Axelrod Gets the Nod…
Charlotte Starting Pitcher: RHP Dylan Axelrod (2-1, 0.87) will make the start tonight for the Knights in the finale of their four-game series with the Tides First pitch is set for 7:15 PM from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. Axelrod gets the nod for the sixth time in 2012 with the Knights and will look to continue his solid start to the season. A member of the White Sox 40-man roster, Axelrod will look to qualify for the IL lead in ERA after tonight, as his 0.87 ERA would be tops if he had more innings under his belt this season. Back on April 27, Axelrod was promoted to Chicago, where he appeared in three games with the Sox. He’s 1-1 against the Tides this season. More on Axlerod on page four of today’s game notes.
Norfolk Starting Pitcher: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-0, 0.84) will be making his second start and 10th appearance this season for the Norfolk Tides tonight against the Knights. He is 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched. Gonzalez has only given up two runs and has struck out 28. In his one start, the right-hander from Guadalajara, Mexico only gave up one hit in four innings at home against the Louisville Bats. Left-handed batters are hitting .094 against him and righties are hitting .103.
SERIES INFO: The Knights and Norfolk Tides will conclude their four-game series tonight with at 7:15 PM. The series was supposed to start on Tuesday from Harbor Park, but was postponed due to inclement weather. Today’s games will be the 12th game of the season between these two these two squads. They have already faced off this season for four games at Knights Stadium and seven games at Harbor Park. The Knights and Tides split a four-game series earlier this season at Knights Stadium. The Knights took the first two games from Norfolk, before dropping the last two. The Knights are 154-147 against the Tides all-time. Last season the Knights went 6-5 against the Knights at Harbor Park and went 13-8 for the season against the Tides. All-Time, the Tides are 77-72 against the Knights at Harbor Park. The Knights lost four of five games to the Tides before winning Wednesday’s opener. The two teams split their doubleheader last night with Charlotte winning game one 3-2 and Norfolk taking game two 6-1.
Gallagher Travels: Jim Gallagher’s bat heated up at home and it has continued with him on the road. He had a walk-off hit on the homestand and now has a hit in seven of his last eight games. Gallagher was 2-3 in the nightcap Thursday and had an RBI in each game, for two of the four runs Charlotte would score on the night. He is 5-11 with three RBIs so far on the road trip and has a five-game hitting streak.
Jordan Brand: The signature of Jordan Danks’ game is his defense and he showed why again on Thursday night when he recorded an outfield assist by throwing out a Tides runner at the plate. Danks also contributed offensively as he walked twice on the night and scored two of the Knights’ four runs. He has scored four runs on the trip. Jordan has been walking more lately, as he has reached on a walk in seven of his last 10 games.
Completing the Task at Hand: Terry Doyle tossed the Knights first complete game of the season on Thursday in game one of the doubleheader. Doyle was sharp over the seven innings striking out seven batters and allowing just two runs. It was Doyle’s first complete game since July 6, 2011, when he tossed a nine-inning complete game for Double-A Birmingham. He allowed two runs on that day and lost the game 2-0 even with the complete game.
Clutch Hitting: The Knights has some key timing with their hits on Thursday en-route to driving in two of their three runs in game one of the doubleheader. Gallagher and Justin Greene each had a two-out RBI forCharlotte to pave the way for the victory.
League Leaders: The Knights are currently leading the IL in doubles as a team. They have 85 on the year – four more than Columbus. Charlotte is currently tied for third in triples (9) with Gwinnett. Charlotte is also third in team ERA (3.25) behind Indianapolis (2.77) and Gwinnett (3.14). They are second as a team in strikeouts (339) behind only Durham (341). Terry Doyle is tied for third in the IL in strikeouts with 48.
Still Wearing Orange: The Knights ran into a familiar face Thursday night. Jason Berken, the starting pitcher for the Norfolk Tides in game 1 of the doubleheader, is a local product and Charlotte has faced him before. He played his college ball with the Clemson Tigers and was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth round of the 2006 draft. Berken (0-1, 2.12) did not pitch poorly but got the loss as Terry Doyle pitched a complete game for the Knights. Berken gave up three runs in five innings. On April 15, he went five scoreless innings againstCharlotte but got a no-decision. He also faced the Knights in April of 2009 and allowed no runs on four hits in seven innings to get the win.
Doubleheaders: Charlotte is now 3-3 in doubleheaders this season after Thursday’s split.