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White Sox Minor League Update: July 3, 2019

That Andrew Vaughn guy looks mighty good early on

Power stroke: Gavin Sheets clobbered his 10th home run of the year in a 3-2 Barons win.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Durham Bulls 3, Charlotte Knights 2

Matt Skole: 4-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.260 BA, .928 OPS) **MVP**
Yermin Mercedes: 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K (.353 BA, 1.130 OPS)
Odrisamer Despaigne: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (3.12 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

A new-age pitching duel brewed early on as Odrisamer Despaigne dealt for six innings and the Durham Bulls bullpen fired five straight scoreless innings. After being DFA’ed, Despaigne was back to beating Triple-A hitters, as he lowered his ERA to 3.12. Just remember, as Dylan Cease struggled in Triple-A, Despaigne was throwing quality starts left and right. For this game though, Charlotte really needed a good start. The Knights did not score until the sixth inning and because Despaigne was so good, they tied the game 1-1. Yermin Mercedes, who was not his usual dominant self, drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. In the next inning, Ryan Goins untied the game with a solo bomb to left field. Unfortunately, Jordan Guerrero’s struggles continued. In the seventh inning, Guerrero allowed a home run to the first two batters he faced, and the lead was gone just like that. Though the Knights threatened with bases loaded in the ninth, they could not get a run across. All in all, they were doomed because of their 1-for-8 performance with RISP.

Birmingham Barons 3, Tennessee Smokies 2

Luis Robert: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.312 BA, .864 OPS)
Nick Madrigal: 3-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.382 BA, .916 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 4 K (.255 BA, .650 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 SB (.267 BA, .731 OPS)
Luis Gonzalez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (.239 BA, .642 OPS)
Laz Rivera: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.238 BA, .570 OPS)
Matt Tomshaw: 5 23 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (3.29 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) **MVP**

Sure, the White Sox drafted first baseman Andrew Vaughn in the same year that Gavin Sheets begins to look like the big power first base lefty bat we all thought he was when he was drafted. Coincidence? I think not. In the first inning, after Nick Madrigal reached base (he also had a great game, again) Sheets hit his 10th home run of the season to put the Barons up right away. That was the offense for awhile, though. Meanwhile, Matt Tomshaw did well enough to keep the Barons in contention in this game. His only trouble in the six innings he saw was in the fourth. After striking out the first two batters of the inning, he allowed three straight hits that equated to two runs, tying the game back up. In the seventh. Laz Rivera drove in the go-ahead run and the eventual game-winner, as the Barons won, 3-2. Perhaps after a terrible pregame tweet from the Smokies, their loss was inevitable.

Winston-Salem Dash 2, Down East Wood Ducks 1

Zach Remillard: 3-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.318 BA, .818 OPS)
Jorgan Cavanerio: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (3.16 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) **MVP**
Bennett Sousa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (1.35 BA, 0.75 WHIP)

This game was a classic pitchers’ duel, with two actual starting pitchers. Jorgan Cavanerio went seven great innings while the Wood Ducks starter went six. Both saw runs cross the plate, but they were due to defensive miscues. Technically, they both had shutout outings and that continued with both bullpens. As regulation ended for the Dash, only two hitters had hits:Tyler Frost and Zach Remillard, both with two. They were 1-for-6 with RISP, so there were chances for W-S to score, but nobody was able to pick up the magnificent start from Cavanerio. After regulation with the help of the runner on second, the Dash were finally able to score, as Remillard drove in Frost to take the 2-1 lead. Bennett Sousa came in the next inning, also with a runner to start on second, and he was able to shut down the Wood Ducks. He did not record a strikeout, but he kept opposing hitters from getting the runner from second home. It was his first Single-A+ save.

