson and Drew Waters were the only two to have an extra-base hit. The once pretty elite offense for the Stripers has been ravaged by call-ups as the Braves have dealt with a multitude of injuries. That has the Stripers putting together a patchwork lineup with players playing out of position. Combine that with some rough pitching and you get the recipe for being shut out 8-0.
(33-22) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 1, (33-22) Mississippi Braves 8
- Justin Dean, CF: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB (17), .724 OPS
- Drew Lugbauer, DH: 1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI, .861 OPS
- Shea Langeliers, C: 1-for-4, .880 OPS
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-for-4, R, RBI, .630 OPS
- Jalen Miller, 2B: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, .635 OPS
- Spencer Strider, SP: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 3.95 ERA
The Spencer Strider tour of Minor League Baseball continued last night as he was absolutely dominant getting 11 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work to pick up his first win in Double-A. Despite having pitched in 10 games this season, the three walks for Strider make up nearly 17% of his walks on the season so despite the absolutely dominant outing you can imagine he wanted even more out of that outing. On the season, Strider now has a 16.5 K/9, with an outstanding 15.8 K/9 in Double-A Mississippi. He’s showcasing a blistering mid-to-high-90s fastball, devastating slider, and a very promising changeup. He’s shown a great propensity to throw any pitch, to any hitter, while commanding all three and has taken a huge step in his development in just half a season. As a result, you get a dominant player who has a 2.27 ERA, and 1.008 WHIP across three levels of play.
The trio of Chris Nunn, Matt Withrow, and Kurt Hoekstra came in and shut the door following Strider’s exit combining for 3 2/3 innings of zero run baseball while striking out six and walking just one. Because of the outstanding work by the arms, Mississippi was able to collect their 33rd win of the season already, and are tied with Pensacola for first in the division. They have the most wins in the league, and their +34 run differential is the second best in the league as well.
The eight runs generated by the Mississippi offense certainly helped that run differential tonight and it was nearly a full team effort. Seven of the nine hitters in the lineup generated hits, with just Jefrey Ramos and CJ Alexander going hitless. Justin Dean, Braden Shewmake, Jalen Miller, and Greyson Jenista all had multi-hit games with Miller (3) and Jenista (7) both connecting on homers. Mississippi lead 2-1 going into the seventh inning before exploding for six runs in the final two frames that propelled them to an easy 8-1 win. The damage in the seventh was done by back-to-back homers by Miller and Jenista, and then Miller and Dean got the damage done in the eighth thanks to a pair of clutch singles that drove in two each.
(34-19) Bowling Green Hot Rods 2, (30-23) Rome Braves 5
- Riley Delgado, DH: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, R, .616 OPS
- Michael Harris II, CF: 1-for-4, RBI, .831 OPS
- Bryce Ball, 1B: 1-for-4, HR (6), RBI, R, .708 OPS
- Shean Michael, RF: 2-for-3, R, .571 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 4.15 ERA
Alan Rangel and the rest Rome Braves pitching staff were feeling themselves last night in a fantastic game. The trio of Rangel, Trey Riley, and Kasey Kalich combined for 12 strikeouts, and zero walks. Rangel gave up a run in the first inning, and a solo homer in the fifth but was masterful the rest of the game. After six great innings from Rangel, Riley picked up his first hold of the season thanks to an absolutely dominant two innings of work where he struck out two and gave up no hits. Kalich slammed the door closed in the ninth, giving up one hit, but striking out the side.
Offensively, the Braves went down early in the first but were able to strike back thanks to this Bryce Ball oppo-taco in the bottom of the fourth inning
After giving up a solo homer in the top of the fifth, the Rome offense responded with a pair of runs of their own including what ended up being the game winning run that came from a Michael Harris II groundout that scored Cody Milligan. Rome would add on a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to extend their lead to 5-3 and to pick up their 30th win of the season. The sizzling hot Jesse Franklin V had just his eight hitless game since the start of June, which has resulted in a stellar .344/.415/.806 slash line over his last 27 games.
(24-30) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1, (25-29) Augusta GreenJackets 3
- Willie Carter, RF: 2-for-3, HR (6), 2 RBI, R, .853 OPS
- Stephen Paolini, CF: 1-for-3, HR (2), R, RBI, .513 OPS
- Cade Bunnell, 3B: 0-for-3, BB, .817 OPS
- Tanner Gordon, SP: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2.39 ERA
- Miguel Pena, RP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6.26 ERA
Stellar pitching gave Augusta a rather easy win and allowed them to move to just four games under .500. Tanner Gordon was fantastic allowing just one earned run over seven innings. A single to Ed Howard in the top of the third was the only damage done against Gordon who gave up just three hits and further limited base runners by not allowing a single walk. Howard, and Luis Verdugo, the Pelicans first and ninth-place hitters, were the only two to register a hit. Miguel Pena came on in relief of Gordon and kept the fun going with two innings of walk-less baseball himself to preserve the win.
Offensively, Augusta couldn’t get too much going themselves outside of Willie Carter, and Stephen Paolini. Those two combined for a pair of homers and were the main factors offensively. The fun got started in the bottom of the second inning when Willie hit his sixth homer of the season to give Augusta the 1-0 lead.
Three hitters later, it was Stephen Paolini who picked up his second homer of the season to extend the lead to 2-0.
One inning later, Willie picked up an RBI single that drove in Cam Shepherd to give Augusta its third, and final run of the game. Braulio Vasquez continued his absolutely bizarre year as he picked up his 24th hit of the season (21 singles), and his 28th stolen base of the season. His fantastic walk rate of 13% has given him a .340 OBP despite a .202 batting average but, he is 28-for-36 in the stolen base department which is already a career high.