Game #22 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #22 – Away Game #12
Winston-Salem Dash (8-13) at Frederick Keys (7-14)
Friday, April 29 – 7 p.m.
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, MD)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind Spencer Adams’ six strong innings and Nick Basto’s three-run homer, Winston-Salem avoided a sweep with a 4-1 victory over visiting Lynchburg on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash now begin a three-game set on the road against Frederick on Friday.

STARTING LINEUP:

Adams640_0417_3

The Dash are now 4-1 when Spencer Adams pitches (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Louie Lechich – RF
Grant Massey – SS
Matt Cooper– RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • With another three-hit showing Thursday, Basto pushed his hit total to 35, which leads all of Minor League Baseball. Basto enjoys a two-hit lead on Stockton’s James Harris, while only one other Minor Leaguer has more than 30 hits (Hickory’s Andy Ibanez).
  • Only Fort Wayne’s Austin Allen (.483) has a better batting average among qualifiers in the Minor Leagues than Basto (.432), who has a .055 advantage on the next-closest High-A hitter (High Desert’s Luke Tendler). Basto also places seventh in OPS (1.138) in the Minor Leagues.
  • Basto has stormed to the top of the Minors in hits thanks to a ridiculous seven-game hitting streak, during which the former fifth-round pick is hitting .567 (17-for-30). This has thrust him to the top of the CL in average by .060, on-base percentage by .028 and hits by six. Last season, Basto did not reach 35 hits at the High-A level until August 1, his 53rd game. He hit .203 (61-for-300) in 83 games with the Dash a year ago.
  • Basto can match the longest hitting streak by a Winston-Salem player with a knock in his next game. Marcus Davis posted at least one hit in eight straight games from April 13-20. Gerson Montilla’s eight-game surge, during which he hit .394 with 12 runs scored, ended Thursday.
  • Winston-Salem limited Lynchburg, one of the CL’s best offenses, to just one run, its best single-game effort of 2016. This great showing immediately followed a 23-run explosion for the Hillcats over the previous two games, marking the first time since August 8-9, 2013, that the Dash had permitted 10 or more runs in back-to-back games.
  • Adams became the first Dash hurler with multiple quality starts and three victories. The Dash are 4-1 when he pitches and 4-12 when he does not. Out of the bullpen, Jacob Morris pushed his scoreless streak since joining the club to 6.2 innings. Euclides Leyer earned his 10th professional save and just the Dash’s second in 21 games in 2016.
  • Over the last seven days, Winston-Salem has recorded two cycles: Montilla on Friday at Salem and Mason Robbins on Wednesday at home against Lynchburg. Montilla’s cycle was the franchise’s first since May 14, 2008 (Brandon Allen), a 2,900-day wait. Five days later, Robbins earned the first cycle for a Dash hitter in BB&T Ballpark history. Winston-Salem boasts two of the three cycles in Minor League Baseball this year, with Indianapolis’ Josh Bell (April 22 vs. Louisville) owning the other one.
  • The White Sox announced two roster moves affecting the Dash on Friday. Ryan Leonards, who was 5-for-22 (.227) in six games with the Dash, has earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Fellow infielder Grant Massey jumps to High-A for the first time after going 21-for-70 (.300) in 18 games with Low-A Kannapolis.
  • Friday marks the first of 20 meetings between the Dash and Frederick Keys. Over the last four seasons, Winston-Salem boasts a 28-16 (.636) record at Nymeo Field.
  • Friday starter Matt Cooper recorded his first professional quality start six days ago at Salem (6.0 IP, 2 R-ER).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #21 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #21 – Home Game #10
Winston-Salem Dash (7-13) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (16-4)
Thursday, April 28 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Dash outfielder Mason Robbins hit for the cycle, but the Lynchburg Hillcats plated 10 runs in the fifth inning en route to a 12-6 victory Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash look to salvage the final game of the three-game set against Lynchburg.

