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White Sox Minor League Update: August 9, 2019

Mercedes, Collins, Michalczewski homer for Charlotte; Barons three-hit; DSL Sox draw 14 walks, still lose

#FreeYermín: Coming into tonight, Mercedes hit a home run on almost 28% of his fly balls, something that is definitely sustainable, shut up.
Laura Wolff/@KnightsBaseball

Charlotte Knights 9, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2

Odrisamer Despaigne: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 WP (W, 6-4)
Matt Foster: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (H, 5)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 BB
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 K
Yermín Mercedes (1B): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Zack Collins (C): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 PB
Danny Mendick (SS): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Trey Michalczewski (3B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K

Odrisamer Despaigne continues to be a perfectly adequate Triple-A pitcher and the Knights hit three dongs as they defeated the IronPigs on Friday night. They scored in each of the first four innings: Nick Madrigal singled and Luis Robert doubled in the first, then Yermín Mercedes hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Madrigal. In the second, Danny Mendick doubled (his 23rd of the year), advanced on Charlie Tilson’s groundout, then scored on Paulo Orlando’s fly ball. In the third, Certified Sparkplug Madrigal reached on an error, advanced when Daniel Palka grounded out, then scored on Zack Collins’ single. The fourth was when the bomb show began, Orlando drawing a walk and Trey Michalczewski blasting his third Knights home run to center.

The ninth inning saw more fireworks; Madrigal singled for the second time, Palka walkaed, then Mercedes went deep for his 11th dinger in just 34 games with the Knights. His line with the team is .292/.370/.625, and he’s already exceeded his total bases with the Barons in 27 fewer at-bats. Zack Collins, meanwhile, was not to be outdone, and he hit his 12th, albeit in a few more games played. Over those 68 games, he’s batting .272/.393/.504.

Despaigne didn’t have much trouble with the ‘Pigs, most of it coming on a back-to-back wild pitch and passed ball that put a runner on third who would later score. Matt Foster threw two perfect innings, striking out three; in 13 ⅔ innings since the All-Star break, he’s given up just three runs, walked three and has struck out 18. Juan Minaya finished things up with a scoreless inning, and he’s been similarly dominant since the break, giving up one run over 10 innings.

Montgomery Biscuits 6, Birmingham Barons 1

John Parke: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (L, 3-3)
Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Luis González (DH): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Laz Rivera (2B): 0-for-3, 2 K
Blake Rutherford (LF): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E **MVP**
Luis Alexander Basabe (RF): 0-for-3, 3 K, 1 E

John Parke was very good until the sixth, but the Barons were absolutely shut down by Tampa Bay Rays 2018 first-rounder Shane McClanahan, who went five, giving up two hits and striking out eight. One of these hits was a bunt single by Luis González that ended up with him on second base due to Lucius Fox’s error, but second base was where he would remain stranded. The other was a fourth-inning single by Blake Rutherford; Rutherford stole second, but was also left moored there. Rutherford also had the only other Barons hit, an RBI double in the sixth, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. The team struck out 14 times total.

Parke has seemingly been plagued by a lack of run support and today was no different, but he did still throw a quality start and his solid stretch with Birmingham continues. His downfall, such as it was, came in the sixth, when he allowed a double, home run, single, and double in quick succession before completing the inning and outing. Alec Hansen relieved him for the seventh and immediately hit someone with a pitch, also walking a batter, but stranded both runners. Luis Martinez struck out the side in the eighth and struck out the first batter of the ninth, then allowed a single, a wild pitch, a double, and a single, scoring two runs.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers 6, Winston-Salem Dash 2

Konnor Pilkington: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 PO (L, 3-9)
Wyatt Burns: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Steele Walker (CF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Carlos Perez (C): 2-for-4, 1 RBI
Tate Blackman (2B): 1-for-4
JJ Muno (LF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB

The Dash scored two, which was not enough to overcome the Woodpeckers, who scored six. Four of these came off starter Konnor Pilkington, who allowed a run-scoring double in the second and a three-run home run in the fifth. Other than these obviously significant things, Pilkington wasn’t bad, stranding two in the third and picking off a runner in the fourth. This was as good as Wyatt Burns has been in his return to the level, two scoreless innings with just two baserunners allowed. Jose Nin also pitched two innings, but walked four and gave up two runs.

Andrew Vaughn continues to get more comfortable at the plate, accounting for half the Dash’s runs with an RBI single of JJ Muno in the third. Carlos Perez also hit an RBI single that inning, scoring Steele Walker after Steele walked. That was it for Dash scoring, though; Walker did reach three times, hitting a double and a single, as did Muno. Perez ended up with two hits. Walker is now batting .462 over his last 10 games, and .299/.375/.473 on the year.

Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Davis Martin: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
JB Olson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-5, 2 K
Alex Destino (DH): 1-for-5, 3 K
Cameron Simmons (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Tyler Osik (1B): 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 PB
Ramón Beltre (3B): 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 K **MVP**

The Intimidators bullpen gave up a late five runs as they dropped this one to the Shorebirds, 7-4. Davis Martin, whose name works either way around, had an alright start, giving up two runs over four innings, walking three. JB Olson pitched two scoreless. Lane Ramsey gets a blown save, allowing two runs to score in the seventh to tie it, and Declan Cronin gets the loss after giving up three runs in an inning that included a passed ball, a balk, two singles, and one triple.

