8/28/16 Recap: Fulmer fires five flawless, Knights & Dash win blowouts

It was a .500 day on the farm, featuring two blow-out wins and two teams in playoff position. The AZL club played their last game of the year as well, and it’s been very different than 2015.

Charlotte 14, Norfolk 4

The Knights climbed back into first place in the IL South, and now have a half game lead with eight to play after routing the Tides. While the offense went nuts, the biggest highlight may be Carson Fulmer‘s start. Currently in the rotation for Charlotte, Fulmer threw five perfect innings, striking out five batters along the way. The White Sox front office has hinted that Fulmer could get some starts with the big club in September.

The offense collected 17 hits, with everyone in the lineup getting at least one. Nick Delmonico (2-3, 2 SF) and Kevan Smith (2-5) both homered, while outfielders Jason Coats and Jacob May both booked 3-hit days with a double. All four of those players have a case for a September call-up, and all have been swinging hot bats lately.

Lefty David Holmberg will look to keep the Knights on top in Monday’s tilt.

Tennessee 11, Birmingham 5

Birmingham lost their 15th game in the last 17. The Barons were looking like a potentially exciting team coming into 2016, but that has been far from the case as they are now 48-84 on the year. Org soldiers Chris O’Dowd and Marcus Lemon each had 3-hit games as the offense did manage to rack up 10 hits. No one in the lineup has a batting average above .240 on the year.

The pitching staff struggled, and weren’t helped by their defense as they allowed four unearned runs. In one bright spot, newly acquired LHP Colton Turner made his first appearance in the White Sox organization, throwing a scoreless frame with a hit, a walk and two strikeouts.

Spencer Adams, who has had his struggles so far in AA, gets the nod in their next contest.

Winston-Salem 15, Carolina 2

Just up the road from Charlotte, the Dash also won in a blow-out, though their playoff hopes were dashed a while ago. Backup catcher Daniel Gonzalez made the most of his playing time, recording two doubles, two singles and knocking in four. Cleuluis Rondon, who’s bat and climb have been in neutral for a few years now, also had a 4-hit game, his including a triple and a double as he fell a home run short of the cycle. Michael Suiter (2-4, HR, 2 BB) and Toby Thomas (3-5, 2B) also had multi-hit efforts to add to the team’s fusillade in their last home game of the season.

Robin Leyer, who has been back to starting again recently, threw 7 frames of 2-run ball, striking out 8.

The Dash are off on Monday.

Columbia 8, Kannapolis 6

The Intimidators held a 5-0 lead going into the 6th, but things fell apart for reliever Ben Wright. He allowed 6 hits, 5 runs, and hit a batter without recording an out. Luis Martinez had an unusual start, needing 77 pitches to throw just 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball before he was lifted.

The offense was led by Seby Zavala‘s 3-hit day. The catcher has been swinging a hot bat lately, hitting .392 during a 7-game hitting streak. Speaking of streaks, Cody Daily had a hit and a walk to extend his on-base streak to 21 games. Danny Mendick had three hits including a triple, stole a base, but was also caught stealing.

Kanny is also off on Monday.

Great Falls 3, Missoula 1

The Voyagers extended their winning streak to seven games and their division lead to three as they rode yet another strong pitching performance to victory. 20-year old Christopher Comito was the hero this time, striking out nine batters in seven innings of one-run baseball. Jake Elliott added two scoreless innings to cap the victory.

Mitch Roman knocked in two of the team’s three runs in his 1-for-3 day. The 21-year old 12th rounder, who has moved around the field but mostly played shortstop thus far in his pro debut, has been red hot at the plate lately. He’s hitting .512 in his last ten games, and has his average up to .328 on the year to go along with 24 stolen bases in 30 attempts. Frank Califano had a double and a single in his three trips.

Aron McRee, who is having a terrific season for the Voyagers, will start on Monday as they march closer to a playoff spot.

AZL Padres 7, AZL White Sox 4

The AZL White Sox lost in their season finale, finishing the year at 21-35. That seems disappointing on the surface when compared to last year’s league championship squad. But remember that many of the biggest contributors to that 2015 team were college age, and this squad has displayed a lot of unrefined but high potential teenaged talent. We will have a season in review up this coming week with more details on all of that.

In this game, 2-for-4 days from Joxelier Garcia and Hanleth Otano were the best of the offensive showings. None of the pitchers had days to write home about. Victor Done made the start, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks over three innings.

With Great Falls having another week’s worth of games remaining and a likely post-season appearance, don’t be surprised if a couple players from this AZL squad head north before their seasons are truly over.

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