STARTING LINEUP:

Robbins640_0416_1

Mason Robbins notched the first cycle ever for a Dash player at BB&T Ballpark on Wednesday against Lynchburg (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Louie Lechich – RF
Danny Mendick – SS
Spencer Adams– RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Despite the loss, Robbins made some history with his cycle, the first for a Dash hitter at BB&T Ballpark. The only other cycle came from former Lynchburg Hillcat Matt Lipka, who accomplished the feat on April 25, 2013. Robbins came up with a cycle despite only four trips to the plate. He doubled in the second, homered in the fourth, singled in the sixth and tripled in the eighth. His triple, the first of his season and 13th as a Minor Leaguer, banged off the middle portion of the 20-foot center field wall.
  • Winston-Salem has recorded a pair of cycles here in 2016. Only one other player in Minor League Baseball has a cycle (Indianapolis’ Josh Bell on April 22 vs. Louisville). Dash infielder Gerson Montilla hit for the cycle this past Friday at Salem. It was the franchise’s first cycle since May 14, 2008, the final season of the Warthogs era (Brandon Allen vs. Lynchburg). Thus, Winston-Salem waited 2,900 days for a cycle after Allen’s did it in 2008 and just five days between Montilla and Robbins’ efforts.
  • With his fifth-inning single Wednesday, Montilla pushed his hitting streak to eight, tied for the longest by a Dash hitter in 2016 (Marcus Davis) and tied for the third-longest active run in the Carolina League. During this surge, Montilla is 13-for-33 (.394) with seven RBIs and 12 runs.
  • Thanks to another 2-for-3 effort, including a leadoff homer in the second, Dash infielder Nick Basto pushed his batting average to .416, which is fifth-best in all of Minor League Baseball. Basto paces all High-A qualifiers by at least 37 points. The former fifth-round pick has amassed 32 hits, one more than James Harris of the Stockton Ports (High-A, Oakland) for the most in the Minor Leagues. In the CL, Basto stands first in on-base percentage (.471), third in total bases (46) and fourth in slugging percentage (.597).
  • Lynchburg’s 10-run fifth inning matched the biggest single-inning output for a Winston-Salem opponent during the Dash era (2009-present). The only other 10-run frame came from the bats of the Potomac Nationals in the eighth inning on July 25, 2010. Winston-Salem has not posted a double-digit offensive inning in the Dash era.
  • Lynchburg plated 11 runs on Tuesday before bettering that by one on Wednesday. This marks the first time that the Dash have surrendered 10 or more runs in back-to-back games since August 8-9, 2013 at Salem. Winston had not permitted double digit run outputs in consecutive home contests since July 7-8, 2012, against the Hillcats. In the last two games, the Dash’s team ERA has jumped from 3.83 to 4.59, which is seventh in the eight-team Carolina League.
  • Infielder Toby Thomas matched a career-high with four hits in Wednesday’s loss thanks to two singles and two doubles.
  • Winston-Salem is 3-1 when Spencer Adams, the third-best prospect in the White Sox system, pitches and 4-12 when he does not.
  • The Dash have only suffered five sweeps in the seven-season history of BB&T Ballpark, with the fifth coming against Salem in the first home set of 2016 (April 14-17).
  • After Thursday’s finale, the Dash travel to Frederick for a three-game series that begins Friday night. 

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The game is also available on wsjs.com, as well as wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m, with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #20 – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #20 – Home Game #9
Winston-Salem Dash (7-12) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (15-4)
Wednesday, April 27 – 11 a.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Lynchburg scored 11 times from the fourth to the eighth en route to a series-opening 11-6 victory over Winston-Salem on Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash look to rebound bright and early on Wednesday against the Hillcats.

STARTING LINEUP:

Montilla640_0416_2

Gerson Montilla extended his hitting streak to seven with a 2-for-4 effort Tuesday. (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash)

