Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Monday April 25, 2011
Posted: 10:04 p.m.
WHITE SOX Birmingham AA
The Barons snapped a two-game losing streak and pounded their way by Huntsville, 6-2 at Joe Davis Stadium Monday night. The Stars had been tied with Tennessee for first place in the Southern Leagues North Division and remained there after the Smokies were bested in Jacksonville.

Christian Marreros two-run triple snapped a 2-2 tie and sparked a three-run sixth inning. Marrero would then score on a wild pitch to help Birmingham keep pace in second place in the South Division. Tyler Kuhn had two hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning, for the Barons.

Justin Edwards picked up his first victory in four starts of the season, striking out four and allowing two runs over five innings. Greg Infante pitched two scoreless innings for his fifth save.
Charlotte AAA
Charlotte remained mired in an early-season slump Monday night, dropping a 4-3 decision to Gwinnett County at Knights Stadium. It was the 10th loss in 12 games for the Knights.

Julio Teheran made it a difficult evening for Charlotte, scattering six hits and striking out seven over eight innings. While he allowed three runs, two of those came in the seventh. Prior to that late Knights burst, Teheran was dominant.

Lucas Harrell 1-1 allowed all four runs and took the loss despite striking out seven in his six innings of work. He was undone by the long ball, allowing a pair of homers. Alejandro De Aza had two hits for the Knights.
Winston-Salem A
The Dashs woes continued Monday night at BB&T Park as they dropped a 14-7 decision to Frederick, marking the eighth time in 10 games that they have lost.

The Keys banged out 15 hits and withstood a seven-run fifth inning by Winston-Salem, an inning that saw their lead dwindle from eight runs to one. Frederick, however, wouldnt let the Dash draw any closer, scoring six runs over the final three innings to put the game out of reach.

Starter Terry Doyle 0-2 took the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits over six innings. Jake Oester had three hits for the Dash while Austin Yount two-run and Andy Wilkins three-run each hit homers in the fifth. Jose Martinez was 2-for-5, pushing his average to .391. In other news, right-hander Justin Collop was place don the disabled list with an undisclosed injury. Collop made his first start of the season Sunday and was hit hard by Wilmington.
Kannapolis A
Lexington scored the winning run Monday night on a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th to edge by the Intimidators, 7-6, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Telvin Nash led off the inning with a single and was then pinch-run for by Ben Orloff, who went to third on a Chris Wallace double. After Jimmy Ballinger intentionally walked Mike Kvasnicka to load the bases, Blanke couldnt handle a pitch with Tyler Burnett at the plate, allowing Orloff to come home with the winning run.

Drew Lee, who joined the club from Bristol last week, was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs after coming on a pinch runner for Ross Wilson in the first inning. There was no immediate word on any injury.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for eight second-inning runs and coasted to 14-3 victory Monday night over Clinton at Alliant Energy Field to move over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Arismendy Alcantara and Pierre LePage each had two-run singles in the inning while Peoria added runs on a pair of bases-loaded walks to end any doubt as to the games outcome. The top of the Chiefs batting was marvelous throughout with each of the first three batters picking up a pair of hits.

Peoria had 13 hits in all with LePage, Alcantara and Greg Rohan each picking up three RBIs. Rohan has a team-leading 17. Eric Jokisch 3-0 went a career-high five innings and picked up the victory in relief after starter Hayden Simpson went only four innings. The former top pick allowed five hits, walked a batter and gave up two runs.

Micah Gibbs also had two hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high five games. The run total was Peorias highest since scoring 16 against Cedar Rapids on Aug. 30, 2009. Marcus Hatley was activated from the DL while Casey Harman will be added from Extended Spring Training. To make room on the roster, pitcher Eduardo Figueroa has been promoted to Daytona while catcher Chad Noble has been sent back to Mesa.

Iowa AAA
It may still be April but Lou Montanez is making some Triple Crown noise in the Pacific Coast League as he continues to assault opposing pitching. He had another big evening on Monday as Iowa out-slugged Memphis, 12-8, at Auto Zone Park.

Montanez had four hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs to lead the 15-hit I-Cub effort. He pushed his average to .438, putting him in the top five in the PCL batting race. Montanez also has 25 RBIs, temporarily putting him in the lead pending Anthony Rizzos performance with Tucson late Monday night.

Brad Snyder added a homer and three RBIs to help make a winner of Robert Coello 2-2. Esmailin Caridad tossed three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Tennessee AA
Jacksonville went the double nickel route Monday night, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to power its way to an 8-4 victory over visiting Tennessee.

Luke Montz three-run homer off Ryan Buchter proved to be the decisive blow in the inning and the game. Rafael Dolis, however, also had a hand in the inning and took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 4 13 innings.

