Danks Starts Today, Knights Go for Split…

2011 SERIES INFO: 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. The Charlotte Knights and Columbus Clippers began their 2012 season series on Saturday evening when the Clippers hosted the Knights in game one of their four-game series from Columbus.

2012 SERIES INFO: The Clippers took game one of the four-game series on Saturday, winning the opener by a score of 4-3. While the Knights got on the scoreboard first, the Clippers used three solo home runs and solid pitching from Zach McAllister to beat the Knights for the first time this season. McAllister beat the Knights for the third time in three tries. The Knights will look to rebound in tonight’s game two matchup. The Clippers came back to take game two and take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday with a 5-4 victory. Russ Canzler singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning off Charlotte reliever Donnie Veal (2-1, 1.33) for the game two win. Charlotte got a game after winning last night’s contest by a score of 4-2. The Knights will now look to split the series in today’s finale.

Major League Rehab Appearance: LHP John Danks, who was placed on the disabled list on May 25 (retroactive to May 20) with a left shoulder strain, will begin a Major League rehab assignment today and take the ball in today’s 12:05 p.m. contest. Danks will make the start for the Knights as he looks to return to the White Sox. In nine games with the Sox this season, the Texas native was 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA. Danks rehabbed with the Knights last season and went 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in two starts (9 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 6 SO).  Danks entered the 2012 season with a 54-56 mark at the Major League level with a 4.03 ERA in 150 starts.

LEADERBOARD: The Knights team ERA is at 3.08 – second in the IL to Indianapolis, who has a 3.02 mark. The Knights and Indians will begin a four-game series starting on Thursday from Knights Stadium. Charlotte’s 508 strikeouts are good for second in the IL behind Durham’s (575). Charlotte passed Toledo (507) on Monday. Offensively, as a team, the Knights have the highest mark in doubles in the IL (128) and second highest total in triples (17). Their .252 batting average is seventh in the league.

Charles in Charge of Clippers: Charlie Leesman (7-4, 2.42) continued his impressive 2012 campaign on Monday in game three of the series against the Clippers. Leesman won his fourth-straight game after allowing just two runs on four hits over seven innings for the victory. It was the third time this season he had gone seven innings in a start. With the win, he improved to 5-2 with a 1.52 ERA in nine road games and the win was his seventh of the season – tied for the most in the IL this season. The lefty has been dominate in June, posting a 3-0 mark with a 2.50 ERA in three starts. When he gets ahead in the count, batters are hitting just .165.
Home Run Dan
: Dan Johnson launched his 15th home run of the season last night in the Charlotte 4-2 win over Columbus. It was Johnson’s fourth home run of the month of June (11 games) 11th home run in away games, and 14th home run against right-handed hitters. The Minnesota native has been near the top of many offensive categories this season in the IL. He’s third in home runs, second in RBIs, and near the top in OBP (tied for second). He leads the IL in walks (51) and games played (65). Johnson was the 2010 IL MVP while with Durham.

Oh My Gosh Josh: Josh Phegely has been on-a-roll. He had a 10-game hitting-streak from May 26-June 7 and currently has a hit in three consecutive games. Over that 14-gme span, Phegley has a hit in 13 games and in all has 19 hits. The young backstop has bumped his average up to .295 on the season and is hitting .394 in June (nine games).

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