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White Sox Minor League Update: June 29, 2019

Mostly strong pitching tonight, and an offensive explosion in the DSL

Power Swings
Double dip: Intimidators outfielder Alex Destino clouted two early homer runs against West Virginia on Saturday.
Tiffany Wintz/ South Side Sox

Norfolk Tides 2, Charlotte Knights 0

Kyle Kubat: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR (L, 1-1) **MVP**
Odrisamer Despaigne: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Alcides Escobar (3B): 1-for-4, 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Seby Zavala (C): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 3 K
Yermin Mercedes (DH): 2-for-3, 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Ryan Goins (SS): 2-for-3, 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

Close match between Charlotte and Norfolk tonight. Unfortunately even though starter Kyle Kubat was on his A-game, allowing only two runs in seven innings, the Knights couldn’t get themselves any runs. Kubat gave up a two-run bomb in the bottom of the second and, sadly, got the loss for Charlotte. Yermin Mercedes, Ryan Goins, and Alcides Escobar all hit doubles. That was the only excitement they had. Odrisamer Despaigne replaced Kubat on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, shutting down Norfolk. Quality pitching from both gentlemen, but no flames at the plate cost the Knights a 2-0 loss to the Tides.

Birmingham Barons 5, Mobile BayBears 0

John Parke: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (W, 1-0) **MVP**
Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Luis Robert (CF): 2-for-4, 2B, 1 R, 1 K, 2 SB
Blake Rutherford (DH): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 K
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 K
Luis Gonzalez (RF): 1-for-3, 2B, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 SB
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-2, 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 K

The Barons have been dominating in the second half and after tonight’s win, they remain in first place in their division! Starter John Parke made his home debut and totally crushed it. He went seven solid innings, allowed no runs, and collected three strikeouts. What a great night on the mound for Parke! The bullpen was stellar as well, with Alec Hansen and closer Mauricio Cabrera getting the job done. The three pitchers combined to only give up five hits.

Blake Rutherford stayed hot, with clutch RBI singles in the third and fifth innings. But the pitching was the story tonight, stopping the BayBears from scoring. The Barons won the ballgame, 5-0, finishing the series 4-1 against Mobile.

Salem Red Sox 2, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Jonathan Stiever: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K (L, 1-1)
Tyler Johnson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Mitch Roman (3B): 2-for-4, 2B, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
Zach Remillard (SS): 3-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K **MVP**
Craig Dedelow (LF): 2-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K

The Dash have been struggling in the second half. After the close loss tonight against Salem, they dropped their second-half record to 3-7 and are in last place. Hopefully, they get back into the swing of things soon. Another quality start from Jonathan Stiever (six steady innings, only two runs) helped, but the Dash couldn’t get enough runs together to help him out. Winston-Salem’s only run came from center fielder Steele Walker in the fifth, sending Mitch Roman home. Again, pitching great, but bats silent.

Kannapolis Intimidators 6, West Virginia Power 4

Sam Long: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Wyatt Burns: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (W, 2-0)
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-5, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Alex Destino (LF): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Bryce Bush (RF): 1-for-5, 3B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
Romy Gonzalez (1B): 1-for-4, 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K

The Intimidators took down West Virginia for the second straight night. Starter Sam Long struggled, but his offense picked him up. Left fielder Alex Destino was on fire tonight, blasting homers in the first and third to help Kannapolis secure the win. Lenyn Sosa hit a exciting inside the park homer in the third, giving the I’s two round-trippers in one inning. Kannapolis scored two more runs in the seventh inning off of a Bryce Bush RBI triple and an RBI single from Johan Cruz. Pitcher Wyatt Burns took over for Long in the bottom of the fifth and just dominated out there, allowing no runs with four strikeouts. Burns got the win and closer Tyler Watson received a hold for the Intimidators. A fun game away for the K-Town Boys!

Idaho Falls Chukars 8, Great Falls Voyagers 2

Caberea Weaver (CF) 0-for-5, 4 K (.224 BA, .623 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (3B) 2-for-4, R, RBI (1), HR (1) K, E (1) (.400 BA, 1.200 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B) 2-for-4, K, (.341 BA, .782 OPS)
Harvin Mendoza (1B) 2-for-4, 2B (3) (.282 BA, .942 OPS) **MVP**
Lency Delgado (SS) 1-for-3, R, 2B (3), BB (.263 BA, .659 OPS)
Jason Morgan (SP) 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R/4 ER, K, BB, HR, 66 pitches/42 strikes, L (0-1) (6.55 ERA)

Well, with the Chukars improving to 11-1 with this doleful drubbing of Great Falls, let it be known that the best 2018-19 drafts came from the Kansas City Royals, eh. Period. Done deal. Two weeks into the Pioneer League season, the hardware is handed over.

