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White Sox Minor League Update: May 5, 2021

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Charlotte’s 16-hit performance highlights a 3-2 day for the affiliates

In control: Jonathan Stiever pitched three excellent innings in the first Knights victory of the season.
@laurawolffphoto/Twitter

The Charlotte Knights raced out to an early lead and never looked back in a convincing, 9-6 victory over the Gwinnett Stripers.

The scoring began in the bottom of the second, when the Knights strung a few hits together. Tim Beckham got it started with a double, and Joe DeCarlo singled to put runners on the corners with two outs. Then, Marco Hernández had a timely RBI single to put the Knights on the board.

The third was even better for Charlotte, as the first four Knights who batted that inning reached base safely. Blake Rutherford led off with a double, Mikie Mahtook drew a walk, Gavin Sheets drove in both with a double, and Seby Zavala singled. The Knights tacked on one more that inning on a throwing error by old friend Ryan Goins. As a result, the Knights led by a score of 4-0 after three.

Orlando Arcia hit a solo home run to lead it off for the Stripers in the fourth. However, Gwinnett could not build off that, and the Knights got that run back with a Rutherford single in the sixth. Charlotte continued to pour it on in the seventh, when Beckham homered to make it 6-1.

On the pitching side, former Indiana Hoosier Jonathan Stiever started for Charlotte, and he put the Knights in a great position to win. Stiever pitched three shutout innings, allowed only one hit, issued one walk, and struck out four.

Reliever Tanner Banks wiggled out of trouble a few times during his four innings. Banks allowed five hits and issued two walks but only allowed one run to preserve the lead.

Things got a bit dicey in the eighth, when reliever Connor Sadzeck issued three walks, and a two-run single reduced the lead to 6-3.

The Knights picked up a few insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, as back-to-back doubles by Gavin Sheets and Zavala extended the lead to 9-3. As it turned out, these insurance runs were important. Gwinnett scored three in the top of the ninth on a home run by Johan Camargo, but fortunately, it was not enough. As a result, the Knights improved to 1-1 on the young season.

Poll

Who was the Knights’ MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Gavin Sheets: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI
    (93 votes)
  • 1%
    Tim Beckham: 2-for-5, HR, 2B
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Seby Zavala: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Blake Rutherford: 2-for-5, 2 2B, RBI
    (5 votes)
  • 13%
    Jonathan Stiever: 3 IP, 0 R, H, BB, 4 K
    (16 votes)
116 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights’ Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Joel Booker: 1-for-5, K
    (6 votes)
  • 60%
    Jacob Lindgren: IP, H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
    (42 votes)
  • 30%
    Connor Sadzeck: IP, H, 2 ER, 3 BB, K
    (21 votes)
69 votes total Vote Now

After the season opener got postponed, the Barons started their year with a pair of seven-inning games. The doubleheader opener went very well, as Birmingham beat Biloxi by a score of 6-1.

After a scoreless first inning, Jameson Fisher opened the season with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. This was an outstanding way to begin the season for the 27-year-old first baseman, who slashed .242/.343/.375 in Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem in 2019.

The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth, when the Barons put up their first crooked number of the season. Micker Adolfo drew a walk, and Carlos Pérez drove him in with an RBI triple. With two outs, Ti’Quan Forbes built on the rally with a two-run homer to double the Barons lead and make the latter innings easier.

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Blake Battenfield had a great day on the mound. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched five shutout innings without issuing any walks. Battenfield also struck out three, and although he allowed six hits, he did a good job of pitching with runners on base. The biggest jam came in the fifth, when two Biloxi singles put runners on first and second with one out. But, after a flyout and a groundout, Battenfield was out of trouble.

The Shuckers got one run after Battenfield departed, but it was too late by that point, so the Barons improved to 1-0 on the season.

Poll

Who was the Barons’ MVP of Game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Jameson Fisher: 1-for-2, BB, HR
    (4 votes)
  • 29%
    Ti’Quan Forbes: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI
    (19 votes)
  • 64%
    Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K
    (42 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Whoa was the Barons’ Cold Cat of Game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Zack Granite: 0-for-3, K
    (5 votes)
  • 80%
    Zach Remillard: 0-for-3, K, 2 LOB
    (33 votes)
  • 7%
    Bennett Sousa: IP, ER, 2 H, 0 BB, K
    (3 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

The Barons remained undefeated in 2021, coming out on top in a low-scoring nightcap for the doubleheader sweep.

Birmingham was able to lay off a few key pitches, as Zack Granite and Zach Remillard drew back-to-back walks to lead off the game. Thanks to a pair of productive outs, the Barons grabbed an early, 1-0 lead, as Micker Adolfo drove in Granite with a groundout.

Meanwhile, starter Ofreidy Gómez had a masterful performance, striking out seven and allowing no hits in three shutout innings. The only Shuckers to reach base against Gómez were David Fry and Tyler Friis, who drew walks.

The Shuckers had more success after Gómez was out of the game. Peter Tago allowed the only Biloxi run of the game, and it was unearned, as Granite was charged with a fielding error in center field.

That unearned run tied the game at one, but the Barons retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth, when Xavier Fernández hit a homer with two outs and nobody on base. Biloxi threatened with two outs in the top of the seventh, putting runners on the corners. However, Andrew Pérez closed the door with an easy pop fly that settled into Remillard’s glove.

