A double-dose of great news for Richmond as they beat the Clippers 7-0 Thursday night at the Diamond.
Horacio Ramirez, making a rehab start, went five scoreless innings, allowed only four hits, struck out six, and did not walk a batter. Ramirez will make one more rehab start for Richmond before being activated and placed back in the Atlanta rotation.
But the real hero Thursday was Scott Thorman, who was 2-for-4 with two home runs and six runs batted in. Thorman hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a grand slam in the fourth inning. The lefty-hitting first baseman is now batting .305 with 7 home runs and 22 RBI in 151 at bats.
The Braves are now 18-23 on the season. They have won two in a row, five of their last seven, and seven of their last ten. The final game of the series with Columbus is tonight as Chuck James makes the first of several rehab starts for the Braves' Triple-A affliate.
Jacksonville bombed Mississippi 13-2 Thursday night to give the Braves their fourth loss in the last five games.
The Suns scored ten runs off Braves' starter Sean White in four innings of work. Then Bryan Digby gave up two runs in two innings, and Dan Smith gave up an unearned run in one inning. Lefty Will Startup fared better, pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
Mississippi managed only two hits off Jacksonville's pitchers, both coming off reliever T.J. Nall. Suns' starter Justin Orenduff pitched six no-hit inning in getting his second win of the season.
The Braves and Suns play again Friday night at 7:05. Chris Waters gets the start for the Braves, who have fallen to 15-26 on the season.
Myrtle Beach starter Luis Atilano had his third straight bad start as Wilmington beat the Pelicans 10-3 for their third straight loss.
Atilano gave up two two-run home runs, one in the third and one in the fourth, as he allowed nine runs on ten hits in 3.2 innings. He is now 0-3 in his last three starts with an ERA of 15.00 (21 earned runs on 32 hits in 12.2 innings pitched). Overall, Atilano's ERA is now 7.44.
Van Pope, Greg Creek, and Steve Doetsch had the three RBI's for the Pelicans, who are now 19-21 on the season. They continue the series in Wilmington Friday night with James Parr on the mound.
Rome lefty Jo Jo Reyes continued his tremendous pitching in the month of May as the Braves beat the Catfish 6-0 Thursday at Golden Park in Columbus.
Reyes (5-0) went 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed only three hits, three walks, and struck out five. The 21-year-old is now 3-0 in May with a 0.70 ERA. He has allowed only 10 hits in 25.2 innings, 7 walks, and 29 strikeouts.
The Braves played home run derby as three players launched rocket shots. Isaiah Ka'aihue hit a solo home run in the sixth inning as part of his 3-for-4 night with three runs batted in. Ka'aihue is now hitting .328 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs.
Kelly Johnson stroked a home run down the line for a solo home run in the seventh inning. Johnson hit .474 in his time in Rome and will now join the Richmond roster Friday. He'll probably remain there for the rest of the month until his rehab time runs out on June 1st. The Braves will then re-evaluate his status at that time.
And finally Eric Campbell added a solo home run in the seventh to follow Johnson. It was Campbell's 8th home run of the season. He is now hitting .365 in May with 5 home runs and 14 runs batted in.
Rudy Quinonez was solid in relief of Reyes, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing only one hit with one strikeout.
Rome (29-10) moves to Charleston Friday night to start a series with the Riverdogs. Jeff Lyman is scheduled to start for the Braves.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look at the Braves' traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.