Money in the bank: Tanner Banks held down the Mississippi Braves led the Barons to a one-hit shutout. Hannah Stone | @Bham Barons
Dylan Covey (SP) W (1-1) 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (3.51 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Hunter Schryver (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (9.64 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (4) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-4, RBI (8) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (3B) 2-for-4, RBI (1) (.333 BA, .666 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF) 0-for-4 (.303 BA, .963 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF) 1-4, 2 R, HR (25), RBI (66), K (.273 BA, .935 OPS)
Zack Collins (C) 2-3, 2 R, 2B (18), BB (.294 BA, .968 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (DH) 1-2, R, HR (13), 3 RBI (49), BB (.317 BA, 1.049 OPS) **MVP**
Charlie Tilson (LF) 1-for-3, R, 2B (10), CS (3) (.310 BA, .787 OPS)
A.J. Reed (1B) 1-for-3, R, RBI (2), K (.158 BA, .589 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 1-for-3, K (.279 BA, .814 OPS)
It was a scoreless game until the bottom of the second, thanks in part due to the outstanding 6-4-3 double play seen below.
Daniel Palka decided he had enough of this scoreless game, and took it out on old friend Jordan Stephens to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The Clippers scored a run in the top half of the third off Dylan Covey to even the score, 1-1. Covey had difficulties the second time through the lineup (where have we heard this before?), as a Bobby Bradley solo bomb (his 30th), RBI double by Daniel Johnson and RBI single by Eric Stamets gave Columbus a 4-1 lead in the fourth. The Knights answered back in the bottom of the fourth with RBI singles by A.J. Reed, Nick Madrigal and the rehabbing Yoán Moncada to even the game 4-4. Gotta love those fours!
Alas, a solo shot by Ka’ai Tom in the top of the fifth returned the lead to Columbus. Needless to say on this night, leads didn’t last long. After Palka grounded into an error by Bradley to lead off the bottom half of the fifth followed by a patented Zack Collins walk, Yermín Mercedes did this, as is his wont, to give the Knights a 7-5 lead:
Unfortunately for Stephens, his start tonight finished about the same as his other starts had this year at BB&T Ballpark. Now the question of the day: Will Charlottes small lead hold up? The Clippers added a run in the top of the sixth off of struggling southpaw Hunter Schryver to narrow the gap to 7-6, and the Knights were scoreless in the bottom half.
With the Knights playing a doubleheader, both games are seven innings. Recently-demoted José Ruiz came in to shut the door against the heart of the Clippers lineup — including three of Cleveland’s Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline (No. 7 Bradley, No. 11 Yu Chang and No. 16 Johnson). Ruiz fanned the first two batters, and after surrendering a Johnson single, induced the next hitter to earn a well-deserved save.
Covey didn’t pitch well tonight, but earned the win in part because he didn’t allow any free passes. Credit for the victory, aside from Ruiz’s effort, was Charlotte’s offense. While all but Luis Robert contributed to the result offensively, the star of the game was Mercedes, who gave them the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Colton Turner (SP) 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (5.63 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) **MVP**
Connor Walsh (RP) 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K (4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Juan Minaya (RP) L (4-2) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (3.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Danny Mendick (2B) 1-for-2, BB (.280 BA, .816 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (DH) 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI (2), 2 K (.333 BA, .916 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-1, R, BB (.224 BA, .790 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (PR) 0-0, CS (2) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 1-for-3, 2B (3), K, E (4) (.246 BA, .745 OPS)
Paulo Orlando (LF) 0-for-2, E (4) (.242 BA, .725 OPS)
Zack Collins (PH) 0-for-1, K (.293 BA, .965 OPS)
Ramon Torres (SS) 0-for-2, RBI (13) (.500 BA, 1.455 OPS)
This game was a makeup for a rainout in Columbus earlier this year, and as such, the Knights were considered the road team despite playing the game in the beautiful confines of Charlotte. In what’s essentially a bullpen game, Colton Turner pitched the first three innings and was splendid — allowing just two runners while striking out two. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, thanks to a solo shot by Yoán Moncada.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Connor Walsh gave up solo tallies in the fourth and fifth by relinquishing a total of five hits in his two innings. He limited the damage, however, thanks to his four strikeouts and allowing no walks. Aside from the Moncada homer and a sixth-inning RBI groundout by Ramon Torres, there was very little offense for the Knights in this game as three of their biggest bats (Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins) didn’t get the start in this one.
