The Charlotte Knights dropped a barn burner of a game against the Durham Bulls on Thursday. The game was tied modestly at 1-1 entering the 6th inning when the Bulls scored seven runs over the 6th and 7th innings, only to see the Knights respond with seven runs over the 8th and 9th. Unfortunately, reliever Zach Phillips allowed two more Durham runs to score in the top of the 9th to put the game a little too far out of reach. Micah Johnson blasted his 5th home run of the season and is drawing the attention of the big league club with a .307/.369/.448 season line with the Knights. Starter Shawn Haviland had a solid start, tossing six innings and only allowing two earned runs, but rehabbing reliever Matt Albers was lit up, as he gave up five runs over two-thirds of a inning.
NOTE: With the White Sox optioning Scott Carroll to AAA but holding off on announcing his replacement, Matt Albers had been suggested as a likely candidate. But he pitched in this game which seems to make that less likely. On the other hand, shortstop Tyler Saladino did NOT play, and given Alexei Ramirez‘ injury, it seems possible that Saladino may be the guy.
Starter Frankie Montas basically used the first inning as a bullpen session for his upcoming participation in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday. Montas struck out two obatters while allowing a hit and a walk. Tim Crabbe came on and pitched 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. Raul Fernandez and Tyler Barnette combined to only allow one run over the last 3.2 innings to secure the win. Courtney Hawkins led the Barons attack, launching his 8th home run in a 2-4 effort. Third baseman Nick Delmonico went 3-4 as he continues to collect hits in his first year in the White Sox organization.
Matt Heidenreich outdueled Myrtle Beach’s Jen-Ho Tseng to earn his Carolina League-leading 9th win of the season. Tseng carried a perfect game into the 7th inning when Adam Engel broke it up with a single and later came around to score the deciding run on Trey Michalczewski‘s single. The Myrtle Beach offense had no such luck against Heidenreich, as he cruised through seven scoreless innings, only allowing four hits and one walk. Euclides Leyer came on in relief and threw two scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season and finish off the shutout. Dash pitchers have thrown two consecutive shut-outs.
Baseball is a cruel game and while the Dash were on the victorious side of a pitchers duel, the Intimidators fell by an identical score of 1-0. Starter Luis Martinez was the tough luck loser as he pitched five innings of one-run ball. Jacob Morris relieved Martinez and was dominant over his three innings, striking out five and only allowing one hit. The Intimidators offense had no trouble getting on base, as they collected nine hits and two walks, but could not get a run home. Alexander Simon and Brett Austin both went 2-4 and Louie Lechich went 1-4 with a double.
The Voyagers surged out of the gates and took a commanding 9-0 lead after the first three innings, but had to survive a late rally to hang on for the win. Jake Jarvis, Nick Parent, and Grant Massey all collected two hits on the night and catcher Zach Fish and outfielder Landon Lassiter homered in the win. Johan Cruz went 1-4 with a walk and is hitting an absurd .377/.406/.426 on the season as a 19-year old.
The DSL White Sox scored two late runs to push past the DSL Padres on Thursday night down in the Dominican Republic. Third baseman Maiker Feliz continues to rake, as he went 3-5 with a stolen base and is now hitting .373/.480/.461 on the season.
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