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Louis Silverio – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Danny Mendick – SS
Sean O’Connell – C
Blair Walters – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash are off to their worst home start since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010. Winston-Salem has dropped seven of its first eight games in the Triad, with Tuesday’s decision representing the most lopsided of those losses. All six losses on the first homestand were by three runs or less. Before this year began, Winston-Salem boasted the best home record in the Carolina League since 2010 (244-176, .581 winning percentage).
  • Infielder Gerson Montilla is thriving at the plate in recent games. He launched a solo shot, his 72nd professional home run, to give the Dash a first-inning run for the fifth straight game. It also pushed his hitting streak to seven games, during which he is 12-for-28 (.429) with seven RBIs and 12 runs. This great work includes Friday’s cycle at Salem, which was the franchise’s first such accomplishment since 2008.
  • After going 11-for-19 (.579) during the four-game trip to Salem, Nick Basto collected another base hit on Tuesday. He paces the circuit with a .405 batting average, which is 18 points better than Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn for first place. It also stands eighth in all of Minor League Baseball. Basto’s 30 total hits are tops in the CL and tied for first in the Minors. Also, the former fifth-round pick is tied for first in on-base percentage (.463), fourth in total bases (40) and fifth in slugging percentage (.541) in the league.
  • The Chicago White Sox announced six moves affecting the Dash’s roster before Tuesday’s game. Infielder Danny Mendick, catcher Sean O’Connell and outfielder Louis Silverio have earned promotions from Low-A Kannapolis. Both Mendick (0-for-2, two walks) and O’Connell (1-for-3) played on Tuesday. To make room for this trio, catcher Chris O’Dowd was promoted to Double-A Birmingham, infielder Cleuluis Rondon was assigned to Kannapolis and utility man Michael Danner was released.
  • Southpaw Chris Sale, who pitched for the Dash in 2010, became Major League Baseball’s first five-game winner with a gem at Toronto on Tuesday. Sale needed just 100 pitches to toss eight innings, during which he surrendered one run on four hits. Sale’s 0.68 WHIP paces all American League qualifiers, while his 1.66 ERA is fifth-best in the league. The White Sox own the A.L.’s best record at 15-6. Only the Cubs and Nationals have better marks in the Majors.
  • Before Tuesday, the Dash had not given up 11 runs in a game since an 11-5 home loss against Wilmington on June 11, 2015. Winston-Salem had not allowed more than that in almost a year (12 runs at Frederick on May 5, 2015). The Dash’s bullpen let eight runs come across and now possesses a 4.95 ERA as a unit. Overall, Winston’s staff ERA stands sixth in the CL (4.20).
  • Catcher Brett Austin left Tuesday’s game after four innings. He has started 13 of the Dash’s first 19 games and leads the team with three home runs.
  • Dash starter Blair Walters pitched for Lynchburg down the stretch in the 2014 season, the final year for the Hillcats under the Braves’ umbrella. The ‘Cats joined forces with the Indians in 2015, while Carolina claimed the Braves. Walters pitched for Carolina in 2015 and worked against his former team three times.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 10:45 a.m., with the first pitch at 11 a.m.

-Joe

Game #19 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #19 – Home Game #8
Winston-Salem Dash (7-11) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (14-4)
Tuesday, April 26 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

After collecting three high-scoring victories, the Dash dropped a pitcher-friendly finale at Salem on Sunday by a score of 3-2. Winston-Salem now begins the first of a three-game homestand against the Lynchburg Hillcats at BB&T Ballpark on Tuesday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

Basto640_0415_1

Dash first baseman Nick Basto leads the Carolina League in average with a .414 mark (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash)

