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Starting pitching is strong on the farm, as Royber Salinas K’s 10 for Rome

The Atlanta Braves split its interleague series with the Red Sox on Wednesday, thanks to a walk-off, two-run homer by Orlando Arcia. In case you missed it, Arcia ambushed the hell out of this pitch…

There was also a walk-off hit down on the Braves farm last night, though certainly not as exciting as the one above by Arcia. And all but one affiliate won its game. Here’s a recap of all the action from Wednesday down on the Braves farm…

AAA – Gwinnett (17-15)

W, 8-4 vs. Durham

(P) Tucker Davidson – (W), 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 6 K, HR

Bullpen – 4 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, 9 K

(RF) Greyson Jenista – 3 for 4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R

(3B) Pat Valaika – 3 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

(DH) Alex Dickerson – 2 for 5, HR, RBI

(C) Chadwick Tromp – 2 for 5, HR, RBI, 2 R

(SS) Braden Shewmake – 2 for 5, 2B, RBI

The Stripers won its fourth consecutive game on Wednesday, thanks to four home runs from its offense and some strong starting pitching by prospect lefty Tucker Davidson.

To begin the contest last night, prospect outfielder Drew Waters didn’t waste anytime. He ambushed the first pitch by the Durham starter for a solo-homer to put Gwinnett up 1-0.

The Stripers offense didn’t stop, though. Catcher Chadwick Tromp kept up the good work by adding a single, and then two batters later Pat Valaika belted a homer of his own to make it a 3-0 advantage.

Of course, Gwinnett wasn’t the only lineup with capable power-hitters. In the second, Durham first baseman Jim Haley turned on a high fastball by Davidson and sent it over the left field wall, cutting the deficit to just two.

But for Tuck Davidson, that was all the damage he would allow. Over the next three innings, the lefty allowed just two measly hits (single & double), and just as impressive, he didn’t walk a single batter in his 86-pitch outing. The strong start lowers Davidson’s season ERA to 4.44, and yesterday’s victory marks the prospect’s first win of 2022.

Although, the Stripers bats weren’t done. In the third, Tromp belted his sixth homer in his last seven games to put Gwinnett up 4-1. Literally all of his long balls are no-doubters…

Then, three batters later, Alex Dickerson joined in on the fun, slugging his first minor league dinger of the 2022 season.

It was certainly a homer fest, and Gwinnett would go on to make it 6-1 in the fourth when Braden Shewmake slapped an RBI single. Although, Durham at least made it a bit interesting by scoring three runs combined in the sixth and seventh. But a two-run, ground-rule double by Greyson Jenista in the top-half of the seventh gave the Stripers plenty of wiggle room, and relievers Seth Elledge and Dylan Lee teamed up to set down five of the six remaining Bulls batters to preserve lead.

AA – Mississippi (12-17)

L, 5-4 (F/10) vs. Chattanooga

(P) Jared Shuster – 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K

(C) Hendrick Clementina – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, 4 RB

(SS) Luke Waddell – 1 for 2, 2 R, 3 BB

(LF) Trey Harris – 2 for 5

The M-Braves ran into some strong starting pitching on Wednesday as Chattanooga’s starter, Connor Curlis, tossed five innings of two-hit ball, striking out five. Mississippi’s offense finally broke through in the sixth with a two-run home run from Hendrick Clementina to go up 2-0.

But… the Lookouts tied the game in the seventh with a two-run inning of its own, thanks to an RBI double and a throwing error by Mississippi’s shortstop, Luke Waddell. Neither team could separate itself during the final pair of innings, pushing the game into extras, where the M-Braves quickly jumped out to a 4-2 lead off a Clementina two-run double in the top of the 10th.

But… once again, Chattanooga answered, and in the bottom-half of the 10th the Lookouts ended up walking it off, when, after an RBI single and a walk to tie it, Robbie Tenerowicz slapped a line drive to right, scoring the winning run.

It was a rather quiet night for the M-Braves lineup, who racked up 11 strikeouts in the game. And unfortunately, prospect Michael Harris II snapped his hitting streak at 15 games with an 0 for 4 performance at the plate – although, his on-base streak continues as he did draw a walk in the loss. Luke Waddell extended his own developing hit streak with a single in the eighth, giving him a hit in nine-straight games.

