Welcome to Durham…
SERIES INFO: Last season, the Bulls went 12-9 against the Knights in the overall series. So far in 2012, the Knights have taken over the series with a 5-2 record. The two teams last met exactly one month ago (4/19). The Knights beat Durham on that day 5-2 and wrapped up a series sweep of the Bulls from Knights Stadium. It was the Knights longest winning streak of the season and only series sweep thus far in 2012. Charlotte lost two of three games to the Bulls at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from April 9-11, 2012. The Bulls lead the All-Time series 116-92.
Vs. Durham in 2012: Josh Phegley is hitting .316 with two doubles and two RBIs in six games against the Bulls this season. As a team, the Knights have hit five home runs in seven games against the Bulls this season. Jordan Danks, Hector Gimenez, Tyler Kuhn each have a home run against Durham in 2012. Dallas McPherson, who is currently on the DL has two home runs vs. Durham this year. Charlie Shirek – tonight’s starter, is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Bulls this year.
Last Night: The Knights earned a series win over the Nofolk Tides last night with a 4-1 win in the finale of their four-game series from Harbor Park. Both Dan Johnson and Hector Gimenez homered and Dylan Axelrod was nearly untouchable again on the mound.
Hot Rod: RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-1, 0.95) continued his impressive 2012 campaign on Friday by tossing seven solid innings en-route to his third win of the season. Axelrod, a member of the White Sox 40-man roster, allowed just one run and five hits and his ERA actually went up. He began the day with a 0.87 ERA and it climbed to 0.95 even after his seven solid innings. He did however become the IL ERA leader, as he now has enough innings to qualify. In 38 innings pitched this season, he’s allowed just four earned runs. He has 40 strikeouts over that span and has made six starts with the Knights. He’s also appeared in three games with Chicago this season.
Leader Dan: Dan Johnson continues to hit at a torrid pace and is the team leader with nine home runs after blasting his ninth last night in the club’s 4-1 win over Norfolk. Johnson actually has 10 home runs this season – as he homered in the suspended game on 5/4 in Allentown, PA. That game will be resumed on 5/24. He is currently second in the IL (tied) in RBIs with 34 and is the leader in walks (38) and on-base percentage (.463). His .301 batting average just misses the Top 10 in that category.
Killer B: Brian Bruney has not allowed a run in five straight appearances (5.2 IP) after notching his sixth save of the season last night in seven chances. He saved seven in seven chances last season for the Knights. As a reliever this season, Bruney has been sharp allowing just one run over 13.2 innings pitched and has an ERA of 0.66 out of the ‘pen. He has made two starts this season and overall in 14 games has a 1.45 ERA.
Alive After Five: If the Knights have a lead after five innings, look out! The club has an 18-3 mark when leading their opponent after five innings.
On the Road: The Knights improved their road record to 10-13 with the three wins against the Tides during this road trip. The Knights have a chance to go over .500 on the road with this four-game series against the Bulls. Durham, however, has played their best baseball at home. They are 12-9 at home this season compared to a 5-17 record on the road.
Team ERA: The Knights have a 3.20 ERA, which is fourth-best in the IL, while Durham’s team ERA is 5.00 – the highest mark in the IL. The Knights trail Indianapolis (2.78), Lehigh Valley (3.18) and Gwinnett (3.19).