Columbus scored what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth, with a Yu Chang single followed by an RBI double from Daniel Johnson to give the Clippers a 4-3 lead. The Knights tried to mount a rally in the seventh, but with one out, pinch-running Madrigal was thrown out trying to steal second. Collins, pinch-hitting for Paulo Orlando, struck out to end the game.
It’d be easy to give Moncada the MVP with his solo bomb, but Colton Turner did everything he could to help the Knights sweep the Clippers. Because he left the game with the lead and allowed just two baserunners in his three innings, he barely wins out over Moncada for that most coveted of awards. The Knights dropped to 68-56 with the loss, while the Clippers improved to 71-53.
Tanner Banks W (2-7) 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (4.80 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) **MVP**
Luis Martinez SV (4) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.77 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Luis González 1-for-3, BB, K, SB (13) (.248 BA, .675 OPS)
Joel Booker 1-for-4 (.253 BA, .636 OPS)
Damek Tomscha 1-for-4, R, RBI (22) (.277 BA, .752 OPS)
Gavin Sheets 1-for-3, RBI (73), BB, 2 K (.272 BA, .762 OPS)
Ti’Quan Forbes 1-for-4, RBI (37), 2 K (.249 BA, .676 OPS)
Luis Basabe 0-for-3, BB, 2 K (.238 BA, .639 OPS)
Nate Nolan 1-for-4, R, 3 K (.156 BA, .518 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela 1-for-3, R, BB, 2 SB (2) (.191 BA, .499 OPS)
The game was scoreless until the top of the third, when Nate Nolan and Luis Valenzuela singled to begin the inning. After Luis González struck out and Joel Booker popped out, it appeared the rally would come to an end. But wait! Three straight clutch RBI singles by Damek Tomscha, Gavin Sheets and Ti’Quan Forbes gave the Barons a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Tanner Banks was exemplary in protecting that 3-0 lead. He possibly could’ve gone longer, as it took only 82 pitches for him to complete his seven innings. It certainly helped his cause that 62 of those pitches were strikes, and it was especially good to see him rebound after a string of disappointing outings.
The Barons couldn’t mount any serious damage after the third inning, but it didn’t really matter, due to the stellar pitching of Banks and reliever Luis Martinez, who pitched two innings of hitless relief. With the win, the Barons improved to 55-66 while the Braves fell to 58-65. With seven innings allowing just a hit and a walk while fanning five, Banks is the no-brainer MVP choice for this game.
Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, HR (3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (4.87 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Bennett Sousa (RP) L (1-3) 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (23), RBI (45) (.285 BA, .800 OPS)
Tyler Frost (RF) 1-for-5 (.259 BA, .768 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (DH) 0-for-3, BB (.268 BA, .823 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (LF) 1-for-4, 2 K, CS (5) (.243 BA, .737 OPS)
Carlos Perez (C) 1-for-4 (.257 BA, .632 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.242 BA, .717 OPS)
Mitch Roman (3B) 4-for-4, R, RBI (16), E (8) (.285 BA, .691 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Cruz (SS) 1-for-4 (.205 BA, .590 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B) 1-for-4, R, RBI (25), 2 K (.192 BA, .592 OPS)
Potomac was the first to tally a run, doing so in the top of the second courtesy of a solo homer by catcher Alex Dunlap. Despite the Dash not doing much damage offensively, Manny Bañuelos did manage to keep his team in the game through three innings.
The fourth inning, however, caused problems for Bañuelos and the Dash as the Nationals plated an additional run and had runners on the corners with nobody out. However, Bañuelos prevented further damage thanks to a ground out and two punch outs. The Dash managed to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom half of the fifth with two outs, thanks to an RBI single by Tate Blackman (who’s slowly working his way to the Mendoza Line) and an RBI double by the sizzling-hot Steele Walker.
