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White Sox Minor League Update: July 12, 2019

Luis Robert’s performance yesterday wasn’t a fluke; Gavin Sheets performs heroics; Andrew Vaughn does Andrew Vaughn things

Tough Sheets: Gavin Sheets hit a game-tying ninth-inning home run for the Barons.
Hannah Stone/@BhamBarons

Gwinnett Stripers 9, Charlotte Knights 3

Justin Nicolino: 5 ⅓ IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (L, 6-4)
Zach Thompson: 1 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP
Daniel Palka (DH): 1-for-3, 1 BB
Seby Zavala (C): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
Danny Mendick (2B): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB **MVP**

Starter Justin Nicolino had a streak of three straight quality starts snapped (but still has six in his last 10) as he gave up six runs in under six innings Friday night. Zach Thompson let two inherited runners score and added three earned runs of his own on two doubles and a home run. Jordan Guerrero had his third scoreless outing all year ... out of 18 total appearances.

Luis Robert’s batting average has tumbled all the way to .500 and his slugging percentage took a similar blow, as the newly-promoted center fielder only had one hit, an RBI double in the third inning. He was also hit by a pitch. Seby Zavala hit his 13th home run, and Danny Mendick hit his 11th. Mendick reached base three times total, two hits and a walk. He’s batting .361 over his last 10 games.

Jacksonville Generals 8, Birmingham Barons 7

Tanner Banks: 5 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Codi Heuer: ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (L, 1-1)
Luis Alexander Basabe (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
Nick Madrigal (2B): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP
Blake Rutherford (LF): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB
Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI **MVP**
Luis González (DH): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K

As it turns out, the Birmingham Barons can still hit, even if they did drop this one in the bottom of the ninth. They clawed their way back from a 4-0 hole after the first inning and tied it at seven in the ninth on Gavin Sheets’s 12th home run, a two-out, two-run bomb and his Southern League-leading 63rd RBI of the season. Sheets is batting .372/.404/.674 in July, following up a June in which he hit .304/.394/.489. Nick Madrigal, Luis González, and Blake Rutherford also picked up two hits each. Madrigal’s extended his level-leading hit streak to 16 games; Rutherford’s July line is .325/.364/.425. Luis Basabe returned after a lengthy and mysterious IL stint, going 1-for-4.

Tanner Banks gave up two two-run home runs in the first, then another in the fourth. Even with this inauspicious beginning (big-inning?), he ground out five full, continuing a trend in which he’s thrown either exactly five or six innings in all but one of his last seven starts. Kodi Medeiros threw three scoreless; since the All-Star break about a month ago, he’s thrown 16 ⅓ innings and has allowed two earned runs. Codi Heuer got two outs in the ninth before giving up a double, throwing a wild pitch to allow the runner to advance, then giving up a walk-off bunt to Jamie Westbrook.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers 4, Winston-Salem Dash 0 — six innings (rain)

Zach Lewis: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP (L, 5-4)
Tyler Frost (RF): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 BB
Craig Dedelow (DH): 0-for-1, 2 BB
Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 K **MVP**

It was a fairly uneventful day for the Dash, who collected just four hits over six rain-shortened innings of play. Zach Lewis is credited with the complete game, throwing a rather dubious 44 pitches, 35 for strikes. Three of the Dash hits went for doubles, Steele Walker’s 12th, Yeyson Yrizarri’s 12th, and Tyler Frost’s 20th. Yrizarri also singled. Craig Dedelow walked twice, and Walker, JJ Muno, and Evan Skoug also walked.

Kannapolis Intimidators 6, Rome Braves 3

Taylor Varnell: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (W, 6-3)
Amado Nuñez (PR-2B): 2-for-3, 2 R
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Alex Destino (DH): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Bryce Bush (RF): 0-for-4, 1 K

It was a return to form for Taylor Varnell, who gave up a rare five runs last time out. He threw 86 pitches while giving up just three runs over six innings, 60 strikes. His ERA has hovered around 3.00 all season — currently 3.06 — and he’s struck out 96 over 85 ⅓ innings. Jacob Lindgren has joined the team from the AZL White Sox, where he had been rehabbing an injury, something he’s probably still doing. He threw one scoreless inning. Devon Perez gave up two runs over two innings.

Lenyn Sosa moved into a tie for second on the South Atlantic League doubles scoreboard with his 24th and 25th of the season, one scoring two runs in the fourth. Andrew Vaughn also hit a double (just his second!), scoring Sosa, in addition to hitting an RBI single, also scoring Sosa (and Amado Nuñez). Nuñez entered the game when Ian Dawkins was hit in the face with a pitch. Alex Destino is only getting better at baseball, and is batting .463 over his last 10 games (19-for-41). His season line is .316/.393/.516.

Great Falls Voyagers 5, Grand Junction Rockies 4

Chase Solesky: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Ramon Pineda: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (H, 2)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
Lency Delgado (SS): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 CS
Luis Mieses (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 K
Sam Abbott (DH): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 K
Anderson Comas (LF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI **MVP**
Caberea Weaver (CF): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 HBP

Great Falls fended off a late comeback attempt by the Grand Junction Rockies to win 5-4, quashing them after two runs scored in the ninth. Despite a high ERA, Chase Solesky (21st round pick) has struck out 13 total over 11 innings pitched, and has only walked three. Ramon Pineda had his sixth scoreless outing in eight appearances.

Anderson Comas kicked off the offense for the Voyagers in the third, leading off with his fifth double, advancing to third on Kleyder Sánchez’s groundout, then scoring on Caberea Weaver’s single. Comas also hit a two-run single in the sixth, scoring Lency Delgado and Luis Mieses from their singles. Harvin Mendoza hit his fourth home run and is batting .308/.393/.538 over 21 games.

DSL White Sox 7, DSL Padres 3

Cristopher Valdez: 3 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
Elijah Tatís (SS): 0-for-4, 2 K
Wilber Sánchez (SS): 1-for-1, 2 RBI
Yolbert Sánchz (DH): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
Benyamin Bailey (RF): 1-for-2, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
Matthew Mercedes (1B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI **MVP**
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E
Edwin Peralta (3B): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Luis Pineda (C): 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Sox pitching gave up three runs but only three hits, while the hitting pounded out seven runs and 11 hits, and because seven is more than three, they won. Starter Cristopher Valdez gave up all three runs, although two were unearned on center fielder Johnabiell Laureano’s error. Jesus Rondon got the win with 2 23 scoreless, and Erick Perez also went two without allowing a run.

The ever-on-base Benyamin Bailey reached twice and scored both times. Matthew Mercedes drove him in one of those times and doubled him to third the other. Johnabiell Laureano and Edwin Peralta also drove in runs, as did Wilber Sánchez. Elijah Tatís, of Fernando Tatís Jr., fame, made his White Sox debut, going hitless with two strikeouts. The newly signed Yolbert Sánchez picked up his first hit with the organization, a double, and also walked.