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Braves Minor League Recap: Justin Dean keys offensive explosion for Mississippi

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The Mississippi Braves are on the cusp of the Double-A South championship thanks, in part, to another good game from Justin Dean.

Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

It was another small slate of games on Friday as Braves affiliates went a combined 1-1. The Mississippi Braves got within one win of the Double-A South championship thanks to a big offensive explosion in the eighth inning while the Gwinnett Stripers had a rough night at the plate. Let’s get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers 0, Durham Bulls 5

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 0-4, .704 OPS
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-4, 3 K, .754 OPS
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.52 ERA

It was a night to forget for the Stripers as Kyle Muller got knocked around a bit and the Gwinnett offense failed to show up as Durham got the win 5-0. Muller didn’t give up free passes which is a good sign, but was missing his spots in the zone and paid for it as he gave up a pair of home runs. Some shenanigans on a double steal pushed another run across and before they knew it, the Stripers were in a 5-0 hole in the third inning and that ended up being the final score. Before this outing, Muller had a nice run of starts as he had given up two earned runs or less in six straight. The Striper bullpen did pitch four innings of scoreless relief including the recently promoted Brooks Wilson who struck out three in his inning of work.

As for the Gwinnett offense...well, at least they tried. Durham’s Tobia Myers neutralized the Stripers completely as they managed just two singles in the entire game. Ryan Goins and Yolmer Sanchez were the ones that managed to hit those singles, so hat tip to them for at least giving Gwinnett some baserunners.

Mississippi Braves 11, Montgomery Biscuits 9

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 3 R
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 2-5, 2B, RBI
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 2-3, HR, RBI, BB, 3 R
  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-5, HR, 3 RBI
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 7 K, 3.60 ERA

Mississippi is now one win away from the championship as they were able to hold off the Biscuits late with an absolutely wild 11-9 victory. Spencer Strider got the start for the Braves and he looked great for the most part in his five innings of work. However, he did run into trouble in the fifth inning which saw him give up a two-run homer and then a run scored on a comedy of errors with a rare throwing error by Shea Langeliers where Justin Dean also made an error fielding the errant throw. Strider would eventually strike out his seventh batter of the game to end the inning, but the game was tied. Corbin Clouse would allow a couple of baserunners and a wild pitch from Brandon White would allow one of those baserunners to score, but the rest of White’s two innings of work would go by without a hitch. After Jake Higginbotham dispatched a couple of hitters in the eighth inning, in came Indigo Diaz to close out the game. Normally, when Diaz comes in...it is pretty much automatic, but his last couple of outings had been shakier than usual and this one was, well, very bad. After the bases were loaded against him with two outs (both strikeouts), Xavier Edwards hit a grand slam to get Montgomery back into the game all of a sudden. Hayden Deal would relieve Diaz and he promptly gave up a solo shot before finally getting a strikeout for the third out a couple of batters later. Whew.

Fortunately for the Mississippi bullpen, the offense gave them plenty of offense to work with. The only batter in the lineup that DIDN’T drive in a run was Wendell Rijo with Justin Dean and CJ Alexander driving in multiples. Alexander, Drew Lugbauer, and Greyson Jenista all connected for homers in the game with Jenista and Alexander’s knocks both coming in a six-run sixth inning that broke the game wide open and ultimately ended up saving the game three win for Mississippi.