For M-Braves starter, Jared Shuster, chalk it up as yet another solid outing for the prospect lefty. On Wednesday, Shuster did a nice job of keeping the ball on the dirt as he induced seven groundouts in the 89-pitch start. The six scoreless innings last night gives Shuster just one earned run over his last 11 1/3 innings, and so far in 2022 the kid hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his six outings, giving him a solid 1.53 ERA for the year. Of the three Mississippi relievers that worked Wednesday’s loss, Odalvia Javier and Indigo Diaz both served up runs against Chattanooga. Although, Tyler Ferguson pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to maintain a stingy 1.46 ERA this season.

A+ – Rome (16-13)

W, 3-0 vs. Winston-Salem

(P) Royber Salinas – (W), 5 IP, H, BB, 10 K

Bullpen – 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K

(SS) Vaughn Grissom – 3 for 4, RBI

(CF) Cody Milligan – 1 for 3, 2B

(LF) Drew Campbell – 2 for 4, R, SB

(RF) Christian Robinson – 1 for 2, R, BB

What a rebound for Royber Salinas, who was knocked around in his High-A debut last week, to the tune of four earned runs in just 2/3 innings. On Wednesday, the 21-year-old had it all figured out as he struck out 10 batters in five scoreless innings.

The performance by Salinas was the talk of the game, especially given how uncharacteristically quiet the Rome offense was. But the R-Braves lineup found a way to get the job done. In the second, still tied at zero, Beau Philip put Rome out in front 1-0 when he popped up a sac-fly to center, scoring Drew Campbell. Then in the fourth, with one out, Philip did the same thing, slapping a sac-fly to right this time to score Landon Stephens and extend the lead to 2-0. An RBI single by Vaughn Grissom in the fifth gave us our 3-0 final as both teams combined for just three hits during the final four innings. Credit must also go to Rome’s bullpen. A four-man group of Jake McSteen, Justin Yeager, Benjamin Dum and Austin Smith collectively worked four scoreless innings and only allowed two hits.

For Salinas, going back to his time with Single-A Augusta earlier in the season, that’s now four outings this season (out of 7) in which he has recorded a double-digit strikeout total, giving him a whopping 63 punch outs this year in 29 1/3 innings. Overall he sports a 2.45 ERA in 2022, but with the rough first outing in Rome, his High-A ERA sits at 6.35.

A – Augusta (17-12)

W, 9-8 (F/`10) vs. Columbia

(P) Tyler Owens – 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K

(SS) Cal Conley – 2 for 3, HR, RBI, 3 R, BB, 2 SB

(C) Adam Zebrowski – 1 for 3, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB

(2B) Geraldo Quintero – 2 for 4, R, SB

This one was wild last night. Thankfully Columbia committed five errors in the contest, allowing Augusta to skate by with a win. In the bottom-half of the 10th, the Fireflies pitcher balked, pushing Brandol Mezquita across home to tie it. And then, when Kadon Morton put the ball in play, Columbia’s shortstop made an errant throw, causing the winning run (Stephen Paolini) to score – a walk-off hit from an error.

Going back a bit, Augusta scored five unanswered runs to start off the game, getting three in the first and one apiece in the second and third, capped off by a solo home run by Adam Zebrowski. But then Columbia scored three unanswered runs themselves in the fourth and fifth, before the GreenJackets added two more in the bottom-half of the latter frame, going up 7-3. But then the Augusta bullpen just simply imploded, as Estarlin Rogriguez surrendered four runs total in the sixth and seventh, including a two-run triple in the former inning and back to back RBI singles in the latter. Through seven, both teams were tied at seven, though thankfully Augusta’s offense took advantage of some crucial mistakes by Columbia’s defense.

For GreenJackets starter, Tyler Owens, Wednesday’s outing will go down as one of his best of 2022 so far, including a season-high seven strikeouts. Other than his season opener, Owens had failed to reach even the third inning in any of his starts, so him getting through the fourth was a welcoming sight last night. Although, it appears the Braves have him on some kind of conservative regiment, given once again he didn’t even throw 60 pitches. Regardless, the 21-year-old righty will head into his next game with a 3.94 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances this season. Hopefully he can keep up the good work.

The 0 for 4 performance for Mezquita was a bit of a surprise, but thankfully he keeps his on-base streak going (now up to 20 games) given he drew a walk. The homer by Cal Conley in the second inning of last night’s win gives him five this season. Conley is really beginning to heat up, having hit safely in four-straight. And over his last six games, the infielder is hitting .346 with four XBH and four RBI.

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