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Bryce Elder K’s 11 to snap Gwinnett losing streak, while M-Braves win a comeback

Despite taking a 4-0 lead in the third inning, the Braves dropped another game it should’ve won on Wednesday against the Brewers. These type of losses are beginning to pile up, as Atlanta continues to give away wins.

Overall, it was a nice night on the Braves farm, though. Three of four affiliates won its games, including a comeback win for the Double-A team. Here’s a look at all the action from Wednesday…

AAA – Gwinnett (18-20)

W, 4-3 vs. Memphis

(P) Bryce Elder – (W), 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 11 K, HR

(3B) Phil Gosselin – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R

(RF) Greyson Jenista – 1 for 2, 2B, RBI, R, BB

(CF) Drew Waters – 1 for 4, RBI

(LF) Delino DeShields – 2 for 3, RBI 

(2B) Ryan Goins – 2 for 3, R

Oh boy did Gwinnett need that win on Wednesday. The victory over Memphis snapped a five-game losing streak, as starter Bryce Elder tallied a career-high 11 strikeouts and outfielder Drew Waters provided a go-ahead RBI single late in the game to barely beat the Redbirds last night.

At one point, Elder retired eight-straight Memphis batters, and he only faced more than four batters in a single inning once, when the Redbirds put together a three-run sixth. It was an impressive performance from today’s birthday boy. Overall, Elder needed 99 pitches to get through seven as he induced five groundouts and two flyouts. The gem on Wednesday night gives him a 5.50 ERA for the 2022 season, and the win was his first of the year for Gwinnett.

Contributors on offense for the Stripers included Greyson Jenista in the second, who doubled in Phil Gosselin to put Gwinnett up 1-0. Later in the inning, Delino DeShields gave the team a two-run advantage when he slapped an RBI single to center. The Stripers made it three unanswered runs in the fourth when John Nogowski popped up a sac-fly, scoring Gosselin.

That aforementioned three-run sixth inning by Memphis made it a tied ballgame, but thankfully the Stripers had more fight in them in the bottom-half of the frame. Jenista led the inning off with a walk, then two batters later Ryan Goins kicked off a stretch of three-straight singles as Goins, DeShields and Waters all reached base, with the latter knock resulting in a fourth run for Gwinnett. Both Jesus Cruz and Dylan Lee did an excellent job of keeping the score right where it was in the eighth and ninth innings.

AA – Mississippi (15-20)

W, 6-4 vs. Biloxi 

(P) Alan Rangel – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 6 K

(DH) Jalen Miller – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

(CF) Michael Harris II – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, R

(RF) Jacob Pearson – 2 for 4, 2B, R

(C) Logan Brown – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI, R

This one had it all, featuring some solid starting pitching, an excellent defensive play, and most important, a comeback win for the M-Braves, who scored four runs in the seventh to beat Biloxi on Wednesday.

I was able to watch a few innings of Alan Rangel’s start, and let me tell ya, he had everything working good last night, especially that curveball/fastball combo. Shuckers batters were off balance through most of Rangel’s outing, and the righty ended his performance by setting down the final eight consecutive batters. A pair of RBI doubles in the third was really the only blemish of Rangel’s night. He’ll take a 5.40 ERA into his next game.

That Jalen Miller fellow was at it again last night as Miller quickly gave the M-Braves a 2-0 lead when he went oppo with a deep line drive. This kid cannot be contained right now.

Biloxi scored three runs combined in the second and third, giving the Shuckers a one-run lead early, but then also added another run in the sixth to go up 4-2. But it’s like Mississippi’s offense was just waiting for the right time, because in the seventh, the M-Braves bats broke out for a whopping four runs. First it was back to back doubles by both Jacob Pearson and Logan Brown, making it a 4-3 game.

Then it was back to back singles by Andrew Moritz and Michael Harris II to put the M-Braves up 5-4.

Harris would eventually score off a wild pitch to put Mississippi up 6-4. And then the M-Braves bullpen was tough as nails, as Indigo Diaz and Tyler Ferguson combined to work the final two innings. Oh… and Harris ended up making perhaps the defensive play of the year in the eighth, no doubt keeping Biloxi from tying the game with runners on second and third. This kid is literally doing it all this season.

All in all it was a solid win for Mississippi. I was impressed with Rangel and his ability to settle in last night. The kid totaled a whopping 74 pitches through three innings, but he then bounced back and managed just 21 pitches during the final two scoreless frames. That’s a pro starting pitcher right there, and not many are able to do that. Also notable, utility guy Yariel Gonzalez was back in the M-Braves lineup last night. Gonzalez had been out since last Wednesday as he was forced to go through minor league baseball’s concussion protocol. The 27-year-old finished Wednesday 2 for 4 and scored a run.

A+ – Rome (20-15)

W, 2-1 vs. Aberdeen 

(P) Luis De Avila – 5 IP, 6 H, BB, 4 K

Bullpen – 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K

(3B) Beau Philip – 1 for 4, RBI

(2B) Cody Milligan – 1 for 4, 2B, R

(DH) Justyn-Henry Malloy – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI

Rome came through last night and beat the South Atlantic League’s top team 2-1, thanks to a go-ahead RBI single by Beau Philip. The R-Braves were outhit by the IronBirds 8-5, but they found a way to win and that’s all that matters.

Rome’s starter Luis De Avila continues to bounce back from that rough outing from a few weeks ago. His scoreless start on Wednesday gives him back to back shutouts as he hasn’t allowed a single run in his last 11 innings on the mound, lowering his season ERA from 5.40 to 3.67 in just two games. De Avila did a great job of keeping the ball on the ground versus Aberdeen; of his nine batted-ball outs, all were ground balls.

The Rome bats were pretty quiet on Wednesday, but the clutch hits in the final inning by Drew Campbell and Philip was huge. A sac-fly to right in the first by Justyn-Henry Malloy, following a lead-off double by Cody Milligan, provided the R-Braves with its first run of the game. Catcher Javier Valdes also contributed with a hit in the win.

A – Augusta (20-15)

L, 4-2 vs. Charleston 

(P) Jordano Perez – (L), 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K

(3B) Caleb Durbin – 2 for 4, SB

(LF) Stephen Paolini – 2 for 4, 2B

(1B) Mahki Backstrom – 1 for 2, RBI, 2 BB

(RF) Brandol Mezquita – 1 for 4, R

Both Augusta and Charleston battled through what appeared to be a pitcher’s duel during the first three innings of last night’s contest. However, the GreenJackets finally broke through in the fourth thanks to a wild pitch by the RiverDogs pitcher. Although that 1-0 lead didn’t last long at all. In the bottom-half of the inning, Charleston led off with a single and was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Then, with one out, the RiverDogs proceeded to slap three-straight hits (double, double, single), scoring four altogether.

Augusta’s bats just simply died in the latter-innings, as the GreenJackets managed just one hit during the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Finally, in the ninth, back to back singles by Brandol Mezquita and Mahki Backstrom resulted in a run, putting Augusta within two. But unfortunately, Braulio Vasquez grounded into a force out to end the threat… and the game.

Until that rough fourth inning, it was another solid outing by Augusta starter Jordano Perez. But the four earned runs pushed his ERA up to 4.20 for the season. Regardless, though, the GreenJackets bullpen pitched well, as Rolddy Munoz and Estarlin Rodriguez worked the final four frames in hitless fashion while striking out four.

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