Late rally falls short in 4-3 Desert Dogs loss

Rough day at the dish: Micker Adolfo was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in tonight’s loss. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)

Salt River Rafters 4, Glendale Desert Dogs 3

Tyler Johnson (RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K (0.00 ERA)
Blake Rutherford (CF): 0-for-2, BB (.167 BA, .634 OPS)
Micker Adolfo (DH): 0-for-4, 3 K (.158 BA, .620 OPS)

Though the Desert Dogs rallied late, it was not enough in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Rafters. The Rafters scored three in the top of the second, as a bases loaded walk and a two-run single proved to be costly in this one.

The Desert Dogs scored got on the board in the third, when 2018 fifth overall draft pick Jonathan India hit an RBI double. India’s first hit of the Arizona Fall League the Desert Dogs’ deficit to 3-1. The Rafters got that run back in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-1. The final runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the ninth, when David Fry hit a two-run double to make it 4-3 with no outs, but the Desert Dogs could not score again.

Two players in the White Sox’s system were in the starting lineup today, and neither one got a hit. However, center fielder Blake Rutherford got on base once, as he finished 0-for-2 with a walk. Rutherford also had a defensive highlight, as he made an outstanding catch in center. Rutherford was removed from the game later on, but it seems that his injury is not a long-term issue.

Micker Adolfo, whose hitting stats in the Arizona Fall League are strikingly similar to Rutherford’s, failed to reach base. Adolfo struck out in three of his four plate appearances. One of those strikeouts occurred with runners on the corners and one out in the ninth, when the Desert Dogs trailed by one.

On the bright side, pitcher Tyler Johnson had a strong performance, as he pitched one scoreless inning of relief. Johnson pitched around a one-out single in the sixth, and that was the only baserunner he allowed. Of the other three hitters Johnson faced, one grounded out, one lined out, and one popped out.

The loss dropped the Desert Dogs to 3-7, while the Rafters improved to 6-4. The Desert Dogs have a day off tomorrow (as does everyone else in the Arizona Fall League), and they face the Solar Sox on Tuesday at 2:30 CST.

Micker Adolfo homers in AFL opener

Big bop: Micker makes the most of his Fall debut. (@whitesox)


Gavin Sheets: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K (.000 BA, .000 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K (.000 BA, .000 OPS)
Micker Adolfo: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K (.333 BA, 1.666 OPS)
Vince Arobio: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K (18.00 ERA, 4.00 WHIP)
Bennett Sousa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

It was a White Sox day for the opening of the AFL season for the Desert Dogs. It was not a winning effort, nor were the Sox players that good, but quite a few of them received game action.

Glendale lost the game, 4-2, so obviously the bats didn’t do much. Gavin Sheets, Blake Rutherford, and Micker Adolfo all got in the game tonight. Sheets and Rutherford both went hitless and combined for four strikeouts. Rutherford at least got on base with a walk. Micker Adolfo was responsible for Glendale’s first run of the game in the eighth inning, already down 4-0. He launched a solo homer to left center field. Adolfo was the DH today, so he still is not playing the field.

Two Sox pitchers got game action, one was much better than the other. Vince Arobio went in first, in the seventh inning. He got hit, and hit hard, as he allowed two runs in the inning, including a home run. Bennett Sousa came into the eighth and worked a perfect inning. He struck out one over that span, but it was a good start to his AFL campaign. Minor league baseball is back!

Connell, reliable pitching help Voyagers cruise, 4-1

Setting the table: Harvin Mendoza got on base in two out of his four plate appearances, as he went 2-for-4 with a double. (Kim Contreras/South Side Hit Pen)

Dan Metzdorf (SP): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (3.60 ERA)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 2-for-4, 2B, E (.283 BA, .832 OPS)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 2-for-3, BB (.254 BA, .694 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 0-for-5, (.253 BA, .598 OPS)
Bryan Connell (RF): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI (.169 BA, .638 OPS) *MVP*
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-4, (.267 BA, .774 OPS)
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-4, 2 E (.275 BA, .705 OPS)

Looking to avoid losing their third straight, the Voyagers faced the Chukars in Idaho Falls on Friday night. Things got off to a rough start tonight, as the Chukars struck first.

In the bottom of the first, Voyagers starter Dan Metzdorf retired the first two batters he faced, but he issued a two-out walk. Metzdorf gave up an infield single to the next batter, and the lead runner advanced to third on the first of two Lency Delgado errors. Then, Idaho Falls outfielder Isaiah Henry drove in the first run of the game with a single.

However, the Chukars’ lead did not last long, as the Voyagers rallied in the second. Lency Delgado and Ivan Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles to open the inning, and Bryan Connell hit an RBI double to tie it. With two outs, the Voyagers used some #WildPitchOffense, as Gonzalez raced home to give the Voyagers a 2-1 lead. As it turned out, the Voyagers’ early lead would not relinquish.

In the seventh, Bryan Connell had another big hit, this time a solo home run. Connell’s homer was his fifth of the season, and it gave the Voyagers a big insurance run, as it expanded their lead to 3-1. The Voyagers added another insurance run in the ninth on a solo home run. Can you guess who hit it? Yep, Connell, who had a huge night, hit his second of the game and his sixth of the year.

One of the only downsides from tonight is that the Voyagers had a rough night defensively, as they made three errors. Even though errors are often misleading, it is normally troubling when a team has three in a game, and tonight was no exception. Fortunately, none of them came back to bite the Voyagers. The pitching was fantastic all-around, which certainly helped. The relievers combined to pitch seven scoreless innings, which is an excellent way to win a game.

The Voyagers improved to 34-39, while the Chukars fell to 33-41. The Voyagers will conclude the regular season tomorrow against the Chukars, and that game will start at 8:15 CST.

