FCL Braves win season opener versus Red Sox

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

-Clint Manry

A Florida thunderstorm cut the FCL Braves 2021 season opener short, but not before the rookie club scored a pair of go-ahead runs in the 3rd to beat the Red Sox 3-1 in a game that lasted just five innings. The two teams hit the showers after just a little less than an hour and a half on the field.

CoolToday Park

SP, R. Rodriguez – (W), 4 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K

RF, B. Mezquita – 1 for 2, 2B, RBI

CF, K. Morton – 1 for 2, 2B, RBI 

BOX SCORE

The Braves offense started off the game on with two consecutive batted-balls as lead-off hitter Geraldo Quintero kicked things off with a double in the opening inning. Quintero then scored from second when the next batter, Brandol Mezquita, popped up a flyball to right and the Red Sox committed a costly error. 

The Red Sox tied it up in the 3rd when the Braves traded a run for a ground ball double-play. However, in the bottom of the inning Mezquita tallied his second RBI of the game with a double that knocked in Antonio Barranca. Center fielder Kadon Morton tacked on another run immediately after by also doubling, knocking in Mezquita and giving us the final score. 

Righty Rainiery Rodriguez started for the Braves yesterday, and as a bit of a surprise (given it was his first outing), the 20-year-old stayed in to face 16 batters and pitch four innings in the winning effort. The Red Sox didn’t record a hit against the Braves starter until the 3rd; and despite allowing three singles in the 4th, the Domincan righty managed to get all three outs by way of strikeout. Rodriguez will be looking to earn a possible Single-A assignment sometime this season as he’s coming off a solid 2019 campaign in which he posted a stingy 1.79 ERA in 50 ⅓ innings with the DSL club — that after he finished with a 3.53 ERA as a 17-year-old there in 2018. 

Jordano Pérez — another strong performer for the DSL team two seasons ago — worked the 5th in hitless fashion, while walking one and striking out one. 

It’s good to see the young Braves kick of their season with a win on Monday. Guys like Mezquita and Morton will be players to watch all summer long, as well as first baseman Mahki Backstrom (0 for 2 with a strikeout yesterday). The FCL Braves and Red Sox will be back in action today for Game 2, this time about an hour south down Florida’s I-75 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. 

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