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White Sox Minor League Update: July 23, 2019

The Knights are trampled by seven Bison dingers; Matt Tomshaw shines for the Barons; Corey Zangari does bad things to two baseballs

Tom or Ker?: Matt Tomshaw struck out 10 in seven one-hit innings for the Barons
Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons

Buffalo Bisons 8, Charlotte Knights 1

Justin Nicolino: 4 ⅔ IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (L, 6-5)
Zach Thompson: 2 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Hunter Schryver: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Carson Fulmer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Charlie Tilson (CF): 1-for-4
Danny Mendick (2B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB **MVP**
Zack Collins (1B): 1-for-4, 1 2B
Seby Zavala (C): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 3 K

Every single run scored in this game came on a home run, every hit Knights starter Justin Nicolino gave up was a home run, and the one non-homer baserunner he allowed was a walk, who scored on a home run. Nicolino allowed three home runs in the first (including one to top Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette), one in the third, one in the fourth (to Jonathan Davis, his second of the game), and two in the fifth (to Socrates Brito, his second, and Rowdy Tellez, his second).

Zach Thompson stopped the bleeding with a more than adequate two and one thirds innings, allowing just one hit and nothing else. Hunter Schryver made his debut in Triple-A, a level notoriously using the same juiced ball as the majors, in a game in which eight home runs total had already been hit, and struck out the side. Carson Fulmer’s Bullpen Renaissance, my new band, took a step forward with a scoreless inning in which he struck out two.

The lone Charlotte run/home run came off the bat of Danny Mendick in the first inning, his 12th bomb of the year. Mendick was also the only Knight with two hits. Zack Collins played first base and doubled. Luis Robert did not play. Is he on a plane to Chicago? Has he retired from baseball? Did he have a normal day off? Who’s to say, who’s to say.

Birmingham Barons 1, Chattanooga Lookouts 0

Matt Tomshaw: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K (W, 4-4) **Co-MVP**
Danny Dopico: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP (S, 4)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K, 2 SB
Luis Alexander Basabe (CF): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Blake Rutherford (RF): 2-for-4
Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K **Co-MVP**
Luis González (DH): 1-for-3, 1 K

Matt Tomshaw crafted yet another absolute gem of a ballgame on Tuesday night as the Barons eked out a 1-0 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. Tomshaw is in Birmingham as a starter, having switched between roles his entire minor league career, and it’s been going, quite well. As a starter, he’s thrown 56 ⅔ innings, allowing 15 earned runs and walking eight while striking out 69. Ten strikeouts is his season high, and seven innings matches it. Danny Dopico, having an excellent if walk-heavy year out of the bullpen, walked none over two innings to close it out.

Nick Madrigal, Blake Rutherford, and Gavin Sheets all had two-hit days, despite the low score of this game. The lone run between the teams came in the sixth, after Madrigal singled and Luis Basabe grounded him to second. Rutherford singled him to third, and Gavin Sheets singled (all seven Barons hits were singles) him in. Madrigal’s other single was in the third, and he stole second and third base, his 29th and 30th of the year.

Salem Red Sox 4, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Konnor Pilkington: 6 ⅔ IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP (L, 2-7)
Bennett Sousa: 1 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Mitch Roman (3B): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-4, 1 K
Craig Dedelow (DH): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 K **MVP**
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-3, 1 E
JJ Muno (LF): 1-for-3

It was a forgettable day for the High-A team. Konnor Pilkington has been battling his way through some laborious starts lately, and this one was similar. Two doubles and two singles in the second inning scored, wait for it, two runs, then he didn’t give up another run until the fifth, when a double and a single lined up for a sacrifice fly. He actually had a quality start wrapped up through six (six innings and three or fewer earned runs), but ran into more trouble in the seventh: after allowing a double, walk, walk, and sacrifice fly, Pilkington was relieved by Bennett Sousa, who picked the runner off first base to end the inning. Sousa then had some trouble of his own in the eighth; he walked the leadoff batter (traditionally, ungood), then the next batter reached on Zach Remillard’s 18th error, then the next batter hit a dong. So, not a great night on the pitching side of things.

On the hitting side of things, though, the Dash were four-hit. Mitch Roman, Remillard, and JJ Muno all singled; Craig Dedelow’s tear continues with a double, and he’s batting .353 over his last 10 games. This was his 16th double.

Lexington Legends 5, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Taylor Varnell: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-3
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Corey Zangari (DH): 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB **MVP**
Camilo Quinteiro (3B-SS): 1-for-4, 2 RBI

The Intimidators tied it in the ninth and lost it in the ninth, a brief spark of hope sputtering out on the infield dirt. Starter Taylor Varnell has given up more than two earned runs four times out of 18 starts this season, and he gave up exactly two in his five innings tonight, taking 98 pitches to do so. Devon Perez went into the eighth, his third inning of work, but didn’t record an out; Lane Ramsey allowed both of his runners to score, then allowed a double to start off the ninth. A passed ball by Gunnar Troutwine advanced the runner to third, and he scored on a fielder’s choice, Andrew Vaughn trying and failing to cut him down at the plate.

