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White Sox Minor League Update: July 21, 2021

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Huge innings highlight a 4-1 day for the affiliates

Leading the charge: During the 15-2 Cannon Ballers victory, José Rodríguez stole a base and collected four hits, one of which was a home run.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

This game got off to a good start for the Knights, but the Bulls bats came to life against Jimmy Lambert. As a result, Charlotte fell on Wednesday night.

Mikie Mahtook opened the top of the second with a single, and Nick Williams moved him over to second with a single of his own. Then, with two outs, Matt Reynolds drove in both runners with a double, so the Knights had an early 2-0 lead.

Unfortunately, after two shutout innings, starter Lambert surrendered back-to-back homers to Rene Pinto and Tristan Gray in the bottom of the third. Then, the game got away from Lambert and the Knights in the fourth. The first five Bulls to bat that inning reached base safely, and four of them reached via walk. The go-ahead run scored on Kevin Padlo’s RBI double. Then, the Bulls got insurance runs on a walk that forced in a run, an RBI ground out, a fielder’s choice in which everyone was safe, and a wild pitch. By the end of the inning, the Bulls led by a score of 7-2.

In the ninth, Mahtook drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-3, but it was too little, too late.

Eloy Jiménez went 1-for-4 with a single and a sharp line out to right field.

The biggest news from this game occurred shortly after Yermín Mercedes left the game. Mercedes went 0-for-2 in this game before getting pulled in the sixth inning, but overall he has been outstanding for the Knights (.997 OPS). However, while many details are unknown for the time being, Mercedes decided he has had enough. Year of the Hamster has the story.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Blake Rutherford: 2-for-4, 2B, R
    (45 votes)
  • 7%
    Matt Reynolds: 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Mikie Mahtook: 1-for-3, RBI, R
    (1 vote)
  • 34%
    Kyle Kubat: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K
    (27 votes)
79 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Jake Lamb: 0-for-4, K
    (6 votes)
  • 86%
    Jimmy Lambert: 3 1⁄3 IP, 7 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K
    (73 votes)
  • 5%
    Micker Adolfo: 0-for-3, 2 K
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Marco Hernández: 0-for-3, 2 K
    (0 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now

It was a game to remember for many in the Barons lineup, as Birmingham put up 17 runs to crush the Lookouts.

The Barons wasted no time, as they scored five times in the top of the first. Back-to-back doubles by Carlos Pérez and Jameson Fisher resulted in the first run of the game. Later in the inning, Indiana Hoosier Craig Dedelow launched a three-run homer, and just like that, the Barons had a four-run lead. Tyler Neslony added an RBI triple to conclude the scoring that inning.

The Barons did not need Blake Battenfield to be on top of his game, but it was far from Battenfield’s finest performance. The Lookouts clawed their way back into striking distance in the bottom of the second. After a fielding error by shortstop Romy González, the Lookouts got an RBI double, an RBI fielder’s choice, and an RBI single. By the end of the inning, it was 5-3.

That was as close as the Lookouts got in this game, as the Barons put together an eight-run inning in the top of the third. The first five, and eight of the first nine, Barons to bat reached base safely that inning. Nearly everyone contributed to the monster inning, and the Barons got some help from a pair of Chattanooga errors.

While Battenfield and reliever Jake Elliott struggled, the lead was more than large enough. Also, Zach Muckenhirn and J.B. Olson delivered quality appearances from the bullpen.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Craig Dedelow: 3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI
    (32 votes)
  • 48%
    Yolbert Sánchez: 4-for-5, 4 R
    (50 votes)
  • 18%
    Tyler Neslony: 3-for-6, 3B, 2 2B, 5 RBI
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    Jameson Fisher: 2-for-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Romy González: 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, BB
    (1 vote)
103 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 7 R (4 ER), 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K
    (58 votes)
  • 23%
    Jake Elliott: 1 2⁄3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (18 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

This game was competitive until the Dash pulled away with a six-run seventh inning. Timely hitting (6-for-17 with runners in scoring position) contributed to this Winston-Salem win.

Starter Kaleb Roper managed to miss a lot of bats (six strikeouts), but much of the contact he allowed was noisy. BlueClaws first baseman D.J. Stewart opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first. The BlueClaws doubled their lead in the third, when Jhailyn Ortiz hit a solo home run. Those were the only runs Roper allowed, though he was only in the game for three innings.

After Roper’s departure, Winston-Salem’s offense came to life and scored 10 unanswered runs. That streak of 10 straight runs started in the fourth, when Luis Curbelo hit his 13th home run of the season.

Then, in the fifth, the Dash took the lead with their first big inning of the game. Duke Ellis drew a dreaded leadoff walk, and the Dash got three consecutive hits immediately after that walk. Lenyn Sosa got aboard with a bunt single, and Yoelqui Céspedes tied the game with an RBI double. Then Luis Robert, who recently got the green light to start his rehab assignment, singled on a Kansas City Special to right. That gave the Dash a 3-2 lead, and they led the rest of the game. The Dash picked up another run that inning, and they were not done.

