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White Sox Minor League Update: April 10, 2019

It was Ryan Cordell’s night, and we were just living in it

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Homesick for Chicago: Ryan Cordell was apparently very motivated by his demotion, proceeding to hit for the cycle in his first game back in Charlotte.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well, who’s coming up tomorrow?

Charlotte Knights 10, Norfolk Tides 9

Donny Roach: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Ian Hamilton: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Juan Minaya: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Danny Mendick: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Nicky Delmonico: 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K
Zack Collins: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Ryan Cordell: 5-for-5, 1 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (hit for the cycle) **MVP**
Seby Zavala: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

This was a back-and-forth game from the beginning. Donn Roach allowed three runs in the first two innings before calming down, but that put the Knights in a pickle early. Thankfully, Alcides Escobar broke through with an RBI double in the second inning, and Ryan Cordell continued to show his power. Cordell hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third to give Charlotte a 4-3 lead in what was really Cordell’s night. If you are keeping track, the homer was Cordell’s second hit already in the game: In the second inning, he recorded a double. So, a homer and a double so far.

Meanwhile, Roach allowed another home run, tying the game 4-4, before being lifted in the fifth inning. But Seby Zavala, who is having a good start to the season both at and behind the plate, hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning that scored Cordell. Cordell was on third because ... he tripled earlier that inning, leaving him only in need of a single for the cycle. On a good note for the pitching, Ian Hamilton threw a perfect inning in the sixth, with two strikeouts, his best outing of the young season.

Unfortunately, Hamilton’s replacement, Colton Turner, allowed four runs, giving the Tides an 8-6 lead. As the Knights fell behind, Cordell slapped a single to complete his cycle in the seventh inning, which perhaps gave Charlotte the mojo it needed to come back in the game: Charlie Tilson and Danny Mendick both drove in a runs that tied the game, 8-8. The bad thing, though, was that Norfolk took back the lead in the next half-inning, setting up a one-run game going to the bottom of the ninth. The Knights were able to load the bases with one out, a run that included a Cordell single, his fifth hit of the game. It was up to Brandon Guyer and Tilson to win the game, and they came through in the clutch. Both hit singles to complete the comeback without pesky extra innings. The Knights improved to 6-1 on the season.

Tennessee Smokies 7, Birmingham Barons 3

Tanner Banks: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Matt Foster: 23 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Luis Gonzalez: 0-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K
Micker Adolfo: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K
Blake Rutherford: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K
Yermin Mercedes: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K **MVP**
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Laz Rivera: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K

It was another offensive dud for the Barons tonight: The offense went six full innings without even so much as a base runner, much less a run. By that point, Birmingham was already in a 4-0 hole. Tanner Banks was doing well through three innings, but found trouble in the fourth, already down 1-0. He allowed the first two runners of the inning to get on base, and on the third, Banks surrendered a three-run homer. However, Banks was able to get back into a groove for nine more outs, keeping the game at 4-0.

By the time the seventh rolled around, the Barons decided to strike. First, Yermin Mercedes homered to center to get the Barons on the board. After Trey Michalczewski and Gavin Sheets singled, Mitch Roman hit a two-RBI triple to cut Tennessee’s lead to one. Unfortunately, Roman was stranded at third base. The Barons would allow three more runs in the top of the ninth in what ended up being a 7-3 loss.

Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Zach Lewis: 2 13 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 1 K
José Nin: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K **MVP**
Tate Blackman: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Craig Dedelow: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
Yeyson Yrizarri: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K

It was not a good start to the game for Zach Lewis and the Dash. After Lincoln Henzman went down in his last start, Lewis pitched brilliantly the rest of the way. Today was a different story; Lewis allowed two runs in the first inning, including one forced in by a walk. The Dash were able to get one run back, also forced in by a walk to Zach Remillard, but that was the only offense Winston-Salem was able to muster.

Lewis had a much more difficult third inning: The walks continued, and he allowed a double to score the third run of the game. After he was pulled after recording only one out in the third, reliever Jake Elliott threw a wild pitch that scored Wilmington’s fourth run. Aside from his wild pitch, Elliott pitched a terrific 3 23 innings, keeping the Blue Rocks off the scoreboard. José Nin did the same when he was in the game, lowering his ERA from 13.50 to 8.44 with two shutout innings.

Delmarva Shorebirds 2, Kannapolis Intimidators 1

Jonathan Stiever: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Bennett Sousa: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
Luis Curbelo: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Steele Walker: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Bryce Bush: 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
Evan Skoug: 3-for-3, 1 BB, 0 K **MVP**

A little bit of a dud here for the I’s, especially on the offensive side. Delmarva opened up the game by scoring in the top of the first, but Kannapolis was able to tie it in the bottom of the inning. Luis Curbelo doubles and was advanced to third, and Bryce Bush drove him in with a sac fly. So from the start, it looked like it was going to be a long day for the pitchers. Not so.

There was only one more run scored in the game, and unfortunately, it was by the Shorebirds. Jonathan Stiever allowed both runs, in his second start of the year. His command was a bit off this time around, going from no walks allowed to three, but his overall results were better. Bennett Sousa also dropped his ERA down to a more Sousa-like number, with two perfect innings chiseling it to 2.08.

Kannapolis’ offense was, well, bad. The I’s were able to reach base 12 times in the game but only mustered one run. Evan Skoug reached base four of those 12 times, and he now has a 1.222 OPS.