(Media release from the Rome Braves):
The second half of a two-week road trip, which yielded two wins, was headlined by the 20,000th hit in Rome Braves franchise history coming in game two against the BlueClaws.
Game One: BlueClaws 5, Braves 1
Jersey Shore was the beneficiary of a two-run bottom of the third and a three-run bottom of the fifth in their 5-1 triumph over Rome. The Braves collected 11 hits as a team but went hitless with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base. Four Braves had multi-hit days including David McCabe who recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season and second with the Rome Braves. Drake Baldwin, Geraldo Quintero, and Kadon Morton were the other repeat offenders at the plate. Morton’s two hits were both for extra bases. His fifth inning double resulted in the first and only run of the ballgame for Rome as he came around to score on a passed ball. Starter Cedric De Grandpre was tagged with the loss after giving up four earned runs over four innings.
Game Two: BlueClaws 6, Braves 2
Drake Baldwin delivered the third hit of the ballgame and 20,000th of Rome’s 20-year history. His single through the right side in the top of the fourth put runners at first and second for David McCabe who sent a line drive to center field to score Alvarez. An Adam Zebrowski groundout would plate Baldwin the very next at-bat. With the game tied, Jersey Shore would score four unanswered thanks in part to 14 hits. Daniel Martinez lasted 5.2 innings on the rubber for the Braves, giving up just one earned on nine hits. Benjamin Dum and Peyton Williams covered the final 2.1 frames in relief. The win marked the BlueClaws’ fourth straight.
Game Three: Braves 4, BlueClaws 2
Behind a phenomenal 4.1 innings of scoreless relief from Patrick Halligan, the Rome Braves capped the first half with a 4-2 victory Thursday night. Eliezel Stevens opened the scoring in the top of the second innings with a run scoring single to right. The BlueClaws responded in the home half of the frame, plating one of their own to tie the ballgame 1-1. But Rome would recapture the lead the following inning when a Keshawn Ogans double would score Drake Baldwin who reached on a walk. Ogans would come up clutch again in the fifth, sending his fourth homerun of the year out to left to put the Braves up 4-1. Starter Luis Vargas came up an out shy of being the pitcher of record, so it was Patrick Halligan taking home the victory. Rome finished the first half with a record of 30-36.
Game Four: BlueClaws 2, Braves 1
Geraldo Quintero led off Thursday’s contest with a walk and scored two pitches later with Nacho Alvarez’s 11th double of the season. Keshawn Ogans would also double in the inning. Following the first, the ‘Claws would put up eight straight zeros and allow just one hit the rest of the way. Two runs in the home half of the fifth off Ian Mejia gave Jersey Shore the lead and handed Mejia the loss. Rob Griswold did well to hold the deficit in the seventh and eighth, as he did not allow a baserunner and struck out two.
Game Five: BlueClaws 4, Braves 3
A Gabriel Rincones Jr. single in the bottom of the ninth walked the Braves off for the third time on the road trip. The seesaw battle began with Jersey Shore putting up one in the bottom of the fourth on a solo shot to center. Adam Zebrowksi split the gap for his 12th double of the year to lead off the top of the fifth, and Brandon Parker continued his hot series with a base hit to left, scoring Zebrowski from second. A couple of errors in the field for the ‘Claws allowed another run to cross to put the Braves up 2-1. With the game tied again in the sixth, another fielding error would put the Braves back up, 3-2. A run in the eighth and Rincones’ walk-off would be all she wrote for the Braves in game five.
Game Six: Braves 6, BlueClaws 4
Rome didn’t crack the hit column until the top of the fourth inning in game six, but the runs came when they did. Nacho Alvarez led off with a single, but his effort would be negated on a groundball double play. Ogans and Quintero both registered two-out singles before Adam Zebrowski belted his eighth homer of the year, and first since May 28th, out to left center. Rome would get some cushion in the following inning when singles from Paolini and Kilpatrick precipitated into a two RBI single from Ogans, pushing the Braves’ lead out to 5-2. Riggins was in true form once again, scattering six hits and allowing just two earned runs over his 5.0 innings of work. Niekro and Hughes bridged the gap and both picked up holds. It was Peyton Williams recording his fourth save of the year that captured the series finale.
Kilpatrick Jr.: 2-for-5, 2 R
Ogans: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, R
Rome has consecutive days off scheduled for the first time this season and their second home series of the month begins Wednesday against the Bowling Green Hotrods. The first pitch is set for 7:00 pm EDT.