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White Sox Minor League Update: June 26, 2019

Taylor Varnell wins the day with six no-hit innings, but Ryan Goins and Gavin Sheets pitch in with some late-inning heroics

No no: Wow! Taylor Varnell throws six hitless.

Charlotte Knights 9, Gwinnett Stripers 6

Daniel Palka: 0-for-2, 1 R, 3 BB, 0 K (.271 BA, .922 OPS)
Seby Zavala: 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K (.247 BA, .825 OPS)
Danny Mendick: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (.267 BA, .783 OPS)
Ryan Goins: 2-for-2, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K (.321 BA, .944 OPS) **MVP**
Dylan Covey: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (2.20 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Dylan Covey [who someone calls the second-best starter on the Chicago White Sox, hmm ... —BB] got the rehab start tonight and went the expected two innings — but the first was a bit too exciting for him. First, a throwing error by Danny Mendick extended the inning with two outs, then Paulo Orlando committed an error on the next batter while two runs scored. Thus, both runs were not tabbed to Covey, but he did still allow four runners to reach base in just two innings. The offense picked up the defensive errors right away, though. From the second to the fourth innings, the Knights scored six runs. Seby Zavala opened up that scoring with a home,r but the big inning was in the third, thanks to four runs scored before an out was recorded. Engel, Skole, and Escobar all singled home runs while Zavala added the fourth with a sacrifice fly.

However, then the pitching gave it back. Donny Roach came in to try and take the bulk of the innings after the Covey/Connor Walsh opening, and he did not do well. He allowed four runs and that included three extra-base hits, including a double to an old friend Ryan LaMarre. One of those extra-base hits was a three-run homer to tie the game in the fifth inning. But the Knights were not done yet. In the bottom of the eighth inning with Zavala and newly acquired Jacob Scavuzzo on base, Ryan Goins stepped to the plate, and hit a three-run, go-ahead home run. That was how the game ended, as Jimmy Cordero came in for the ninth and shut down the Stripers to preserve the 9-6 win.

Birmingham Barons 5, Mobile BayBears 3

Joel Booker: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (.326 BA, .772 OPS)
Nick Madrigal: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K (.391 BA, .927 OPS)
Luis Gonzalez: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K (.235 BA, .623 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-4, 1 Grand Slam, 0 BB, 0 K (.251 BA, .685 OPS) **MVP**
Blake Rutherford: 2-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.252 BA, .640 OPS)
Laz Rivera: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K, (.238 BA, .575 OPS)
Tanner Banks: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (3.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)

The Barons won one in grand fashion this afternoon. Tanner Banks got the start in Birmingham and was really in control most of his six innings. He only allowed five batters to reach base and no BayBears hitters had extra-base hits. The only trouble Banks ran into was the third inning and it was more a matter of beating himself than Mobile hitters having success. Banks walked the first two batters he faced, and then allowed a single which loaded the bases with no outs. A sac fly to Joel Booker led to the first run, and a single from the next batter led to the second. However, Banks settled into a groove and force two consecutive pop outs to Laz Rivera at shortstop to end the inning.

Banks proceeded to fire three shutout innings after the third. Unfortunately for him, the offense didn’t arrive from the Barons until the sixth. Trey Michalczewski finally brought in the first run for the Barons with a double. In the seventh, though, the Barons took the lead. After Alfredo González, Nick Madrigal, and Luis González all eventually reached base with walks, Gavin Sheets came up with the bases loaded and two outs. As you can see above, Sheets clobbered the ball for the go-ahead grand slam. Mobile would get a run back off of Hunter Schryver, but the grand slam put the Barons up for good in their 5-3 win.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7, Winston-Salem Dash 6

Steele Walker: 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.279 BA, .811 OPS) **MVP**
Konnor Pilkington: 5 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (6.09 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)
Tyler Johnson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

It started out rough for Konnor Pilkington, but ended even worse. He got into trouble from the jump, but was able to get out of the first inning only allowing one run. Trouble returned in the third inning and again, Pilkington was lucky to get out of the inning while allowing two runs. The offense was able to pick him up in immediately, though. Both Yeyson Yrizarri and Steele Walker hit RBI doubles in the third to tie the game, 3-3. In the next inning, the RBIs were more egalitarian. Tate Blackman, Yrizarri, and Tyler Frost each drove in runs and just like that, the Dash were up by three.

But remember how Pilkington’s outing ended even worse? Well, the sixth inning was huge trouble. The Pelicans scored four runs in the sixth inning, thanks to some bad pitching and bad defense as well, but what gave Myrtle Beach the lead was a three-run homer. That clout made the difference in a 7-6 game.

On a rehab basis though, the night was not done, as Tyler Johnson made his Single-A+ debut in 2019. He faced three batters and all three were retired, a good start for a reliever returning from a lat injury.

Kannapolis Intimidators 8, Greenville Drive 0

Ian Dawkins: 1-for-5, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.322 BA, .817 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 2-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.233 BA, .625 OPS)
Bryce Bush: 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.208 BA, .669 OPS)
Corey Zangari: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.226 BA, .743 OPS)
Taylor Varnell: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (3.07 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) **MVP**

Well, well, well, Mr. Taylor Varnell did about as well as any pitcher could through six innings of work. None of the Greenville hitters were not able to drive (yes, I did that) the ball where fielders weren’t. Varnell fired six no-hit innings, further fueling the notion that Varnell should be in Winston-Salem by now. Varnell might not have had overwhelmingly great command, throwing 37% of his pitches for balls, but he got the job done and the Kannapolis bats made sure he left with some run support.

In total, the I’s gave Varnell eight runs of support — mostly from Johan Cruz. He drove in five runners over his four plate appearances, and two doubles did most of the work. Corey Zangari also kept his hot streak going, even without the home run power: He had three hits, including a double. Devon Perez relieved Varnell and though he did allow two hits (blasphemous) Perez did throw three shutout innings for his first save of the season, closing out the 8-0 win.

Great Falls Voyagers

DSL Blue Jays 2, DSL White Sox 1

Anthony Espinoza: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.269 BA, .776 OPS)
Benyamin Bailey: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 0 K (.375 BA, .953 OPS)
Alberto Bernal: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.157 BA, .529 OPS)
Dionicio Jimenez: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (5.73 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)
Luis Nin: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (3.78 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) **MVP**

An offensive stinker here for the DSL White Sox, but at least the pitching looked good. Dionicio Jimenez went five strong innings, to make it two straight good starts, and three if you’re being generous. Jimenez did have some trouble with runners on base, though it seems like the DSL Blue Jays had a plan to run today. In total, the DSL Blue Jays had five stolen base attempts, two of them came with Jimenez was on the mound, and both were successful. The other three were against Luis Nin, who was on top of his game today. The Blue Jays were caught on two of three attempts against Nin, as he went three shutout innings to end the game. In total, both pitchers only allowed seven hits, all singles. The offense just could not get anything going, though. The White Sox went 0-for-3 with RISP and only had five hits on the day. Benyamin Bailey did not have a hit, but he did keep his on-base streak alive with a walk. He has reached base in 19 straight games — every game he has played.