Rome Braves 13, Kannapolis Intimidators 11

Ian Dawkins: 1-for-6, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.322 BA, .813 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 1-for-5, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.236 BA, .631 OPS)
Bryce Bush: 0-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.212 BA, .674 OPS)
Corey Zangari: 2-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (.245 BA, .821 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Dominguez: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (3.35 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

Things got bad quickly for Johan Dominguez. He allowed multiple extra-base hits in the first, leading to two runs. Thankfully, the I’s had Dominguez’s back, at least initially. Kannapolis scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning, two from an error, and two from singles from Johan Cruz and Corey Zangari. The two-run lead for the I’s held for three innings, until Dominguez ran into trouble that knocked him out of the game. He allowed four runs in the fifth inning and did not record a single out. That two-run lead turned to a two-run deficit and from there, it only got worse for I’s pitching. By the bottom of the eighth inning, the Braves had a 13-5 lead as they scored 11 straight runs. Tyler Watson was responsible for the last five of those runs, all coming in the eighth inning. But then, it was Kannapolis’ turn to score a lot of unanswered runs. The I’s scored six straight of their own to at least bring the deficit to a respectable number, but they were not able to to come all the way back. Zangari started the late rally with a two-run homer in the eighth, but an eight-run hole with just six outs left was too hard to climb.

Billings Mustangs 9, Great Falls Voyagers 1

Caberea Weaver: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.217 BA, .599 OPS)
Luis Curbelo: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K (.348 BA, 1.052 OPS) **MVP**
Harvin Mendoza: 1-for-3, 0 BB, 0 K (.275 BA, .864 OPS)
Luis Mieses: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 0 K (.327 BA, .794 OPS)
Carter Love: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (7.90 ERA, 1.76 WHIP)

It was a bit of a clunker here for Great Falls, early and often. Out of the gate, the Mustangs grabbed a 1-0 lead, but it did not last long. Luis Curbelo hit his second home run since being demoted to Great Falls. He has an OPS of better than 1.000 since arriving; it’s just five games, but this is his best weeklong stretch this season. However, that was the only run the Voyagers could muster in this game. Meanwhile, the pitching kept allowing runs, as the bullpen game got out of hand quickly. They used six pitchers in the game, only one of them didn’t allow a run, and that came late (in the ninth inning, courtesy of Ramon Pineda). In the game, the Mustangs scored eight unanswered runs. It was just that kind of night in Montana — nothing went right.

AZL White Sox 12, AZL Giants 6

James Beard: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.225 BA, .695 OPS)
Jose Rodriguez: 3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.367 BA, 1.220 OPS) **MVP**
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.571 BA, 1.529 OPS)
DJ Gladney: 3-for-5, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.328 BA, .955 OPS)
Jeremiah Burke: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (2.70 ERA)

Well then, the AZL Sox had themselves a fun first three innings as they got out to a quick 9-0 lead. Jose Rodriguez started the early rally with a homer, his fifth of the young rookie league season. Andrew Vaughn also collected two hits during those three innings, including an RBI single. Then, it was the Giants turn to grab some runs. Though Jeremiah Burke only allowed one run, he saw two more unearned runs cross the plate in the third inning because of a throwing error from DJ Gladney. Vlad Nuñez Jr., though, had a much tougher time after he replaced Burke. In the seventh inning, after a James Beard home run put the lead at seven runs, Nuñez allowed a three run-home to cut the lead to four. But as in the Intimidators game (just from the opposite end of the spectrum), a nine-run lead in the first three innings was just too hard for the Giants to come back from. It also helped that more insurance runs came in late off the bat of Misael Gonzalez.

DSL White Sox 6, DSL Orioles 0

Benyamin Bailey: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.395 BA, .996 OPS)
Jefferson Mendoza: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K (.432 BA, 1.262 OPS)
Alberto Bernal: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.159 BA, .583 OPS)
Homer Cruz: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (3.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) **MVP**

This was a surprisingly clean game all around for the DSL White Sox. They did commit one error, but that is actually pretty good compared to other games this season, and the error did not matter; starter Homer Cruz was just too good. In seven very good innings from Cruz, he only allowed two batters to reach base, while striking out eight. His pitch count says he threw 42 pitches (which probably isn’t the case) but to go seven innings in the DSL almost always means a pitcher was efficient. Oriel Castro took over for Cruz, and he has been good all year. With two no-hit innings to end the game, Castro lowered his ERA to 1.98. The offense, which didn’t need to add much support, had a successful day. Four batters collected two hits each, including Benyamin Bailey. One of his two hits was an RBI single, as he raised his average to .395. Bailey does not turn 18 until September.