In the seventh, the Dash put the game out of reach. They started the inning by running all over the BlueClaws. Céspedes led off with a single, and he quickly stole second base. Brandon Bossard struck out, but Céspedes stole third. Alex Destino walked before running to second for yet another Winston-Salem stolen base. Then, Curbelo drove in both runners with a two-run single. Gunnar Troutwine and AJ Gill drew walks to load the bases, and Ellis came through with an RBI infield single to make it 7-2. Lenyn Sosa cleared the bases with a double, as the Dash pulled away in epic fashion.

Meanwhile, reliever Ryan Williamson was terrific, pitching four scoreless innings while striking out six. After Williamson left the game, the BlueClaws finally got back on the board. But, they needed far more than the two runs they scored in the last two innings to mount a comeback.

Poll

Who was the Dash MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Luis Curbelo: 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
    (50 votes)
  • 27%
    Yoelqui Céspedes: 2-for-5, RBI, 2 SB, 0 CS
    (26 votes)
  • 0%
    Duke Ellis: 2-for-3, BB, RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS
    (0 votes)
  • 20%
    Ryan Williamson: 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K
    (20 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Kaleb Roper: 3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    Jagger Rusconi: 0-for-4, BB, K
    (4 votes)
  • 45%
    Gunnar Troutwine: 0-for-4, BB, 2 K
    (33 votes)
  • 15%
    Sal Biasi: 1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K
    (11 votes)
72 votes total Vote Now

The Cannon Ballers had a doubleheader, and while the games played out quite a bit differently, Kannapolis pulled off the sweep.

The first game was a bit of a roller coaster, as the Cannon Ballers jumped out to an early lead, lost said lead, and got it back before narrowly hanging on. After back-to-back walks to Samil Polanco and Bryan Ramos, Luis Mieses opened up the scoring with an RBI double. Then, with two outs, Kannapolis tacked on another run due to some #WildPitchOffense, as Ramos hustled home.

Starting pitcher Jared Kelley started off strong, as he got through the first two innings unscathed. However, he ran into trouble in the third, and reliever Kevin Folman struggled to clean up the mess. Kelley allowed a leadoff single that inning, and after a walk, he was removed from the game. Folman inherited runners on first and second with no outs, and both of those runners came around to score on back-to-back singles. The second of those singles tied the game, and Yohander Martinez hit yet another single to give the Woodpeckers a 3-2 lead.

The Cannon Ballers did not stay behind for long. Harvin Mendoza and Caberea Weaver started off the fourth with back-to-back singles, and Jeremiah Burks walked to load the bases. Victor Torres drove in a run by grounding into a force out, so the tying run scored, but the Cannon Ballers gave up an out to make it happen.

Kannapolis did not score any more runs in the fourth, but they took the lead in the fifth when Mieses got another big hit. This time, it was a two-run homer, and the Cannon Ballers suddenly had a 5-3 lead.

Meanwhile, Folman settled down and made it through the fifth without allowing any runs after the tough third inning. Indiana Hoosier Pauly Milto took over on the mound in the sixth, and he struck out the side in order. Milto remained on the mound in the seventh for a save opportunity, and after a hit by pitch, the potential tying run came up. After a ground out that advanced the runner, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out, the score was 5-4. However, the Woodpeckers were down to their last out with two down and nobody on base. Milto struck out Jordan Brewer to seal the victory.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP in game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Luis Mieses: 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
    (64 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Folman: 3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Pauly Milto: 2 IP, 1 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K
    (2 votes)
66 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat in game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Jared Kelley: 2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 2 K
    (22 votes)
  • 32%
    José Rodríguez: 0-for-4, K
    (21 votes)
  • 32%
    James Beard: 0-for-3, 2 K
    (21 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

While the Cannon Ballers had to sweat a bit for the earlier victory, the nightcap was much easier. Kannapolis raced out to a huge lead and never looked back in this lopsided win.

José Rodríguez led off the game with a single, and the Cannon Ballers were off to the races. Rodríguez, who had a quiet game 1, got four hits and a stolen base in game 2. After Rodríguez stole second, Bryan Ramos drew a walk, and Harvin Mendoza drove in both of them with a double.

The Cannon Ballers added a few insurance runs in the second. Richard Garcia, James Beard, Rodríguez, and Samil Polanco hit four consecutive singles to make it 4-0. Then, a sacrifice fly by Ramos extended the lead to five.

By the end of the third inning, the lead grew to 14. How, you ask? Two walks, and error, and eight hits including two home runs (Lency Delgado and Polanco) will do the trick. Surprisingly, the Woodpeckers only had one pitching change during that incredible inning. Cesar Gomez, who started for the Woodpeckers, was not removed until it was 12-0. His line was not exactly pretty (2 IP, 14 R, 12 ER, 12 H, 3 BB, 3 K).

Rodríguez got his fourth and final hit with a solo home run in the top of the sixth to increase the lead to 15. The Woodpeckers got on the board by scoring a pair in their half of the sixth to make it slightly less of a blowout.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP in game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    José Rodríguez: 4-for-5, HR, 4 R
    (56 votes)
  • 5%
    Harvin Mendoza: 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBi
    (4 votes)
  • 10%
    Samil Polanco: 2-for-5, HR, 5 RBI
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Lency Delgado: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Jesus Valles: 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
    (3 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat in game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Garvin Alston Jr.: 2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (29 votes)
  • 46%
    Luis Mieses: 0-for-4, BB, K
    (25 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now