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White Sox Minor League Update: May 19, 2019

The affiliates combine for only 11 runs but manage two victories

Setting the table: Catcher Michael Hickman got two hits in today’s loss.
Tiffany Wintz (@TiffW96)

Charlotte Knights 6, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 4

Ross Detwiler (SP): 6 IP, 3 R (3 ER), 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 3.00 ERA

Alcides Escobar (SS): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .336 AVG, .876 OPS *MVP*

Daniel Palka (RF): 1-for-2, 2 BB, .311 AVG, 1.105 OPS

Matt Skole (1B): 0-for-3, BB, .282 AVG, 1.040 OPS

Seby Zavala (C): 1-for-3, HR, BB, 3 RBI, .225 AVG, .753 OPS

Zack Collins (DH): 0-for-3, BB, .242 AVG, .917 OPS

Adam Engel (CF): 0-for-4, .175 AVG, .525 OPS

The IronPigs (21-19) struck first, as Damek Tomscha and Matt McBride hit back-to-back home runs against Knights starter Ross Detwiler. However, their lead would not last long, as Seby Zavala homered in the fourth inning to drive in three. This was Zavala’s fifth home run of the year, as he boosted his OPS to .753. Zavala also gotten at least one hit in seven of his past eight games, and this is his fourth home run in that span.

Matt McBride homered again in the fifth to tie it, but that was as good as the IronPigs’ situation would get. The Knights regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning on a wild pitch, and Alcides Escobar added an insurance run with an RBI double. That was just one of three hits of the day for Escobar, who added yet another insurance run in the seventh with an RBI single.

Though Detwiler gave up three home runs, he finished with a quality start, allowing only those three runs in six innings of work. He only allowed one hit besides those home runs. He also struck out five while issuing no walks.

The Knights improved to 23-18 on the season. Their next game will be Tuesday at 6:05 CST against the Gwinnett Stripers (26-17). That will be the first of a three-game series in Gwinnett.

Birmingham Barons 2, Mississippi Braves 1

Blake Battenfield (SP): 5 13 IP, 1 R (1 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1.74 ERA

Luis Alexander Basabe (CF): 0-for-4, .153 AVG, .423 OPS

Luis Gonzalez (LF): 0-for-4, .238 AVG, .634 OPS

Yermin Mercedes (DH): 2-for-4, .376 AVG, .980 OPS

Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-4, .250 AVG, .647 OPS

Blake Rutherford (RF): 2-for-4, RBI, .188 AVG, .535 OPS *MVP*

Runs were hard to come by in this one, as both teams’ starting pitchers had excellent performances. However, Barons starter Blake Battenfield ran into trouble early, as he allowed two hits and a walk in the first. That led to the first run of the game, as the Braves (19-23) took an early lead.

That was the last time the Braves scored all day, and nobody would cross home plate for either side again until the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, the first two Barons were retired, but a two-out rally was enough to tie the game. The Barons managed three consecutive singles, as Yermin Mercedes and Gavin Sheets started the rally. Blake Rutherford finished it with an RBI single to tie it.

Rutherford also started a rally in the ninth, as he set the table with a leadoff single. The Barons used a pinch-hit single from Ti’Quan Forbes and a wild pitch to push the winning run to third base with only one out. Mitch Roman did not squander this opportunity, as he hit a game-ending sacrifice fly.

After the run he allowed in the first inning, Battenfield was terrific. He allowed only four hits and one walk on the day, and he also managed seven strikeouts. The bullpen also got the job done, as Hunter Schryver and Luis Martinez combined for 3 23 scoreless innings. Schryver did not allow any baserunners in his two innings of work.

Luis Robert did not have any plate appearances, though he did enter the game as a pinch-runner late. The Barons improved to 18-25 on the season. They will wrap up this five-game series against Mississippi tomorrow, and that game will start at 6:05 CST.

Down East Wood Ducks 1, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Konnor Pilkington (SP): 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 4.82 ERA *MVP*

Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-3, BB, .270 AVG, .707 OPS

Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, .170 AVG, .582 OPS

Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-3, 2B, BB, .294 AVG, .772 OPS

Craig Dedelow (RF): 1-for-3, BB, .255 AVG, .765 OPS

This was another pitchers’ duel, as both starting pitchers threw six scoreless innings. Konnor Pilkington had another sensational start, as he managed 12 strikeouts while issuing only two walks and allowing three hits. This was an excellent recovery from one of his very few weak starts this season.

Unfortunately, the Dash could not take advantage of Pilkington’s gem, as Down East (30-14) pitching shut them down. The Dash only managed four hits (three singles and a double). None of those hits came with runners with scoring position, as they finished 0-for-3 in those at-bats.

The Wood Ducks finally broke through in the bottom of the ninth inning, as catcher Samuel Huff drove in the only run of the game with a single against lefty Kevin Escorcia. The Dash fell back down to .500 (21-21), as this loss broke a three-game winning streak. They will come back home for a four-game series against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (20-23).

Delmarva Shorebirds 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Jonathan Stiever (SP): 5 IP, 8 R (8 ER), 11 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 4.58 ERA

Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-5, SB (14), .346 AVG, .859 OPS

Romy González (1B): 1-for-2, HR, 2 HBP, .286 AVG, .784 OPS

Ramon Beltré (2B): 0-for-4, .234 AVG, .646 OPS

Luis Curbelo (3B): 0-for-3, .190 AVG, .566 OPS

Michael Hickman (C): 2-for-4, .289 AVG, .791 OPS

Johan Cruz (SS): 2-for-2, HR, 2 BB, .294 AVG, 1.076 OPS *MVP*

Intimidators starter Jonathan Stiever’s quality start streak came to an end at five, as his ERA rose from 3.47 to 4.58 from this game alone. As per usual, his strikeout-to-walk ratio (seven strikeouts, no walks) was encouraging, but that was the only positive from his line.

Delmarva (32-9!) put up four in the top of the second, and that was all the support their pitchers would need. Shorebirds outfielder Doran Turchin started the scoring with a two-run homer, and the Shorebirds scored two more that inning by hitting four singles.

The Shorebirds pushed one more across in the third on a wild pitch, and the blew the game wide open with a three-run bomb in the fifth. Reliever Andrew Perez provided some much-needed relief, throwing three scoreless innings. Delmarva’s last run came against outfielder Alex Destino, who allowed one run in his one inning of relief.

On the offensive side, Romy González and Johan Cruz both hit solo home runs. Cruz earned MVP honors by not only hitting his second home run of the season but also by reaching base in every plate appearance.

The Intimidators fell to 19-23 on the season. They will wrap up a five-game series against Delmarva tomorrow, and that game will start at 6:00 CST. The Intimidators will look to salvage two out of five in this series.