One bright spot for the Smokies was Rebel Ridling, who remained red hot while taking control in the early race for the Southern League batting title. Ridling had three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs to push his average to .436 while extending his hitting streak to six games.
Daytona A
The Cubs were postponed at Dunedin because of rain.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

Bobby Howry wasn't aware of the fact he was part of one of the more infamous transactions in White Sox history until a few years after it happened. 

In 1997, with the White Sox only 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians, general manager Ron Schueler pulled the trigger on a massive trade that left many around Chicago — including some in the White Sox clubhouse — scratching their heads. Heading to the San Francisco Giants was the team's best starting pitcher (left-hander Wilson Alvarez), a reliable rotation piece (Doug Drabek) and a closer coming off a 1996 All-Star appearance (Roberto Hernandez). In return, the White Sox acquired six minor leaguers: right-handers Howry, Lorenzo Barcelo, Keith Foulke, left-hander Ken Vining, shortstop Mike Caruso and outfielder Brian Manning. Only Foulke had major league experience, and it wasn't exactly good (an 8.26 ERA in 44 2/3 innings). 

Howry was largely oblivious to the shocking nature of the trade that brought him from the Giants to White Sox until, before the 1999 season, he was featured in a commercial that referenced the "White Flag trade."

"I don't even know if I knew it was called that before then," Howry recalled last weekend at the Sheraton Grand Chicago at Cubs Convention. 

The trade was a stark signal that youth would be emphasized on 35th and Shields. Both Alvarez and Hernandez were set to become free agents after the 1997 season, and the 40-year-old Darwin wasn't a long-term piece, either. With youngsters like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee rising through the farm system, the move was made with an eye on the future and maximizing the return on players who weren't going to be long-term pieces. 

Sound familiar? 

It's hardly a perfect comparison, but when the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in December for four minor leaguers — headlined by top-100 prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech — it was the first rebuilding blockbuster trade the organization had made since the 1997 White Flag deal. Shortly after trading their staff ace at the 2016 Winter Meetings, the White Sox shipped Adam Eaton — their best position player — to the Washington Nationals for a package of prospects featuring two more highly-regarded youngsters in Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. 

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And there still could be more moves on the horizon, too, for Rick Hahn's White Sox (Jose Quintana has been the subject of persistent rumors since the Winter Meetings). But for those looking for an optimistic outlook of the White Sox rebuilding plans, it's worth noting that the club's last youth movement, to an extent, was successful.

Only Howry (3.74 ERA over 294 games) and Foulke (2.87 ERA, 100 saves over 346 games) became significant long-term pieces for the White Sox from those six players brought over in 1997. And it wasn't like Schueler dealt away any of the franchise's cornerstones — like Frank Thomas, Albert Belle and Robin Ventura — but with future starters in Lee, Ordonez and Chris Singleton on their way the White Sox were able to go young. A swap of promising youthful players (Mike Cameron for Paul Konerko) proved to be successful a year and a half later. 

And with a couple of shrewd moves — namely, dealing Jamie Navarro and John Snyder to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin — the "Kids Can Play" White Sox stormed to an American League Central title in 2000. 

"It was great," Howry said of developing with so many young players in the late 1999's and 2000. "You come in and you feel a lot more comfortable when you got a lot of young guys and you're all coming up together and building together. It's not like you're walking into a primarily veteran clubhouse where you're kind of having to duck and hide all the time. We had a great group of guys and we built together over a couple of years, and putting that together was a lot of fun."

What sparked things in 2000, Howry said, was that ferocious brawl with the Detroit Tigers on April 22 in which 11 players were ejected (the fight left Foulke needing five stitches and former Tigers catcher/first baseman Robert Fick doused in beer). 

"About the time we had that fight with Detroit, that big brawl, all of a sudden after then we just seemed to kind of come together and everything started to click and it took off," Howry said. 

The White Sox went 80-81 in 1998 and slipped to 75-86 in 1999, but their 95-67 record in 2000 was the best in the league — though it only amounted to a three-game sweep at the hands of the wild-card winning Seattle Mariners. 

Still, the White Flag trade had a happy ending two and a half years later. While with the White Sox, Howry didn't feel pressure to perform under the circumstances with which he arrived, which probably helped those young players grow together into eventual division champions. 

"I was 23 years old," Howry said. "At 23 years old, I didn't really — I was just like, okay, I'm still playing, I got a place to play. I didn't really put a whole lot of thought into three veteran guys for six minor leaguers." 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox 2016 first round pick Zack Collins joins the podcast to talk about his future with the White Sox, when he hopes to make the big leagues and the doubters who question whether he can be a major league catcher.   He discusses comparisons with Kyle Schwarber, his impressions of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, why his dad took him to a Linkin Park concert when he was 6 years old and much more.