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White Sox Minor League Update: June 27, 2019

Great pitching and a lot of power across the organization led to a four-win day

Big bopper: Yermin Mercedes hit his first and second Triple-A home runs to help the Knights win, 8-5.
Michael Wade/@BhamBarons

Charlotte Knights 8, Gwinnett Stripers 5

Seby Zavala: 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K (.247 BA, .817 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.438 BA, 1.376 OPS) **MVP**
Danny Mendick: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.263 BA, .773 OPS)
Dylan Cease: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (4.62 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)

First off, let’s look at the names in and not in the lineup. Alcides Escobar and Danny Mendick are in, Daniel Palka is out. So it looks like Palka is first in line to rejoin the Chicago White Sox for tomorrow’s game vs. the Minnesota Twins. But, on to the Charlotte game.

It was an unfortunate start for Dylan Cease, as he had a shortened outing because of a weather delay. But unfortunately, he also wasn’t that great in the first. Cease threw 25 pitches, and 13 of them were balls, although thankfully he got out of the inning unscathed. The Stripers pitchers were not so lucky. Escobar opened up the scoring with a two-run shot and Yermin Mercedes hit his first Triple-A home run a few batters later and just like that, the Knights were up, 4-0. But the Knights — specifically, Mercedes — were not done. Just two innings later with the lead now at three, Mercedes added another home run to his tally, this time a three-run bomb, and even Adam Engel joined the power barrage with a solo homer in the fourth. In just four innings, Charlotte scored eight runs courtesy of four home runs. After that power display, Gwinnett had one of their own. The next four runs scored all came from homers, and they were all by Stripers hitters, including one from former major leaguer Adam Duvall. It was just not enough, especially when Charlotte’s high-leverage relievers came in. Matt Foster and Thyago Vieira shut down Gwinnett. Foster went two innings, allowed no hits and struck out four. Vieira got the save as he got his three batters out to preserve the 8-5 win.

Birmingham Barons 6, Mobile BayBears 2

Luis Robert: 3-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.320 BA, .896 OPS)
Nick Madrigal: 1-for-5, 0 BB, 0 K (.377 BA, .891 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.255 BA, .655 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 3-for-4, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.259 BA, .704 OPS)
Luis Gonzalez: 3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.243 BA, .650 OPS) **MVP**
Laz Rivera: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.238 BA, .574 OPS)
Lincoln Henzman: 6 23 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (4.60 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)

Hey, remember when Lincoln Henzman was struggling? How about Blake Rutherford, or even Luis González? How about Gavin Sheets? Anybody remember that awful April? Yes, Luis Robert is also still good, no difference there. But all those former strugglers stepped up today, and in big ways. Robert, Rutherford, Sheets, and González all had multi-hit efforts. Rutherford and González had the big hits and the early run production, as both hit two-run homers. Henzman would run into some trouble in the seventh inning, though it was aided by poor defense. However, new Baron Vince Arobio was able to limit keep Henzman’s quality start intact and after seven, the Barons held a 4-2 lead. That was that for Mobile, as the BayBears did not score for the rest of the game. Joel Booker joined the party in the seventh inning, not with a homer, but a two-run single to push the lead back to four, and that’s how it stayed.

Salem Red Sox 5, Winston-Salem Dash 4 (10)

Tyler Frost: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.253 BA, .756 OPS) **MVP**
Steele Walker: 0-for-5, 0 BB, 0 K (.270 BA, .787 OPS)
Zach Lewis: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (6.50 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)

A real seesaw of a game early in Salem quickly mellowed out. First, because of a passed ball, Tyler Frost scored the opening run of the game. However, Salem came right back and and put up a three-spot on Zach Lewis after he hit the first batter of the inning and allowed three hits after that. However, a lack of control and sloppy defense continued to help the Dash in an odd-scoring second inning. Frost was back again to kind of provide offense, as her grounded out to drive in Craig Dedelow. JJ Muno would then score on another passed ball and Evan Skoug finally made his way around the bases as a throwing error gave him the avenue to home plate. Then, the game and the sloppiness settled down. Salem would end up tying things in the sixth inning after several shutout innings on both sides. The game continued to hold at 4-4 into extras, but once again Salem came up in the clutch. After the Dash could not score the lead runner in the top of the 10th, Salem was able to score the runner from second and walked it off, 5-4.

West Virginia Power 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Ian Dawkins: 2-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.324 BA, .819 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.230 BA, .617 OPS)
Bryce Bush: 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.214 BA, .675 OPS)
Jason Bilous: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (2.63 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) **MVP**

This is getting ridiculous for Kannapolis. West Virginia has had two straight power outages against Intimidators starters. On Wednesday, Taylor Varnell went six no-hit innings; today, it was Jason Bilous’ turn to throw six hitless. The lines are eerily similar, even down to the number of strikes and balls thrown. However, unlike Varnell, Bilous needed those six no-hit innings to hold the lead; you see, while Bilous was dealing, Kannapolis hitters were not. The first and only run of support for Bilous came in the second inning. After Corey Zangari reached base, Gunnar Troutwine drove him in with on a two-out single to open scoring at 1-0. However, the offense could not add another run in regulation and West Virginia finally took advantage in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 1-1. Finally, once a runner was put on second to start an inning, the I’s were able to score again and put two runs on the board, but it didn’t end up being enough. Lane Ramsey, who allowed the tying run the ninth, gave up a three-run, walk-off homer in the 10th. The I’s left 10 runners on base in the game.

Great Falls Voyagers

AZL White Sox 4, AZL Diamondbacks 2

James Beard: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (.200 BA, .583 OPS)
Jose Rodriguez: 1-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB (.344 BA, 1.083 OPS)
Bryan Ramos: 3-for-4, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.259 BA, .751 OPS)
Hector Acosta: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (7.11 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) **MVP**

Another great pitching performance from the White Sox organization spurred a win down in Arizona. Hector Acosta went five very strong innings, and while he didn’t see many strikeouts, eight ground outs made it a successful outing. While his masterful performance was going on, the AZL Sox batters had his back. In the second, they scored two runs, highlighted by a Jonathan Allen double that scored Bryan Ramos. It took four innings for more runs to cross the plate, but Ivan Gonzalez increased the lead by double, literally: Gonzalez doubled to left field to score DJ Gladney and Ramos (again). Now it was up to the AZL bullpen to keep hold the line. Yoelvin Silven took over for Acosta and ran into some trouble in the seventh inning, when he allowed two runs as the lead shrunk to 4-2. Garvin Alston came in for the two-inning save and worked it masterfully. He only allowed one hit and struck out five batters for his first save of the year.

DSL White Sox 7, DSL Reds 6

Matthew Mercedes: 3-for-5, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.357 BA, .848 OPS) **MVP**
Homer Cruz: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (4.50 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Not a lot of the top prospects in the DSL played in this one. Anthony Espinoza did, but left without a plate appearance. This lack of top talent gave some of the other DSL Sox a time to shine, and Matthew Mercedes took advantage the most. He tied with the team lead in hits on the day with Johnabiell Laureano, no small feat considering Laureano’s nice start. Mercedes did provide the most offense, by a lot, with four RBIs on the day. Mercedes also had the most important RBI, in the ninth with the bases loaded, walking it off with a single. Overall, the offense really picked up the pitching today for the Sox, with 12 hits but the offense also got a lot of help from the DSL Reds defense. The DSL Sox went 3-for-11 with RISP, but thanks to four-error effort from the opposition, they were able to stay in the game until Mercedes ended it.