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Danny Medick – SS
Mason Robbins – LF
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Despite Sunday’s narrow loss, there were many positives to take from the Dash’s trip to Salem. In the first three games, the Dash plated 29 runs, their best three-game run since May 6-8, 2015 (31). Winston-Salem narrowly missed out on its second road sweep of four games since becoming the Dash in 2009. Thus, a four-game brooming of Myrtle Beach from April 19-22, 2010, remains the only such instance. The Dash also missed out on their first six-game road win streak since April 18 to May 1 of 2012.
  • Infielder Nick Basto submitted an incredible series in Salem over the weekend. He was 11-for-19 (.579) with two RBIs and three runs in those four games, vaulting him to the top of the Carolina League in average. His .414 mark is 36 points better than Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn for first place, and it stands sixth in all of Minor League Baseball. Basto also paces the CL with 29 hits, which are good for third in the Minors.
  • Basto was not the only person to shine in Salem. Hunter Jones reached in nine of his final 11 trips to the plate. Brett Austin, who sat out the series finale, is riding a six-game hit streak and five-game RBI streak. Gerson Montilla was 7-for-16 with six RBIs and nine runs scored, and he recorded the franchise’s first cycle since 2008 in Friday’s 13-8 victory.
  • The Dash will take the field at BB&T Ballpark for the first time since last Wednesday, the last day of a forgettable week-long homestand. Winston-Salem matched the worst multi-series homestand since the downtown facility opened in 2010. The Dash went just 1-6, and Salem earned just the fifth sweep by an opponent at BB&T Ballpark. It was only the second four-game sweep by a visitor. The Dash’s lone win came in walk-off fashion on Tuesday, 6-5 over Myrtle Beach. Winston plated three in the eighth to tie before Toby Thomas’ game-winning single in the ninth.
  • It will not be an easy three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats in town. The Hillcats had won 10 in a row before Sunday’s loss to Frederick. Lynchburg’s 14-4 record is three games better than the next-best CL club (Potomac/Salem, 11-7), and the Hillcats are tied with four other teams for the best mark in the Minors. Plus, the ‘Cats will send Julian Merryweather to the bump in Tuesday’s opener. He is one of three MiLB qualifiers who has yet to permit a run.
  • The White Sox made a couple of moves on Tuesday that affected the Dash roster. Chicago promoted catcher Chris O’Dowd to Double-A Birmingham, sent infielder Cleuluis Rondon to Low-A Kannapolis and released outfielder Michael Danner. Winston-Salem received three players from Kannapolis as part of the transactions: catcher Sean O’Connell, infielder Dan Mendick and outfielder Louis Silverio.
  • The Dash have scored first in 10 of their first 11 road games, but they only netted the game’s first tally in two of their first seven at home.
  • The Hillcats took three of four from Winston-Salem in Lynchburg on Opening Weekend, with the Dash taking the opener in 13 innings (14-6).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #18 Preview – Dash at Salem

Game #18 – Away Game #11
Winston-Salem Dash (7-10) at Salem Red Sox (10-7)
Sunday, April 24 – 4:05 p.m.
LewisGale Field (Salem, VA)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind a six-run sixth inning and Matt Cooper’s six dominant innings, Winston-Salem earned its third consecutive win over Salem on Saturday night. Should Winston finish the sweep on Sunday, it would collect just its second road sweep of four games since the nickname change to Dash in 2009.

STARTING LINEUP:

Jones640_0415_1

Hunter Jones reached in five of his six plate appearances Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Louie Lechich – RF
Chris O’Dowd – C
Michael Danner – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Before this three-game series, Winston-Salem was 4-10 overall and owned a team batting average of .233. In these three victories, the Dash boast a .378 team average, and they have scored more runs (29) than any three-game stretch since May 6-8, 2015, when they rattled off 31 runs. The Dash have collected 48 hits after averaging just 8.3 in their first 14 contests.
  • Infielder Nick Basto has been the focal point of Winston-Salem’s offense all year long. Thanks to his 10-for-15 showing in this series, Basto has vaulted to the top of the Carolina League in average. His .424 mark is 36 points better than Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn for first place, and it stands third in all of Minor League Baseball. The former fifth-round pick also paces the circuit in hits (28), while he stands tied for first in on-base percentage (.486) and third in total bases (38).

  • Last year, Basto finished with a .203 average in 83 games. He did not record his 28th hit in High-A until July 20, his 44th game. Before this season, the Davie, Fla., native amassed three hits in a game just 13 times in 347 professional contests. Basto has already reached or eclipsed three hits five times in 2016, including all three games of this series in Salem.

  • Basto is not the only Dash hitter who has shined as of late. Brett Austin is riding a six-game hitting streak and a five-game RBI streak. Hunter Jones is 7-for-15 in this series after enduring a 1-for-19 funk. After starting the season 6-for-51 (.118), Louie Lechich is 8-for-18 (.444) over his last four games. Marcus Davis has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 starts.
  • For the first time since July 3-15 of last year, the Dash have rattled off five consecutive wins away from BB&T Ballpark. Should the Dash win on Sunday, they would record their first six-game road surge since April 18-May 1, 2012. A victory would also clinch Winston-Salem’s first four-game road sweep since April 19-22, 2010, at Myrtle Beach, which stands as the only four-game road brooming since the nickname change to Dash prior to the 2009 season.

  • Former Dash catcher Kevan Smith earned his first career promotion to the Major Leagues on Sunday. Smith played 123 games with the Dash between 2012-13 and helped Winston-Salem reach the 2012 Mills Cup Finals. He is the 33rd Dash alumnus to reach the Majors, and all but one of those players have earned their initial promotion while in the White Sox system.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 3:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 4:05 p.m.

