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Braves Minor League Recap: Luke Waddell does it again

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Luke Waddell went deep for the fourth time this weekend.

Mills Fitzner

Luke Waddell’s power surge continued Sunday as he homered in his his third straight game for the Rome Braves. Gwinnett dropped a low scoring game in Nashville while Augusta fell to Charleston.

Nashville Sounds 3, Gwinnett Stripers 2

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-5, .261/.335/.432
  • William Contreras, C: 0-2, 2 BB, .305/.373/.555
  • Drew Waters, RF: 1-3, RBI, BB, SB, .238/.336/.381
  • Sean Newcomb, RP: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1.72 ERA

This was the definition of a bullpen game for the Stripers with Connor Johnstone allowing an unearned run over his two innings, followed by a scoreless inning apiece from Tanner Roark, Victor Arano, Jay Flaa, and Yoan Lopez. The next two pitchers to appear would each give up a run, Thomas Burrows over a third of an inning filled with a hit and three walks, and Trevor Kelley over his inning. Sean Newcomb came in to get the final two outs. While no one pitched longer than two innings and no one struck out more than two batters, this was a very strongly pitched game by the Gwinnett staff save for the bad outing by Burrows.

Offensively, the Stripers had their chances with seven hits and five walks, but really struggled with runners on base leaving eight men stranded. Cristian Pache and Drew Waters each singled, with Waters also drawing a walk in his four plate appearances William Contreras went hitless in his two at bats, but did draw a pair of walks. Ryan Goins went 2-for-3 and was the only player for Gwinnett with multiple hits.

Next Game: 8/31 vs Memphis @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

Both: TBD

Mississippi Braves PPD

As has been the standard for the past few days, the Mississippi game was cancelled due to COVID issues.

Next Game: 8/31 @ Biloxi @ 7:15 PM ET

Probable Starters

Both: TBD

Rome Braves 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 2-4, RBI, 3B, .250/.333/.313
  • Luke Waddell, DH: 2-3, R, 3 RBI, HR, .313/.375/.609
  • Jesse Franklin, CF: 1-4, R, 2B, .241/.318/.524
  • Michael Harris, LF: 0-4, R, SB, .298/.354/.440
  • Trey Riley, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.76 ERA

Jake McSteen got the start for Rome and turned in a strong outing going 5 2/3 innings while allowing two runs on five hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts before turning it over to the pen. Trey Riley struck out the side in the eighth to pick up the win for the Braves. Emmanuel Ramirez earned the save after giving up one run in the final inning of the game before closing it out.

At the plate, the Luke Waddell power show continued Sunday. Waddell, who hit four career college homers in 116 games between 2018-2020 before hitting eight in 56 games this spring, hit his sixth homer in just 64 at bats since signing his pro contract. If you include the college numbers that is 14 homers this year for Waddell, a known quality hitter without a lot of power. It will certainly be something to watch for him next season in his first full year of pro ball, as if the power spike is at all real, his ceiling changes quite a bit.

Other than Waddell, Cody Milligan singled and tripled in four at bats, Jesse Franklin doubled and scored a run, while Michael Harris went hitless in four at bats but stole his 22nd base of the season. Catcher Carlos Martinez also had a multi-hit game, with a single and double and Brett Langhorne homered in the win.

Next Game: 8/31 vs Winston-Salem @ 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

Both: TBD

Charleston Riverdogs 8, Augusta GreenJackets 5

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 1-4, 3 RBI, 3B, .310/.404/.446
  • Landon Stephens, LF: 1-4, R, RBI, HR, .241/.350/.454
  • Justyn Henry-Malloy, 3B: 1-3, R, BB, .230/.373/.311
  • Gabriel Rodriguez, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7.94 ERA

Gabriel Rodriguez got the start and tossed three solid innings of one run ball. The bullpen struggled as Kenny Wells, Rolddy Munoz and Ben Thompson combined to allow seven hits and seven runs over the next five innings. Miguel Pena threw a scoreless inning to finish this one off.

While the final score implies decent offense by Augusta, the GreenJackets managed just four hits in the game, scoring three runs on a Vaughn Grissom bases loaded triple, and tacking on a fourth run with Landon Stephens’ 16th homer of the season. The final run came via a Cal Conley hit by pitch.

Next Game: 8/31 @ Fayetteville @ 6:30 PM ET

Probable Starters

Both: TBD