Braves Minor League Recap: Ethan Workinger drives in 4 for Rome

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Workinger homered and doubled in the Emperors’ loss.

Gwinnett was the lone squad to come away with a win among Atlanta’s minor league affiliates on Wednesday, but there were plenty of individual performances to point out. So without further ado, let’s jump into it.

(42-47) Gwinnett Stripers 10, (41-47) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5

  • Nacho Alvarez Jr., SS: 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Drake Baldwin, C: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB
  • Darius Vines, SP: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Box Score

Gwinnett got a pair of homers from two top prospects on Wednesday afternoon as the Stripers doubled up the score against Jacksonville.

Darius Vines got the start on the mound for Gwinnett and while things didn’t go very well — as he tossed 5.1 innings of work while giving up four runs — his offense provided him with enough support and firepower to keep the Stripers in the game.

Trailing 1-0 after the Jumbo Shrimp scored first in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the third, Skye Bolt laced a one-out single before a Drake Baldwin two-run homer over the right field wall gave the Stripers a 2-1 lead.

Gwinnett wasted little time adding on, as Atlanta’s triple-A squad scored five times in the home half of the fourth. Yuli Gurriel led things off with a walk and Luke Waddell and Alejo Lopez each drew one-out walks of their own before Luis Liberato decided to get in on the fun and drew a bases-loaded walk to score Gurriel and extend the lead to 3-1. After Bolt brought home Waddell on a sac fly to make it a 4-1 game, Nacho Alvarez Jr. pulverized a ball over the left field wall for a three-run homer to give the Stripers a 7-1 lead.

The Stripers got some much-needed insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, as a Lopez single scored Gurriel for his second run of the game and Gwinnett’s eighth of the contest. Jacksonville managed to get three of those runs back in the top of the sixth to make it an 8-4 game.

Lopez would once again come through in the clutch, this time in the bottom of the 7th inning on an RBI double to plate Waddell. Liberato followed that up with a single of his own to score Lopez, giving the Stripers a commanding 10-4 lead.

The Jumbo Shrimp would get a solo homer in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, but that’s all they would get as reliever Ken Giles managed to slam the door on the win.

For Alvarez Jr. and Baldwin, their respective homers cap off what has been an excellent three week stretch. With his 4th inning homer, Alvarez Jr. now has six homers in his last 23 games compared to Baldwin’s seven home runs in his last 26 triple-a games.

(37-45) Mississippi Braves 4, (46-37) Birmingham Barons 6

  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Cade Bunnell, RF: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Lucas Braun, SP: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K

Box Score

Mississippi tried to mount a comeback in the final inning on Wednesday but ultimately came up short, losing to Birmingham by two runs.

Lucas Braun was called on to get the start for the Braves in this one and things didn’t go as he might have hoped. Across five frames, the righthander allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out just four batters on the night.

However, things didn’t necessarily look so bleak for Mississippi early on. Trailing 1-0 headed into the bottom of the second inning, the Braves scored twice in the home half to take a 2-1 lead.

Bryson Horne ledoff the frame with a double as Geraldo Quintero followed that up with a walk. With one out in the inning, Cade Bunnell doubled into right field to plate both Horne and Quintero to make it a 2-1 Mississippi lead. In the bottom of the third, the Braves would add on as a Horne single would score Justin Dean to make it 3-2.

The biggest blow for Braun and the Braves came in the top of the fifth, as Birmingham tagged the Mississippi starter for a pair of solo homers and an RBI-triple in the inning as the Barons took a 4-3 lead. The Barons would score one run in each of the sixth and eighth innings to extend their lead to 6-3 over Mississippi.

Trailing 6-3 headed into the final inning, the Braves put up somewhat of a fight in their final time at the plate. Bunnell ledoff with a single before Cal Conley drew a one-out walk to put a runner in scoring position. After KeShawn Ogans struck out, Dean singled into left field to plate Bunnell to make it a 6-4 deficit. However, Tyler Tolve would be struck out looking to end the game and hand Mississippi the loss.

(41-39) Rome Emperors 5, (35-47) Greenville Drive 6

  • Ethan Workinger, LF: 2-3, HR, 4 RBI, R, Sac Fly
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 3-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB
  • Stephen Paolini, RF: 2-4, 2B, R
  • Jhancarlos Lara, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K

Box Score

Rome’s bullpen failed to maintain a lead headed into the ninth inning, and that would prove to be the difference-maker in this one as Greenville took the game by a narrow 6-5 score.

The Drive got on the board first in this one, scoring once in the top of the first and again in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead over the Emperors and starter Jhancarlos Lara. From there, Lara would settle down and actually managed to work his way through five innings allowing just the two runs while striking out seven.

Rome finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. ledoff with a single and after Sabin Ceballos grounded out, Ethan Workinger launched an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2 in the early going. The Emperors took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Kilpatrick Jr. would score on a Workinger sac fly to give Rome the 3-2 lead.

After Greenville re-tied things up at 3-3 in the top of the seventh, Rome once again took a lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Workinger drove in his third run of the night, scoring Kilpatrick Jr. on a single to give the Emperors a 4-3 lead.

Needing just three outs to close the door and get the win, that would be easier said than done for Rome’s bullpen on Wednesday. Leading by one run, reliever Shay Schanaman — who came in to get the save — would allow three runs in the frame as Greenville took the 6-3 lead.

While Rome got one of those runs back in the home half — courtesy of a Kilpatrick Jr. bases-loaded walk to make it 6-5 — the Emperors left the bases loaded to end the game and come away with a loss.

(34-47) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (37-46) Fayetteville Woodpeckers 11

  • Joe Olsavsky, SS: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Luis Sanchez, 3B: 3-4
  • Didier Fuentes, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 7 K

Box Score

Despite getting a very solid outing from starter Didier Fuentes, a late collapse by the Augusta bullpen would prove to be the GreenJackets downfall on Wednesday as they fell to Fayetteville by an 11-3 final. Across five innings, Fuentes allowed just one run on, walked one and struck out seven on the night.

The Woodpeckers scored first in this one, tagging Fuentes for one run in the top of the second. Augusta answered back shortly thereafter, scoring once in the bottom of the third inning.

Robert Gonzalez drew a one-out walk and proceeded to steal second base before Leiker Figueroa singled him to third. Both Gonzalez and Figueroa attempted a double steal, which allowed the former to score to tie the game at 1-1.

After Fayetteville retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning by scoring one run, the GreenJackets officially took their first lead of the game. After Harry Owen ledoff as he was hit by a pitch, Joe Olsavsky later launched a two-out, two-run homer to make it a 3-2 lead for Augusta.

While the GreenJackets would enjoy a one-run lead for a moment, it wouldn’t last all that long as the Woodpeckers tied things up at 3-3 in the top of the sixth frame. From there, things would go from bad to worse for Augusta.

After Fuentes gave way to the bullpen at the start of the sixth inning, relievers Albert Rivas and Giomar Diaz would allow a combined nine runs to take an 11-3 lead which would hold as the final.

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Title: Braves Minor League Recap: Ethan Workinger drives in 4 for Rome
Author: Brady Petree

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