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White Sox Minor League Update: May 14, 2019

Seven homers, seven runs scored in the seventh, seven runs given up in the seventh; there’s a theme I can’t quite put my finger on

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
Flashback: Matt Skole doing in 2018 what Matt Skole did multiple times today.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights 13, Rochester Red Wings 7

Ross Detwiler: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
Caleb Frare: 1 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 1-0) (BS, 1)
Eloy Jiménez (DH): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 K
Matt Skole (1B): 2-for-5, 2 HR (?!), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K
Seby Zavala (C): 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Alcides Escobar (SS): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI
Paulo Orlando (LF): 4-for-4, 2 HR (?!!), 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB **MVP**
Ryan Goins (2B): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

One-word summary: lol. 308-word summary: This one was a real rollercoaster from the seventh inning on. Ross Detwiler had the best start of not just his White Sox career (spanning exactly this game) but perhaps his entire career, full stop. Detwiler left with a seemingly comfortable 7-1 lead after six innings.

However, Charlotte’s bullpen is not good news, except for Matt Foster, normally, but Foster gave up more runs in his one inning of work than he had the entire season so far (two, one). Zach Thompson’s struggles continue as the 6´7´´ (!!!) righty gave up four runs in his ⅔ IP. One of Frare’s two inherited runners scored, which is why he has the rare scoreless blown save/win combo.

Let’s just get this out of the way at the top. The Knights hit seven home runs. This is a truly monstrous number of dingers for one game. Three came in the third: Orlando, in his third game with the Sox organization, led off with one on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. Skole hit one with two outs on the first pitch of his at-bat. Zavala went back-to-back with Skole on an 0-2 count. Two more came in the sixth: Escobar hit his third of the season and Orlando went back-to-back with his second of the day. The final two were in the eighth, and you will be shocked, my reader, shocked to learn that Palka and Skole went back-to-back, Skole’s second of the day.

Jiménez hit a double in his first rehab appearance back from ankle injury, but did not get in on the tater-fest. The Red Wings, who had 17 hits, struck out 14 times and did not walk; they left 10 on base. Charlotte’s six-run eighth saved them from what would have otherwise been an embarrassing loss. No, we can’t have good things, shut up!! Just kidding, enjoy some dongs.

Tennessee Smokies 9, Birmingham Barons 4

Kodi Medeiros: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
Connor Waslh: 0 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K (L, 0-1)
Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 CS, 1 HBP, 2 K **MVP**
Luis Alexander Basabe (LF): 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K; 1 E
Blake Rutherford (RF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 K; 1 E
Mitch Roman (2B): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K

Giving up seven runs in one inning isn’t a great way to win a game, nor is making two errors in that inning, nor is turning what would normally in this game of base ball be a three-out inning into a four-out inning through the magic of dropped third strikes. Unsurprisingly, when combined, these elements formed a losing effort today for Birmingham. Kodi Medeiros, 2014 Milwaukee Brewers first rounder and last year’s trade bait for Joakim Soria, had his strongest start of the year. The lefty has struggled with his command and has walked at least two each time out; on the season, he has 21 walks and 22 strikeouts in his 28 ⅓ IP. Here, he was able to keep the damage to a minimum.

Unfortunately, Connor Walsh was not; he failed to record an out in the seventh and saw his ERA jump up by nearly three full runs. Basabe and Rutherford both made costly errors in the outfield and Walsh didn’t help out his own cause with a wild pitch. Hunter Schryver, who has been absolutely stellar since the Sox acquired him for cash at last year’s trade deadline, gave up a rare run, and it fittingly happened in a rare way. He struck out the first batter faced, Gioskar Amaya, but thanks to a wild pitch, Amaya reached first safely. Amaya then stole second and scored on a single before Schryver retired three straight. Alec Hansen had his second straight scoreless inning with one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.

The Barons scored two runs each in two bunches. The first saw a Trey Michalczewski sacrifice bunt hand the Smokies the first out of an inning that included two walks and one hit by pitch. Luis Robert had a two-run single with the bases loaded, accounting for half of Birmingham’s scoring. The other half came thanks to the combined efforts of a Michalczewski single and Nate Nolan groundout in the eighth. Third baseman Ti’Quan Forbes reached base twice via single and walk, raising his OBP to .358.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5, Winston-Salem Dash 2

Zach Lewis: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K; 1 PO (L, 2-2)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4, 1 SB
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-4, K
Jameson Fisher (1B): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B **MVP**
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-3
Craig Dedelow (DH): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

The Dash have lost five straight, this one despite outhitting their opponents by three (but we’re not here to rehash 2016). Starter Zach Lewis had good results in the lower levels during his first two professional seasons, but walked a concerning number of batters, and that came back to bite him tonight. Codi Heuer came on in relief and plowed through one scoreless inning effortlessly, striking out the side, but could not complete the second. Jose Nin’s 1 ⅓ scoreless innings were too little, too late.

Left fielder JJ Muno plated the first Dash run of the game with a single in the fourth, and third baseman Yeyson Yrizarri supplied the second with an ninth-inning double. Fisher’s revisit to High-A ball seems to be finally paying off, as he raised his batting average to .282. This is his fourth three-hit game in his last 10. Remillard, who can play anywhere you want him to and who cannot be stopped, stretched his hitting streak to nine and kept his average up above .300, the only Dash player at that level. Dedelow, owner of a 10-game average of .341, rounds out the trio of hot bats. Dedelow walked for the first time since April 15; he started the season with five walks in his first four games played.

Steele Walker had a six-game on-base streak broken; this was the fourth game of the entire season, 31 total, where he failed to reach base. His Winston-Salem OBP remains a robust .404.

Kannapolis Intimidators 8, Lexington Legends 4

Jonathan Stiever: 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 B, 3 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K; 1 E
Romy González (LF): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB; outfield assist
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K; 1 E
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Giving up seven runs in one inning isn’t a great way to win a game, nor is making two errors in that inning, nor is throwing four wild pitches in that inning, nor is walking six batters in that inning. The Intimidators were on the right side of this one, scoring seven in the seventh, just like the Barons — except the exact opposite. Here’s how that seventh inning went: Ground out. Walk. Wild pitch. Wild pitch. Walk. Walk. Walk. Pitching change. Wild pitch. Single. Walk. Walk. Strikeout. Reach on error, runners advance/score on different error (same play). Stolen base/wild pitch (same play). Strikeout. There’s nothing like minor league baseball.

Dawkins continued his crusade for you to know who he is, so here’s who he is: a 5´11´´, 27th-round outfield pick from 2018 who is in his first full season of pro ball and is 19 for his last 33. He has a nine-game hitting streak, including six multi-hit games. He has struck out four times and walked five in that span. He’s 23 years old and is looking nigh invincible during this incredible run. He’s also stolen 12 bases on the season, if you’re into that kind of thing. Meanwhile, Sosa’s resurgence to relevancy roared on; he’s hit safely in six straight. Troutwine, the catcher who will one day do rise up to do battle with Steele Walker for best name in the organization, has been slumping recently but still reached base twice. Johan Cruz is back, returning from a horrifying-looking upper arm injury the specifics of which remain vague; he drew a walk in the DH slot.

To cap it off, here’s your basically optimistic Dan Victor Bryce Bush update: