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White Sox Minor League Update: August 14, 2019

More homers — including two from Zack Collins — and some fantastic team performances in North Carolina

Kaboom times two: Zack Collins had a great game, with a pair of bombs in a walk-off win.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights 13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 12 (10)

Nick Madrigal: 0-for-5, 1 BB, 1 K (.271 BA, .637 OPS)
Luis Robert: 2-for-5, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.318 BA, .998 OPS)
Zack Collins: 4-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K (.283 BA, .933 OPS) **MVP**
Yermin Mercedes: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.313 BA, 1.032 OPS)
Donn Roach: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB 1 K (7.83 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)

For much of the game, the Knights were clearly in control. Already down by one with Zack Collins up with two men on in the first, he crushed a ball to right field to take a 3-1 lead. Led by Donn Roach and the offense, the Knights were able to keep that lead and extend it — until the seventh. Collins would drive in another run during a span that included a four-run inning in the fifth. However, when Charlotte’s bullpen came in, the RailRiders went all out. The RRs put up an eight-spot in the seventh inning and took a 12-8 lead. Hunter Schryver was the first bullpen arm in the game, and he allowed five runs without recording an out. Thyago Viera was better, but that’s relative, because he saw the last three runs of the inning.

The offense was able to bail the bullpen out. The first chips fell in the eighth when Collins and Yermín Mercedes had back-to-back jacks to cut the deficit to two. In the bottom of the ninth, thanks in part to some wild pitching from the RailRiders, the Knights tied the game. In fact, that wild pitching helped so much that Collins walked to score the tying run. Charlie Tilson took advantage in the extra innings and sliced in the winning run.

Mississippi Braves 4, Birmingham Barons 0

Luis Gonzalez: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 0 K (.249 BA, .674 OPS)
Luis Basabe: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K (.240 BA, .642 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (.263 BA, .672 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K (.269 BA, .759 OPS)
Bernardo Flores: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (3.13 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) **MVP**
Alec Hansen: 1 13 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (5.73 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)

Today did not go well for the Birmingham offense. Not only were the Barons shut out, but they could only muster two singles. Though the plate discipline overall was decent (five walks and eight strikeouts), the Barons only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. That’s not going to cut it. The pitching was obviously better, led by Bernardo Flores in his second Double-A start since the injury. He went five innings and had much better command this time around, even striking out more batters than innings pitched. He was hit — he allowed a homer, two doubles, and two singles — but he only allowed two. It was not a masterful performance, but given the offense, enough to be tonight’s MVP. Meanwhile, some good news came from the bullpen in Alec Hansen. Though he did not record a K, he didn’t walk anybody in 1 1⁄3 innings while throwing nine strikes to five balls. It isn’t much, but let’s see how Hansen finishes an abysmal season.

Winston-Salem Dash 4, Carolina Mudcats 2

Steele Walker: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.282 BA, .799 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-5, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.267 BA, .842 OPS)
Jorgan Cavanerio: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (3.00 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) **MVP**
Caleb Frare: 1 13 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA, 0.43 WHIP)
Bennett Sousa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (2.88 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)

The pitching was on point for the Dash today, as they won in the early afternoon, 4-2. Jorgan Cavanerio keeps on improving. Though he didn’t have a large sample with the Rangers Double-A squad, Cavanerio has dropped his ERA by almost five runs. Though an unearned run scored during his time today, Cavanerio was lights out. His lone hit allowed was a triple, but soft contact and four strikeouts helped keep his earned run shutout going. He left with only 61 pitches, but they were all effective. To close out the win, the rehabbing Caleb Frare got four outs and looked good in them. He only had three appearances in the AZL, so Frare should be on his way out of Winston-Salem soon. The new closer for the Dash, Bennett Sousa, completely shut down the Mudcats for the final three outs. It was his fifth save with the Dash since his promotion, and eighth save overall.

The W-S offense was all right, just good enough, as they scored four runs while going just 1-for-10 with RISP. The two top prospects, Steele Walker and Andrew Vaughn, opened the scoring in the third: Walker scored on Vaughn’s two-RBI double, though that was the end of their offensive production. It was up to Jameson Fisher and Mitch Roman for some bigger impact. Fisher had two hits on the day and Roman had three, including the other extra-base tap for the Dash.

