Minor League Report - Saturday April 29

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans continued their winning streak, while the Rome Braves saw their winning streak come to an end and then started another one. Bill Shanks has more.

RICHMOND


Richmond saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as they were defeated by Scranton Wilkes-Barrow 6-4 at the Diamond.

The Braves got an early 3-0 in the first inning, led by Wes Timmons' second home run of the season, a two-run shot. Then David Kelton tripled home Scott Thorman for the third run.

Ricardo Rodriguez pitched well, but contributed to some shoddy defense in the fifth inning. Joe Thurston bunted for a base hit, but Rodriguez threw the ball by Thorman at first base. Then later in the inning Timmons made a throwing error. Two batters later Chris Coste doubled home two runs. Scranton WB scored three runs in that inning, and then Rodriguez gave up a two-run home run to Thurston in the sixth inning to give the Barons a 5-3 lead.

Richmond tried to bounce back with a run in the eighth inning as Timmons doubled home Cesar Crespo, but the Barons added another run in the ninth for a little insurance.

Rodriguez was charged with his first loss of the season allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits in six innings. Scott Mullen pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while Brad Baker gave up one run in two innings.

Kevin Barry will go Sunday for the Braves, who are now 8-16 on the season.


MISSISSIPPI


Solid pitching from Matt Wright, Ryan Basner, and Manny Acosta gave the Mississippi Braves a 4-1 victory over the Mobile BayBears Saturday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Wright made his first start of the season and allowed one run on two hits in five innings. He had three walks and seven strikeouts. Basner continued his good work, pitching three scoreless innings allowing only one hit, three walks, and five strikeouts. And Acosta pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season.

Mobile scored a run in the first inning on a RBI single by Brett Bonvechio, but the Braves would bounce back to tie the game in the fourth inning on Matt Esquivel's second home run of the season.

Then in the sixth the Braves scored an unearned run off former Atlanta prospect Bubba Nelson. Carlos Duran grounded out with the bases loaded to score Matt Esquivel, who had reached base on an error. Mississippi would then add two more runs in the ninth inning on a single by Yunel Escobar scoring Gregor Blanco and Martin Prado.

The Braves are now 10-14 on the season. They'll play at Mobile Sunday afternoon at 2:05 with Chris Waters on the mound seeking his third win of the month of April.


MYRTLE BEACH


The Myrtle Beach Pelicans continued their roll Saturday night, winning their seventh straight game with a 6-4 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Once again another terrific pitching performance from lefty Matt Harrison, who won his third game of the season allowing only one unearned run in six innings of work. Harrison did not walk a batter and struck out seven to lower his ERA to 2.12. Harrison now has six walks and 24 strikeouts in 29.2 innings this season.

Myrtle Beach broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning by scoring four runs. Scott Schade hit his second home run of the season to give the Pelicans the lead. Brandon Jones then tripled home Matt Young, and Van Pope and Clint Sammons had back-to-back doubles to give the Pelicans a 5-1 lead.

Zach Schreiber pitched a scoreless inning for his third save of the season. Schreiber may be Myrtle Beach's new closer since Dan Smith was promoted to AA Mississippi earlier Saturday.

The Pelicans take on Lynchburg again Sunday afternoon at 2:02 with Luis Atilano on the mound. Atilano has thrown three straight seven inning games for the Pelicans, who are now 14-9 on the season.


ROME


Rome saw its five-game winning streak come to an end in the opener, but started a new winning streak in the nightcap as they split a double-header in Augusta.

The first game was the completion of a game that had been suspended Friday night due to a power outage at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The game had been tied at one in the fourth inning. After Jeff Lyman had given up one run in three innings on Friday, right-hander Tyler Bullock was roughed up for one in the fifth, three in the sixth, and two more in the seventh inning. He was then pulled from the game in the seventh and the Greenjackets scored two more runs to break the game open.

Rome added a run in the ninth inning on a solo home run by Kala Ka'aihue, his sixth of the season.

The loss put the Braves at 16-4 on the season. Bullock was charged with the loss, after giving up six runs in 3.1 innings pitched.

Then in the nightcap Rome got another solid pitching performance from right-hander Chris Vines, who pitched a seven-inning complete game to improve to 2-1 on the season in the 5-3 victory.

Rome got the lead in the first on a wild pitch that scored Ovandy Suero. But then in the third the Braves broke out for four runs. Elvis Andrus, Eric Campbell, Cody Clark, and Quentin Davis all had run-scoring hits.

Vines simply shut the Greenjackets down, allowing only three runs (two earned) on eight hits in the seven innings. The right-hander walked one and struck out five. Vines now has three walks in 33 innings this season.

The Braves are back to 17-4 on the season, 4.5 games up on Charleston in the Sally League's Southern Division. They play Augusta again on Sunday at 5:30 pm with Jairo Cuevas on the mound.


Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.


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