Heh, well, of course, not true. But the defending Pioneer champ Voyagers couldn’t have laid a bigger turd tonight if they tried. Eight runs allowed, 0-for-9 RISP, four errors. Nasty.

Jason Morgan was jumped from the get-go, smacked down for three in the first. In fact, it was 6-0 before the Voyagers scored their first run, in the fifth, on a Cameron Simmons ground out.

Three innings later, Luis Curbelo provided the last (only) bit of fireworks for Great Falls, clocking his first Pioneer homer this season with a nice clout to left-center:

AZL Padres2 7, AZL White Sox 3

Misael Gonzalez (CF) 0-for-5, 3 K (.182 BA, .441 OPS)
DJ Gladney (3B) 1-for-2, R, 2 RBI (7), HR (2), BB (.250 BA, .800 OPS) **MVP**
Bryan Ramos (DH) 2-for-4, R, RBI (4), HR (1) (.294 BA, .875 OPS)
Victor Torres (C) 1-for-2, 2 BB, pickoff, picked off, 2 PB (2) (.313 BA, .764 OPS)
Avery Weems (SP) 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/1 ER, 2 BB, 2 HBP, E (2), K, L (1-1) (0.82 ERA)
Vlad Nuñez Jr. (RP) 2 IP, BB, 3 K (3.86 ERA)
Tyson Messer (RP) 1 13 IP, 0 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HBP (12.60 ERA)
McKinley Moore (RP) IP, H, 2 K (0.00 ERA)

The Sox were never in this one, falling behind 7-0 until finally pushing across three runs in the bottom of the eighth. It was another sloppy one in the rookie leagues, with our AZLers committing two errors and two passed balls, and getting duped at first base with a pickoff. At least Victor Torres, perpetrator of both passed balls and the pickoff, reaped some revenge by nailing a Padres2 runner at third base on a pickoff.

Craziest performance of the night goes to Tyson Messer, who had a perfect sixth inning with three straight whiffs. The seventh, however, was a bit different: walk, HBP, run scoring strikeout on a Victor Torres passed ball, RBI walk on a wild pitch ... and then with Messer removed from the game, a two-run double. Final line for the inning? One-third of an inning pitched, no hits, three earned runs, 2 BB, K, HBP, WP. Messer will never duplicate that line, no matter how he tries.

On the flip side, 2019 14th-rounder McKinley Moore continued his perfection on the season, with a swell cap to the game (two Ks, one hit).

DSL White Sox 11, DSL Padres 4

Wilber Sanchez (SS) 2-for-5, R, RBI (8), 2B (7), 2 K (.288 BA, .813 OPS)
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C) 2-for-5, 3 R, RBI (5), 2B (4), HR (1), K (.385 BA, 1.064 OPS)
Benyamin Bailey (CF) 1-for-3, 3 R, RBI (6), 2B (4), SB (6), 2 BB, K (.382 BA, .988 OPS)
Matthew Mercedes (1B) 4-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI (13), 2B (3), 3B (1) (.424 BA, 1.048 OPS) **MVP**
Jefferson Mendoza (DH) 2-for-3, 2 RBI (11), BB, K (.471 BA, 1.352 OPS)
Juan Mercedes (RF) 2-for-4, R, RBI (6), 2B (3), BB (.237 BA, .572 OPS)
Andres Rosario (LF) 1-for-5, R, 4 K (.182 BA, .614 OPS)
Luis Nin (RP) 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K, W (2-1) (3.48 ERA)
Frander Veras (RP) 2 IP, H, ER, BB, 3 K (5.23 ERA)

Now, on the DSL level, the White Sox exacted revenge on the Padres, at least for today. A six-run second put the game in pocket early, as this DSL Sox club is making a push to .500 and hitting crap outta the ball in the process. You can see all the offensive heroes above, but don’t overlook a swell relief appearance by Luis Nin, who entered in the second inning and had a vise-like grip on the Padres all morning. No more than we should have run for the hills in 2018 when the DSL Sox went like 5-99 should we celebrate this solid early DSL run; but Benyamin Bailey falling out of the sky and onto the Sox, among several others, sure will make AZL and Great Falls 2020 pretty exciting.