Saturday, July 17, 2021
The big league Braves dropped a game it should’ve won last night, losing 7-6 to the Rays after leading 5-3 through six innings (thanks to three homers combined in the fourth and fifth). It may be the second-half of the season, but it appears bullpen woes have followed this team.
Now because I’m out of town and have very little time to put out a full minor league report, like yesterday I’ve stuck with just simply providing box scores and key stats from Friday’s games. Today though, since I have a little more time on my hands, I’ll also add a Top Performers blurb as well. All the scores and stats are still available below.
Friday’s Top Performers
William Contreras, C
Since being optioned to Triple-A earlier this month, Contreras has hit exceptionally well with Gwinnett, now up to a .400 AVG and 1.184 OPS through his first seven games with the team. Last night, hitting fifth in the Stripers lineup, he finished 2 for 4 with a homer, adding on to Gwinnett’s lead in the sixth inning versus Charlotte. It’s still questionable whether or not we’ll see Contreras back in Atlanta this season, especially given Travis d’Arnaud has reportedly begun taking swings and is expected to come off the injured list in August. Plus, just hours ago, the Braves acquired D’Backs catcher Stephen Vogt in a one-for-one deal in exchange for FCL Braves first baseman Mason Berne.
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Kipnis has been solid with the Stripers all season, but lately he’s red-hot with the bat, hitting .350 in his last nine games. On Friday, the veteran second baseman went 3 for 4 and knocked in three runs, his second three-hit performance in his last three games and his first three-RBI finish since back on May 28. Johan Camargo is up with Atlanta at the moment, and rightfully so given how well he’s played with the Stripers. But sometimes I wonder if perhaps the Braves should give Kipnis a chance to provide utility work for the big league team.
Bryce Elder, RHP
Elder improved his Double-A record to 3-0 last night as he tossed seven innings of four-hit ball against Tennessee, allowing two runs, walking three and striking out five.
Make that a 2.74 ERA with the M-Braves now for the 22-year-old — and tenth-ranked prospect on my Braves Top 30 — as he’s pitching even better in Double-A than he was back with High-A Rome.
Greyson Jenista, OF
Folks, Jenista is now officially heating up. The 24-year-old is hitting .333 with six XBH in his last 12 games, after mostly struggling so far this season. Last night the big lefty-hitter slugged his third homer in his last nine games…
Jenista finished the game with three hits, his first three-hit performance in 2021.
Freddy Tarnok, RHP
Ranking 16th on my Top 30, Tarnok has struggled a bit with his control this season, currently walking 4.1 batters per nine to go with a homer-rate of 1.9 per nine. But last night the 22-year-old was tough as he struck out 10 Greensboro batters in five innings and allowed two runs from four hits (two walks). The right-handed Tarnok will enter his next start with a 4.76 ERA with Rome this season.
Shean Michel, OF
The 23-year-old Michel provided most of Rome’s offense last night as he homered and knocked in three runs.
Friday’s Scores and Stats
(30-34) Gwinnett Stripers
W, 5-3 vs. Charlotte
SP, J. De La Cruz – 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 2 K
C, W. Contreras – 2 for 4, HR, RBI
2B, J. Kipnis – 3 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI
3B, S. Kazmar – 1 for 3, HR, RBI
Bullpen – 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
(40-24) Mississippi Braves
W, 6-4 vs. Tennessee
SP, B. Elder – (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR
LF, G. Jenista – 3 for 4, HR, RBI
3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 4, HR, RBI
RF, J. Dean – 1 for 3, 3B, R, BB
RP, B. Wilson – 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K
(33-31) Rome Braves
L, 5-4 vs. Greensboro
SP, F. Tarnok – 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, HR
RF, S. Michel – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI
1B, B. Langhorne – 2 for 4, HR, RBI
2B, C. Milligan – 1 for 4, R, BB
(28-35) Augusta GreenJackets
L, 3-1 vs. Charleston
SP, R. Munoz – 3 ⅔ IP, 2 BB, 3 K
SS, V. Grissom – 1 for 3, BB, SB
1B, B. Horne – 1 for 4, 2B
2B, C. Shepherd – 1 for 3, 2B
(4-6) FCL Braves
1-1 vs. Rays 1 (susp. bottom 1st)