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White Sox Minor League Update: July 6, 2019

Two soft hits for walk-offs in the upper minors, and many hard hits to ensure a win for the above-.500 (!) DSL Sox

Walk-off sac fly? Danny Mendick just keeps finding ways to win games.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights


Charlotte Knights 7, Norfolk Tides 6 (resuming Friday’s suspended game)

Adam Engel (CF) 3-for-5, R, BB, K, SB (11) (.274 BA, .818 OPS) **MVP**
Danny Mendick (2B) 1-for-3, R, RBI (46), GWRBI, 2 BB (.268 BA, .788 OPS)
Jacob Scavuzzo (LF) 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI (1), HR (1), BB, 2 K (.234 BA, .634 OPS)
Kyle Kubat (SP) IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, K, HR (4.85 ERA)
Zach Thompson (RP) 2 IP, 4 K (4.50 ERA)
Matt Foster (RP) IP, 3H, 2 ER, K, BS (4) (4.85 ERA)
Jimmy Cordero (RP) IP, H, W (3-1) (0.61 ERA)

On Friday night, the game barely got rolling before the rains set in, forcing all but a half-inning to be completed on Saturday. That knocked Kyle Kubat out of the game, so he has to wear a one-inning, two-earned effort until his next start. The good news for KK is that his offense got him off the hook for a loss right from the jump on Saturday, plating four courtesy of RBI safeties from Matt Skole, Paulo Orlando and Yermin Mercedes.

Colton Turner took over for Kubat one day later, and carried the mail for four innings, throwing ... OK. In the sixth, relative newcomer Jacob Scavuzzo clocked his first homer of the season, in what could have proven the game-winning RBI, if not for Matt Foster blowing the save in the eighth inning, as Jesús Sucre cracked a two-run single to tie the game, 6-6.

Scavuzzo had to settle for scoring the winning run instead of driving it in, as he led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and eventually scored on Danny Mendick’s walk-off sacrifice fly. The win was Charlotte’s ninth straight at home. Honestly, it should have been an easier victory: the Knights paired 10 hits with an impressive 10 walks.

Jimmy Cordero, who pitched a scoreless ninth, cherry-picked the W, courtesy of Mendick’s heroics. Though dumped by both the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners this season, Cordero has been butter for the Knights in 10 games so far and has placed himself on the short list of RP callups for the White Sox in the second half.

Norfolk Tides 8, Charlotte Knights 4 (7)

Yermin Mercedes (C) 1-for-3, R, 3 RBI (14), HR (4), K, E (1), PB (2) (.333 BA, 1.069 OPS) **MVP**
Adam Engel (CF) 1-for-4, R, 2B (10), K, assist (home plate) (.274 BA, .817 OPS)
Jacob Scavuzzo (LF) 1-for-3, 3B (1), 2 K (.240 BA, .676 OPS)
Hector Santiago (SP) 5 IP, 5H, 4 ER, 2 K, HR (3.88 ERA)
Carson Fulmer (RP) IP, 3 H, 4 R/3 ER. 3 BB, 2 K, L (1-1), (4.94 ERA)

Charlotte was smelling sweep, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first, but Hector Santiago wasn’t sharp in this effort for the Knights. Thankfully, being staked to a four-run lead gave the loopy lefty some leeway, and he exited after five with the game knotted 4-4. Big (with the bat) bad (with the leather) Yermin Mercedes provided nearly all of the Knights offense, with a three-run clout in the first.

Unfortunately, the sixth is when Carlson Fulmer stepped in to at least hold the tie, and hold the tie he did not do. In a very Fulmeresque gas-can-to-fire effort, a combination of singles, wild pitch and passed ball brought home four runs — and a four-run lead in the sixth, in a seven-inning game, well, it makes for a sudden sunset.

Apple of DJ’s eye, Dylan Covey, takes the mound for the finale of this four-game series on Sunday.

Birmingham Barons 5, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4

Luis González (CF) 1-of-5, 2 R, K (.239 BA .645 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (RF) 3-for-4, RBI (33) (.262, .671 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B) 1-for-4, RBI (58), K (,273 BA, .742 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF) 1-for-4, RBI (14), GWRBI, K (.292 BA, .706 OPS)
Tanner Banks (SP) 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR, 80 pitches/56 strikes (3.27 ERA) **MVP**
Alec Hansen (RP) IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K, HR, BS (1) (7.32 ERA)

OK, let’s not bury the lede here, Luis Robert is heading to Triple-A after the Futures Game this weekend, which brings him one step closer to Chicago. Holy man this is really happening!

Pertinent to the game, it was played sans Robert and Nick Madrigal, who are in Cleveland prepping to step into the Future. And yet, Birmingham still won! This team is motivated for second-half playoffs, I tell ya.