-Brian

Game #17 Preview – Dash at Salem

Game #17 – Away Game #10
Winston-Salem Dash (6-10) at Salem Red Sox (10-6)
Saturday, April 23 – 6:05 p.m.
LewisGale Field (Salem, VA)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Gerson Montilla’s cycle propelled the Dash to a 13-8 win in Salem on Friday night at LewisGale Field. Winston-Salem goes for their third straight victory and a series win against the Salem Red Sox on Saturday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

Montilla640_0416_2

Gerson Montilla became the first player in the Dash era (2009-present) to hit for the cycle (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Michael Danner – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Matt Cooper – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In the Dash era (2009-present), no Winston-Salem hitter had recorded a cycle until Friday night. The franchise’s last cycle took place in the final season under the Warthogs moniker when Brandon Allen accomplished the feat against Lynchburg on May 14, 2008. It was the first cycle in the Carolina League since Carolina’s Jerrud Sabourin on July 19, 2014.
  • In addition to his first cycle, Montilla matched a career-high with four hits. He also scored four times, the most by a Winston-Salem hitter since Joey DeMichele posted a Dash-record five on April 27, 2014, also at Salem. Playing in his 766th Minor League game, Montilla collected his 71st home run and 15th triple, both of which were his first such hits in the White Sox system.
  • Montilla was not the only Winston-Salem hitter to churn out a huge performance. Nick Basto amassed four hits for the first time in a Minor League game. He and Montilla became the first Dash hitters with four-hit showings since Omar Narvaez on September 1, 2015. Thanks to this huge night, Basto now leads the CL with a .403 average, which is 13th-best among all Minor League qualifiers. His 25 hits are even with Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn for the top spot on the circuit and tied for fifth in the Minors.
  • The Dash banged out 20 base hits, their highest single-game total since a 23-knock effort in a 15-3 shellacking of Potomac on August 21, 2011. Marcus Davis went 3-for-5 with a career high-tying three RBIs. Louie Lechich logged a three-hit game, which ties his professional high-water mark. Ryan Leonards matched a career-high with three runs scored even though he did not muster a base hit. His three runs came from reaching twice on an error and a hit by pitch.
  • Before this series, Winston-Salem had scored just four runs in the first inning over its first 14 contests. However, the Dash have plated eight runs in the first frame, and they took the lead for good after two batters on Thursday and three batters on Friday. Winston-Salem is now +5 in run differential against Salem, though the Red Sox own a 4-2 advantage in the standings due to their four-game sweep of the Dash last week.
  • Even though Spencer Adams surrendered a career-high six earned runs Friday, he became the first Dash hurler to earn his second victory. He also owns a share of second place in the Carolina League with 22 strikeouts, including three on Friday. Adams became the first Dash starter to give up more than three earned runs this season. Winston-Salem’s starting rotation boasted a 2.91 ERA before Friday’s outing.
  • Salem had won seven straight and had limited every opponent to no more than six runs before this series.
  • Winston-Salem has strung together 20 runs in a two-game span for the first time since a 24-run outburst on May 7 and 8 of last year.
  • Hunter Jones swiped his 10th base on Friday, propelling him into a tie for third in the CL in that category. In all of Minor League Baseball, Jones is tied for fifth.
  • The Dash have scored first in eight of their first nine road games in 2016 (just two of seven home contests).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #16 Preview – Dash at Salem

Game #16 – Away Game #9
Winston-Salem Dash (5-10) at Salem Red Sox (10-5)
Friday, April 22 – 7:05 p.m.
LewisGale Field (Salem, VA)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem seized the lead two batters into Thursday’s contest and never looked back en route to a 7-2 victory over Salem at LewisGale Field. The Dash will try to put together their second winning streak of the season on Friday night against Salem.