Ian Dawkins has a six-game hit streak and is batting .350 over his last 10. Tyler Osik still seeks his first Intimidators hit after three games there, although he has walked three times, including twice today. Gunnar Troutwine now has 23 passed balls in 46 games played behind the plate, but also hit his 14th double of the year to score a run in the second. Ramón Beltre added a single that scored both Osik and Troutwine, making it 3-0 Intimidators at the time. Romy González capped off scoring with a groundout in the fifth that drove in Dawkins.

Great Falls Voyagers 9, Grand Junction Rockies 8

Chase Solesky: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 WP
Nate Pawelczyk: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (W, 1-0)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SB **MVP**
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
Harvin Mendoza (DH): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
Luis Mieses (RF): 3-for-4, 2 RBI
Anderson Comas (LF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K

The Voyagers pulled this one out at the second-to-last second, scoring two in the eight to tie and then jump ahead of the Grand Junction Rockies for good, capping off a very back-and-forth game. The Rockies scored two in the top of the first on a double and wild pitch by starter Chase Solesky, then the Voyagers got one back in the bottom of the inning on Luis Curbelo’s fifth home run with the team. It was the Rockies’ turn, and they dutifully added a run on a sacrifice fly in the third, but the Voyagers responded in their half with a two-run Lency Delgado double, tying it up at three. They lurched ahead one batter later, when Luis Mieses drove in two himself with a single, putting the Voyagers up 5-3. They scored two more in the fourth, Caberea Weaver doubling in Anderson Comas and Kelvin Maldonado to put the team up with a seemingly solid 7-3 lead.

Obviously, this did not hold. Karan Patel relieved Solesky in the fifth, and allowed the first batter to reach on a strikeout/wild pitch combo. That runner would score, and so would three more, after three straight singles, a wild pitch, and a double. This left things tied at seven, until, fittingly, the seventh, when Ramon Pineda allowed a double to score a tiebreaking run in favor of the Rockies.

The final hill of the Win Probability Rollercoaster was crested in the eighth, when Comas hit a leadoff triple (his fifth) and scored on Weaver’s single, tying things up at eight. Weaver then stole second and scored on Harvin Mendoza’s single, the eventual game-winning run. Nate Pawelczyk pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

AZL Padres 2 6, AZL White Sox 2

Yoelvin Silven: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 balk (L, 0-2)
Caleb Frare: ⅔, 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Sidney Pimentel (SS): 0-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB
Micker Adolfo (DH): 0-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K
DJ Gladney (1B): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Bryan Ramos (3B): 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS **MVP**
Jakob Goldfarb (C): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PB

Despite eight walks, the AZL Sox only managed two runs, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 on base. Jakob Goldfarb was the committer of a frankly astounding three passed balls, his first, second, and third of the season (coincidentally, one of their two runs scored on a passed ball in the sixth). Two of these led directly to runs scoring. Starter Yoelvin Silven didn’t walk anyone and only gave up two runs over four innings, but this was enough to put the Sox behind, to never resurface. The rehabbing Caleb Frare also got in on the action, giving up one run in two-thirds of an innings. Vlad Nuñez Jr. gave up three runs over two and one third, but only one was earned, thanks to the passed balls. McKinley Moore pitched one scoreless, and so did Mac Welsh, who has yet to give up a run in four and two thirds entire innings of work.

The only non-passed-ball run scored by the Sox came in the eighth, Sidney Pimentel, Micker Adolfo, and DJ Gladney all walking consecutively to open the frame, then Bryan Ramos singling in Pimentel. With the bases loaded, the Sox then went down on a strikeout, flyout, and groundout. Adolfo, who wasn’t even supposed to return this year and is rehabbing from his second elbow surgery in the last two years, drew two walks. Pimentel drew three. Gladney, Ramos, and Jakob Goldfarb had one apiece.

DSL Diamondbacks1 13, DSL White Sox 9

Carlos Mola: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 E (L, 3-5)
Wilber Sánchez (2B-SS): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Anthony Espinoza (SS): 1-for-2, 1 RBI
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Matthew Mercedes (DH): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 BB
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 E
Lazaro Leál (RF): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
Luis Pineda (C): 1-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 4 K
Alberto Bernal (1B): 0-for-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 1 K
Edwin Peralta (3B): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K

In a game where the DSL Sox drew 14 walks, Benyamin Bailey, who is tied for the DSL lead in walks with 48, drew none of them. Alberto Bernal had the lion’s share with four, while Lazaro Leál had three, Luis Pineda and Edwin Peralta drew two, and three other players drew one apiece. Bailey made up for it by hitting an RBI double in the eighth, the start of a six-run inning; it drove in Cesar Jiménez, who had walked. Bailey advanced to third on Matthew Mercedes’ single, then Johnabiell Laureano walked to load the bases and Leál walked to keep them loaded while driving in a run. Pineda singled in two runs, a wild pitch moved the runs forward, Bernal walked, then Edwin Peralta hit a double that scored two and would have scored three if Bernal hadn’t been thrown out at the plate.

Four pitchers made an appearance for the Sox and, between them all, they walked 13 (that’s a total of 27 walks in this game, for those keeping track). Starter Carlos Mola allowed none of them, but gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings all the same. Oriel Castro gave up five walks and five runs over his inning and one third, and Cristopher Valdez walked a whopping six batters on his way to allowing three runs over two innings, although he did strike out five. Francisco Benitez was the only Sox arm to not give up a hit, although he did walk two. This nine-inning game took four hours and 20 minutes to play.