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White Sox Minor League Update: May 22, 2021

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North Carolina loses again and the Barons win again — but Jared Kelley did really well!

Jared Kelley had a breakout game in Kannapolis tonight.
Dan Victor/South Side Sox

The Knights were down by a fair amount early, 4-0, but were able to mount a comeback, thanks in part to Jake Burger.

This was Burger’s sixth homer of the year and it came in the sixth to tie the game, 4-4. Before that, it was trouble for Charlotte pitchers early on. Jonathan Stiever started the game and only got three outs — that is a big problem. Kodi Medeiros took over in the second inning to try to settle down the team, but he proceeded to allow two runs and make the game 4-0. It was an uphill climb the rest of the game for the Knights.

The first run of the game for Charlotte came in the third as Nate Nolan scored off of a wild pitch. The next inning, Tim Beckham and Mikie Mahtook, both former major leaguers, hit sac flies to get the Knights within one. When the sixth came, that’s when Burger took advantage of a high pitch to just get it over the left-field wall to tie the game.

While all that was happening, Zack Burdi actually had a decent, two-inning outing. He didn’t allow any runs, and struck out four. He had some trouble with control, though, walking three and with two wild pitches on top of that; but again, he didn’t allow a run. Connor Sadzeck took over for him and pitched well in the sixth, it wasn’t until the seventh where he allowed two runs. The Knights had taken the lead and extended it to 7-4 before Sadzeck allowed two to make it a one-run game. He was also thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes!

Ryan Burr took over in the bottom of the ninth to protect a one-run lead, and he could not. He allowed back-to-back singles to open up the frame and proceeded to allow both of them to score, for an 8-7 loss for the Knights.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Jake Burger: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 Error
    (75 votes)
  • 3%
    Mikie Mahtook: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Zack Burdi: 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K
    (6 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Kodi Medeiros: 2 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
    (1 vote)
  • 45%
    Jonathan Stiever: 1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Connor Sadzeck: 2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
    (2 votes)
  • 49%
    Ryan Burr: 1⁄3 IP, 1 ER (2 R), 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
    (25 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now

What’s new, the North Carolina farm teams lose while Birmingham wins, as it are now 11-6 on the season. They had to do it with pitching in this one. Blake Battenfield got the start and only allowed one run in five innings. He did not walk anybody and only allowed four hits. The only knock is that he did not show strikeout stuff. He was relieved for the sixth inning on by Kyle Kubat, who got a four-inning save. Yes, you read that and it is true, Kubat got a four-inning save. He was even better than Battenfield, again, no walks but he struck out seven in his four innings of work. It was Kubat’s first save of the season, and his first save since 2018.

With the two runs allowed between the two pitchers, the Barons did just enough to win, 3-2. In fact, they got out to a lead right away with a first inning homer from Zack Granite, his fourth of the season.

Micker Adolfo drove in the second run in the third with a single and then drove in the third run in the eighth, thanks to a double. The offense was just good enough to get the job done, but it was Battenfield and Kubat that gave Birmingham the win.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K
    (10 votes)
  • 42%
    Kyle Kubat: 4 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
    (27 votes)
  • 42%
    Micker Adolfo: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K
    (27 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Joel Booker: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K
    (39 votes)
  • 11%
    JJ Muno: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 2 K
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Laz Rivera: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 1 K
    (1 vote)
45 votes total Vote Now

The Dash were oh-so-close to winning, but the offense could not give the pitching a break in the extra-inning loss. For six innings, the game was tied, 0-0, as pitchers on both staffs were getting outs any way they could.

Taylor Varnell got the start, and he went four shutout innings to keep his ERA at 0.00; maybe it’s time for a promotion and some harder competition. He struck out five over that time, while allowing another five batters to reach base. Sal Biasi came in for the fifth inning and was perfect. Where the Dash got into trouble was with Wilbur Perez. He allowed two runs, both from homers. However, he did go four frames, so it was not a bad outing, he just had trouble in the seventh and eighth.

But before that, the Dash actually had a 2-0 lead. In the top of the seventh, Luis Mieses launched his third homer of the year. But unfortunately, that was one of only three hits for the Dash on the day, and it’s hard to win with just three hits.

After the Mieses homer, it was all BlueClaws. Perez allowed homers in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game 2-2, pushing the game to extras. Caleb Freeman came in for the 10th, after the Dash didn’t score, and allowed the game-winning run as the ghost runner was plated after a single from Jonathan Guzman.

With this loss, the Dash are back under .500.

Poll

Who was the Dash MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Taylor Varnell: 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K
    (33 votes)
  • 26%
    Luis Mieses: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
    (12 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash Cold Cat

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Wilbur Perez: 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Travis Moniot: 0-for-3, 0 BB, 2 K
    (0 votes)
  • 72%
    Johan Cruz: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K
    (26 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

Hey, guess what, the Cannon Ballers lost, everything is OK in the world.

This one was an all-around loss, with the Ballers offense not getting the job done with runners on base. In total, Kannapolis had 15 hits, at least one for seven of the nine batters in the lineup. But they were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, so it had a lot of opportunities to make it a game, but couldn’t capitalize.

The pitching also allowed seven runs, so it was difficult for the hitting to come back. What was the worst aspect of the game for Kannapolis was the defense — they had six errors, three of coming from José Rodriguez, who is really struggling at shortstop (six errors in 17 games).

Rodriguez also homered, so it wasn’t a terrible game for him, it was just one-sided. He had four hits on the day to raise his average to .324. AJ Gill, Cabera Weaver, Bryan Ramos, and even Benyamin Bailey also had multi-hit days. Bailey has had a tough start in the States, at a level he probably was not ready for right away. He was able to bring up his average to .164 after a pair of singles.

Jared Kelley got the start and actually did really well in his three innings. He only allowed two hits and struck out four — the big deal is that he only walked one batter. Bailey Horn is where the game started to get off the rails. He only lasted one inning and allowed three. From there it just got worse, as the Fireflies scored seven more runs.

Kannapolis may have lost again, but two guys who have not been doing well, Bailey and Kelley, had much better days today. Rodriguez hit his first homer of the season along with his seventh double, but he just was not having a good day as a fielder.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Jared Kelley: 3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
    (35 votes)
  • 35%
    Jose Rodriguez: 4-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    AJ Gill: 3-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (2 votes)
57 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    DJ Gladney: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 3 K
    (5 votes)
  • 46%
    Bailey Horn: 1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 K
    (18 votes)
  • 41%
    Sammy Peralta: 1 1⁄3 IP, 4 ER (5 R), 1 BB, 4 K
    (16 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now