STARTING LINEUP:

Austin640_0414_2

After drilling a homer Thursday, Brett Austin now has three of the Dash’s six dingers this year (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Ryan Leonards – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Most of the Dash’s production came from the top four men in the order. Hunter Jones (2-5, 2R), Toby Thomas (2-4, 2RBI, R), Gerson Montilla (1-3, RBI, 2R) and Nick Basto (3-5, RBI) combined to go 8-for-17 with five of the Dash’s seven runs scored. The bottom five were still strong (5-for-22 with two RBIs and two runs). In all, it added up to the Dash’s biggest offensive output since their 14-run showing in a 13-inning victory at Lynchburg on Opening Night.
  • Two of those five hits from the bottom of the order came from Brett Austin, who provided the exclamation point on Thursday’s win with a solo shot to right. Austin has half of Winston-Salem’s six homers, and he is one behind Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn and Lynchburg’s Mike Papi for the Carolina League lead. Austin has played just 10 games, while O’Hearn has logged 15 and Papi 13. A former NC State star, Austin trails only Tacoma’s Mike Zunino (6 in 12 G) and Akron’s Jeremy Lucas (4 in 10 G) among catchers in Minor League Baseball in homers.
  • While almost every Dash hitter had a good night on Thursday, Marcus Davis saw his eight-game hit streak end after an 0-for-5 showing. During the run, the longest by a Dash hitter in 2016, Davis was 10-for-33 (.303) with seven RBIs.
  • Southpaw Blair Walters recorded the longest outing by a Winston-Salem starter this season. He also continued a tremendous trend for the Dash’s pitching staff. In all 15 starts this year, Winston’s rotation has limited its opposition to three earned runs or less, and all but one have ended with two earned runs or fewer. Winston-Salem starters boast a 2.91 earned run average. Walters recorded the club’s second quality start in a row after Jordan Stephens (6.0 IP, 1 R) befuddled Myrtle Beach on Wednesday night.
  • Before this run of back-to-back quality starts, the only Winston-Salem hurler who earned one was Spencer Adams, the third-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to multiple outlets. Adams, who earned that quality start on April 12 at Myrtle Beach, has only given up one run over his last two starts spanning 11 innings. The 20-year-old is third in strikeouts (19) and sixth in ERA (1.80) in the Carolina League.
  • Several other Dash players are among the cream of the crop in the Carolina League in various categories. Basto is second in batting average (.375) and tied for second in hits (21) on the circuit. Jones is tied for first in at-bats (63) and fourth in stolen bases (9). Austin is second in home-run-to-at-bat ratio (1/13.0). On the bump, Walters is third in opponent batting average (.192) and ninth in ERA (2.25). Matt Cooper is tied for fourth in strikeouts (18).
  • The Dash’s season series with Salem is now even in run differential, as both teams
    have 17 runs against the other. Salem swept Winston in a four-game series last weekend at BB&T Ballpark that only featured a five-run differential.
  • The Dash scored more runs in a game against Salem than any team has thus far this season.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #15 Preview – Dash at Salem

Game #15 – Road Game #8
Winston-Salem Dash (4-10) at Salem Red Sox (10-4)
Thursday, April 21 – 7:05 p.m.
LewisGale Field (Salem, VA)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Thanks to a three-run eighth inning, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans earned a 4-1 win over the Dash in Wednesday’s rubber match at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash look for their first win of the season against the Salem Red Sox, who swept Winston-Salem in a four-game set at BB&T Ballpark and have won seven in a row.

