On The Farm: Winston-Salem Completes Sweep

On The Farm: Winston-Salem Completes Sweep

Friday Sept. 10, 2010
11:00 PM

By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
It took a bit longer than the Dash would have liked but Jose Martinez punctuated a riveting affair at Grainger Stadium Friday with the 12th-inning homer, giving Winston-Salem a 10-5 victory and a series sweep of Kinston in the opening round of the Carolina League playoffs.

The Dash will now play for the Mills Cup Championship against the winner of the Potomac-Frederick series which Potomac leads, 2-1. The finals are set to begin Monday.

Jon Gilmores RBI single in the ninth inning tied the score at 5-5, where it stayed until the 12th. Gilmore got the winning rally started with a single and was followed by Seth Loman, who also singled. After Ozzie Lewis popped out to first, Martinez sent a Matt Langwell offering over the wall in left for the three-run blast that would put the Dash in position to win a record 12th Mills Cup crown.

T.J. House came on for the Indians and fared no better. He walked Luis Sierra and then allowed an Andrew Garcia double that put runners on second and third. Greg Paiml followed with a two-run double to cap the inning and complete the sweep. The Tribe went down in order in the bottom of the inning with Bo Greenwell flying out to Martinez to end the game.

Paiml finished with three hits and three RBIs while Gilmore had three hits, drew a pair of walks, drove in a run and scored twice. Brandon Short, who was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, had two hits, including a homer, and two RBIs.

Jacob Rasner allowed one hit over four shutout innings to earn the victory. Nate Jones had started but after walking six was gone after 323 innings. Charlis Burdie pitched two scoreless innings before Taylor Thompson surrendered three eighth-inning runs. Brandon Kloess also allowed a run in the eighth and would have been on the hook for the loss had Gilmore not tied the score in the ninth.

Great Falls Rookie
The Voyagers were among the hottest teams in the minor leagues heading into Fridays Pioneer League playoff opener at Helena. But the Brewers quickly quieted Great Falls, earning a 5-3 victory at Kindrick Legion Field before the best-of-three series shifts back to Cetene Stadium Saturday night.

Great Falls had won six straight and 15 of 17 to close the regular season. It had won Northern Division titles in both halves of the regular season. The Voyagers had even won 10 of the 16 games played between the two clubs this year.

But Stephen McCray, a 16th-round pick out of Tennessee, allowed four runs on five hits in three innings, putting the Voyagers in a hole from which they wouldnt recover. He had a 0.87 ERA in 10 13 innings against the Brewers this season but was in trouble right from the outset.

Great Falls scrapped its way back, scoring single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings but wasnt able to sustain anything against Erc Marzec, the Helena reliever who tossed one-hit ball over three shutout innings in relief of winner Matt Miller.

Mike Blanke had three hits and an RBI for the Voyagers.

CUBSTennessee AA
The Smokies struck back in a big way at visiting West Tenn Friday night, erupting for an 11-1 victory to even their Southern League playoff series at a game apiece. Game Three is slated for Saturday night at West Tenn. It will be the only game that the Diamond Jaxx will host.

Tennessee erupted for 16 hits and scored nine of their runs in the sixth through eighth innings. The fifth through ninth hitters in the Smokies lineup accounted for most of the damage, going 14-for-23 with three homers and nine RBIs. Tennessee hit four homers in the game.

Russ Canzler led the hit parade with four hits and an RBI. Robinson Chirinos had three hits, including a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored. Tony Thomas had three hits, including a homer and three RBIs while Matt Spencer had two hits, including a homer and three RBIs. Brett Jackson added a solo homer.

Chris Carpenter earned the victory, allowing a run on four hits over six innings while the game was still a nail-biter. He tied a season high with eight strikeouts, picking up his first win since Aug. 7.

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

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Normally upbeat and positive, Jim Thome can’t help but beam with pride when asked about his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Thome, who blasted 612 career home runs, including 134 with the White Sox, is eligible for induction for the first time in 2018. Even though he’s expected by many to one day be voted into Cooperstown, perhaps even in his first year, Thome said he’s merely honored to be on the ballot. Thome is joined on the ballot by Chipper Jones and former teammate Omar Vizquel, among others. Voting begins in December and the results will be announced next January.

“To even be on the ballot and thought of, it would be the greatest honor I think you could get,” Thome said. “Or if you get an opportunity to go into the greatest fraternity baseball has or created, it would be indescribable. How do you ever think as a kid or a high school player or even going through the minor leagues, that you’d play at the big leagues that long? And then to get an opportunity at the end of your career to be put on the ballot is so great.

“That would be the coolest moment ever.”

Thome – who is in White Sox camp as a special assistant to the general manager – provided plenty of big moments in a career that spanned 22 seasons. He hit 30 home runs in 12 of 13 seasons between 1996-2008, leading the league with 47 in 2003. The slugger was a five-time All-Star and produced 72.9 b-Wins Above Replacement.

[RELATED: Brett Lawrie trying to clear final hurdles]

Thome isn’t as superstitious about his candidacy as others previously have been. He won’t be the guy to bring up the topic, but the Peoria, Ill.-native doesn’t shy away from discussing it, either.

“It’s not something you talk a lot about,” Thome said. “We’re not going to bring it up. But when people do bring it up, there’s a sense of pride, a sense of ‘Wow, baseball has thought that highly to put you on the ballot.’ And the fact that there’s just this wonderful fraternity of incredible players that you could be a part of, if you’re chosen.”

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brett Lawrie isn't sore, he's just not yet correctly aligned.

Until that happens, the White Sox second baseman doesn't want to risk playing at full speed, which for him is nearly the equivalent of hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon.

Lawrie said Sunday he has been pleased with the progress made in returning from a series of leg injuries that wiped out the final 2 1/2 months of last season. But he also isn't quite ready and doesn't want to risk re-injuring himself until he feels total confidence.

"I've been very happy and I haven't really gone backwards and that's been key for me," Lawrie said. "I guess the biggest thing is being able to trust myself when I get out on the field and not have to worry about my body and just worry about the game. If I can't do that then I'm not going to go out there and do that. S once I can clear that stuff up, and it's in the near future.

"I just need to keep being positive and keep putting the work in every single day and I'll be OK."

Lawrie and Rick Renteria said the veteran has been his normal hyper since he reported to camp eight days ago. He'd been a full participant leading up to Saturday when he told Renteria he still didn't feel completely right. But Lawrie said he's just working out the "end kinks" to a trying period. Even though he's had a few tough days of late, Lawrie is trying to stay upbeat and power through.

"It's nothing that's grabbing at me or anything like that," Lawrie said. "I think it's just how everything is sitting and needs to be aligned, that's all.

"Not completely where I want to be and I want to be right where I want to be in order to get out on the field. This last part has just been tough but I'm just continuing to push through and I want to be out on the field and be 100 percent and just have to worry about baseball and not have to worry about this. Before I get out there I just want to make sure that everything is cleared up."