The Nationals re-took the lead via a sac fly in the seventh, and the lead held until the bottom of the eighth, when Mitch Roman hit an opposite-field single to right to tie the game at three. Unfortunately, the Nationals took the lead right back, this time for good, with a two-out single to make it 4-3. The Dash did make it exciting until the very end, as Walker was gunned down at the plate while trying to score via a Tyler Frost single. Oh well, that’s baseball.
It was great to see Bañuelos pitch well, but it was even better to see Walker continue to rip the ball. As good a day as those two guys enjoyed, it’s hard to beat Roman’s day, as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. With the defeat, the Dash fell to 64-54 while the Nationals improved to 59-63.
Kevin Folman (SP) 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (5.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) L (0-2) 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 1-for-3, 2 BB (.309 BA, .780 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (2B) 2-for-5, R, 2B (21), HR (4), RBI (31), K (.214 BA, .572 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 0-for-5 (.238 BA, .628 OPS)
Tyler Osik (LF) 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K (.256 BA, .755 OPS)
Corey Zangari (DH) 2-for-3, R, 2B (16), 2 BB, K (.202 BA, .729 OPS) **MVP**
Amado Nuñez (1B) 1-for-4, BB, K (.220 BA, .619 OPS)
Michael Hickman (C) 2-for-4, RBI (22), BB, 2 K (.204 BA, .625 OPS)
Camilo Quinteiro (3B) 1-for-5, 3 K (.171 BA, .527 OPS)
The Legends didn’t take long to score in this one, as a single-triple-sac fly combo in the game’s first three batters immediately pitted Lexington with a 2-0 lead. Aside from the third inning, which saw three Lexington singles translate into one run, starter Kevin Folman pitched well enough to earn himself a quality start.
The Intimidators finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth inning, as Michael Hickman plated Corey Zangari (who had doubled earlier in the inning) with two outs to tighten the score to 3-1. The game remained that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Ramon Beltre hit a leadoff homer to make it 3-2. Then, with two outs and runners in scoring position, Michael Hickman struck out; however, it was on a wild pitch that enabled Tyler Osik to score the game-tying run!
Lexington re-took the lead in the top of the eighth, thanks to a two-out Reed Rohlman double off Declan Cronin. Aside from that play, Cronin was a standout in relief, as he allowed just that one run in his three innings. Kannapolis loaded the bases with one out thanks to a hit and two walks, but Camilo Quinteiro and Cameron Simmons struck out to finish the game. It was a hard-fought game, but the Legends got just enough hits at the right times to win.
While the pitching staff pitched well enough to win the game and Beltre did his part with a 2-for-5 game with a homer, the MVP of this game was Zangari, who was 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and a run scored — it seems he’s finally coming out of his slump. With the defeat, Kannapolis fell to 54-69 while Lexington rose to 61-63.
Great Falls Voyagers vs. Missoula Osprey postponed
Matthew Thompson (SP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Justin Friedman (RP) L (3-4) 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (5.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Tyson Messer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (13.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP) **MVP**
Nick Silva (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (5.03 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
James Beard (CF) 0-for-3, K (.187 BA, .512 OPS)
Bryan Ramos (3B) 0-for-4, E (4) (.250 BA, .720 OPS)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 1-for-4, R, 2B (3), 2 K (.217 BA, .835 OPS)
D.J. Gladney (1B) 1-for-3, RBI (22), K, E (11) (.262 BA, .746 OPS)
Anthony Coronado (RF) 1-for-3, 2B (5), K (.308 BA, .872 OPS)
Josue Guerrero (LF) 0-for-2, 2 K, E (4) (.220 BA, .640 OPS)
Victor Torres (C) 0-for-3, 2 PB (13) (.209 BA, .466 OPS)
In his first professional game, 2019 second-rounder Matthew Thompson acquitted himself quite nicely in his one inning of work. He certainly wasn’t aided by his defense, however, as a fielding error by Bryan Ramos eventually scored on a passed ball by Victor Torres. The White Sox tied the game in the top of the second, thanks to an RBI single by D.J. Gladney that plated Micker Adolfo. It could’ve been an even more productive inning, if with runners on first and second and two outs, light-hitting Sidney Pimentel hadn’t gotten picked off of first by the catcher.
