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White Sox Minor League Update: April 26, 2019

The Knights got the system’s only victory, as Luis Robert struggled in his return from his injury

Chicago White Sox Photo Day
Rough return: Luis Robert went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his return from injury.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Charlotte Knights 10, Indianapolis Indians 9

Donn Roach (SP): 6 IP, 7 R (7 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 9.75 ERA
Daniel Palka (LF): 1-2, HR, 3 BB, .200 AVG, .779 OPS *co-MVP*
Zack Collins (DH): 2-4, HR, BB, .250 AVG, 1.036 OPS *co-MVP*
Ryan Goins (2B): 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .309 AVG, .941 OPS
Charlie Tilson (RF): 2-5, 3 RBI
Danny Mendick (3B): 1-4, RBI

While this game was not quite as chaotic as Friday’s White Sox contest, it was close. Donn Roach had another rough start, and though he lasted six innings, much of his performance was not sharp.

The Knights caught fire early in this one. Daniel Palka and Zack Collins hit back-to-back jacks in the first inning to give the Knights an early 2-0 lead. But, there was a lot of offense on both sides, and after Indianapolis rallied, the Knights needed to make a big comeback to win.

After Indianapolis scored two in their half of the sixth, it led 7-2, and appeared to be in control. But the Knights stormed back with a five-spot to tie the game at seven. In that crazy sixth inning, the Knights drew three walks and got three hits, including a double. With two outs, Brandon Guyer doubled, and Charlie Tilson singled. Those two hits combined to drive in three runs to tie it.

Ryan Goins gave the Knights the lead in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run double, and they would not squander it — though it did get interesting in the top of the ninth.

The Knights are now 15-7 (!) after tonight’s victory, as they have won eight of their last 10 games. They look to keep it going as they face Indianapolis tomorrow at 6:04 CST. Lefty Jordan Guerrero will start for the Knights. The Knights hitters will face a challenge, as they will face Mitch Keller, who is MLB Pipeline’s No. 18 overall prospect and No. 4 right-handed pitching prospect.

Game 1: Montgomery Biscuits 3, Birmingham Barons 1 (7)

Kodi Medeiros (SP): 4 23 innings, 3 R (3 ER), 7 H, 4 BB, 6 K, 6.39 ERA
Danny Dopico (RP): 1 13 innings, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.79 ERA
Yermin Mercedes (C): 2-3, 2B, .419 AVG, 1.096 OPS
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-3, HR, .136 AVG, .416 OPS *MVP*
Micker Adolfo (DH): 1-2, BB, .211 AVG, .633 OPS
Joel Booker (LF): 0-3, .351 AVG, .846 OPS

In the first game of today’s doubleheader, Kodi Medeiros had a mediocre outing, and the Barons offense failed to get much going outside of a solo home run. Medeiros got plenty of strikeouts, but he also gave up a fair amount of sharp contact. With two outs in the bottom of the second, he allowed a triple that plated the first run of the game for either side.

Control was also an issue, as Medeiros walked four. One of those came around to score on a third inning single, which pushed the Biscuits lead to 2-0. That would turn out to be all the support that Montgomery pitching would need.

The only Barons run of the afternoon came on a Blake Rutherford solo homer in the fifth, which cut the deficit back down to 3-1. It was Rutherford’s second home run of the season. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come, as Rutherford is off to a slow start overall, now with a .416 OPS after the second game of the doubleheader. Yermin Mercedes also had a nice day at the plate, as he got two hits, including a double.

Game 2: Montgomery Biscuits 3, Birmingham Barons 2 (7)

Jimmy Lambert (SP): 6 IP, 2 R (2 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 2.93 ERA
Luis Gonzalez (RF): 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, .221 AVG, .650 OPS *MVP*
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-3, 2B, .186 AVG, .454 OPS
Joel Booker (CF): 0-2, BB, HBP, SB, .351 AVG, .846 OPS
Micker Adolfo (DH): 0-3, .211 AVG, .633 OPS

The Barons came up short in another seven-inning game. Jimmy Lambert had a quality start and put the Barons in a good position to win, as his control was on point, throwing 58 of 86 pitches (67%) for strikes. Other than two solo home runs, Lambert looked solid tonight, and he has the line to show for it.

However, Birmingham’s bats ultimately could not come through when they needed to. The Barons finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The only hit they had with runners in scoring position was a triple by Luis González, which plated both Barons runs. Birmingham managed just four other hits in this game. However, though he had no hits, Joel Booker stole his eighth base (8-for-10) of the year, which leads the Southern League. His speed is a big asset as he moves up in the White Sox system, and it is nice to see him using it.

The Biscuits scored an unearned run on a single in the bottom of the seventh to walk this one off. After the two losses, the Barons sit at 9-13 on the season. They face the Biscuits again tomorrow at 6:05 CST. Bernardo Flores, who has a 2.14 ERA, will start for the Barons.

Frederick Keys 7, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Cristian Castillo (SP): 4 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 7 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.68 ERA
Alec Hansen (RP): 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA *MVP*
Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-4 (4 K), .444 AVG, 1.357 OPS
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-4, .265 AVG, .692 OPS
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-2, BB, .218 AVG, .587 OPS
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-3, .272 AVG, .695 OPS
Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 1-3, .203 AVG, .548 OPS

This game was supposed to be pretty noteworthy, with Luis Robert’s return. But it was rough one for the Dash, and especially for Robert, who struck out in all four of his plate appearances, lowering his slash line to a slightly less amazing .444/.500/.857.

Though Robert was an extreme example, the Dash really struggled at the plate. They managed just three hits, and all of them were singles. Jameson Fisher drew the only walk of the game for the Dash.

One positive from this game was Alec Hansen (again). He just keeps dominating. Tonight, he faced six batters and retired all of them. Four of those were set down on strikes.

Those are some crazy numbers in the early going.

The Dash fall to 11-11 with this loss. They will play the Keys again tomorrow at 1:00 CST. Lefty John Parke, who enters with a 4.35 ERA this year, is the probable starter for the Dash.

Rome Braves 6, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Kade McClure (SP): 5 IP, 1 R (1 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 4.34 ERA
Michael Hickman (1B): 2-4, 2B, RBI, .345 AVG, 1.010 OPS *MVP*
Bryce Bush (DH): 2-4, 2B, .188 AVG, .553 OPS
Ian Dawkins (LF): 1-4, .280 AVG, .703 OPS
Luis Basabe (RF): 0-3, BB, SB, .250 AVG, .743 OPS

The Intimidators put up a big, crooked number in the top of the second, but they failed to score after that point, and the bullpen could not hold the lead.

In that second inning, the Intimidators’ first two hitters struck out, but the next four all got hits and eventually came around to score. That rally was capped off on a wild pitch, which allowed the fourth run to score. However, the Intimidators only got four hits outside of those two-out, second-inning hits.

Kade McClure had a strong performance, as he kept sharp contact to a minimum. He also did a good job minimizing damage when he got into trouble. However, the Kannapolis bullpen combined to pitch three innings, allowing five runs (four earned), blowing the early lead.

The loss drops the Intimidators to 8-12. They face the Braves again tomorrow at 5:00 CST, with former Indiana University pitcher Jonathan Stiever on the bump.