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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Darius Vines spins 7 no hit innings

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Rome took a no hitter into the ninth inning and Trey Harris had two home runs for Mississippi.

Baltimore Orioles v. Atlanta Braves

It was a bit of a wild one down on the farm, with some fantastic performances to whet your appetite. Vaughn Grissom stayed hot for Augusta with another home run, showing off the raw power we had hoped we’d see more of. Trey Harris doubled him up as Mississippi keeps pouring the home runs on down in Pensacola. The big performance of the night came from Darius Vines, who put together the best start from a Braves minor leaguer this season with nine strikeouts over seven hitless innings.

(40-37) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (38-39) Memphis Redbirds 1

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-2, BB, HBP .233/.311/.390
  • William Contreras, C: 0-4, .343/.395/.757
  • Drew Waters, LF: 1-5, .256/.342/.431
  • Connor Johnstone, SP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5.33 ERA
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.60 ERA

Gwinnett’s offense didn’t have much going for it throughout the game, but they did come through when it mattered most. The first of their hits in the game came from Sean Kazmar, who ripped a hit into left field in the top of the second inning. While this didn’t turn into runs, it was still an important hit as it broke the Atlanta Braves Triple-A record for hits. Drew Waters had the next hit in the third inning and stole second base, but a pop out ended the inning with no damage done. Memphis then got a run in the bottom of the third and Gwinnett found themselves needing to catch up. They did so quickly. Johan Camargo led off in the fourth inning with a walk, and after two quick outs a Yolmer Sanchez base hit put runners on the corners. Travis Snider then came through with the big hit in the game, ripping a two run double to score both runners and give Gwinnett the lead. The score stayed like that over the final five and a half innings with Gwinnett’s bullpen coming up big.

Gwinnett turned to the bullpen to get them through this game, and every person down the line did their job. Connor Johnstone got the start for the Stripers and had a solid outing. Johnstone went two scoreless innings and allowed only one baserunner, who was immediately erased on a double play. Chasen Bradford allowed the only run of the day on a home run to the first batter he faced, but settled in to retired the next six in order. He also recorded a hit. Dylan Lee came in next and he lowered his ERA on the season to 2.01 by throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two batters. The back end of the bullpen dominated, with the only runner reaching base over the final three innings coming on an error. Jesse Biddle had a perfect inning with two strikeouts, Trevor Kelley repeated that same line, and Jacob Webb closed it out with a strikeout in the ninth and no hits or walks.

Next Game: 8/1 @ (38-39) Memphis Redbirds @ 3:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Kyle Wright (3-4, 3.69 ERA)

MEM: TBD

(43-33) Mississippi Braves 0, (38-38) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 5

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 0-4, .240/.362/.370
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-2, HBP, .265/.375/.500
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 1-3, .251/.329/.516
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 6.75 ERA
  • Odalvi Javier, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.23 ERA

Game one of this double header was not the best for Mississippi to say the least. They struggled offensively throughout the game, with the most productive performance coming from Trey Harris because he reached base twice by being hit by a pitch. They had occasional chances to do damage, like the hit from Shea Langeliers followed by a hit batter in the sixth inning, but they could not push across any runs. Spencer Strider also struggled on the mound as he couldn’t avoid the longball against a powerful Blue Wahoos offense. Griffin Conine, the minor league leader in home runs, touched him up for a two run shot in the first inning that also scored the only batter Strider walked in the game. A solo home run from JJ Bleday in the third added to the Blue Wahoos lead. In Strider’s final inning he allowed them to string together more than one hit for the first time all game and that scored another run. The outing wasn’t altogether bad outside of the home runs as he struck out nine batters and only walked one, and home runs have not been a significant problem for him this season so hopefully it goes down as a fluke outing.

(44-33) Mississippi Braves 5, (38-39) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2 Game 2

Box Score

  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, .234/.278/.416
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .266/.377/.513
  • Trey Harris, DH: 2-4, 2 HR, .249/.326/.353
  • Hayden Deal, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.82 ERA
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Brooks Wilson, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1.99 ERA

Game two was a significant improvement for the offense, and they really poured in on late in the game to take a commanding win. The first inning was a bit small, as they loaded the bases with one out but could only come away with one run on an RBI ground out from Drew Lugbauer. Pensacola got that run right back, but Greyson Jenista came through with a solo home run to lead off the second inning and give Mississippi an immediate boost back on top. Trey Harris homered to lead off the third inning and Lugbauer hit one of his own three batters later and Mississippi had cruised out to a 4-1 lead. Both offenses went quiet through the middle innings of the game, but Harris hit his second home run of the day in the seventh inning to spark the Braves back to life. Two more batters reached base following that and then Jefrey Ramos delivered the dagger with a three run home run to give Mississippi an 8-1 lead.

