Iván DeJesús Jr. (3B): 2-for-3, 3 R, RBI (1), HR (1), 2 BB, K (.278 BA, .825 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS): 1-for-2, R, 2 RBI (32), 3 BB, picked off second base (.272 BA, .814 OPS)
Zack Collins (C): 2-for-4, 2 R, 4 RBI (33), HR (8), BB, K, 1-for-1 CS (.265 BA, .958 OPS)
Adam Engel (CF): 2-for-5, R, RBI (7), 3B (2), HR (3), K (.190 BA, .694 OPS) **MVP**
Odrisamer Despaigne (not a poet, but a SP): 4 IP, O H, 0 ER, BB, HBP, 2 K (3.42 ERA) 50 pitches/28 strikes
Connor Walsh (RP): 3 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K, Sv (2) (3.38 ERA)
Let’s just take a sec to salute the woebegone, “AAAA” Knights, who have mostly popped opponents in the puss all first half.
Today was mainly a story of redemption for Zack Collins. In the first inning, Durham starter Jake Cronenworth walked three Knights (around a ground out and a pickoff) and after a wild pitch, left the Catcher Left Behind ducks on the pond with two outs. With the count full, Cronenworth grooved a pitch and Collins foul-tipped it for a third strike. Sad trombone.
But after just one hit — an Iván DeJesús Jr. solo shot in the third — in the first five innings and down, 3-1, Charlotte made mayhem in the sixth, with Collins front and center. First, he weaseled onto first with an infield single to shortstop, scoring the first run of the inning on Paulo Orlando’s subsequent homer (knotting the score 3-3). After an Adam Engel homer put the Knights up for good at 4-3, Charlotte ran out four walks and a single before Collins’ turn came up again, and he didn’t miss the opportunity: GRAND SALAMI, capping a NINE-RUN assault that left the Bulls flat busted.
Odrisamer Despaigne, who faced these very Knights just two weeks ago and got a win while pitching for the Louisville Bats, turned coat today and pitched four scoreless for the Knights. No win, because, official scoring. That honor went to Matt Tomshaw, who gave up three earned on five hits in two innings, but pitched that magical fifth inning and was the pitcher of record when the Knights went ham on the Bulls. Baseball, eh Brady? Connor Walsh, sensing possible disaster if Tomshaw was left to pitch through what the Charlotte lumber juggernaut had reduced to garbage time, stood tall for a kickass, three-inning save.
All hail the Knights, who improve to 27-20 despite everyone and their sisters dogging them as trash (OK, recycling) before the season. Charlotte sits in third place in the International League South, but just 1 1⁄2 games behind division-leading Durham. (The IL don’t play no split-season nonsense, so Charlotte’s elimination number remains at 92, i.e. it’s gonna be a fun season in the Queen City.)
Luis Robert (DH): 1-for-4, 2B (10), HBP, K, CS (2) (.274 BA, .825 OPS)
Luis González (CF): 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI (20), HR (3) (.230 BA, .610 OPS) **MVP**
Yermin Mercedes (C): 2-for-4, R, RBI (12), HR (5) (.353 BA, .932 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (RF): 0-for-1, K, outfield assist 9-4-2 (.181 BA, .516 OPS) removed from the game in 3rd due to injury)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-4, RBI (20) (.247 BA, .628 OPS)
Laz Rivera (SS): 2-for-4, RBI (7), CS (4) (.234 BA, .577 OPS)
Kodi Medeiros (SP): 4 2⁄3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, HR, HBP, L (0-7) (7.05 ERA) 85 pitches/49 strikes
Alec Hansen (RP): 1 1⁄3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K, HR (3.68 ERA)
Well, sevens were wild for starter Medeiros: seven hits, seven Ks ... and a seventh loss.
The game got off on the right foot, as González clocked a homer with two outs in the top of the first. Of course, one of those two outs cost the Barons an extra run, as Robert was thrown out stealing second one pitch before González’s long ball.