160415-293-JS

Jordan Stephens threw six strong innings against Myrtle Beach on Wednesday  (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Blair Walters – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash and Pelicans played another nailbiting series. Wednesday’s three-run decision marked the most lopsided contest in the last 10 tilts between the two division rivals. Since the start of the 2015 season, Winston and Myrtle have met 35 times, and the Birds possess a slight 18-17 advantage. The Dash still have nine games against Myrtle Beach in the first half (3 home/6 road), and all of them take place from May 2-20.
  • The Dash dropped six of seven on their first homestand of the season. This matches the worst multi-series homestand in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-year history. The only other time the Dash failed to collect multiple wins during a homestand of at least six games was from April 16-21, when Frederick swept Winston-Salem in a weather-condensed three-game set and Salem followed with a three-out-of-four take.
  • The Salem Red Sox, Winston-Salem’s opponent this weekend, contributed significantly to the Dash’s frustrating start at home. Salem left the Triad with just the fifth sweep for an opponent at BB&T Ballpark. It was only the second brooming of four games at a facility that has hosted 23 sweeps for the home team. A franchise that has not won a first half crown since 1988, Salem ended up posting a perfect 7-0 road trip after sweeping Carolina in Zebulon earlier this week.
  • Even though the Dash are 4-10 through the first two weeks of the season, they are shining in some key areas. Winston-Salem starters boast a 2.94 earned run average, and only once has an opponent scratched across more than two earned runs against a member of the team’s rotation (Matt Cooper, 3 ER on Monday against Myrtle Beach). On Wednesday night, Jordan Stephens logged the Dash’s second quality start in a career-high six innings of work (1 ER, 4 H, 7 K). Defensively, the Dash have committed just five errors in their last 11 games after amassing 10 defensive miscues in the first three.
  • Thanks to his fourth-inning single Wednesday, Marcus Davis pushed his hitting streak to eight games, the longest by a Winston-Salem hitter in 2016. During this surge, the former San Diego farmhand is 10-for-33 (.303) with seven RBIs and two runs scored. Davis has reached in 12 of his first 13 games with Winston-Salem.
  • Several Dash players are among the cream of the crop in the Carolina League in various categories. Infielder Nick Basto, who had a seven-game hit streak snapped on Monday, is fourth in hits (18) and sixth in average (.353) on the circuit. Outfielder Hunter Jones is tied for second in at-bats (58) and fourth in stolen bases (8). On the bump, Spencer Adams is seventh in earned run average (1.80), while he and Cooper are second and third in the CL in strikeouts with 19 and 18, respectively.
  • After an 0-for-4 showing Wednesday, Toby Thomas’ five-game hit streak came to an end.
  • His ninth-inning single propelled the Dash to a walk-off win over Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.
  • The Dash’s 4-1 loss on Wednesday marked the third-most lopsided game of the season.
  • So far this year, the Dash have played 11 games decided by two runs or less.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The game is also available on wsjs.com, as well as wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m.

-Joe

Game #14 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #14 – Home Game #7
Winston-Salem Dash (4-9) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-7)
Wednesday, April 20 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind Toby Thomas’ walk-off single in the ninth, Winston-Salem stunned Myrtle Beach 6-5 to end its five-game losing streak. The Dash now go for their second series win of the season against the Pelicans on Wednesday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

160415-777-JSDavis

Marcus Davis has hit safely in seven games in a row (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Ryan Leonards – SS
Michael Danner – LF
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Thomas’ heroics ended Winston-Salem’s worst home start since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010 (0-5). The Dash also avoided the longest single-season home losing streak since entering this downtown facility. Winston-Salem has endured five home skids of five games, but the club has avoided a six-game funk. Since 2010, the Dash’s 245-181 (.575) record at home is the best in the Carolina League.
  • Three of Winston-Salem’s four victories this season have come in its last at-bat. The Dash plated eight in the 13th inning at Lynchburg on Opening Night (April 7) before plating a pair in the ninth at Myrtle Beach on April 13 to break a 2-2 tie. Thomas did deliver the Dash’s first walk-off hit since July 4, 2015, when Omar Narvaez sunk Frederick with a single in the 11th inning.
  • Thomas is one of multiple Dash hitters who have shined as of late. He is riding a five-game hit streak, during which the Alabama native is 8-for-21 (.381) with two RBIs and four runs. The only Winston-Salem hitter with a longer streak is Marcus Davis, who has hit safely in seven in a row (9-for-29 [.310], seven RBIs, two runs). Also, Nick Basto stands third in average (.367) and fourth in hits (18) on the circuit.
  • Winston-Salem has played 13 games thus far this season, and 11 of them have been decided by one or two runs. The Dash are just 3-8 in those games, but all three of those victories have come against the Pelicans. Dating back to the start of the 2015 season, Winston and Myrtle have split 34 meetings (including postseason). Each of the last nine clashes have been either one- or two-run affairs. These two clubs still have three more series in the first half, with the next one set for May 2-4 in the Triad.
  • Even though the Dash are just 4-9, they have received strong pitching from most members of their staff. The Dash’s 3.65 earned run average is fourth-best in the CL. Only once has a Dash starter surrendered more than two earned runs, and the rotation boasts a 3.08 ERA. Out of the bullpen, Connor Walsh had not given up a hit in his first 8.1 innings in High-A before Yasiel Balaguert went deep in the eighth on Tuesday.
  • Following Wednesday’s rubber match against Myrtle Beach, the Dash hit the road for a four-game set against the first-place Salem Red Sox. Salem dealt the Dash just their fifth home sweep in BB&T Ballpark’s seven seasons this past weekend. The four games were decided by a combined six runs. The Red Sox finished a perfect road trip with a sweep-clinching win at Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. Salem, who has not won a first-half crown since 1988, will enjoy at least a three-game lead in the division standings when the series begins Thursday.
  • The Dash claimed a rubber match win against the Birds last Wednesday at TicketReturn.Com Field with a 4-2 win.
  • Starter Jordan Stephens has worked exactly four innings in his first two High-A outings.
  • The Dash have committed three errors in their last two games after just one over their previous eight.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. It is also available via MiLB.tv (subscription required). The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #13 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #13 – Home Game #6
Winston-Salem Dash (3-9) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-6)
Tuesday, April 19 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Despite back-to-back home runs from Marcus Davis and Brett Austin in the eighth, Winston-Salem dropped the opener of its three-game series with Myrtle Beach 6-4 on Monday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash search for their first home win of the season on Tuesday against the Pelicans.

