Braves Minor League Recap: Kyle Wright starts and Drake Baldwin’s hitting streak continues

If not for a ninth inning collapse by the Gwinnett Stripers, the Atlanta Braves minor league system would have been a perfect day 4-0. But on the plus side, the Braves had a pretty good minor league start yesterday highlighting a very strong night overall.

(61-70) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (72-60) Worcester red socks 6

  • Braden Schwimaki 1-3, 1 t, 1 bb, 1 k
  • Dalton Guthrie 1-1, 2R, 1H, 3RPI, 1BB
  • Kyle Wright, SP, 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Dalton Guthrie contributed the majority of the Stripers’ offense catching three of their five RBI and getting the only extra base hit. Along with Guthrie, Jesus Aguilar and Drew Loughbauer each managed to collect an RBI. Hoy Park was also able to continue its strong 1-4 season with an all-year average now of 0.271.

Kyle Wright’s start was his third rehab as he continues to progress from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since early May. He was more than strong, striking out seven plus throwing 3⅔ shutout innings. He only passed 50 pitches which means his next rehab start is likely to be at around 60-65 pitches. His control was a bit suspect as only 29 of his 50 shots were strikeouts. Alan Winans was squashed while throwing four innings of six innings, four earned runs, walking five hits and allowing seven hits.

(55-70) Mississippi Braves 8, (68-57) Tennessee Smokies 2

  • Hudson Potts 2-4, 2 2b, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • Drew Campbell 2-4, 1 2b, 3 rpi, 1k
  • Nolan Kingham, SP, 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

The Braves picked up nine hits, 10 walks, four extra base hits, and stole two sacks. Potts and Campbell were the driving force behind the Braves’ attack, but there were many other contributors. Brandon Parker and Luke Waddell each managed an RBI with seven of their nine players reaching base multiple times, with Parker hitting a team-high four times. Drake Baldwin also saw his hitting streak reach an 18-game winning streak in his 1-3 game.

Nolan Kingham had a solid start that saw him allow two earned runs, his fourth such start in his last six. It was only the fourth time Kingham had been able to get into the sixth inning of the season with two of those starts coming in August. After Kingham, Brooks Wilson, Jake McSteen and Hayden Harris combined to throw 3 ⅔ innings off the shutout ball they combined to allow only one hit compared to their four.

(62-65) Roma Braves 5, (48-74) Asheville tourists 1

  • David McCabe 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. 1-3, 3 t, 2 bb, 1 sb
  • Jorge Bautista, SP, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

The Rome Braves could have gotten away with this game had they been a little more opportunistic. Sure enough, they had nine hits plus four walks, but they went 4-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Five of the 11 batters to reach the Braves plate have reached base multiple times and only Kilpatrick Jr. has reached on three occasions. After a terrible August in which he went just 22 for 97, McCabe was finally starting to show signs of life as this was already his third multi-hit game in the month of September just one game short of what he had in August.

Bautista made one of his best starts this season against the tourists. His eight strikeouts were his second-most in a game of the year and it was only the third time he had thrown six or more innings and allowed one or fewer runs. After what was a shaky first inning in which he allowed the only run of the game, Bautista retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced. After him, Terry Thompson pitched three perfect innings hitting six batters.

(59-66) Augusta Green Jackets 4, (64-57) Down East Wood Ducks 2

  • Ampures Tavarez 3-5, 2R, 1RPI, 2K, 1CS
  • Drew Compton 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Drew Hackenberg, SP, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Like the Braves, the GreenJackets left some runs on the table as they only went 2-for-10 with the runners in scoring position. Tavarez led their offense and had three of the team’s seven hits and knocked out one of their four runs. Tavares’ problems continued in the attacking field, as he scored twice again, but in three of his last seven matches he managed to avoid strikes. Besides Tavarez there wasn’t much offensive production. In addition to the shortstop, Compton and Cam Magee each picked up an RBI while the other run came on a missed catch.

It was Hackenberg’s second career start and he had yet to allow an earned run. In just three innings and 54 pitches, Hackenberg hit 11 swings, with five of his hits coming on the swing. After Hackenberg, Luis Vargas was the larger man to throw five innings as he struck out nine and also gave up one unearned run on three hits. Seeing Vargas play so well after a four-season start where he gave up 16 earned points is very encouraging.

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