Until the sixth inning, the only two hits the Intimidators managed were Corey Zangari’s ninth and tenth home runs. Lenyn Sosa singled in his return from the Injured List, was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, and was subsequently removed from the game, with no further information. Camilo Quinteiro drove in two runs, one on a seventh-inning single and the other tying the game in the ninth on a groundout.

Alex Destino struck out in the fourth and Intimidators manager Ryan Newman and hitting coach Cole Armstrong were both ejected immediately after. There are some things a box score just can’t tell you.

Billings Mustangs 1, Great Falls Voyagers 0

Chase Solesky: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Nate Pawelczyk: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Karan Patel: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Nick Johnson: 0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 WP (L, 0-2)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 1-for-4, 1 K
Luis Curbelo (3B): 0-for-3, 1 BB
Luis Mieses (RF): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 K **MVP**
Anderson Comas (LF): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 CS
Joshua Rivera (2B): 0-for-2, 1 BB

It was a big one-run day for the Sox farm, but unlike the other 1-0 game today, the Voyagers’ didn’t go their way. They got pitching as solid as pitching can get for the first eight innings, starter Chase Solesky and relievers Nate Pawelczyk and Karan Patel combining to allow three hits, walk none, and strike out eight (Patel did not allow a baserunner over his two innings). Nick Johnson, last year’s 21st round pick, gave up just three earned runs with Great Falls last season over 30 innings pitched for an ERA of 0.90; this season, things have gone a little south, and he’s allowed 13 earned runs in 13 ⅔ innings. In the ninth, he gave up a leadoff walk, threw two wild pitches to advance the runner to third, intentionally walked the next two batters with nobody out, then gave up the walk-off single.

Luis Mieses hit his sixth double in the second inning. Kelvin Maldonado singled in the third. Anderson Comas walked in the fifth, was caught stealing, and singled in the seventh; Comas also threw out a runner at first base.

AZL White Sox 6, AZL Indians 3

Justin Friedman: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP (W, 3-2)
Samil Polanco (2B): 1-for-4, 1 E
Bryan Ramos (DH): 0-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB
DJ Gladney (3B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Tyler Osik (1B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Logan Glass (LF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Josue Guerrero (RF): 1-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E
Victor Torres (C): 2-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
James Beard (CF): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 3 K

The AZL White Sox walked a fine line in the ninth inning, but beat the Indians on the strength of four doubles and a DJ Gladney home run, his team-leading seventh. He has homered in two straight and is batting .319/.357/.549 on the year. The team hit three of their doubles in the three-run fourth alone, Gladney to lead off, Tyler Osik following, and Victor Torres wrapping it up after a Logan Glass single. James Beard added to the score with an RBI single in the sixth that knocked in Glass, who reached on a wild pitch/dropped third strike. In the seventh, Bryan Ramos walked, Osik singled, and Glass hit a ground-rule double to knock in Ramos. Gladney’s home run came in the top of the ninth.

Justin Friedman, starting his second game but appearing in his eighth, turned in the kind of outing he’s been throwing all year, with the exception of a four-run, two-inning appearance to start the season. Trey Jeans threw two innings, allowing just one hit but no runs or walks while striking out two. Hansen Butler allowed an eighth-inning run and escaped a bases-loaded jam. So did Caleb Freeman, who white-knuckled it through the ninth. With a 6-2 lead, he walked the first three batters, then made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt to allow a run to score. He then struck out the next two and induced a popup to end the game.

DSL Reds 6, DSL White Sox 5

Carlos Mola: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 WP (L, 3-3)
Elijah Tatís (SS): 0-for-5, 1 K
Yolbert Sánchez (DH): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Benyamin Bailey (RF): 0-for-3, 1 R, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 E
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 0-for-1, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Jefferson Mendoza (C): 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Wilber Sánchez (2B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K

Benyamin Bailey shocked the world by not reaching base via walk or hit today (he now shares the league lead for walks, rather than is the sole owner, and he did reach base via HBP). Yolbert Sánchez had the best day at the plate of the DSL squad, going deep on the first pitch of his first-inning at-bat for his first home run in the White Sox organization, then singling and scoring on Johnabiell Laureano’s sacrifice fly in the fifth. Catcher Jefferson Mendoza has played only 23 games this year, about half of the DSL games played total, but his line of .400/.493/.667 is impressive regardless of sample size.

In a league inundated with walks, the DSL pitching stood out by walking only one Red all game. This was issued by Jesus Rondon, the only Sox pitcher to not allow a run, although the run allowed by Frander Veras was unearned on Bailey’s error. Starter Carlos Mola is an 18-year-old 6’4” behemoth who really does not walk very many guys, relatively. This was his 11th game with the Sox this season, but only his second start.