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Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom just keeps hitting, Darius Vines pitches well again

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It wasn’t the most exciting three game slate in the minors of Friday, but man is Vaughn Grissom’s development fun to watch.

Mills Fitzner

It was a rough night for Braves fans everywhere as not only did the big league team lose a tough one on the road to the Rockies, the only Braves minor league affiliate to win was Rome and it took a late rally for them to pull that off. That said, at least Vaughn Grissom continued to impress since his promotion to high-A. Also, Gwinnett’s game got suspended because of issues with their lighting which is not something we see all that often. Lets get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers, Memphis Redbirds - Suspended

Box Score

Mississippi Braves 2, Biloxi Shuckers 9

Box Score

  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-2, HR, RBI, BB, .826 OPS
  • Hendrik Clementina, C: 2-3, 2 2B, RBI, .620 OPS
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 4.91 ERA

It was a tough night for Mississippi as they got beat up by Biloxi by the score of 9-2 although they did manage to lower their magic number to 10 thanks to some help from Birmingham. Alan Rangel got the start for Mississippi on Friday evening and it wasn’t his finest effort as he managed to throw just three innings. Rangel had been a nice story as he finally got promoted away from Rome, but he definitely looked off on Friday after the long layoff between starts due to Mississippi’s COVID-19 outbreak. The struggles continued for the bullpen as well with Odalvi Javier, Corbin Clouse, and Brooks Wilson all giving up runs in their relief appearances and the rout was on.

On offense, there was not much to speak of beyond a nice game from Hendrik Clementina who had a pair of doubles and a solo home run from Drew Lugbauer. The power in Lugbauer’s bat has always been there, but given the struggles he has had with his hit tool as a pro, we wouldn’t have exactly bet on him having an .826 OPS for Mississippi this season, but here we are. His solo shot was also his 17th home run of the season. Mississippi’s pair of 2019 first rounders in Shea Langeliers and Braden Shewmake combined to go 0-for-8 with three strikeouts.

Rome Braves 6, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, DH: 2-3, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R
  • Carlos Martinez, C/1B: 3-3, 2 RBI, R, .723 OPS
  • Darius Vines, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K, 3.46 ERA

A pair of two-run singles in the bottom half of the eighth inning allowed Rome to rally to take down Winston-Salem by the final score of 6-3. It was Darius Vines on the mound for Rome and there honestly was a lot to like from his outing. His secondaries were missing bats which is always good to see and while he did give up another homer, his biggest issue in this game were some defensive miscues in the third inning (including from himself) that made a tough inning far worse than it should have been. Jake Higginbotham made his third relief appearance since returning from the IL and pitched two scoreless innings while Justin Yeager closed the game out with two shutout innings of his own with four strikeouts. Hat tip to those guys for keeping the game close.

This is Vaughn Grissom’s world and we are just living in it. Vaughn connected for his first home run as a Rome Brave on Friday evening and he now possesses a tidy 1.950 OPS through his first two games in High-A. Beau Philip and Carlos Martinez joined Vaughn with multi-hit games on Friday with Martinez and Shean Michel each connecting for big two-run singles in the eighth inning to put Rome ahead for good. Michael Harris had the night off and Jesse Franklin did record a hit which was nice to see give his struggles over the last month or so.

Augusta GreenJackets 4, Fayetteville Woodpeckers 7

Box Score

  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 3-5, 2B, .715 OPS
  • Cal Conley, SS: 1-4, 2B, BB, SB, R, .690 OPS
  • Estarlin Rodriguez, SP: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7.11 ERA

Another tough game for the GreenJackets as the bullpen faltered in the seventh inning and Fayetteville managed to steal away a 7-4 victory. With all of the promotions that Augusta has seen from their pitching staff, it has been tough for them to put together games night in, night out having to throw so many bullpen games and Friday was no exception. Estarlin Rodriguez gave up three runs in less than three innings of work and while the rest of the bullpen held their own for a few innings, Malcolm Van Buren had some real issues with wild pitches and command combined with a really unfortunate error early in the bottom of the seventh by Cade Bunnell that ultimately led to a back-breaking three-run triple that was the difference in the game.

It was a fairly decent offensive game for Augusta which was nice to see given the loss of Vaughn Grissom to promotion and some real depth problems on the current roster. Bryson Horne had a three hit game while Cade Bunnell, Landon Stephens, and Tyler Tolve all drove in runs for Augusta on the evening.