Justin Friedman came in to relieve Thompson in the bottom half of the second, and that’s when the game began to unravel. The leadoff hitter for the Reds struck out, but got on base as first baseman D.J. Gladney dropped the throw from Torres on a dropped third-strike. After four subsequent singles and another passed ball, the Reds tallied four in the fifth to provide themselves a comfortable 5-1 lead. The game remained that way until the top of the sixth, when a wild pitch scored the Reds’ sixth run.
Additional runs in the seventh and eighth innings off of 2019 40th-round pick Nick Silva increased the Reds lead to 8-1, which seemed like a 50-run deficit for the offensively-challenged AZL Sox on this night. Aside from three hits in the second frame, the Sox were hitless. This would’ve been a terrible game to watch — three hits, no walks, nine strikeouts and a runner picked off on offense; three errors, two passed balls and two wild pitches on defense. The only consolation is that these young players should get better with more experience.
The Sox fell to 18-31 while the Reds improved to 22-27 on the season. While there were very few positives on this night, here are a couple: Thompson pitched well in his debut despite shoddy defense behind him, and Tyson Messer struck out the side in his one inning of work. It’s that effort by Messer than merits him the team’s MVP tonight.
Ronaldo Guzman (SP) W (2-3) 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (4.44 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
Jorge Ferrer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
Erick Perez (RP) 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.95 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
Wilber Sánchez (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (12), 2 RBI (24), SB (13) (.282 BA, .769 OPS)
Anthony Espinoza (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3B (2), RBI (32) (.267 BA, .686 OPS)
Matthew Mercedes (DH) 1-FOR-3, R, 2B (10), RBI (30), BB (.336 BA, .863 OPS)
Lazaro Leal (RF) 1-for-4, R, HR (3), RBI (23) (.221 BA, .714 OPS)
Roberth Gutierrez (CF) 1-for-3, R, K (.278 BA, .750 OPS)
Alberto Bernal (1B) 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B (5), RBI (16) (.174 BA, .663 OPS)
Elijah Tatís (SS) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B (2), 2 RBI (10) (.185 BA, .519 OPS) **MVP**
Padres hurler Dwayne Matos and Sox southpaw Ronaldo Guzman matched each other pitch-for-pitch in a scoreless duel for the first three innings. After allowing the dreaded leadoff walk in the top half of the fourth, Guzman surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Ramirez, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for Guzman, the only runners he allowed in his five innings came around to score. However, that two-run deficit was quite short-lived. The Sox scored four runs with two out in the bottom half of the fourth courtesy of an Alberto Bernal double, a two-run single by Elijah Tatís and a wild pitch that plated yet another run. Lazaro Leal clubbed a two-out solo bomb in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-2.
The Sox weren’t done racking up more runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Wilber Sánchez doubled home Bernal and Tatís to make it 7-2. An RBI single by Anthony Espinoza and a subsequent RBI double by Matthew Mercedes completed the Sox scoring for the day. Aside from a meaningless run in the seventh, the Sox bullpen held the Padres in check.
Guzman, who’ll be turning just 17 later this month, continued to look sharp. If not for a disastrous outing on August 6, his ERA and WHIP would be looking especially nifty at 3.42 and 1.26 respectively. The kid throws hard, as evidenced by his 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which is absolutely amazing — he’s definitely someone to watch. While Guzman was terrific today, Tatís was even better. A perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with a double, two runs and two RBIs earned the scuffling shortstop the MVP on this day. Hopefully, this will lead to good things for him going forward. On a separate note, on a day when stud outfielders Benyamin Bailey and Johnabiell Laureano received a well-deserved day off, it was great to see the offense step forward. With the victory, the Sox improved to 34-32 while the Padres slipped to 30-36.