Friday's Braves' Minor League Action

BravesCenter's Bill Shanks takes a look at how the Braves' minor league teams are doing after the first week of the season and checks Friday's schedule.

RICHMOND

After snapping a four-game losing streak Thursday night, the Richmond Braves play their first home game of the season at the Diamond with a 4:00 contest against Louisville this afternoon.

Andy Van Hekken, who got a loss in his 2005 debut by giving up 7 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings, will be on the mound for the Braves. Steve Kelly will go for the Bats.

Richmond is 3-5 in the South Division of the International League, one game back of the Durham Bulls.

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi continues its season-opening road trip with the start of a three-game series in Jacksonville Friday night at 7:05. Macay McBride will pitch for the Braves.

The Braves are 1-6 on the season. Pitching has been the problem, as the team ERA is 7.47, worst in the Southern League.

However, the offense has been impressive. Jonathan Schuerholz is off to a fantastic start, leading the team in average (.391) and OBP (.481) in 23 at bats.

Jeff Francoeur is tied with Brian McCann with two home runs for the team lead. Frenchy is also third on the team in average (.357) and fourth in OBP (.400).

Next year's Pete Orr, Wes Timmons, is off to a hot start with a .357 average and a .417 OBP. Scott Thorman is also playing well, with a .346 average and a .433 OBP.

MYRTLE BEACH

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans get back home Friday night to start a three game weekend series against the Potomac Nationals. Juan Alvarez will be on the hill for the Pelicans.

After they split a four-game series with Winston-Salem, the Pelicans are now 5-3 on the season, tied for first place with Kinston in the Southern Division of the Carolina League.

Matt Esquivel and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are off to hot starts for the Pelicans. Esquivel is hitting .375 with 2 home runs, 4 doubles, and 5 RBI in his first eight games. Salty Dog is hitting a cool .400 with a home run, 5 doubles, and 5 RBI.

ROME

Rome continues its four-game weekend series against the Columbus Catfish Friday night at 7:00 with Luis Atilano pitching.

The 2-5 Braves are struggling at the plate. Cole Armstrong hit the first home run of the season for the team on Thursday night.

However, the pitching has been superb. The team ERA is now 2.48 after Matt Harrison's solid start Thursday.


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