And it just got worse, as Chattanooga threw four runs at Birmingham before the Barons answered with another digit in the fourth. By that time, Rutherford had already left the game. The Barons recap offered no clue as to what the nature of his injury was, but his last play before being removed was a 9-4-2 double play fly out/assist at home plate. So, an arm, shoulder, planting leg? It’s like I’m back on the hockey beat with all the injury mystery. Let’s just say “upper body injury” for the moment.
Hansen relieved Medeiros, and the good news is that he had no walks in his appearance. The bad? Four hits, two earned, a homer. Double-A remains a touch unkind to the big man.
Birmingham falls to 19-30, and really, you don’t want to know how far out of first place it is.
UPDATE: Blake Rutherford has been removed from tonight's game after he sustained an injury in the third inning.— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) May 26, 2019
He'll be replaced by Ramon Torres.
Chattanooga leads 4-1 after three. pic.twitter.com/8khFFTyXjI
Nick Madrigal (2B): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B (10), 2 SB (14) (.271 BA, .715 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 3-for-5, 2 RBI (9), 2B (3) (.222 BA, .688 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B): 2-for-5, RBI (18), R, HR (4), K, E (5) (.291 BA, .857 OPS)
Zach Remillard (SS): 2-for-5, RBI (23), R, HR (3), K (.308 BA, .812 OPS)
JJ Muno (RF): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI (14), HR (2), BB, SB (4) (.310 BA, .891 OPS) **MVP**
Yeyson Yrizzari (3B): 3-for-5, RBI (19) (.230 BA, .567 OPS)
Jorgan Cavanerio (SP): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K, W (1-0) (3.94 ERA) 78 pitches/54 strikes
Luis Ledo (RP): IP, K, Sv (7) (2.21 ERA)
Yep, another one of those classic Salem vs. Salem battles, where no Salem truly wins — but none lose, either. Well, today the Dash mashed hell outta the ball, to the tune of 19 hits. Yet those dogged Carmine Salemites hung in — just nine hits, but just generally unwilling to let this laffer of a game go.
Walker, Yrizarri and Tyler Frost all drove in single tallies in the first four innings, pacing a 3-0 Dash lead, but the Red Sox busted out a crooked number in the fourth to tie. And that’s when W-S put the longball into effect, scarring the top of the fifth with three dingers: Fisher and Remillard with back-to-back one-out solo jacks, Muno going for a two-run ding-dong with two outs three batters later.
THREE HOMERS FOR THE DASH IN THE FIFTH!— Winston-Salem Dash (@WSDashBaseball) May 26, 2019
+ @_Fish23 & @Zachyflat7: back-to-back solo homers
+ @jjmuno13: two-run homer
We have a 7-3 advantage going into the bottom of the frame at Salem. pic.twitter.com/eJNa96dKLF
The good Salems would never look back, although the Carmines did chisel earned runs off of Zach Lewis in the sixth and eighth. The Dash improve to 26-23, in third place in the Carolina League Southern, seven games back and with very little hope of a first-half playoff berth.
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-5, RBI (20), BB (.339 BA, .859 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI (13), 2B (9), HR (3), K (.290 BA, .846 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Cruz (SS): 2-for-5, K (.258 BA, .830 OPS)
Davis Martin (SP): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, 8 K (7.41 ERA) 87 pitches/59 strikes
Bennett Sousa (RP): 2 IP, 2 H, K (1.50 ERA) 23 pitches/17 strikes
Vince Arobio (RP): 1 2⁄3 IP, 3 H, 2 R/0 ER, K, L (2-2), BSv (2) (2.63 ERA)
Aside from 1-0, Kannapolis didn’t trail in this game — until the bottom of the 10th, when the game was lost. What new: The Intimidators have lost three straight games in extras, sheesh.
With one out the top of the ninth, Destino broke a 3-3 tie with a homer to right, but Arobio couldn’t lock down the game. A one-out single was aided by a Johoandro Alfaro passed ball, and one out later Cole Stobbe singled in the tying run. Blown save, Arobio.
In the 10th Arobio again had two outs, and this time an 0-2 count on Luke Miller, when the closer left a juicy pitch up, and it was spanked for a single into center for the win.