White Sox Minor League Update: September 1, 2019

High-quality performance: Starter Tanner Banks pitched six and one-third scoreless innings to propel the Barons to victory. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 11, Charlotte Knights 2

Kyle Kubat (SP): 3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (5.63 ERA)
Danny Mendick (SS): 1-for-3, 2B (.282 BA, .820 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, (.301 BA, .984 OPS) *MVP*
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4 (.301 BA, .773 OPS)
Zack Collins (DH): 0-for-4, 3 K (.285 BA, .956 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 0-for-4 (.262 BA, .901 OPS)

In a game with playoff implications, this one was born under a bad star. It got off to a rocky beginning, as Knights starter Kyle Kubat ran into trouble in the first. After a dreaded leadoff walk, Tides second baseman Christopher Bostick hit a triple to drive in the first run of the game. An RBI ground out scored Bostick, so the Tides led 2-0 after one inning. The Tides added to their lead in the third and fourth innings on an RBI single and an RBI double, respectively. Those hits put them up, 4-0.

Things were looking hopeless, but in the top of the fifth, White Sox outfielder Knights outfielder Luis Robert hit a two-run shot to cut the deficit in half. Why Luis Robert is not in the majors right now is beyond me. The extra service time factor should not be taken nearly as seriously as the front office is taking it, but I’m at peace with it. It will be exciting to watch Robert in Chicago next season.

Unfortunately, the Knights would never get any closer than they were after Robert’s home run. The Tides had a monster fifth inning, as they scored six runs to go up by a score of 10-2. Thanks to the Tides rally that inning, in which eight hitters reached base safely, this game got ugly. Onward.


Birmingham Barons 3, Biloxi Shuckers 0

Tanner Banks (SP) 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K (4.23 ERA) *MVP*
Zach Remillard (3B): 1-for-3, 2B, BB (.231 BA, .654 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI (.245 BA, .685 OPS)
Luis Basabe (RF): 2-for-5, RBI (.250 BA, .670 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-2, 2 BB, (.267 BA, .759 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-4 (.257 BA, .647 OPS)

After a scoreless first inning, a two-out rally by the Barons put them on the board and gave them an early lead. With a runner on first and two outs, Luis González got hit by a pitch, which set up Luis Basabe for a single that drove in the first run of the game for either team. The next hitter, Blake Rutherford, crushed a two-run double to give the Barons a pair of insurance runs. The inning finally ended one batter later, but not before the Barons had scored three.

Meanwhile, starter Tanner Banks had an excellent game. Banks’ control was terrific, and the Shuckers struggled to make sharp contact against him. Banks made very few mistakes and earned a well-deserved victory. Also on the defensive side, Basabe had an outfield assist, as he threw out a runner trying to score. Overall, despite three strikeouts, Basabe provided a ton of value for the Barons in this one.


Winston-Salem Dash 10, Lynchburg Hillcats 3

Jorge Cavanerio (SP): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K (3.13 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI (.243 BA, .742 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B): 2-for-5, RBI (.195 BA, .581 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 2-for-5, 2 2B (.271 BA, .774 OPS)
Jonathan Allen (CF): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI (.600 BA, 2.400 OPS) *MVP*

This was an outstanding game all-around for the Dash, as they jumped out to a lead in the top of the first and never looked back. Jonathan Allen made his debut in High-A ball, and mercy, it went well for him. In 38 games with the Great Falls Voyagers and the AZL White Sox, Allen’s combined slash line was .241/.296/.369, but he was terrific today. Allen had three hits, two of which were home runs, and he set the tone for the offense.

On the other side of the ball, Jorge Cavanerio displayed excellent control, issuing zero walks in seven quality innings. Cavanerio had plenty of run support, but he barely needed any, as his quality start was more than enough for him to earn the victory.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Johan Dominguez (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (2.98 ERA) *co-MVP*
Corey Zangari (1B): 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI (.204 BA, .748 OPS) *co-MVP*
Michael Hickman (C): 1-for-3, RBI (.209 BA, .619 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4, BB (.299 BA, .755 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI (.294 BA, .841 OPS)

The Intimidators’ bats got off to a fast start in this one, and strong pitching throughout allowed the offense to coast in the latter innings in this victory. Michael Hickman hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and the Intimidators led from that point onward. A Corey Zangari two-run blast in the fourth put the Intimidators up by a score of 3-0. In the fifth, Alex Destino added an insurance run, as he hit an RBI double.

The pitchers were excellent, especially starter Johan Dominguez, who got the victory. Delmarva’s only runs crossed the plate on a two-run homer by Adley Rutschman, who was the first overall pick in the draft this year. Despite that homer, this was a great team effort all-around against a strong Delmarva squad.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Billings Mustangs 3

Avery Weems (SP): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K (2.14 ERA)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 0-for-4 (.281 BA, .835 OPS)
Sam Abbott (DH): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, RBI (.227 BA, .793 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 1-for-4, 2B (.255 BA, .603 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (3B): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (.268 BA, .789 OPS) *MVP*
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-4, RBI (.200 BA, .607 OPS)

The Voyagers jumped out to an early lead in the first. Luis Curbelo set the table with a one-out double, and Lency Delgado drove him in with a two-out base knock. The Mustangs got that run back in the second, and the teams traded solo home runs in the third, as the score was 2-2 after three. The Voyagers’ second run of the game crossed the plate on a Curbelo home run.

The score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the sixth, when Curbelo (who else?) hit a two-run homer to break the tie. Curbelo’s two homers increased his home run total to eight with the Voyagers and 13 overall on the season. Though the Mustangs got one of those runs back in the seventh, Yoelvin Silven closed the door by pitching two scoreless innings to protect a one-run lead.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 31, 2019

Much-needed win: Odrisamer Despaigne pitched seven quality innings for the Knights, who now take a one-game lead over the Durham Bulls with two games remaining. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights 5, Norfolk Tides 2

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP) W (8-6), QS, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, HR (3.47 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (7), 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Luis Robert (CF) 2-for-5, R, CS (3) (.302 BA, .977 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-3, 2 R, BB (.303 BA, .783 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2B (10), HR (16), 3 RBI (58) (.300 BA, 1.001 OPS) **MVP**
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-2, RBI (74), BB, E (7) (.289 BA, .969 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 2-for-4, 2B (25), RBI (64), K (.281 BA, .819 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-4, K (.222 BA, .774 OPS)
Charlie Tilson (RF) 1-for-4 (.289 BA, .752 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 0-for-2, BB, K (.232 BA, .715 OPS)
Ramon Torres (PR-SS) 0-for-1, R (.355 BA, 1.009 OPS)

After a one-out single by future White Sox second sacker Nick Madrigal, Yermín Mercedes ripped a double down the left-field line, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead in the first inning of this pivotal International League contest. Austin Hays of the Tides tied the game with a solo shot off Odrisamer Despaigne in the second. The game wouldn’t stay tied for long, however, as Mercedes hit a clothesline just over the left-field fence with Madrigal aboard to give the Knights a much-needed 3-1 cushion.

