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Braves Minor League Recap: Luke Waddell blasts two home runs

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It was a successful slate of three games down in the Braves’ minor league system.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAR 01 Georgia at Georgia Tech Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a very respectable night down in the Braves’ farm system as Atlanta’s affiliates went a combined 2-1 with Mississippi continuing to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak on their roster. Bryce Elder pitched better than his line would indicate, Rome went wild in extra innings, and Vaughn Grissom keeps doing Vaughn Grissom things. Lets get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers 0, Nashville Sounds 3

Box Score

  • Jason Kipnis, 2B: 2-4, .821 OPS
  • Orlando Arcia, 2-3, 2B, BB, .877 OPS
  • Bryce Elder, SP: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.86 ERA

It was a tough night for Gwinnett as Colin Rea and the rest of the Nashville pitching staff kept the Stripers’ offense in check for the entirety of the game with the Stripers falling by a final score of 3-0. While the offense was essentially nonexistent, Bryce Elder pitched much better than his final line looked. For the 12th time this season (out of 20 starts), Elder pitched at least six innings. While he did technically give up three earned runs, two of those runs were in the seventh when he walked a couple of batters with two outs because he was gassed and reliever Chasen Bradford proceeded to immediately come into the game and allow both of those runners to score.

On offense...yeah, not much to say here. Cristian Pache had the night off and the Gwinnett offense combined for five hits in the game with the only extra-base hit being a double that came off the bat of Orlando Arcia. Jason Kipnis and Arcia also had multi-hit games for the Stripers which is good news for them, but bad news when you consider that the rest of the lineup combined for one single.

Mississippi Braves, Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Postponed

Mississippi is still dealing with a COVID outbreak. It remains unclear if it will impact other series beyond this one

Rome Braves 10, Bowling Green Hot Rods 5 - F/10

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 0-1, 2 HBP, .803 OPS
  • Luke Waddell, 3B: 3-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, .844 OPS
  • Carlos Martinez, C: 1-5, Grand Slam, 4 RBI, .533 OPS
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.70 ERA

Rome was locked in a tight game for most of this one, but proceeded to rout Bowling Green in extra innings by the final score of 10-5. Jared Shuster got the start on Friday night and there were positives and negatives to take away from his game. He pitched into the sixth inning for the second consecutive start which is good news, but he also gave up three home runs in the game which is less good news. Shuster has given up 10 homers in 58.1 innings this year which is fine considering this is his first season of pro ball, but is also worth keeping an eye on as he advances to higher levels because having a propensity for giving up homers could be a problem. The Rome bullpen could have made this game considerably easier, but Tyler Ferguson and Marrick Crouse each gave up runs in this one.

On offense, for a bit of unfortunate news, Michael Harris was hit by two pitches in the game and was pulled in favor of Shean Michel after three plate appearances in the bottom of the seventh inning. No word yet as to whether there is cause for concern there, but he did play for a couple innings after the second HBP, so it seems probable that he was just getting some swelling or stiffness from getting plunked. Luke Waddell went wild with a pair of home runs as he continues to impress during his High-A debut right out of the draft. Brett Langhorne’s solo shot in the top of the ninth inning forced extra innings and in the top of the 10th, Rome loaded the bases for Carlos Martinez who promptly cleared them with a grand slam which capped a six run inning that turned the game decisively in Rome’s direction.

Augusta GreenJackets 3, Charleston RiverDogs 1

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, DH: 3-4, 2 RBI, .861 OPS
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4, RBI, .711 OPS
  • Joey Estes, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.76 ERA

While Augusta had to scratch and claw to get a few runs on the board, the pitching staff led by Joey Estes held down the fort as the GreenJackets emerged victorious by the final score of 3-1. Vaughn Grissom continues to be very impressive and while his .849 OPS for the month of August doesn’t quite compare to the over 1.200 mark he posted in July, he has still been quite good. After Grissom’s pair of RBI, Augusta’s other run was driven in by Bryson Horne who also had a multi-hit game. 2021 draftee Tyle Tolve connected for a double and has his OPS as a pro at .689 in the early goings of his career.

Joey Estes continued to me the model of consistency as he gave up one run in six innings of work. In three of the four months he has pitched this season, he has posted a sub-3 ERA. He has also struck out 126 batters in 98 innings this season which seems pretty good. Alec Barger and Peyton Williams combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief with five strikeouts to secure the win.