Braves Minor League Recap: J.P. Martinez homers, doubles as Gwinnett drops season opener

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2024 baseball season is finally here as both Atlanta and Gwinnett kickstarted their seasons on Friday.

Much like their major league counterparts, Gwinnett’s season official kicked off on Friday as the Stripers took on Jacksonville.

(0-1) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (1-0) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5

  • J.P. Martinez, CF: 2-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
  • Luis Liberato, RF: 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Luke Williams, 1B: 1-3, HR, 2 R
  • Darius Vines, SP: 5 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Box Score

It’s not very often both Atlanta and Gwinnett kick off their respective seasons on the same day, but thanks to Mother Nature that was the case on Friday as baseball is officially back in full swing.

And while the big league club routed Philadelphia for its first win of the year, Triple-A Gwinnett came up short in game one.

Things got off to a promising start for the Stripers as new addition J.P. Martinez doubled in his first at-bat to lead things off for Gwinnett in 2024. Two batters later, with two gone in the inning, Martinez scored on a Luis Liberato double to stake the Stripers to a 1-0 lead.

Gwinnett would tack on to their lead in the top of the third as Martinez would once again lead the way, this time with a solo homer over the right field wall to make it 2-0 Stripers.

Meanwhile on the mound, Darius Vines got the nod for the opening day start for Gwinnett and tossed three scoreless frames before running into trouble in the home half of the fourth.

After getting the leadoff batter to groundout, Vines subsequently allowed a single, walk, double, single and a sac fly as Jacksonville was able to take a 3-2 lead over the Stripers.

In the next frame, Luke Williams tied things up at 3-3 after launching a solo line drive homer into the left field seats to even the slate.

Gwinnett would take the lead in the top of the sixth on a David Fletcher fielder’s choice as Williams scored on an error to make it 4-3 Stripers.

After giving off a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth, Vines was lifted in favor of newcomer Ray Kerr, who had an impressive first inning — retiring all three batters he faced. However, Kerr would also run into some issues as the Jumbo Shrimp tagged him for the tying run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-4.

After Tommy Doyle took over for Kerr on the mound, Jacksonville plated an additional run in the bottom KC the eighth and despite Gwinnett putting the leadoff man on in the top of the 9th, they were unable to even things up, falling by a 5-4 final.

The Stripers are back in action on Saturday with Dylan Dodd set to make his 2024 debut.

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Title: Braves Minor League Recap: J.P. Martinez homers, doubles as Gwinnett drops season opener
Author: Brady Petree

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