*** Atlanta Braves Minor League Report - April 26th *** From The Sports Network
RICHMOND BRAVES - The Braves just keep on rolling in the International League and have won their last five games, including a 5-1 victory over Durham on Sunday. Richmond is now tied for first place in the South Division standings with Durham, as both squads have identical overall marks of 9-6. First baseman Mike Hessman belted his fifth home run in the Braves' last eight contests on Sunday and is now hitting a team-best .394 with 10 RBI and seven runs scored. Outfielder Ryan Langerhans is batting a solid .319 with two home runs and 10 RBI, while infielder Wilson Betemit continues to struggle at the plate with a batting average of only .143, which includes 14 strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Trey Hodges posted his first win of the year in the team's victory on Sunday after giving up only one run and striking out seven batters in six innings of work.
GREENVILLE BRAVES - The Braves came away with just their third win of the season on Sunday, pulling out a 5-0 victory against Birmingham on the road. Greenville ended a five-game losing skid with the win, but is still 10 games out of first place in the Southern League's East Division standings. Starter Dan Meyer (1-0) was the main reason for the Braves' victory yesterday, allowing just two hits and no earned runs through 5 1/3 innings of action. Meyer has not allowed a single run in nine innings this season and has seen action as both a starter and a reliever. First baseman James Jurries was 4- for-4 in the contest and raised his batting average to a respectable .290 on the year. Third baseman Andy Marte is projected to be up at the major league level in the not-too-distant future, but has struggled over the past five games, batting a mere .190 with just one RBI.
ROME BRAVES - The Braves have won two of their last three contests, including a 4-1 victory over Delmarva on Sunday. The victory improved the team to 10-6 on the season, which puts it 2 1/2 games out of first place in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division. Rome has relied upon a potent offense, which ranks fourth in the league with a team batting average of .273. Outfielders Steve Doetsch and Matt Esquivel have been two of the main reasons for the team's success hitting the ball, as they have combined to hit five home runs and drive in 15 runs over the past 10 games. Starter Bryan Digby registered his first win of the season against Delmarva on Sunday, pitching six innings with one run scored. Digby has an ERA of just 1.71 this year and has struck out 13 batters in 21 innings.
MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS - Kyle Davies (2-1) pitched six scoreless innings and struck out eight batters in leading the Pelicans to a 5-0 victory over Kinston on Sunday. Myrtle Beach ended a three-game losing skid with the win and evened its overall mark at 8-8, which puts it 4 1/2 games behind Kinston in the Carolina League's Southern Division standings. Outfielder Jeff Francoeur led the way for the Pelicans, as he belted his second home run of the season and went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Francoeur has raised his batting average on the year to .259 and is second on the team with his 10 RBI. Matt Merricks continues to be the most effective starter for the Pelicans despite having yet to record a decision this season. Merricks has gone at least five innings in each of his three starts and owns a 2.40 ERA, with 14 strikeouts through 15 innings of work.