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It took more than a month of being the Barons’ most consistent starter, but Jordan Stephens graduated from Birmingham, and his first start with Charlotte showed that he can hang with the new level. He absorbed some blows in the first inning and ended up taking the loss in Toledo, but the decision was more due to the absence of offense.
Stephens had been saddled with poor defensive support in Birmingham, but that wasn’t the case during Toledo’s two-run first. Ronny Rodriguez shot a high fastball through the right side for a leadoff single, then stole second on Stephens. He moved to third on a productive groundout and scored on a smoked double by Jim Adduci. Adduci didn’t advance on a single through the left side, but he came home on another firm single through the hole on the right to give the Mud Hens a 2-0 lead.
Stephens settled down after a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty, striking out the last two batters in the first.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 16, 2018
He then came back and finished his day with five scoreless innings afterward. In other words:
- First inning: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Other five: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
“[Adams is] not throwing as hard as he has in the past, for whatever reason, I don’t know,” Barons pitching coach Richard Dotson said. “He’s battled. I will say he’s gone out there and competed. The quality of his pitches hasn’t been consistent enough. I call them duds. Whether it’s a breaking ball or a changeup where he doesn’t finish, he doesn’t get the right action on it, whether it’s a hanger or whatever you want to call them, he’s thrown a lot of duds.”
- Jose Rondon went 1-for-4.
- Casey Gillaspie, 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Jordan Stephens had a successful Triple-A debut: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP
- Thyago Vieira cooled off: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
- Joel Booker went 1-for-2 with two HBPs.
- Alex Call, 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Luis Alexander Basabe and Gavin Sheets were both 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Micker Adolfo had them beat, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
- Yermin Mercedes was 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Ti’Quan Forbes went 2-for-4 with a triple and a double.