Hayden Deal had a bit of location trouble out of the gates for Mississippi, walking the first batter he faced and going deep in a count to the second. A hit and a sacrifice fly brought in the one run to score, but Deal found his footing and was solid the remainder of his start. He only faced one three ball count after that second batter, and got through four innings of one run ball. Mississippi turned to their big arms in the bullpen late and they shut down the Blue Wahoos. Indigo Diaz was the first out and he kept up his scoreless streak with a scoreless fifth inning. He’s now pitched nine innings since he last allowed a run and has a 0.78 ERA this season. Brandon White held it down in the sixth inning with a scoreless frame and recorded two strikeouts. Brooks Wilson pitched the seventh inning and closed the game out with a scoreless inning to get his ERA down to 1.99.

Next Game: 8/1 @ (38-39) Pensacola Blue Wahoos @ 5:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Victor Vodnik (0-3, 5.01 ERA)

PNS: TBD

(37-40) Rome Braves 3, (31-43) Asheville Tourists 0

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 1-4, 3B, .297/.343/.438
  • Beau Philip, 3B: 1-4, 2B, .188/.271/.300
  • Jesse Franklin, CF: 0-3, RBI, .252/.324/.560
  • Darius Vines SP: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 3.57 ERA
  • Trey Riley, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2.70 ERA

The performance of the day came from the Rome Braves pitching staff, who took a no hitter into the ninth inning. Rome was able to chip out runs in the early stages of this game to give Darius Vines a lead to work with. A Kevin Josephina double to lead off the second inning turned into the game’s first run with Garrett Saunders bringing him home on a two out single. They added a run in the third inning with Michael Harris ripping a triple and then scoring on a sacrifice fly from Jesse Franklin. An Andrew Moritz single in the fourth inning scored the final run of the game for Rome as the offense didn’t get anything going in the final four innings. That single from Moritz was his only hit of the game and extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

When Darius Vines has all of his off speed stuff working he is tough to hit, and he had his changeup showing as good as it has all season on Saturday night. He got off to a roaring start with an easy nine pitch first inning and then a dominant second in which he struck out the side in order. Vines went through the order three times without allowing a baserunner, but an error in the fourth inning broke that streak. After a strikeout he allowed a walk to put a runner in scoring position, but he forced an inning-ending double play to keep the shutout intact. He cruised through the final three innings, with only a walk in the sixth inning reaching against him. He struck out five batters over those three innings and three of the final four he faced. He turned the ball over to Trey Riley in the eighth and Riley was up to the task. He forced three routine ground balls that were all handled cleanly and sent the ball to the ninth inning and Justin Yeager. Yeager got a fly out for the first out of the inning, but the second batter ripped a single through the left side for a well earned hit to break up the no hitter. Yeager closed the game out and finished it off with a strikeout.

Next Game: 7/31 vs (31-43) Asheville Tourists @ 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: TBD

ASH: Tyler Brown (3-5, 7.69 ERA)

(33-44) Augusta GreenJackets 5, (36-41) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 2-3, HR, BB, RBI, .308/.410/.456
  • Landon Stephens, 1B: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, .237/.339/.414
  • Bryson Horne, DH: 1-4, RBI, .264/.304/.410
  • Chad Bryant, SP: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 7.17 ERA
  • James Acuna, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.30 ERA

It’s Vaughn Grissom’s world and we’re all just living in it. The Augusta star kept his incredible month going today by hitting his third home run of the week in the first inning. Grissom also had a single and a walk in the game and ranks fourth in the league in on base percentage. July treated him well after he returned from the injured list, as in the 12 games he played he hit .429/.547/.738 (239 wRC+) with a walk rate of 18.9% and a strikeout rate of just 11.3%. The rest of the offense did a whole lot of nothing until the ninth inning. Down 6-1 the Greenjackets made two quick outs, but the walk from Vaughn Grissom got things moving in the right direction. A single from Bryson Horne scored Grissom and a hit batter put two runners on for Landon Stephens. Stephens came through with a three run home run to get Augusta within a run, but a ground out ended the game with them just short of tying it.

Chad Bryant got the start for Augusta and a two run double in the first inning put Augusta behind where they would stay for the remainder of the game. Bryant had a tough outing allowing six baserunners over his 2 13 innings, but his five strikeouts helped him limit the damage following that first inning and he didn’t allow another run. Miguel Pena pitched well for the GreenJackets for 2 23 innings, and didn’t allow a run or walk while striking out three batters. The good feelings for the pitching staff ran dry in the sixth inning when Benjamin Dum allowed two runs in his first inning of work. He pitched a scoreless seventh to give them a little bit of length, but was pulled after hitting the first batter of the 8th inning with a pitch. James Acuna then came in and allowed a home run to the first batter he faced. He retired six of the next seven batters to finish out a decent outing with only one walk allowed.

Next Game: 8/1 vs (36-41) Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: Joey Estes (1-5, 2.81 ERA)

MB: Jeremiah Estrada (1-1, 1.57 ERA)