Poll

Who was the Barons’ MVP of Game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Zack Granite: 1-for-1, 2 BB
    (5 votes)
  • 6%
    Xavier Fernández: 1-for-3, RBI
    (3 votes)
  • 82%
    Ofreidy Gómez: 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 K
    (37 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons’ Cold Cat of Game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Peter Tago: 2 IP, ER, 3 BB, 3 K
    (14 votes)
  • 41%
    Laz Rivera: 0-for-2, 2 K
    (15 votes)
  • 19%
    JJ Muno: 0-for-2, 2 K
    (7 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

The game in Winston-Salem was a chaotic one, as the Dash jumped out to a big lead that they could not hold onto.

Pauly Milto, another former Indiana Hoosier, started on the mound for the Dash. Unfortunately, Milto’s start did not go as well as Stiever’s. Milto struggled to find the strike zone, as he issued three walks in the first inning and allowed the first run of the game on a wild pitch. Fortunately, Milto did not allow any hits that inning, as he limited the damage to one. However, the Braves scored again in the second, as Kevin Josephina tripled, and Cody Milligan drove him in with a single to make it 2-0.

The deficit did not last long, though, as the Dash wasted no time getting their rally started in the bottom of the second. After a Yolbert Sánchez single and an error by Rome, Luis Curbelo launched a three-run homer to put the Dash in the lead. Then, with two outs, Duke Ellis drew a walk, and Bryce Bush launched a two-run shot to extend the lead to three. Bush’s home run capped off a five-run inning, and the Dash were not done. In the third, the Dash took advantage of some spotty control (drawing four walks), and their lead grew to 6-2.

Unfortunately, six runs was not enough to win this game, as the Braves stormed back. In the fifth, Bryce Ball hit a home run (what a day for the Bryces) to trim his team’s deficit back down to three.

The sixth inning, however, was far more damaging than the fifth. The inning got off to a good start, as the leadoff hitter for Rome grounded out. Then, after a single, a walk, and a force out, Rome had runners on the corners with two outs. At that point, the wheels fell off. Michael Harris singled to drive home a run, and Ball drew a walk to load the bases. Logan Brown stepped up to the plate, and on the first pitch of the plate appearance, he drove a grand slam out to right field. That grand slam turned the game around, as the Braves suddenly led by two.

The Dash got one run back on another big hit by Curbelo (a double), but it was not enough, as they lost by a score of 8-7.

Poll

Who was the Dash’s MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Luis Curbelo: 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI
    (34 votes)
  • 24%
    Yolbert Sánchez 3-for-4, BB
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Caleb Freeman: IP, 0 R, BB, 2 K
    (0 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash’s Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Declan Cronin: 2 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 0 K
    (30 votes)
  • 11%
    Duke Ellis: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 3 K
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Alex Destino: 1-for-5, 3 K
    (2 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

The Cannon Ballers became the second team in the White Sox’s system tonight to score five or more in an inning before losing, 8-7. Although the Cannon Ballers battled back from an early deficit, they could not complete the comeback in a tough loss.

Many eyes were on Kannapolis starter Jared Kelley, who the White Sox selected in the second round of last year’s draft. Most mock drafts projected Kelley to get drafted much earlier, and Kelley is near the top of the White Sox prospect rankings. Unfortunately, Kelley’s professional debut did not go as planned, as the Wood Ducks were not fooled by him. In two-thirds of an inning, Kelley allowed four runs (two earned) on two hits. Control was an issue for Kelley, as only 19 of his 35 pitches were strikes.

Things did not get easier for Kannapolis in the second inning, as the Wood Ducks tacked on a pair to take a 6-0 lead. However, the momentum changed when the third inning came around. Sam Abbott hit a leadoff single, Daniel Millwee drew a walk, and Samil Polanco got hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. James Beard stepped up to the plate with a golden opportunity to put the Cannon Ballers on the board, and he took full advantage.

Beard’s grand slam made it a whole new ballgame, as Kannapolis was then within striking distance. Later in the inning, Kannapolis tied it, as an RBI double by DJ Gladney and an RBI single by Millwee knotted it up at six.

In the fourth, Bryan Ramos drove in the go-ahead run by grounding into a force out. The Cannon Ballers went on to load the bases but could not add any more runs that inning, which turned out to be costly.

The Wood Ducks tied it in the fifth, and a pair of errors helped them take the lead in the ninth. This lead did not relinquish, as they held on for an 8-7 win.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers’ MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    James Beard: 1-for-3, 2 BB, HR, 4 RBI
    (48 votes)
  • 11%
    Chase Krogman: 2-for-3, 2 BB
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Brandon Jenkins: IP, 0 R, 0 H, BB, 2 K
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Martin Carrasco: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, K
    (0 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers’ Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    Jared Kelley: 2⁄3 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K
    (37 votes)
  • 4%
    Bryan Ramos: 0-for-5, RBI, K
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    DJ Gladney: 1-for-5, RBI, K, throwing error
    (0 votes)
  • 11%
    Samil Polanco: 0-for-3, HBP, K, throwing error
    (5 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now