Kannapolis Intimidators 10, Greensboro Grasshoppers 0

Ian Dawkins: 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB (.307 BA, .779) OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.243 BA, .640 OPS)
Tyler Osik: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB 0 K(.250 BA, .757 OPS) **MVP**
Corey Zangari: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.197 BA, .705 OPS)
Davis Martin: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (5.15 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Everything, and I mean everything, went right for the Intimidators in their big shutout win. First the offense; for much of the game it was not a dominant force. In the first seven innings, the I’s scored three runs; two of those did not even come off of hits. The eighth inning is when everything went the I’s way. The pitchers for Greensboro had clear trouble with command: They walked three batters, threw two wild pitches, and hit one batter. In between all of those gifts from the opposition, the I’s took advantage with five hits, including doubles from Tyler Osik and Michael Hickman in what ended up being a seven-run inning.

As good as the offense was, the pitching was even better, as Davis Martin, Wilber Perez, and Justin O’Conner combined for the shutout. Martin only lasted five innings, but they were good. Though he put on five runners, Martin’s five strikeouts limited any damage. Martin was at 86 pitches when he was pulled, but with the season winding down, the Sox could be limiting his outings in the last few weeks. After Martin was pulled, the bullpen continued to dominate: Perez went three no-hit innings, as he has looked outstanding down the stretch. In July, he had an ERA 0.92 and now somehow improved that in August, at 0.90.

Great Falls Voyagers 5, Rocky Mountain Vibes 3

Caberea Weaver: 3-for-4, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.256 BA, .680 OPS) **MVP**
Harvin Mendoza: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.313 BA, .916 OPS)
Luis Mieses: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K (.269 BA, .698 OPS)
Sean Thompson: 6 23 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (6.68 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

What started as a pitcher’s duel early led to some late-inning scoring, and thankfully, it was mostly from Great Falls. Sean Thompson had a hell of a line in his 6 23 innings: He only allowed two runs, but he saw nine batters get hits. Four of those hits were for extra bases, and yet Thompson still only allowed two runs. Meanwhile, the offense started out slow. Through five innings, they only scored one run. It was not until the sixth inning when the Voyagers offense finally got going and took the lead. Ivan Gonzalez singled to bring the deficit to one, and then Jonathan Allen drove in two with a single of his own to take the lead. Sammy Peralta came in for the four-out save and the rest was history. He struck out all four of the batters he faced, for his second save of the season.

AZL Dodgers 4, AZL White Sox 0

Jose Rodriguez: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.284 BA, .822 OPS)
Bryce Bush: 0-for-2, 0 BB, 0 K (.000 BA, .000 OPS)
Micker Adolfo: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 1 K (.211 BA, .849 OPS)
DJ Gladney: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 2 K (.261 BA, .747 OPS)
Luis Rodriguez: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (5.40 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) **MVP**

Not a great game here for the rookies and some notable rehabbing players. Bryce Bush and Micker Adolfo combined to go 0-for-5. During Bush’s rehab assignment, four games in the AZL, he has not recorded a hit so far. The team only had five hits total, the biggest of which came from Bryan Ramos, who hit his second triple of the year. Luis Rodriguez was good to start the game. While Rodriguez has not been great since his promotion from the DSL, his five innings with just two runs allowed was one of his better outings. It was just not a great effort by the AZL Sox overall.

DSL White Sox 4, DSL Reds 2

Anthony Espinoza: 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K (.267 BA, .679 OPS)
Yolbert Sanchez: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 0 K (.242 BA, .678 OPS)
Johnabiell Laureano: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K (.365 BA, 1.011 OPS) **MVP**
Jorge Ferrer: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.17 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

The Sox got off to a quick start in the DSL, and kept the lead for the win. After two runners got on base in the first, Johnabiell Laureano stepped up to the plate and homered. It was his sixth home run of the season, and all the DSL Sox needed to win. It was a weird setup for the pitching today. They used a sort-of opener with Jorge Ferrer, and then used two bulk guys. The first, Oriel Castro, did not pitch well, allowing both runs in his 3 23 innings while letting five runners on base. The second bulk guy, Manuel Veloz, went the final four innings of the game for the win. He did not allow a run over his tenure, lowering his ERA to a blistering 0.81. Veloz, at 18, is having a pretty good season and was a big part of this win today.