Game Three vs. ‘Pigs Preview

ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: The Knights and IronPigs began play in 2008 – Lehigh Valley’s first season in existence. Since then, the two teams have faced each other 34 times entering play today (Lehigh Valley is 18-16 against the Knights). Entering this season, the two teams had a 16-16 record against each other, with each team having a better record in their home park. The Knights are 9-7 against the ‘Pigs at Knights Stadium, while the ‘Pigs are now 11-7 at Coca-Cola Park after winning the first two games of their 2012 series. Last season, the Knights went just 3-5 against the ‘Pigs overall and split their season series in East Allentown (2-2). The ‘Pigs took the first game of the 2012 season series 4-1 on Tuesday at Coca-Cola Park and game two 5-4 on Wednesday.

TODAY’S GAME:
The Knights and IronPigs will play game three of their four-game series from Coca-Cola Park today at 7:05 PM. Charlotte will look to win their first game of the season against Lehigh Valley after dropping the first two games. With the loss on Wednesday, the Knights tied their longest losing streak of the season (three games). They lost three games from 4/7-4/9 and again from 4/11-4/13.

WEDNESDAY’S GAME: Wednesday’s loss was only the third this season for the Knights when leading after five innings. They are 11-3 in such situations. Wednesday, they led 4-0 into the seventh before losing on a walk-off hit in the 9th. They lost 5-4 to the ‘Pigs.

Home is Where the Wins Are for Shirek: Charlie Shirek – tonight’s starter, has been impressive at Knights Stadium this season. The Fargo, ND native is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts at home this season.

Solid Starts for Solid Stults: Eric Stults got his third no-decision Wednesday after only giving up two runs through seven innings. He has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his five starts this season and has a 1-1 record to show for his stellar 2.20 ERA. One of his no-decisions was an April 20 against Gwinnett when he allowed no runs in five innings and struck out eight. The Knights are 1-4 in his starts but the most they have scored in any of his starts is five runs.

Phegley Just Keeps Going… A day after his 13-game hit-streak was snapped, Josh Phegley was 2-for-4 and knocked in half of the Knights four runs on Wednesday. He had a two-out base hit in the fourth inning that gaveCharlotte a 2-0 lead. Phegley raised his average to .373. He even had a stolen base in the second inning, one of two for the Knights in the game. Phegley is currently fifth in the IL in batting average and has a hit in 18 of his 21 games played this season.

Dan Dan the Road Man: Dan Johnson has enjoyed a solid stretch on the road this season. Johnson has hit four of his five home runs away from Knights Stadium this season. The 2010 IL MVP is hitting .356 (16-45) with 12 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 14 RBIs. Johnson is also the International League leader in walks with 23.

IL ERA Leader is a White Sox Pitcher: Although he is no longer on the Knights (was promoted to Chicago on 4/27), Dylan Axelrod is the IL leader in ERA with a 1.08 mark. He made his White Sox 2012 season debut on the same day he was promoted (4/27) and went 2.1innings for the White Sox. He allowed one run on three hits and struck-out two batters. It has been his only appearance with the Sox so far this season.

Second in ERA: As a team, the Charlotte Knights are second in the International League with a team ERA of 3.16. Gwinnett, who is 18-8 on the season, has a team-leading ERA of 2.46 on the season. The Knights and Gwinnett Braves will meet again for a two-game series beginning on Saturday, May 5-6.

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