OK, so, specific to the game: It was a tight tilt throughout, starting with a trade of runs through three. Birmingham’s came on a two-out, hustle infield hit by Gavin Sheets, who booked to first to beat a throw and push home the first Barons run. Tanner Banks did the rest, pitching magnificently through six innings, pinning Pensacola down to just a single run.

After falling behind 2-1 in the seventh, hey now, Birmingham struck back, and hard, using a clever combination of fielder’s choice-passed ball-Blake Rutherford RBI double to push ahead, 4-2. Then Alec Hansen entered and blew that lead, allowing the Wahoos to knot the affair 4-4; the “good news” is just one walk and wild pitch for Alec (against three Ks), the bad being three hits, one a homer.

No worries, though, as Joel Booker played hero with a 1-2, two-out, soft liner to right to score Alfredo González with the game-winner. Two walk-offs in three games for the affiliates so far!

Fayetteville Woodpeckers 6, Winston-Salem Dash 2

Tyler Frost (CF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (29), HR (9), K (.248 BA, .747 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (RF) 2-for-4, 3B (5), (.266 BA, .766 OPS)
Konnor Pilkington (SP) 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, L (1-5) (5.40 ERA)
Jake Elliott (RP) IP, H, 2 ER, BB (4.38 ERA)
Bennett Sousa (RP) 2 IP, H, 4 K (1.04 ERA) **MVP**

A disappointing effort from the Dash, late-inning relievers aside. Konnor Pilkington had another ho-hum start, spending 80 pitches to get through four innings. With an offensive effort that spanned just six hits (two from Craig Dedelow) and two walks, Winston-Salem wasn’t going to dig out of any holes today. Jake Elliott had a rough return to Single-A+, surrendering two earned in one inning. But Bennett Sousa and Andrew Perez brought the last two innings of the game home with their usual aplomb.

Kannapolis Intimidators 9, Augusta GreenJackets 5

Ian Dawkins (CF) 3-for-4. 2 R, RBI (26), BB, K, SB (19) (.322 BA, .815 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 1-for-3, HBP, 2 RBI (2), BB, K (.286 BA, .686 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (2B) 2-for-4, 2B (15), 2 R, 2 RBI (18), BB, K, SB (6) (.215 BA, .569 OPS) **MVP**
Taylor Varnell (SP) 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, BB, 8 K, W (5-3), 2 WP, 93 pitches/60 strikes (3.18 ERA)
Wyatt Burns (RP) 3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, K, Sv (1) (2.77 ERA)

Four-for-19 RISP and 15 left on base is not usually a formula for an easy victory, but Augusta was awful on Saturday — certainly not a team that entered play seven games better than Kanny in the standings. It was a neck-and-neck battle between Ian Dawkins and Ramon Beltre for MVP, but Beltre edged the streaking center fielder out tonight. Taylor Varnell had an odd game, sort of sloppy with five earned, but also dominant with eight Ks. Wyatt Burns came on for the classic, up by a ton, three-inning “save.”

Oh, and for the sake of history, let it be known that Andrew Vaughn’s first non-rookie ball pro RBI came on a sac fly. The second? A hit-by-pitch. Don’t make him angry, Sally.

Great Falls Voyagers

DSL White Sox 12, DSL Blue Jays 3

Ruben Benavides (C) 2-for-3, 2 R, 4 RBI (6), HR (1), BB (.280 BA, .813 OPS)
Benyamin Bailey (LF) 2-for-3, 4 R, RBI (10), HR (1), 2 BB (.391 BA, 1.024 OPS)
Alberto Bernal (1B) 2-for-2, R, 2B (3), 2 RBI (7), 2 BB, CS (1) (.182 BA, .651 OPS)
Juan Mercedes (RF) 2-for-4, 2B (4), 2 RBI (8), K (.258 BA, .658 OPS)
Ronaldo Guzman (SP) 5 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 7 K, W (1-1), (3.91 ERA) **MVP**

So, is this just the fluky nature of Dominican League play (and players’ ages), or did the White Sox get their act together to field so much more of a kickass team in the DSL this season? Seems the former, but perhaps there’s a smidge of the latter in the DSL Sox, now a game better than .500 (16-15) for the first time in, well, since I’ve been around these parts, I think.

Anyway, let it likewise be known, some 30 years in the future when Benyamin Bailey is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, that today, July 6, 2019, was his first professional home run. My goodness, what an offensive assault and generally clean game (one error, one caught stealing) by the DSL Sox today. Thirteen hits, 12 walks and just five Ks, whoo boy. But, offense aside, Ronaldo Guzman stood out with an amazing line, and a starting effort like that is going to take the surprise MVP to wind this day up.