After a Jack Reinhemer sac fly tightened the score to 3-2, both starters knuckled down as the Knights maintained their slim, one-run margin until the top of the seventh. With Trey Michalczewski and Luis Robert leading off the inning with a walk and single respectively, Madrigal did the Sox-ish thing by sacrificing them over to scoring position. After the Tides walked the scalding-hot Mercedes to load the bases, Zack Collins grounded into an run-scoring fielder’s choice at second to give the Knights an important insurance run. Danny Mendick supplied yet another insurance run to give the Knights a 6-3 cushion, although Collins was gunned down at the plate trying to add a seventh run. Despaigne left the game after this seventh frame, but not without providing the Knights with a much-needed quality start and three-run lead.

José Ruiz pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and began the final frame by getting the first two hitters out — including former White Sox José Rondón. However, Ruiz loaded the bases by allowing the next three hitters to get on via two singles and a walk. Ruiz was able to induce Mason Williams to fly out to Robert, securing his seventh Knight save, and a tense one at that!

With a Knights victory and an extra-inning loss by the Durham Bulls, the Knights take a one-game lead in the International League standings with two games remaining. Several players came up huge in this game: Despaigne with his seven clutch innings, Madrigal getting on base three times via two singles and a walk (not to mention a pivotal sac bunt), Robert with two hits and a run scored and Ruiz. Mercedes merits the MVP for this game, however, thanks to his two extra-base hits and three RBIs which set the tone for this game. As an interesting side note, Mercedes now has 58 RBIs in just 51 games for Charlotte this season. The Knights stemmed the Tides by snapping their six-game losing streak, improving to 75-62. Norfolk dipped to 58-79 with their defeat.


Birmingham Barons 6, Biloxi Shuckers 5 (12 innings)

Blake Battenfield (SP) 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (4.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (5.45 ERA, 2.02 WHIP)
Mauricio Cabrera (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.60 ERA, 2.04 WHIP)
Codi Heuer (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1.84 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Luis Martinez (RP) W (5-2) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (4.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Luis Gonzalez (CF) 0-for-3 (.251 BA, .682 OPS)
Luis Basabe (LF) 2-for-5, R, RBI (29), BB, 2 K (.247 BA, .667 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2 BB, 2 K (.265 BA, .682 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B) 0-for-4, RBI (83), BB, K (.268 BA, .760 OPS)
Joel Booker (RF) 1-for-5, R (.254 BA, .642 OPS)
Laz Rivera (2B) 3-for-5, 2B (22), 2 RBI (39), K (.252 BA, .615 OPS) **MVP**
Zach Remillard (3B) 1-for-5, R, 2B (2), 2 K (.227 BA, .635 OPS)
Alfredo Gonzalez (C) 1-for-5, R, K (.238 BA, .636 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela (SS) 1-for-5, R (.199 BA, .511 OPS)

This game started out as a pitching duel between Blake Battenfield and Brewer prospect Dylan File. That is until the third, when Luis Basabe pulled a single to right, scoring Alfredo Gonzalez with the first run of the game.

After the teams swapped runs in the fourth inning and went scoreless in the fifth, the Shuckers ended Battenfield’s evening with a triple and double to initiate the sixth frame. Control-challenged Alec Hansen entered the game tied 2-2 and promptly loaded the bases with a couple of walks. With the bases loaded and nobody out, things certainly didn’t look good for the home team. Hansen looked like he’d pull a Houdini act by fanning the next two batters, but his inability to find the plate cost him on a bases-loaded walk. An Alfredo Gonzalez passed ball proceeded to give Biloxi a 4-2 lead.

The game remained 4-2 until the bottom of the eighth, when Basabe scored on a wild pitch to slice the deficit in half. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Remillard (who opened the inning with a leadoff double) eventually scored a run thanks to a botched grounder hit by Luis Valenzuela. Thanks to those two gifts by the Shuckers (along with solid bullpen work by Hansen and Mauricio Cabrera in the seventh and eighth), the game went into extras.

After a scoreless 10th frame, Codi Heuer allowed a run without courtesy of a hit in the 11th.: The opening runner on second advanced to third on a ground out, and subsequently scored on a meek RBI ground out to Ti’Quan Forbes, giving Biloxi the 5-4 advantage.

Would this be the end for the Barons on this night? Not if Omar Vizquel’s squad had anything to say about it! Laz Rivera promptly scored designated runner Joel Booker with a double to begin the inning, tying the game 5-5. The Barons were unable to tack on the winning run that inning, however, so the game remained 5-5 after 11.

After a stellar 1-2-3 12th inning by Luis Martinez to keep the game deadlocked, Gavin Sheets came up with the bases loaded and one out, and came through with a clutch, game-winning sac fly to finally conclude this marathon with a 6-5 victory!

As is typical for a comeback win, this was certainly a team effort. The bullpen pitched a whopping seven innings allowing nary an earned run, but their work was so evenly split it was difficult to come up with a decisive winner. Thus the winner would have to come from the offensive side in the name of Rivera, who collected three hits and knocked in two runs —including the game-tying double in the 11th. The Barons improved to 63-71, while the Shuckers slipped to an impressive 81-56.


Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Zach Lewis (SP) L (6-8) 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (5.83 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 0-for-4, R (.269 BA, .768 OPS)
Mitch Roman (SS) 0-for-4, E (11) (.275 BA, .670 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.240 BA, .733 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-3, 3B (10), RBI (63), BB, K (.246 BA, .755 OPS) **MVP**
Carlos Perez (DH) 1-for-4, K (.260 BA, .633 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (LF) 0-for-4, E (.238 BA, .711 OPS)

The Dash drew first blood in this game, as extra-base machine Craig Dedelow slugged an RBI triple, plating Steele Walker in the top of the first. Not only does Dedelow lead the Carolina League in triples this year with 10, he’s also clubbed 21 doubles and 18 homers. The Dash retained their tenuous 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third, when the Cleveland affiliate mounted a two-out run rally to give them a 2-1 lead off Dash starter Zach Lewis.

