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White Sox Minor League Update: August 18, 2021

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Two walk-offs by Charlotte highlight an exciting, 3-2 day

Walking it off: Laz Rivera’s double won it for the Knights. This was the second of two walk-off wins on the day for Charlotte.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Knights got off to a slow start. However, a furious rally in the latter innings allowed Charlotte to win in dramatic fashion.

It was not a performance for the memory books for Knights starter Kade McClure, who got into trouble in the first. Former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman hit a solo home run to open the scoring in the first. In the third, Tyler Nevin doubled Norfolk’s lead with an RBI double.

Meanwhile, the Knights struggled early on at the plate. In the first two innings, only Yasmani Grandal reached base safely, when he doubled in the first. (More on Grandal later. His knee seems to be just fine.)

The Knights threatened to score in the third, but could not get on the board. With the bases loaded and one out, Gavin Sheets grounded into a double play to retire the side. Leading up to that double play, Matt Reynolds doubled, Zach Remillard singled, and Grandal was hit by a pitch.

The Knights got on the board in the fourth, as with two outs and nobody on, Mikie Mahtook and Micker Adolfo hit back-to-back home runs to tie it.

McClure’s worst inning was the fifth, and as a result, the excitement after the two home runs was short-lived. After a one-out walk, Rutschman walked, and Jahmai Jones hit a three-run homer to make it 5-2. Just like that, McClure was out of the game, in line for the loss.

Charlotte was not done, however. Their home run parade continued in the bottom of the fifth, as Remillard led off that inning with a homer. Two batters later, Grandal went deep for his first home run with the Knights.

Trailing 5-4, the Knights went back to work in the bottom of the sixth. This time, they scored without hitting a home run. Instead, they got three consecutive singles from Yermín Mercedes, Mikie Mahtook, and Adolfo to load the bases. Then, Remillard drove in a run with a ground out.

Entering the seventh and final inning of doubleheader regulation, the game was tied at five. Reliever Jace Fry took care of business in the top half, and the Charlotte offense went right back to work. Grandal led off with a single, and he finished 3-for-3 in this game. Then, Sheets singled, and Jake Burger drew a walk to load the bases. After a force out at home, Mahtook stepped up to the plate.

This was Mahtook’s 20th home run of the season, and it was a big one. As a result, the Knights successfully battled back twice for a much-deserved victory in the first game of the doubleheader.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP in game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Mikie Mahtook: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI
    (93 votes)
  • 16%
    Yasmani Grandal: 3-for-3, HBP, RBI
    (18 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat in game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Kade McClure: 4 1⁄3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K
    (57 votes)
  • 31%
    Blake Rutherford: 0-for-4
    (26 votes)
83 votes total Vote Now

There was yet another exciting ending in Charlotte. For the second time of the day, the Knights got a walk-off winner against the Tides.

After allowing an unearned run in the top of the first, Charlotte rallied in the bottom half. After Laz Rivera and Blake Rutherford reached base safely to open the inning, Sheets and Burger hit back-to-back sacrifice flies. In the third, Mercedes doubled, and Adolfo crushed a homer to make it 4-1. With his fine performance today, which also included two singles, Adolfo boosted his OPS with the Knights to .934.

However, the Tides rallied against relievers Kyle Kubat and Hunter Schryver. A solo homer in the fourth against Kubat and a two-run homer off Schryver in the fifth allowed Norfolk to tie it. Schryver also allowed an RBI single in the sixth, and in a seven-inning game, the Knights’ backs were up against the wall.

With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, the Knights were down to their last out. Mahtook, the hero from earlier, came through in the clutch again. This time, it was a double, and it tied the game and forced extra innings.

In the eighth, Bennett Sousa was terrific on the mound, retiring all three he faced, striking out two of them. Then, Laz Rivera won it in the bottom half with an RBI double to cap off an exciting day.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP in game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Bennett Sousa: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
    (1 vote)
  • 81%
    Micker Adolfo: 3-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI
    (77 votes)
  • 3%
    Mikie Mahtook: 2-for-2, 2B, RBI
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    Laz Rivera: 2-for-3, 2B, BB, RBI
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Yermín Mercedes: 2-for-3, BB
    (1 vote)
95 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat in game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Hunter Schryver: 2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K
    (46 votes)
  • 4%
    Ti’Quan Forbes: 0-for-2
    (3 votes)
  • 31%
    Jake Burger: 0-for-3, RBI, 3 K
    (23 votes)
  • 0%
    Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, RBI, 2 K
    (0 votes)
72 votes total Vote Now

This was a decent effort by the Barons, but they struggled with runners in scoring position, and it was not reliever Alec Hansen’s night. As a result, the Smokies came away with the victory on Wednesday night.

