It all started so well for the Danville Braves.
Danville started July on a tear and atop the Appalachian League East Division standings.
However, July hasn’t been kind to the D-Braves.
A week after dropping six of 10 games, the D-Braves continued to struggle this week, dropping three out of five.
vs. Greeneville (July 23-25)
Danville (16-23) started the week out on the right foot, stealing Game 2 of a three-game set against the Reds, 7-5.
The D-Braves scored at least two runs in three innings, adding a pair in the first, eighth and ninth innings.
Bryce Ball’s two-run single accounted for both of Danville’s runs in the first.
Danville entered the eighth trailing 5-3, but Willie Carter brought the score even with a two-run single to left.
The D-Braves scored the eventual game-winning runs in the ninth when Beau Philip’s drove a single to center field that scored Michael Mateja and Cody Milligan.
Ball, Carter and Philip each paced Danville with a pair of RBIs.
Alex Camacho (2-0) got the win on the bump, throwing two innings of one-hit shutout ball while striking out three in the process.
However, Greeneville bounced back against Danville the following night, picking up the series win with a 7-0 victory over the D-Braves in Game 3.
vs. Bluefield (July 26-28)
Bluefield came to town with the Appy League’s hottest offense, but the Blue Jays’ bats were stymied by Danville’s pitching in the opener of a three-game set.
Ricky DeVito, Deyvis Julian, Peyton Williams and Albinson Volquez combined to four hit Bluefield.
However, their efforts weren’t enough as a two-run seventh doomed the D-Braves in a 2-0 loss.
D.J. Daniels’ two-run home run to left represented the only runs of the game.
DeVito threw four innings of two-hit ball, striking out five in the process. Julian followed with two frames of hitless ball, while Williams (1-3) gave up two runs on two hits in an inning pitched, saddling him with the loss. Volquez threw the final two, surrendering no hits, no runs and striking out two in the process.
Danville bounced back in Game 2, however, scoring a 7-3 win to even the series.
The D-Braves scored five runs over the final three innings in the victory.
Ball’s 12th dinger, a solo shot to right, knotted the score at 3-all in the bottom of the sixth.
Victor De Hoyos got involved in the home run action the following inning, crushing his first professional home run — a solo shot to right — that gave the D-Braves a 4-3 lead.
Cody Birdsong’s two-run single and Hoyos’ RBI double rounded out a three-run eighth.
De Hoyos and Charles Reyes paced the D-Braves with a pair of RBIs apiece.
Justin Yeager (1-0) got the win on the hill, throwing two frames of one-hit, shutout ball.
In the finale, Danville scored five runs over the opening three innings to erase an early three-run deficit. However, it’s efforts were not enough as the Blue Jays left Danville with a series win after scoring a 9-7 victory in extra innings.
Steward Berroa’s two-run homer in the 10th proved to be the difference.
Bluefield jumped out to an early three-run lead in the first on P.K. Morris’ two-run double to center and Leonardo Jimenez’s run-scoring double that clanked off the wall in left.
However, Philip (RBI groundout) and Ray Hernandez (run-scoring single) helped the D-Braves cut their deficit to 3-2 after a full inning.
The Blue Jays struck back with a run in the second on Spencer Horwitz’s single to right that gave Bluefield a 4-2 cushion.
Danville kept swinging though, adding a pair of runs in the third to take its first lead of the game.
Hernandez’s RBI single back to the pitcher knotted the score at 4-all and Birdsong’s run-scoring double brought home Ball to give the D-Braves a 5-4 lead.
Bluefield responded with a pair of runs over the next two frames to take a 6-5 lead heading into the top of the fifth.
That’s when Ball got involved.
Ball drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right for his 13th home run of the year that knotted the score at 6-all. De Hoyos continued his recent tear as well, driving in Carter with the go-ahead run on a double to left.
The Blue Jays had the last laugh though, as they knotted the score at seven in the eighth to force extra frames.
Bluefield didn’t wait long to jump on Danville in extras as Berroa slammed a two-run to right, leading to the final score.
Hernandez led the D-Braves with two RBIs in the finale.