The bottom of the fourth started ominously for Lewis, as the first three hitters got on base via a single, double and hit-by-pitch. It didn’t finish well for Lewis, either, as the Hillcats tacked on three runs that inning which extended the Dash deficit to 5-1. Aside from an unearned run allowed by Jake Elliott in the eighth, there was very little offense in the last five frames. This was especially true of the Dash, as a Carlos Perez single was the only hit aside from Dedelow’s first-inning triple in this game. It’s never a good thing to have as many errors as hits.

Nobody really stood out in this game for the Dash, so Dedelow wins the MVP of this game for the Dash with his RBI triple and walk. The Dash fell to 70-61 with the defeat, while the Hillcats improved their record to 62-71.


Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Jason Bilous (SP) L (6-10) 2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 4 K (3.70 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.70 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
J.B. Olson (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (5.83 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-5, R, K (.299 BA, .756 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (6), RBI (49), 2 K (.252 BA, .662 OPS) **MVP**
Alex Destino (RF) 1-for-4, RBI (61), 2 K (.294 BA, .840 OPS)
Tyler Osik (DH) 1-for-3, 2B (10), RBI (18), BB, K (.273 BA, .899 OPS)
Amado Nuñez (2B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.205 BA, .579 OPS)
Gunnar Troutwine (C) 1-for-3, BB, K (.244 BA, .692 OPS)

With one out and nobody on in the first, Lenyn Sosa hammered his sixth homer of the season, giving the Intimidators an early 1-0 lead. Sosa’s enjoyed an above-average ending to his 2019 season, as his slash line was .307/.357/.421 prior to this game since the calendar flipped to August. Jason Bilous’ control evaporated in the bottom of the third, as four walks and a single among the first six batters is always a foreboding sign. Alas, a fifth walk in the inning plated the third Shorebirds run of the frame and presented the opportunity for Bilous to take an early shower. Somehow, throwing just 24-of-59 pitches for strikes doesn’t often get the job done. Fortunately, 36th-round pick Declan Cronin extinguished the fire and kept the score at a manageable 3-1.

Aside from a run in the fourth, Cronin did a yeoman’s job in keeping the Intimidators in the game. Unfortunately, his offense was nonexistent, as it couldn’t even tally a run in the seventh when the Shorebirds graciously handed them three free passes.

After a scoreless eighth inning thrown by J.B. Olson, the Intimidators went to work in the bottom half. Three singles and a double to begin the inning reduced the deficit to 4-3, with runners on scoring position and nobody out. However, strikeouts to Corey Zangari, Cameron Simmons and Amado Nuñez ignominiously ended the inning without any further damage.

Olson returned for the eighth, and held Delmarva scoreless with another solid inning of work. Each of the three hitters fanned in the ninth, however, as the Intimidators lost a tough one at 4-3, their hitters finishing the game with six strikeouts. Bilous’ wildness in the third inning, along with the inability to get the clutch hits in the seventh and eighth frames, provided the demise of Kannapolis in this contest. Cronin and Olson were excellent out of the bullpen this evening, but Sosa was the MVP of this one with his two hits (including his sixth homer of the year). The Shorebirds soared to an incredible 89-47 record, while the Intimidators fell to 10 games under at 63-73.


Great Falls Voyagers 8, Billings Mustangs 7

Dan Metzdorf (SP) 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (3.55 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Kaleb Roper (RP) 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Nate Pawelczyk (RP) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.96 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Karan Patel (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.02 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Sammy Peralta (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)
Caberea Weaver (CF) 0-for-4, R, K (.248 BA, .680 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (DH) 4-for-5, 4 R (.259 BA, .741 OPS) **MVP**
Luis Mieses (RF) 0-for-5, 2 R, K (.238 BA, .617 OPS)
Lency Delgado (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI (31), K, E (15) (.282 BA, .731 OPS)
Sam Abbott (1B) 1-for-4, 2 RBI (27), BB, K, E (6) (.231 BA, .806 OPS)
Ivan Gonzalez (C) 1-for-3, 2 RBI (3), K, E (3) (.233 BA, .559 OPS)
Anderson Comas (LF) 2-for-4, RBI (33), 2 K (.240 BA, .651 OPS)

The normally reliable Dan Metzdorf got off to a rocky start in this one, as he relinquished three runs in the opening frame thanks to a single, three doubles and a walk. The Voyagers, however, got back two of those runs courtesy of a two-run single by Lency Delgado. Metdorf was unable to stifle the Mustangs in the second, however, as a two-out single increased the Billings lead to 4-2. Billings added an insurance in the fourth off Kaleb Roper, increasing their lead to three runs. The Voyagers narrowed the deficit to 5-4, however, as Ivan Gonzalez clubbed a two-run single in the bottom of that frame.

Kaleb Roper relinquished a run in the fourth, but it wasn’t entirely his fault as Gonzalez committed a throwing error trying to gun down a runner at third on a stolen base attempt. Aside from that minor blemish, Roper did a terrific job keeping the Voyagers within fighting distance. In the meantime, Great Falls evened the score at 6-6 during the bottom half of the fifth thanks to an RBI ground out and an RBI single by Anderson Comas.

Billings, seemingly offended by Great Falls tying the game up, immediately scored a run in the sixth off Nate Pawelczyk to regain the advantage. Thanks to some solid bullpen work by both teams, the game remained that way until two outs in the ninth inning, when Lency Delgado blooped a clutch RBI single to plate Caberea Weaver with the game-tying run. Not to be outdone, Sam Abbott pulled a single to right, which scored Luis Curbelo with the game-winner!

