Postponed Friday, Twin Bill Today
TODAY’S GAME: The Knights face the Syracuse Chiefs today in a doubleheader at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY after the opener was postponed on Friday. The Chiefs are the first non-South Division team the Knights will face this season. Charlotte has only faced Durham, Norfolk and Gwinnett in their 21 games so far this season.
FRIDAY’S GAME: The Knights and Chiefs were set to open their series on Friday, but due to cold weather in Syracuse, the game was postponed. It was the second time this season the Knights had a game postponed. They’ll play their second doubleheader of the year today. Today’s doubleheader consists of two seven inning games.
2011 SERIES INFO: Last season, the Knights beat the Chiefs four times over their eight-game season series. Syracuse took the first three games of the series at home, while the Knights took three of four, including the final three games at Knights Stadium. Jim Gallagher enjoyed hitting against the Chiefs last season. Gallagher posted a .318 (7-22) batting average with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs against the Chiefs in six games last season.
Promotions: RHP Dylan Axelrod was recalled by Chicago on Friday and made his season debut (2.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 SO). Axlerod was second in the IL with a 1.08 ERA and was 2-1 on the season at the time of his promotion. He became the first Knights player to be promoted to Chicago this season. Axelrod made his Major League debut on September 7, 2011 for Chicago. He went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in four games for the Sox last season.
Zaleski Returns: The promotion of Dylan Axelrod to Chicago brought the return of Matt Zaleski to the Knights. Zaleski started the season on Charlotte’s DL and was activated on April 17 and transferred the Birmingham’s (AA) roster. Zaleski made two starts for the Barons this season and was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA.
Phenomenal Phegley: Josh Phegley extended his hit-streak to 10 games on Thursday by adding three hits in the Knights 3-1 loss to Gwinnett. Phegley is currently hitting .385 on the season and is ranked third in the IL in that category. He has 18 hits over that 10-game span and is hitting .429 (18-42) with three doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBIs over those 10 games. He also has a hit in 14 of his 16 games this season.
The Heath is On: Deunte Heath came on in the eighth inning for the Knights on Thursday and struck-out three batters. Heath has 14 strikeouts in 9.2 innings pitched this season. After allowing two runs in his first outing of the season (April 7), Heath has not allowed a run in his last five outings (7.2 IP). He is currently tied for third in the IL in Highest SO/9 IP Ratio with 14.00.
Dozen in a Baker’s Dozen: Hector Gimenez has gotten on base in 12 of his 13 games this season. The Venezuelan native began the season by hitting safely in seven-straight games. He reached base in eight-straight games after drawing a walk on 4/17. After not reaching base on 4/20, Gimenez has since put together a four-game hit-streak.
Top Pitching: The Charlotte Knights boast two of the top 10 ERA leaders in the International League. RHP Dylan Axelrod, now with Chicago, is now third in the league with a 1.08 ERA, while LHP Eric Stults is eighth in the league with a 2.08 ERA. As a team, the Knights rank second in the IL in ERA with a 3.03 mark. They trail Gwinnett (2.47.
Seven 10 Split: The Knights have won seven of their last 10 games. Only Pawtucket (8-2) and Toledo (8-2) have a better record over their past 10 games. Gwinnett has also gone 7-3 over their last 10 games. The Knights trail the Braves by 3.5 games in the South Division.