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Luis Robert was not in the lineup on Sunday, but it’s not because he was hit by a pitch the day before.
Nope, Robert’s in Cleveland, where he and Nick Madrigal will be participating in the Futures Game tonight at 7 p.m. on MLB Network and MLB.com.
And when Robert’s done with the Futures Game, he won’t return to Birmingham’s lineup then, either. Instead, he’ll head to Charlotte to make his Triple-A debut after the All-Star break, Rick Hahn said on Saturday.
‘‘In terms of what that means for his timeline to Chicago, it’s premature to speculate along those lines,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘The two goals for him were to get him through the season healthy and, at age 21, to acclimate himself to the Double-A Southern League and perform well at that level. He’s ready for that next challenge.’’
Robert’s more than worthy of the advancement, as he hit .314/.362/.518 for Birmingham with 27 extra-base hits and 13 walks to 54 strikeouts over 56 games.
Hahn said that Triple-A pitchers will challenge him outside of the zone, which will either validate Robert’s success with pitches on the fringes or force him to tighten up his approach a little. If, like Eloy Jiménez last year, Robert lays waste to the International League, the next question is whether the White Sox will handle the last jump any differently.
Charlotte 7, Norfolk 6 (Game 1, 9 innings)
- Danny Mendick went 1-for-3 with two walks and a sac fly.
- Yermin Mercedes was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and an HBP.
- Seby Zavala, 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Kyle Kubat’s start was cut short by rain Friday: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
Norfolk 8, Charlotte 4 (Game 2, 7 innings)
- Danny Mendick was 0-for-3.
- Yermin Mercedes went 1-for-3 with his fourth homer and a strikeout.
- Carson Fulmer: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
- Luis Gonzalez went 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Blake Rutherford was 3-for-4 with a double.
- Gavin Sheets and Ti’Quan Forbes both were 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Laz Rivera went 0-for-4 with a K.
- Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 15 of 28 pitches for strikes.
- Steele Walker went 0-for-4.
- Carlos Perez, 1-for-4.
- Konnor Pilkington: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
- Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts. He was also caught stealing.
- Andrew Vaughn went 1-for-3 with a walk, sac fly, HBP and a strikeout.
- Bryce Bush was 0-for-4 with two walks and a strikeout.
- Romy Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk, two HBPs and a stolen base.
- Wilber Sanchez went 0-for-2 with three walks and a strikeout. He was caught stealing.
- Anthony Espinoza went 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Benyamin Bailey went 2-for-3 with his first homer and two walks.
- Alberto Bernal doubled, singled, walked twice and was caught stealing.
- Ronaldo Guzman: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K