What an exciting win for a team that’s had more ups than downs this season. As mentioned in the Birmingham game, it’s usually a team effort when a team achieves a come-from-behind victory like this one. The bullpen (all selected in this year’s MLB draft) certainly deserves kudos for keeping the team in the game, while Delgado and Abbott contributed clutch hits in the final frame. The true MVP of this game is Curbelo, however, with four hits and an equal number of runs scored, including the game-winner. He’s certainly had a difficult 2019, but here’s hoping that a great finish this year could lead to a resurgent 2020 for the young man. Honorable mention goes to Delgado with two hits and 3 RBI., including the game-tying run in the ninth.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 30, 2019

Timely hitting: Luis Basabe got three hits and drove in a pair to help the Barons squeeze out a tight victory. (Michael Wade/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 2, Charlotte Knights 0

Matt Tomshaw (SP): 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K (3.93 ERA) *MVP*
Danny Mendick (3B): 0-for-3 (.280 BA, .815 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-4 (.299 BA, .982 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-4, (.292 BA, .763 OPS)
Zack Collins (C): 0-for-2, 2 BB (.291 BA, .972 OPS)
Daniel Palka (DH): 0-for-3, BB (.265 BA, .912 OPS)

There was very little offense to be found in this game. Only Luis Robert, Damek Tomscha, and Ramon Torres got hits for the Knights, and all of them were singles. The Knights reached base a few more times via walk (one by Daniel Palka, one by Yermín Mercedes, and two by Zack Collins). But, the Knights finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, as they failed to cash in on any of the few scoring opportunities they had.

Knights starter Matt Tomshaw was the losing pitcher, but he pitched well enough to earn MVP. Tomshaw put the Knights in a good position to win, as he induced a lot of weak contact in his four innings of work, and he only issued one walk. However, his start went to waste, as the bats could not provide run support. One of the few highlights was this great catch by Danny Mendick in short left field.

Charlotte’s four-game lead in the wild-card race just … four days ago … has evaporated, and with three games left in the season the Knights have fallen back into a tie with the Durham Bulls.


Birmingham Barons 6, Biloxi Shuckers 5

John Parke (SP): 1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (2.70 ERA)
Luis Basabe (CF): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS (.244 BA, .663 OPS) *MVP*
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI, (.262 BA, .676 OPS)
Luis González (DH): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB, 0 CS (.253 BA, .686 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-4, HBP (.271 BA, .765 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-3, BB, RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS (.255 BA, .646 OPS)

The first inning was quite chaotic, with both teams putting up a big, crooked number. In the top half, after the Shuckers had a runner on first (due to a fielding error by Laz Rivera) and two outs, the floodgates opened. The next six Shuckers reached base safely, as they scored five runs to take a big lead early on. However, the Barons answered in the bottom half. The Barons got three runs after two hits, a hit by pitch, and three walks. Two of those walks occurred with the bases loaded and two outs, and Joel Booker and Alfredo González drew those walks.

After his RBI double put the Barons on the board in the first, Luis Basabe had an RBI single in the fourth to reduce the Barons’ deficit to one. The following inning, Alfredo González tied it with a sacrifice fly to drive in Zach Remillard. In the sixth, an RBI groundout by Gavin Sheets put the Barons in front, 6-5. Despite finishing the night 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, the Barons escaped with a close victory. The bullpen allowed zero hits and issued only one walk in eight innings of work. Hats off to relievers Kodi Medeiros, Tyler Johnson, and Danny Dopico, who did their jobs and then some.


Winston-Salem Dash 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 1

Taylor Varnell (SP): 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K (3.38 ERA)
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-4, HR (.246 BA, .749 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, (.272 BA, .777 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-4, HR (.241 BA, .716 OPS)
Johan Cruz (SS): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.242 BA, .632 OPS) *MVP*
Mitch Roman (LF): 2-for-4, 2 SB, 0 CS (.280 BA, .681 OPS)

This game got off to a fast start, as Craig Dedelow hit an inside-the-park home run in the top of the first to give the Dash a 1-0 lead. The home run was Dedelow’s 18th of the year, all with the Dash. It also gave the Dash a lead that would remain until the bottom of the sixth.

In the sixth, the Hillcats got back-to-back hits to open their half of the inning, and a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Gavin Collins drove in the tying run. Fortunately, that was the only run the Hillcats scored against starter Taylor Varnell, or any Dash pitcher, for that matter.

The Dash took the lead for good in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, shortstop Johan Cruz sliced a double to right field that cleared the bases and put the Dash up, 4-1. The Dash would tack on one more in the ninth on a solo home run by Jameson Fisher. That was Fisher’s ninth home run of the season, all with the Dash.


Kannapolis Intimidators 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

Davis Martin (SP): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K (5.04 ERA)
Michael Hickman (C): 2-for-4, 2B (.208 BA, .620 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-4, BB (.298 BA, .756 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-5, (.295 BA, .843 OPS)
Cameron Simmons (LF): 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI (.253 BA, .726 OPS) *MVP*
Tyler Osik (DH): 1-for-4, 2B (.271 BA, .888 OPS)

The Shorebirds put a big, crooked number on the board in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. In that innings, Intimidators starter gave up four hits (three singles and a triple), as the Shorebirds took a 3-0 lead. During the earlier part of this game, the Intimidators squandered a few scoring opportunities, and it appeared to be one of those games. However, things changed in a big way in the sixth inning.

After hits by Lenyn Sosa and Tyler Osik, Corey Zangari drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. That brought Cameron Simmons to the plate in a high-leverage situation, and Simmons delivered in a huge way. He launched a grand slam to put the Intimidators in front by a score of 4-3, and the score remained that way for the rest of the game. Relievers Lane Ramsey and Austin Conway pitched very well to shut things down in the latter part of this game.


Great Falls Voyagers 6, Billings Mustangs 4

Jason Morgan (SP): 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (4.58 ERA)
Lency Delgado (3B): 1-for-5, RBI (.277 BA, .723 OPS)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 0-for-3, BB (.252 BA, .689 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 0-for-4, 3 K, 2 E (.260 BA, .611 OPS)
Sam Abbott (1B): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (.230 BA, .809 OPS) *MVP*

Both teams’ starting pitchers got off to very strong starts, as there was a scoreless tie entering the bottom of the fourth. That ended when Sam Abbott launched a two-run homer to break the ice. The home run was Abbott’s ninth of the season, and all nine have been with the Voyagers. Abbott had the only multi-RBI performance for the Voyagers in this close victory. This is also Abbott’s second straight MVP award from SSHP.

