<img alt="Smoked: Robert so destroyed his first Double-A homer that the Tennessee camera operator’s efforts to track the ball were hopelessly woeful.” src=”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Cn5dGdKxK7uKwVc5R36xZoV6dpk=/0x611:2963×2586/1310×873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63831078/usa_today_11690808.0.jpg” />
The Barons sweep a doubleheader; Walker homers, Pilkington struggles; the Intimidators have a grand time
Kyle Kubat: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 PO (W, 2-0)
Luis Robert (RF): 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 K
Luis Basabe (CF): 2-for-4, 1 SB, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Luis González (LF): 1-for-2, 1 BB
Ti’Quan Forbes (3B): 1-for-3, 1 HR, 4 RBI **MVP**
Blake Rutherford (DH): 0-for-2, 1 BB
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 CS
Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 WP (W, 1-0)
Luis Basabe (LF): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K
Laz Rivera (DH): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Luis González (CF): 1-for-4
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI **MVP**
SOUND THE ALARM
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) May 13, 2019
It was a great doubleheader for new Barons, as lefty Kyle Kubat lowered his ERA to 0.43 in his third start with the team and Blake Battenfield’s AA debut went equally swimmingly. Minor league doubleheaders are seven innings each, so Kubat gets the complete game win in the opener, and he earned it. As someone who can’t rely on a high octane fastball, Kubat falls back on breaking pitches, not necessarily missing bats but not giving up too many hard hits. Between two levels this season, he has a 0.84 ERA in 43 IP; he’s struck out 36 and walked only five.
.@BlakeRuth2 just cleared one fence.
Then he cleared another.
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) May 13, 2019
Kubat was backed up by Luis Robert’s first dong as a Baron and a three-run blast by third baseman Ti’Quan Forbes, who had an earlier RBI on a first-inning groundout. This offensive outburst continued into the nightcap, crowned by a two-run Blake Rutherford shot in the fourth inning. Laz Rivera picked up two hits as DH, bringing his 10-game average up to .324.
Battenfield, who dominated in six starts with Winston-Salem this season, threw 88 pitches over his five innings, and the Barons bullpen handled the rest without allowing a baserunner. Tanner Banks got the hold and Luis Martinez the save.
Konnor Pilkington: 3 1⁄3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 5 K (L, 0-1)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4, 1 SB, 1 K; 1 E
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 HR **MVP**
Jameson Fisher (1B): 2-for-4, 1 3B
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-4, 2 K; 1 E
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Unlike his Barons compatriots, Konnor Pilkington’s first game at a new level did not go so well. He walked in a run in the first inning and ran/walked into more in the fourth, giving up a home run and then a bases-clearing double after walking two. Remillard, who was just crowned Carolina League Player of the Week for his recent offensive outpouring, made an error; so did Madrigal and third baseman Yeyson Yrizarri.
The Dash totaled six hits; in their last three games, they have 13, including yesterday’s one-hitter. Steele Walker went deep for the first time with the Dash. He’s actually walked (like! his name!!) more times than he’s reached via hit, and although his batting average is just .212, his OBP is a very solid .395. Dedelow continued his recent hot streak and is batting .325 over his last 10 games.
Kade McClure: 6 1⁄3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Vince Arobio: 2 2⁄3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (W, 2-1)
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-5, 2 K
Romy González (DH): 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 CS, 2 K
Bryce Bush (RF): 1-for-1, 1 2B, 1 BB (removed after 1 AB)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 2-for-2, 1 R
Alex Destino (LF): 2-for-3, 1 BB
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-3, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Amado Nuñez (1B): 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
The Intimidators are the next Dash, both literally and figuratively; literally as in, if they keep this up they’ll be promoted to the Dash, and figuratively as in, last year’s Dash team was chock-full of exciting, talented prospects, and this year’s Intimidators team is chock-full of exciting, talented prospects. Bryce Bush, the 19-year-old who’s had a remarkable turnaround after an ice-cold start, hit his 9th double of the season and was removed after one at-bat. The verdict, on this terrible, awful, no-good day for White Sox injuries:
Bryce Bush fouled a ball off of his foot today. Same spot that he fouled one off of previously. Just icing it, hopefully nothing more significant.
— Dan Victor (@slydanno70) May 13, 2019
Ian Dawkins, who replaced Bush, singled in both at-bats; Dawkins is now hitting .474 in his last 10 games. This is his fifth multi-hit game in his last six played, including his 5-for-6 performance against Lexington the other night. Lenyn Sosa, who was born!!! in the year 2000!!!, had his four-game multi-hit streak broken but extended his multi-or-single-hit streak, singling once.
I could write about the Intimidators all day but let’s not turn this into WAR and Peace. The eighth inning began with two strikeouts; after a Romy González walk, Dawkins single, and Alex Destino intentional walk, Luis Curbelo (age 21) broke it open with a go-ahead, game-winning grand slam, and it was very dope (I can only assume without video). Exactly one year after his season-ending knee injury, starting pitcher Kade McClure had one of his best starts of the season, overshadowed only by his 7 IP, 0 ER, 10 K performance last time out. Vince Arobio shone in his best appearance this season, earning the win thanks to Curbelo’s late-inning heroics.