The teams traded solo home runs in the first inning: Yolbert Sánchez homered in the top of the first, but Brennen Davis, a Cubs top prospect, homered in the bottom half. Despite allowing that home run, Barons starter Johan Dominguez had a strong performance. Dominguez allowed another run at the tail end of his outing, but he made it five innings and only allowed those two runs.

When Dominguez left the game, he was in line for the win due to the Barons’ big fourth inning, when Carlos Pérez hit a solo home run and Xavier Fernández drove in a run with a single. As a result, when the starters were removed (both after five innings), it was 3-2, Birmingham.

However, the Smokies rallied in the sixth against Hansen, who was off his game. Hansen’s first pitch resulted in a leadoff double, and after that, control was a huge problem. Hansen issued three consecutive walks, the last of which forced in a run. Just like that, it was a tie game, the Smokies had the bases loaded with no outs, and Hansen was out of the game.

J.B. Olson took over on the mound and gave up a bases-clearing double to Christopher Morel. That gave the Smokies a 6-3 lead, and that was enough insurance for them. Sánchez drove in another run with an RBI ground out, but it was not enough, so Tennessee got a 6-4 victory.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Yoelqui Céspedes: 2-for-4, 2B
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    Caleb Freeman: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Carlos Pérez: 1-for-3, HR, BB
    (0 votes)
  • 61%
    Xavier Fernández: 3-for-4, RBI
    (43 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    Alec Hansen: 0 IP, 4 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 K
    (80 votes)
  • 0%
    Craig Dedelow: 0-for-4, 3 K
    (0 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

It was a tough first inning, but it was all Dash after that. The bullpen was incredible, and the Dash ran away with this one thanks to a high-powered offense.

Jerry Burke started on the mound for the Dash, and he did not last long. A two-run homer by Dustin Harris opened the scoring, and it gave Hickory an early 2-0 lead. Burke got through the first without allowing any additional runs, but he was removed after only one inning and 20 pitches.

That was as bad as the situation got for the Dash. In the fourth inning, Winston-Salem took a lead that they held onto for the rest of the game. Luis Mieses and Samir Dueñez hit back-to-back homers to open up the fourth. The Dueñez homer tied the game, and the Dash were not done. Lázaro Leal followed up with a double, and two batters later, Caberea Weaver drove him in with a ground out.

In the sixth, Dueñez went deep again, and this home run doubled Winston-Salem’s lead. The Dash tacked on another insurance run on yet another Leal double. Things got completely out of hand in the ninth, when the Dash scored eight runs to make it 13-2. Mieses and Evan Skoug both hit a three-run homer to cap off the enormous inning.

Poll

Who was the Dash MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Luis Mieses: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
    (35 votes)
  • 38%
    Samir Dueñez: 3-for-5, 2 HR
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Lázaro Leal: 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI
    (2 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Jerry Burke: 1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
    (47 votes)
  • 4%
    José Rodríguez: 1-for-4, RBI
    (2 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

The Cannon Ballers had plenty of opportunities, but they needed more timely hitting during Wednesday night’s close loss.

Samil Polanco opened up the scoring by launching a solo home run in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately, that was the last time that Kannapolis would lead.

Kannapolis starter Martin Carrasco got through the first inning without any trouble, but the second inning was a struggle. After a single and a walk, Alejandro Osuna hit a three-run homer to give the Wood Ducks a 3-1 lead.

The Wood Ducks added another run against Carrasco in the fifth, although that run was of the unearned variety. The Wood Ducks had runners on the corners with one out. Jayce Easley stole second for his 52nd stolen base of the season, and there was also a throwing error by catcher Richard García that allowed a run to score. (Easley picked up stolen base No. 53 later in the inning, but was stranded on third.)

In the bottom of the fifth, the Cannon Ballers got another spark from Polanco, who tripled with one out. Then, with two outs, Harvin Mendoza, Misael González, and Chase Krogman hit three consecutive singles to trim the Down East lead to 4-3. However, the run driven in by Krogman was the last time either team scored. Relievers Hunter Speer, Garvin Alston Jr., and Kohl Simas all had successful performances, but it was not enough.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Chase Krogman: 3-for-4, RBI
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Harvin Mendoza: 2-for-5, RBI
    (0 votes)
  • 67%
    Samil Polanco: 2-for-3, HR, 3B, 2 BB
    (36 votes)
  • 1%
    Kohl Simas: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K
    (1 vote)
53 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    James Beard: 0-for-5, 3 K
    (37 votes)
  • 2%
    Bryan Ramos: 0-for-5, 2 K
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    DJ Gladney: 0-for-4, 3 K
    (4 votes)
  • 8%
    Martin Carrasco: 5 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K
    (4 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now