With the game tied at two in the sixth, the Voyagers put together a huge, four-run inning to take the lead for good. They used three hits, a hit by pitch, and an error to put themselves up, 6-2.

After an excellent performance through eight innings, Voyagers starter Jason Morgan ran into some trouble in the ninth, though his defense did him no favors. Two unearned runs crossed the plate, and Morgan missed out on a complete game, but he got the victory. Reliever Allan Beer came on in relief and shut the door, as he struck out Mustangs second baseman Jonathan Willems to end the game.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 29, 2019

Future shock: After Thursday, Jonathan Stiever has 10 quality starts in 12 High-A outings. (Winston-Salem Dash)


Biloxi Shuckers 5, Birmingham Barons 3 (11)

Luis Gonzalez: 0-for-6, 0 BB, 4 K (.250 BA, .678 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 2-for-3, 2 BB, 0 K (.262 BA, .673 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (.273 BA, .771 OPS)
Bernardo Flores: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K (3.33 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) *MVP*

The Barons tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, but they ended up losing after a two-run 11th by the Shuckers. Bernardo Flores started the game, in what should be his final game action until the AFL. He showed a pretty good out pitch, with 10 strikeouts over six innings. He left with another quality start, and a much better performance than his last start. The bullpen was great behind him, too combining for five innings and just two runs. They also added eight more strikeouts, so Birmingham pitchers had 18 on the day.

The hitting started slow, but finally got going, with a little luck, when it mattered the most. For eight innings, the Dash only scored one run, off of a Nate Nolan double. In the ninth, Zach Remillard singled to drive in two runs to send the game into extras. Unfortunately, it was the Shuckers who scored runs in extras, as the Barons fell 5-3.


Salem Red Sox 1, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Steele Walker: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.272 BA, .779 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.247 BA, .748 OPS)
Jonathan Stiever: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (2.15 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) **MVP**

Winston-Salem pitchers did all they could to win; it was just one little mistake from Jonathan Stiever that was the difference in this 1-0 loss. Stiever allowed a solo homer in the third inning, and it was the game’s lone run. He was fantastic besides that one big hit allowed, lowering his High-A ERA to 2.15 in what has been a breakout year. Unless the Dash make the playoffs, this might have been Stiever’s last game of the season, and he should be the minor league pitcher of the year for the White Sox. Obviously the hitters didn’t do anything, but at least Andrew Vaughn had two hits.


Kannapolis Initmidators 5, Hagerstown Suns 4

Ian Dawkins: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K (.298 BA, .756 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 3-for-5, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.248 BA, .649 OPS)
Tyler Osik: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.272 BA, .895 OPS) **MVP**
Devon Perez: 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (3.20 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)

Some scoring in the first half of the game led to a close 5-4 win by the end o the night. In the first five innings, the I’s scored all of their runs. Tyler Osik hit his fourth homer since his promotion, and added another RBI later. Corey Zangari accounted for an RBI as well, but it was on a bases-loaded walk, so it was more of a bad pitching thing. Cameron Simmons added the final two runs in the fifth inning: He drove in Lenyn Sosa, who had three hits on the night, as well as Osik on a double. This is was Devon Perez’s second start of the season, and he was just fine. The later bullpen arms of Caleb Freeman, in his Low-A debut, and Justin O’Conner kept the lead intact.


Great Falls Voyagers 9, Idaho Falls Chukars 6

Caberea Weaver: 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.256 BA, .695 OPS)
Harvin Mendoza: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K (.292 Ba, .866 OPS)
Lency Delgado: 1-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K (.273 BA, .712 OPS)
Sam Abbott: 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (.230 BA, .798 OPS) **MVP**
Chase Solesky: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (6.75 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

A big win for the Voyagers came after a big eighth inning put them on top for good. The first two arms out of the bullpen for Great Falls were not all that great. Solesky and then Rigo Fernandez allowed five runs in their six innings pitched. The offense was fine during that span with three runs, but they were down for the majority of the game. In the eighth inning, GFV put up six runs to take a commanding lead, but they were not conventional runs at all. Caberea Weaver opened up the scoring with a sacrifice fly, and Joshua Rivera scored on an error with the next batter. Luis Curbelo came home on a wild pitch, and then the Chuckars loaded the bases. Their pitcher proceeded to walk three straight batters for the final three runs of the inning. The new four-run lead quickly slimmed to three, but it was still enough to get the Voyagers the win.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 28, 2019

AAAA for you: Dylan Covey threw a fabulous game in Charlotte’s loss, pushing his ERA to less than 3.00. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Durham Bulls 3, Charlotte Knights 2

Nick Madrigal: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K (.304 BA, .791 OPS)
Luis Robert: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K (.301 BA, .993 OPS)
Zack Collins: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K (.293 BA, .975 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes: 3-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K (.301 BA, .989 OPS)
Seby Zavala: 1-for-3, 0 BB, 1 K (.225 BA, .784 OPS)
Danny Mendick: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K (.281 BA, .820 OPS)
Dylan Covey: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (2.84 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) **MVP**
Carson Fulmer: 1/3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K (5.01 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)

It is not going well in Charlotte down the stretch. Their four-game lead in the wild card is down to one, due to a losing streak that continued tonight. Dylan Covey started the game and was very good. It seems like he and Daniel Palka are the most AAAA players in baseball history. Covey went six good innings and just allowed one run, and left with the lead. However, Carson Fulmer, who is on a rehab assignment, allowed two runs on just one out. So his rehab assignment is not close to over. Once Fulmer lost that lead the Knights never go it back, but they had two cool hits, though!

Danny Mendick hit a home run in the third inning, his 17th of the season. Luis Robert, of course, had a homer himself, his 15th of the season.


Winston-Salem Dash 12, Salem Red Sox 3

Steele Walker: 1-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.275 BA, .787 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.237 BA, .739 OPS)
Konnor Pilkington: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (5.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) **MVP**

It was an all-around great performance for the Dash, especially the top guys. Both Steele Walker and Andrew Vaughn had home runs in their 12-3 win. In fact, the Dash had a lot of homers. Craig Dedelow and Yeyson Yrizarri had bombs of their own to make four total, and eight of their 12 runs came from those hits.

