Winston-Salem Dash: Game Notes (august 11 Vs. Potomac)
Winners of six out of their last seven games, the Dash continue their three-game set against the Potomac Nationals on Saturday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m..
WINSTON-SALEM DASH (28-16, 69-45) vs. Potomac Nationals (24-21, 61-51)
RHP Alec Hansen (first High-A start this year) vs. RHP Joan Baez (7-8, 4.25 ERA)
6 p.m. - BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Game #115 (Home Game #56)
GONZALEZ'S HOMER LIFTS DASH
Luis Gonzalez smacked a go-ahead, solo homer in the seventh, propelling Winston-Salem to a 5-4 win over Potomac on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark in front of 5,984 fans in attendance. With the game tied at four in the seventh, Gonzalez ripped a 3-2 pitch from A.J. Bogucki down the right-field line and over the short porch to put the Dash ahead 5-4. Blake Battenfield earned the victory by tossing seven innings and allowing three earned runs, while Tyler Johnson locked down his third High-A save with a scoreless ninth. With the victory, Winston-Salem has now won six of its last seven games.
WINSTON TOWER POWER
Winston-Salem still ranks first in the Carolina League in runs (590), hits (1,048), doubles (221), triples (37) and RBIs (553). Meanwhile, the ballclub ranks second in the league in batting average (.273) and on-base percentage (.343). On the mound, Winston-Salem ranks third in the circuit in ERA (3.58) and fourth in the league with 921 strikeouts.
GETTING BETTER WITH TIME
A former Nationals and Orioles farmhand, Yermin Mercedes is now posting a 1.004 OPS after the All-Star Break with five home runs and 30 RBIs. Mercedes earned the Carolina League's Player of the Week Award from July 30-August 5. Thanks to a 2-for-4 effort on Tuesday, Mercedes is hitting .455 (15-for-33) over his last 10 contests. The 25-year-old was selected by the White Sox in the Minor League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft in December of 2017.
Winston currently boasts nine of the top prospects in the White Sox system per MLB Pipeline on its active roster, including infielders Nick Madrigal (No. 4), Gavin Sheets (No. 15) and Rivera (No. 28), outfielders Luis Robert (No. 3), Blake Rutherford (No. 7) and Gonzalez (No. 14), and right-handers Alec Hansen (No. 10), Johnson (No. 23) and Lincoln Henzman (No. 30).
BEST OF THE BEST IN MILB
After clinching a first-half Southern Division championship, Winston-Salem now has the fifth-best winning percentage in full-season Minor League Baseball with a .605 mark. Here's a look at the top teams:
1. Bowling Green Hot Rods
(Midwest League - A): 75-41 (.647)
2. Lakewood BlueClaws
(South Atlantic League - A): 73-43 (.629)
3. Memphis Redbirds
(Pacific Coast League - AAA): 73-44 (.624)
4. Corpus Christi Hooks
(Texas League - AA): 71-46 (.607)
5. Winston-Salem Dash
(Carolina League - A+): 69-45 (.605)
WE KNOW THIS GUY WELL
Hansen takes the mound for Winston-Salem in Saturday's middle match after starting the year with Double-A Birmingham, where he went 0-4 with a 6.56 ERA and 42 walks in 35.2 innings pitched. Hansen began the year with an injury to his right forearm and missed the first two months of the season. The former second-round pick led Minor League Baseball with 191 strikeouts last year and went 4-5 with a 2.93 ERA in 11 starts for Winston-Salem.
THE $26 MILLION MAN
Rated the 25th-best overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, Robert is 11-for-37 with seven runs scored and five RBIs to start at the High-A level. Robert was activated off the disabled list on Tuesday after having not played with the Dash since June 28. An MRI revealed a moderate sprain to the ligament in his left thumb, the same thumb that he sprained during Spring Training. Chicago signed Robert in May of 2017 for $26 million.
Nine-time NBA All-Star and Dash part owner Chris Paul will be throwing out the first pitch prior to Saturday's game.
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