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White Sox prospects catch fire in Fall League win

MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- What started out as a pitchers' duel quickly became a slugfest as White Sox prospects Danny Mendick and Seby Zavala led Glendale to a 10-5 win over Surprise on Thursday afternoon.

The duo combined go 4-for-8 with two homers and six RBIs as Glendale won its second straight game and improved to .500 (7-7) in the Arizona Fall League. The Desert Dogs totaled just one hit through the first four innings, but erupted for 10 runs on 11 hits, while scoring in four of the final five frames.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- What started out as a pitchers' duel quickly became a slugfest as White Sox prospects Danny Mendick and Seby Zavala led Glendale to a 10-5 win over Surprise on Thursday afternoon.

The duo combined go 4-for-8 with two homers and six RBIs as Glendale won its second straight game and improved to .500 (7-7) in the Arizona Fall League. The Desert Dogs totaled just one hit through the first four innings, but erupted for 10 runs on 11 hits, while scoring in four of the final five frames.

"They say hitting is contagious and it's pretty true," Mendick said. "Once everyone starts rolling it becomes a whole different ball game."

Box score

Before the bats caught fire, Rays prospect Burch Smith held the Glendale offense in check. The right-hander struck out the side in the first and was lights out from there.

Smith fired 33 of his 52 pitches for strikes, yielded just one hit and struck out six.

"He was throwing the ball well," Mendick said. "He commanded the upper part of the zone with his fastball."

However, Smith only threw four innings and Glendale feasted on the Surprise bullpen.

Mendick, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base, put Glendale on the board with a three-run homer in the fifth.

"He got a little bit behind there, he threw me a fastball in a 2-0 count and I caught it on the sweet spot," Mendick said of his first AFL homer, which had an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to TrackMan. "It was nice."

While he's not a power-hitter, Mendick did hit a career-high 10 homers across 125 games with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham this season. The 24-year-old hit .256 across both levels, but after hitting .289 with the Dash, he hit just .197 after he was bumped up to Double-A.

"When I was in Double-A I was hitting the ball hard, I just wasn't getting hits," Mendick said. "I've tried to stay with my same approach. I really want to get comfortable at the plate. If I can stay comfortable up there, then I'm seeing balls better and getting pitches to hit."

Mendick has certainly been seeing the ball better lately as he's 5-for-10 over his past three games.

While Mendick jumpstarted Glendale's offense, Zavala put the finishing touches on the win.

Zavala, who hit a career-high 21 homers in 107 games with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem this season, crushed a pitch out to center for his first homer of the Fall League.

"That thing was crushed," Mendick said. "I can't wait to go check the Statcast™."

Zavala's homer went 460 feet, left the bat at 113 mph and had a 34 degree launch angle, according to TrackMan.

Pirates No. 9 prospect Kevin Kramer, who finished 2-for-5, also flashed some power with a homer of his own and Cornelius Randolph (Phillies' No. 12) drove in two, including an RBI triple in the ninth.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

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