The pitching was also great led by Konnor Pilkington. He went seven innings in what is his second straight quality start and third straight start of allowing two runs or fewer. Pilkington has put together quite the streak for about 30 days. His ERA has fallen from 5.98 from a month ago, now to 5.05. He again looks like the third round pick, and the Dash needed that to end their losing streak and keep their playoff hopes alive.


Kannapolis Intimidators 3, Hagerstown Suns 1

Ian Dawkins: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K (.301 BA, .761 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 1-for-3, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (.244 BA, .639 OPS)
Tyler Osik: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.250 BA, .837 OPS) **MVP**
Kevin Folman: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (5.12 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)

Though they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs, the I’s are still competing, and winning. This one was off the backs of the pitchers. Kevin Folman got the start, and threw five innings of one-run baseball. That was obviously the only run allowed of the game for the I’s. Wilber Perez took over for him and went three innings. The converted starter has averaged more than two innings an appearance, and he’s turning into an interesting arm down the road. J.B. Olson closed out the game, earning his third save of the season in the 3-1 win.

Clearly, a lot of offense was not needed, and the I’s didn’t provide much. They were just very efficient. Kannapolis had three hits, and it scored three runs. Michael Hickman drove in the first run in the second inning, and Tyler Osik gave them the lead for good with a two-run homer in the sixth. Other than that, this win was all because of the pitching.


Idaho Falls Chukars 6, Great Falls Voyagers 2

Caberea Weaver: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.261 BA, .709 OPS)
Lency Delgado: 3-for-3, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (.275 BA, .720 OPS) **MVP**
Luis Mieses: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.244 BA, .633 OPS)
Sean Thompson: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (6.66 ERA)

It was not the Voyagers’ night, as they were down and out for most of the game. Sean Thompson started out looking fine through the first two innings, but he faltered in two of his last three. He allowed two runs in the third inning, and three more in the fifth. While Thompson wasn’t doing all that well, the offense was arguably worse. Its first run didn’t come until the sixth inning, on a Luis Mieses sacrifice fly. Mieses also drove in the final run for Great Falls, with a double in the eighth. The bullpen was able to do better against the Chukars. They only allowed one run in the last three innings, as McKinley Moore (14th round pick) made his Great Falls debut after the AZL season was over.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 27, 2019

Starting force: Tanner Banks threw seven strikeouts in just five innings, pacing Tuesday’s runaway win for the Barons. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Durham Bulls 10, Charlotte Knights 6

MVP
Zack Collins (DH) 3-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI (73), K (.297 BA, .897 OPS)

Runner-Up
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (6), HBP, CS (3) (.316 BA, .822 OPS)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (36), K (.302 BA, .987 OPS)
Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, BB, 2 K, 3 HR, L (0-1), HB, 53-of-82 strikes (15.75 ERA)
Yermín Mercedes (C) 0-for-2, RBI (55), BB (.290 BA, .978 OPS)

Very strange, what we have going on here in the stretch run to the IL playoffs. First, of course, neither Durham nor Charlotte want to seize control of the race. Second, each team is dominating on the other’s home field. The Knights were done no favors by a horrible outing from Bañuelos, as the Bulls were up 9-1 by mid-game. Collins did everything he could to keep the Knights in it, and Charlotte did rally for four in the eighth, courtesy of Collins and Robert singles, and a Mercedes sac fly. But the entire Knights pitching staff spit the bit tonight. Charlotte’s lead in the wild-card race is back down to just two games.


Birmingham Barons 11, Tennessee Smokies 3

MVP
Joel Booker (RF) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B (10), 2 RBI (32), 2 BB (.254 BA, .643 OPS)

Runner-Up
Gavin Sheets (DH) 2-for-5, R, 2B (18), 2 RBI (81), BB, 2 K (.275 BA, .744 OPS)

Notables
Luis González (LF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (59), 2 BB, K (.253 BA, .686 OPS)
Tanner Banks (SP) 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R/2ER, BB, 7 K, W (4-7), 2 HB, 67-of-91 strikes (4.46 ERA)
Luis Basabe (CF) 2-for-5, R, 2 K, SB (8) (.235 BA, .645 OPS)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 4 BB, 4 K, 25-of-51 strikes (5.73 ERA)

A nice laffer for the Barons, a team who has needed one all year. This win was sparked by Booker at the No. 9 slot, reaching base all five times in the game. Check out Hansen’s odd line, a hitless and scoreless outing, but, whoo boy, more balls than strikes thrown. Birmingham scored in every frame but the first, eighth and ninth, putting his one away early.


Salem Red Sox 5, Winston-Salem Dash 1

MVP
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (60), HR (16) (.246 BA, .744 OPS)

Runner-Up
J.J. Muno (LF) 1-for-2, BB (.238 BA, .728 OPS)

Notable
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 1-for-4, K (.227 BA, .702 OPS)

Just a bad game … does it seem like the Dash have had an ugly stretch here, as they’re supposed to be making their playoff push? W-S drops to 30-33 in the second half, and its elimination number now stands at one.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Hagerstown Suns 4

MVP
Amado Nuñez (2B) 1-for-3, R, 2B (8), 2 RBI (33), K (.209 BA, .588 OPS)

Runner-Up
Austin Conway (RP) 1.2 IP, 2 K, Sv (11), 18-of-29 strikes (1.69 ERA)

Notables
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 RBI (48), E (13) (.244 BA, .637 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-4 (.303 BA, .765 OPS)

Another big effort from the nine-spot in the order, with Nuñez doing damage for the I’s. He contributed a one-out, ground-rule double that drove in two and put Kannapolis up, 3-1, in the fourth. The Intimidators scored all they needed to in that fourth inning, with a crooked number that would hold up for the win. Conway pitched a superb eighth and ninth, walking the tightrope for his 11th save.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Idaho Falls Chukars 3

MVP
Avery Weems (SP) 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 6 K, W (4-2), HB, 53-of-69 strikes (1.96 ERA)

