Knights to Face Clippers Tonight…
2011 SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and Columbus Clippers begin their season series tonight when the Clippers host the Knights in game one of their four-game series from Columbus. The Knights will look to improve upon their 2011 record against the Clippers. Last season, the Knights went just 2-6 against Columbus. Jim Gallagher hit .333 with seven runs scored, two doubles and five RBIs against the Clippers last season in eight games. Tonight’s Clippers pitcher, Zach McAllister, went 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts last season against the Knights.
Winning Ways: The Knights won their fifth-straight game last night, as they completed a four-game sweep of the Toledo Mud Hens with a 3-2 victory. The club is now a season-high 3.5 games ahead of second place Gwinnett in the South Division and now have a nice cushion as a first place squad.
Clean SWEEP: Charlotte’s win on Friday completed the four-game sweep of the Toledo Mud Hens and was the club’s first four-game sweep since their four-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Knights Stadium from May 24-27. It was their third four-game sweep of the season, as they also swept Durham in four games at home (April 16-19).
The Axe-Man Cometh and Win-eth: RHP Dylan Axelrod stopped a personal two-game losing skid last night with seven sharp innings en route to his fifth win of the season. The California native, who has seen some time with the White Sox this season, lowered his ERA to 2.71 on the season – the sixth lowest mark in the IL. Axelrod has now gone at least seven innings in four of his 10 starts and has gone at least six innings in eight of 10 starts. He improved to 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA in three road starts this season.
He-Man: Hector Gimenez launched his seventh home run of the season last night and had two of the team’s six hits in Toledo. It was his second home run in five games this month and it was his fifth on the road this season. In fact, Gimenez is hitting .296 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 25 road games this season. The Venezuelan native has been superb with the bat this season and has gotten on base in 39 of the 45 games he’s played in this season. Gimenez was a non-roster invitee to White Sox Spring Training this season.
Killer B’s: Closer Brian Bruney shut the door on the Mud Hens last night and earned his 11th save of the season – the third highest mark in the IL. Bruney now has a save in back-to-back-to back appearances and is 11-12 this season in save opportunities. The 11 saves are the most he has had in a season since 2005 when he saved 12 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The most saves he’s ever had in a season is 26 when he had 14 for El Paso and 12 for Tucson in 2003.
With a Win Tonight: The Knights will tie their season-high six-game win-streak. The club won six in-a-row from May 22-May 28. They beat Durham at the DBAP on May 22 and then won five-straight at home, including a four-game sweep of the IronPigs (May 24-27) and a win over Rochester on May 28.
Weekend Warriors: The Knights improved to 6-3 on Fridays and tonight they will look to make it 10 wins on Saturday, as they come into tonight’s game with a 9-2 mark on Saturdays.
Playing to the Right Tune in June: With the win last night, the Knights improved to 7-1 in June. Their only loss of the month came on June 3 when they fell to Gwinnett 5-1.
Milestone: Dan Johnson recorded his 1,000th Minor League hit on 6/6 @ TOL. Hit #1,001 came during last night’s game.