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White Sox Minor League Update: May 7, 2019

An offensive assault from Charlotte and a pitching gem from Tanner Banks highlight the day

Wiped out: Tanner Banks was pure butter in a spot start for Birmingham on Tuesday, but his win was lost with a bullpen collapse.
Kim Contreras/South Side Sox

(Our Kim Contreras, well before the game)

Charlotte Knights 12, Columbus Clippers 5

Danny Mendick (3B): 1-for-5, R, HR (6), 3 RBI (24), BB, K .261 BA/.809 OPS
Daniel Palka (DH): 1-for-4, 3 R, HR (5), RBI (12), 2 BB, 2 K, .250 BA/.954 OPS
Adam Engel (CF): 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI (2), 2B (1), K, .600 BA/1.400 OPS (Knights debut) **MVP**
Alcides Escobar (SS): 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI (20), 2B (10), .321 BA/.814 OPS
Justin Nicolino (SP): 4 13 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 3 HR, 5.70 ERA, 97 pitches/56 strikes
Zach Thompson (RP): 1 23 IP, 2 K, 5.84 ERA, W (2-1), 19 pitches/14 strikes
Thyago Vieira (RP): 2 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 K, HR, 4.50 ERA

It’s what all of us thought when musing over the 2019 Charlotte Knights: unstoppable offensive juggernaut. It was an eight-run first inning, highlighted by a two-run homer from Danny Mendick (who led off the game with a K but made the most of his second go-around in the first) that put the game out of reach from the get go. The 18-12, second-best in the International League Columbus Clippers didn’t know what hit them. Their starter, Adam Plutko, was making his first start of the season and lasted just one out, knocked out of the box with a 135.00 ERA. A lot of hitting heroes tonight, but props to Adam Engel, who opened scoring in the first inning with a two-run double, for a phenomenal first game back with the Knights.

Jackson Generals 3, Birmingham Barons 2

Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-2, 2 BB, .269 BA/.790 OPS
Luis González (DH): 1-for-4, RBI (16), 2B (2), .207 BA/.607 OPS
Blake Rutherford (RF): 3-for-4, R, 3B (1), .185 BA/.534 OPS
Tanner Banks (SP): 5 IP, H, 3 K, 3.18 ERA, 63 pitches/46 strikes **MVP**
Zack Burdi (RP): 1 IP, H, BB, K, 9.00 ERA, H (2)
Alec Hansen (RP): 1 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, K, HBP, 9.00 ERA, H (1)
Luis Martinez (RP): 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4.61 ERA, L (0-1), BS (1)

Rough game for the Barons, who at 12-20 are in desperate need of some good breaks. The paltry Birmingham offense mustered just six hits, but pushed across runs in the third and seventh to go up, 2-0, on the road. But Tanner Banks was robbed of a win when the game unraveled in the bottom of the eighth. Alec Hansen, who escaped a bases-loaded jame of his own making in the seventh, opened the eighth by drilling Generals second baseman Andy Young with a pitch. Hansen was pulled for Luis Martinez, who drizzled gasoline on the brush fire Hansen started by surrendering a single-sac bunt-single combination that tied the game 2-2. Despite a gift second out, when goofball Daulton Varsho cleared the bases by getting gunned down trying to steal third base, Martinez sealed the deal by surrendering a double and single, giving Jackson the 3-2 lead and eventual win. Birmingham managed to get the tying run to second base with one out in the ninth, but couldn’t tie it up.

Lynchburg Hillcats 10, Winston-Salem Dash 6

Tyler Frost (RF): 0-for-5, 4 K, .240 BA/.704 OPS
Nick Madrigal (2B): 2-for-4, R, RBI (21), BB, .286 BA/.754 OPS
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-5, 2 K, .143 BA/.448 OPS
Carlos Perez (C): 3-for-5, R, K, .278 BA/.708 OPS
Jameson Fisher (1B): 3-for-5, R, 2B (8), K, .262 BA/.755 OPS **MVP**
Lincoln Henzman (SP): 5 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 5.82 ERA, L (1-1), 80 pitches/52 strikes
Austin Conway (RP): 1 IP, H, 2 ER, K, BB, 27.00 ERA, E (1), 30 pitches/17 strikes

The Dash were in the game throughout, but could never get the offensive kick needed to keep up with the double-figure output of the Hillcats. Lincoln Henzman got roughed up pretty badly, especially in a crooked number (four runs) of a fifth inning. Carlos Perez and Jameson Fisher both boasted three-hit games, but the Dash pitching was bad throughout, and no offense can be expected to bail out hurlers who are this helpless.

A possible trickle-up effect of Brett Nicholas’ retirement from Birmingham was Evan Skoug’s promotion from Kannapolis to Winston-Salem on Tuesday.

The Kannapolis Intimidators were off on Tuesday, bussing to Lexington to start up a three-game set against the Legends on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 ET.