Runner-Up
Sammy Peralta (RP) 2 IP, 4 K, Sv (3), 16-of-21 strikes (2.73 ERA)

Notables
Caberea Weaver (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (12), 3B (5), R, RBI (17), 2 K (.261 BA, .710 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS) 3-for-5, R, RBI (17), K (.270 BA, .635 OPS)

Hate to be hyperbolic, but the story of the 2019 draft to date for the White Sox has been Avery Weems. The sixth-rounder out of Arizona quickly earned a ticket from the AZL to the Pioneer League, and he’s been aces as a Voyager. I’ll have the numbers next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of his starts has earned him an MVP … amazing. Aside from Trey Jeans, the GFV pitching staff was killer tonight, with 13 Ks and no walks! I’d left the Voyagers for dead this season, looking at the crummy 28-36 overall record, but Great Falls improves to 13-14 in the second half and hold an elimination number of 3; closer to the postseason than Winston-Salem! This win moved the Voyagers ahead of the Chukars and out of last place overall in the Pioneer League South.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 26, 2019

Lights out: Tyler Johnson was excellent in his relief appearance to help secure the Barons victory. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Durham Bulls 7, Charlotte Knights 3

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 7 K (3.53 ERA)
Danny Mendick (3B): 1-for-4, 2B (.281 BA, .817 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-3, RBI, (.303 BA, .998 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4, (.309 BA, .798 OPS)
Zack Collins (C): 1-for-4, HR (.291 BA, .970 OPS) *MVP*
Daniel Palka (DH): 1-for-3, BB (.271 BA, .926 OPS)

Journeyman Odrisamer Despaigne got the start, and he put the Knights in an early deficit that they could not overcome. Old friend Emilio Bonifacio got an RBI single in the second to put the Bulls on the board for the first run for either team. Despaigne also ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing back-to-back hits to open the inning. The Bulls drove in both of those runners to expand their lead to 3-0.

The Knights got on the board during their half of the fourth, as Luis Robert hit a sacrifice fly to drive in fellow 2020 major leaguer Nick Madrigal. Unfortunately, the Knights could not get any more runs until the latter innings, and by then, it was too little, too late.

Reliever Hunter Schryver had a forgettable outing that put this game out of reach. In one and two-thirds innings, Schryver issued five walks and allowed three runs, all earned. Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Knights trailed 7-2, and they could not put together a monster rally to claw back into the game. However, before it ended, Zack Collins hit a solo shot, his 18th homer of the season.


Birmingham Barons 8, Tennessee Smokies 5

Blake Battenfield (SP) 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (4.47 ERA)
Zach Remillard (3B): 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI (.284 BA, .826 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (LF): 0-for-3, BB, RBI, (.297 BA, .987 OPS)
Damek Tomscha (DH): 2-for-4, 2 RBI (.318 BA, .822 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, (.295 BA, .975 OPS) *MVP*
Joel Booker (LF): 0-for-2, 2 BB, SB (.244 BA, .609 OPS)

The Barons were the only team in the system that managed to score three runs, and mercy, they broke that threshold by a lot. This was a high-scoring game in which both offenses got going early on.

The Smokies got on the board in the bottom of the first on an RBI triple by shortstop Zach Short. A double by Luis Valenzuela in the second tied it, and Damek Tomscha put the Barons ahead in the third with a double that drove in a pair. However, the Smokies rallied in the latter portion of starter Blake Battenfield’s outing, and they also got to reliever Danny Dopico to go up, 5-3.

The Barons’ bats got quiet toward the middle of the game, but they did not go down easily. After drawing four walks in the top of the eighth to force in a run, the Barons cut the deficit to one. Then, Blake Rutherford hit a sacrifice fly, which was the second out of the inning, but it tied the game at five. The following hitter was Gavin Sheets, who launched a three-run homer to give the Barons a lead that they would not relinquish.

Relievers Tyler Johnson and Codi Heuer both held the Smokies scoreless to shut the door and secure the 8-5 victory.


Salem Red Sox 4, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Zach Lewis (SP): 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 6 K (5.82 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 0-for-3, BB (.226 BA, .711 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (LF): 0-for-3 (.246 BA, .740 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, (.280 BA, .792 OPS)
Tyler Frost (RF): 1-for-3, BB (.249 BA, .735 OPS)
Andrew Perez (RP): 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1.23 ERA) *MVP*

The Dash could not get anything going on offense, so the pitching staff had an extremely tall order to fill. Starting pitcher Zach Lewis was effective on the mound for most of the evening. He ate quite a few innings and limited sharp contact during most of them. Lewis made it through six having only allowed two runs, but he ran into trouble in the seventh to miss out on the quality start. The only other Dash pitcher to appear in this game was Andrew Perez, who was lights out in his two and one-third innings.

Meanwhile, Salem’s pitchers were terrific, as the Dash only managed two hits. Steele Walker and Tyler Frost got the only hits for the Dash, both singles. Scoring opportunities were hard to come by, and the Dash could not take advantage of the few chances they had. They finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Onward.


Hagerstown Suns 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 1

Jason Bilous (SP): 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 7 K (3.53 ERA)
Corey Zangari (1B): 1-for-4, 2B (.205 BA, .750 OPS)
Michael Hickman (C): 1-for-4, 2B (.200 BA, .607 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-3, BB (.301 BA, .763 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, (.299 BA, .859 OPS)
Cameron Simmons (LF): 1-for-4, (.241 BA, .674 OPS)
Justin O’Conner (RP): 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 8.10 ERA *MVP*

Another game, another decent performance by a starting pitcher who barely missed a quality start, another reliever who was effective enough to earn MVP honors, and very little offense. It feels like I have recapped this one before.

Starter Jason Bilous missed a lot of bats, but control was a problem, as he issued four walks. Reliever Justin O’Conner faced five batters and retired all of them, two via strikeout. Only one of his opposing hitters managed to hit a ball to the outfield.

The Intimidators struggled to put any kind of a rally together. They finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, and their only run scored on a Hagerstown error.


Great Falls Voyagers

The Voyagers had the day off and will travel to Idaho Falls for a three-game series against the Chukars. The first game of that series will start on Tuesday at 8:15 CST.