160415-359-JSThomas

Toby Thomas smashed a season-high three hits against Myrtle Beach on Monday (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Louie Lechich – RF
Chris O’Dowd – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The last three times Winston-Salem has hit back-to-back home runs, the Pelicans have been in the other dugout. Davis and Austin’s offensive exploits marked the first time the Dash had gone back-to-back in the regular season since July 7, 2013, when Rangel Ravelo and Courtney Hawkins did it at BB&T Ballpark. However, Trey Michalczewski and Keon Barnum did string together consecutive home runs in the first inning in Game 1 of last year’s Southern Division Championship Series.
  • At 0-5, Winston-Salem is off to its worst start at home since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010. If they lose tonight, the Dash will post their longest single-season skid in the downtown facility’s history. Winston-Salem did have a nine-game skid from the final five home games of 2014 through the first four of last season. The Dash are currently mired in the fifth single-season home losing streak of five games, all of which have occurred since August of 2013.
  • In the second half of 2015, the Dash were 26-10 (.722) in games decided by one or two runs. While some thought this would even out down the stretch last year, the recalibration seems to be taking place now. All but two of the Dash’s first 12 games have been decided by one or two runs, and the Dash are 2-8 in those contests.
  • On Monday night, a Dash starter permitted more than two earned runs for the first time all year. Matt Cooper, who had logged five innings and gave up two earned runs in each of his first two outings, let three come around in a losing effort against the Pelicans in the series opener. The Dash’s rotation owns a 3.05 earned run average and has spun 56.0 total innings, or exactly four and two-thirds innings per game.
  • The Dash’s lengthy errorless streak came to an end Monday. Before a ninth-inning error on a pickoff attempt, Winston-Salem had recorded 58 consecutive innings without an error, a streak that began after Cleuluis Rondon’s throwing error in last Tuesday’s fifth inning at Myrtle Beach. In the last nine games, the Dash have posted just two defensive miscues after a league-worst 10 in the first three games of 2016. Winston-Salem’s .975 fielding percentage is good for fourth-place on the eight-team circuit.
  • Even though the Dash could only scratch out four runs Monday, multiple hitters posted big nights. Toby Thomas amassed three hits for the first time in his High-A career. With a pair of knocks, Davis pushed his hitting streak to six, which is now the longest active run on the club. Nick Basto’s seven-game surge ended due to an 0-for-3 showing. Still, Basto remains in the top 10 in the Carolina League in hits (4th; 16), total bases (T-9th; 22), RBIs (T-9th; 8), at-bats (T-10th, 46) and batting average (10th; .348).
  • Low-A Kannapolis suffered an 8-7 loss at West Virginia in 16 innings on Monday. The game took five hours and one minute, the third-longest in franchise history and the longest in the White Sox system, clipping the Dash’s season opener in Lynchburg by two minutes.
  • Since the start of 2015, the Dash and Pelicans have played 33 times, and Myrtle Beach owns a 17-16 edge.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. It is also available via MiLB.tv (subscription required). The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

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