There were some interesting storylines on the Atlanta Braves farm Thursday night. Jared Shuster made his Double-A debut for Mississippi and Vaughn Grissom made his High-A debut with Rome. Luke Waddell also was promoted to Mississippi, but his red-hot bat did not partake in what turned out to be a slugfest in Biloxi.
Let’s take a look at how it went down for the Brave minor-league teams on Thursday.
Gwinnett Stripers vs. Memphis Redbirds
Let’s play two!
Game 1: Memphis 9, Gwinnett 6
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, .236 BA, .712 OPS
- Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, .304 BA, 1.029 OPS
- Kyle Wright, SP: 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 3K, 3.62 ERA
After a monster August, the Triple-A East ERA leader Kyle Wright returned to earth to kick off his September. Wright was rolling until the third inning when Memphis erupted for four runs. The Redbirds tacked on two more an inning later. Thomas Burrows and Jay Flaa allowed three more runs over three combined innings of relief.
The Stripers came firing back, answering with four runs of their own in the bottom of the third, keeping Wright and the Stripers in the game. Travis Demeritte launched his 17th home run to lead the way. The Stripers gave the Redbirds a scare in the ninth when back-to-back singles by William Contreras and Cristian Pache — the latter of the pinch-hit variety — scored a run, but it was too little too late.
Game 2: Memphis 3, Gwinnett 2
- Johan Camargo, 1B: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, .298 BA, .883 OPS
- Cristian Pache, CF: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, .263 BA, .769 OPS
The Stripers took to bullpenning this one, giving Connor Johnstone the start. He allowed two runs over two innings. Chasen Bradford and Victor Arano — who gave up the decisive run —followed with a pair of innings each and Yoan Lopez closed it out.
Johan Camargo was the offense, blasting his 14th home run of the season and scoring Cristian Pache who walked. Jason Kipnis added a two-hit night and Phillip Ervin got the other Braves hit.
Mississippi Braves 16, Biloxi Shuckers 8
- Jared Shuster, SP: 4 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
- Trey Harris, LF: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .243 BA, .665 OPS
- Justin Dean, CF: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, .231 BA, .699 OPS
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, .239 BA, .702 OPS
- Greyson Jenista, RF: 3-for-4, 3 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, .211 BA, .783 OPS
Home runs. That is the story here. Per our own Garrett Spain, Mississippi had never hit seven home runs in a game until 2021. Now they have done it twice in less than six weeks.
Greyson Jenista led the way, blasting three home runs and driving in five. He now has 16 on the season. Wendell Rijo also had a three-hit night, driving in three behind the fourth M-Braves home run. It was his 15th of the year. Justin Dean and Trey Harris both joined in the home run party as well, each blasting one — Dean’s seventh of the year and Harris’ eighth. Not to be left out of the party, Braden Shewmake blasted his 11th home run of the year.
Unfortunately, home runs ruined the debut of Jared Shuster. He allowed two runs in the first and came back in the second to strike out the side, appearing to settle in. It was all downhill from there as Shuster left after four, allowing eight runs on two homers. Tyler Ferguson, Hayden Deal, Matt Withrow and Troy Bacon tossed five scoreless innings, striking out six, but walking six as well.
Rome Braves 5, Winston-Salem Dash 0
- AJ Puckett, SP: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
- Michael Harris II, CF: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, .301 BA, .803 OPS
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB, High-A East debut
- Riley Delgado, DH: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, .239 BA, .600 OPS
It was the complete opposite from Mississippi in Rome, as four Braves pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout. AJ Puckett was nearly perfect in his four innings, allowing just one walk while striking out six. Marrick Crouse allowed the first hit of the game but was otherwise perfect in his two innings. Trey Riley pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out one with Benjamin Dum closing the door.
Vaughn Grissom was called up earlier in the day and made an immediate impact. He walked in his first at-bat, stole third and came around to score the first — and deciding — run of the game. He grounded into a double play in his second at-bat, but all was not lost as Michael Harris came in to score. Speaking of Harris, he hit his 20th double of the season and drove in his 58th run. It was Rome’s only extra-base hit on the night. It was also Harris’ 100th hit of the season.
Augusta GreenJackets 3, Fayetteville Woodpeckers 6
- Andrew Hoffmann, SP: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 4.58 ERA
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, .262 BA, .704 OPS
- Cal Conley, SS: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB, .235 BA, .680 OPS
- Landon Stephens, LF: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .237 BA, .801 OPS
It wasn’t all bad for Andrew Hoffmann on Thursday, but he left another start still searching for his first win in full-season ball. He landed 62 percent of his pitches for strikes and didn’t surrender any home runs while striking out six over 4.2 innings. Ben Thompson wasn’t able to hold the Woodpeckers close, allowing three runs over 1.1 innings. Rolddy Munoz surprisingly pitched two scoreless innings to close it out, walking one and striking out two.
With the departure of Vaughn Grissom, we are really watching the 2020 and 2021 draft/free agent classes here. Bryson Horne had another multi-hit night, as did Cal Conley with both also stealing a base. Landon Stephens hit Augusta’s lone home run of the evening because that’s what Landon Stephens does. It was his 17th of the season. Horne, Stephens and Willie Carter were responsible for the three runs scored.