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Sims, Soroka, Smith and Swanson all star as the minor league schedule begins

What a great night for the Atlanta prospects as the minor league season begins.

Mallex Smith's first inning triple helped give the Gwinnett Braves all the runs they needed to hold off Norfolk 2-0 in the season opener.

Smith was 2-5 as he added a double later in the game. Smith also struck out twice. 

The G-Braves received a great performance from Jhoulys Chacin, who is scheduled to make a start for Atlanta next Tuesday, pitched 7.2 shutout innings. Chacin gave up five hits, walked two and struck out seven.

David Peterson came in to get the final out to record his first save of the season. Chris Withrow (0.1 IP) and Brandon Cunniff (0.2 IP) also pitched well in relief.

Mike Foltynewicz will pitch Friday night for Gwinnett in game two of the series. Game time is 7:05.

Despite a solid start from Lucas Sims, Mississippi lost its season opener 3-1 to Pensacola.

Sims allowed just one run on one hit, with three walks and nine strikeouts in five innings. Sims was saddled with the loss. Jason Hursh gave up two runs in relief, while Brandon Barker, Hunter Cervenka and Steve Janas pitched scoreless innings. 

Mississippi got its only run on a seventh inning base hit by Jordy Lara.

Ozzie Albies went 0-4 with two strikeouts in his Double-A debut.

Chris Ellis makes his Braves' organization debut Friday night in game two of the series. Game time is 8:00 pm ET.

It was a tough night for Carolina starter Enderson Franco as the Mudcats lost to the Salem Red Sox 13-4. Franco allowed nine runs on 12 hits in two innings.

Carolina designated hitter Sean Godfrey hit a two-run home run, while Dansby Swanson doubled in a run in the 8th inning. Swanson was 2-4 in his Braves' debut.

Former Georgia Bulldog Ryan Lawlor pitches tonight for Carolina in Salem. Game time is 7:05.

And it was a great night for the Rome Braves, as they kicked off the season against the Augusta GreenJackets with a 10-1 victory at State Mutual Stadium.

Mike Soroka had a great first start in the South Atlantic League with four strong innings. Soroka gave up just one run on four hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

The Braves scored seven runs in the third inning. Austin Riley had a big night for the Braves, with three hits and a RBI. Ronald Acuna was 2-5 with two RBI and a stolen base. Ray-Patrick Didder was 2-4 with a triple and two RBI. Jonathan Morales also added two hits and a RBI. 

Rome got great relief work from Dalton Geekie, Caleb Beech and Bladimir Matos.

Patrick Weigel gets the start for the Braves in game two of the series Friday night at 7:00.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

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