Finale Tonight in Rochester…
MON: RHP Charlie Shirek (7-3, 3.76) @ ROC Cole De Vries (2-5, 4.65)
2012 SERIES INFO: After splitting a four-game series at Knights Stadium earlier this season, the Knights made the trek to Rochester to take on the Red Wings for their final four-game series of the 2012 regular season. On Friday, in the opening game, the Red Wings held Charlotte to just three hits and went on to beat the Knights by a score of 3-0. On Saturday, in game two, Rochester blasted 15 hits and scored 12 runs en route to a 12-1 victory. The Knights had just seven hits in the game and scored just one run over the two-day span. Charlotte will still have a chance for a season split with the Red Wings, with a win today, thanks to a 6-0 win on Sunday.
Send in the Reinforcements: In the past few weeks, the Knights have lost starting pitchers Terry Doyle (Japan) and Dylan Axelrod (Chicago). Friday, Brian Bruney, their saves leader and recent fill-in at starter, was called up to the White Sox and Sunday’s would-be starter Zach Stewart was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Enter the Charlotte Knights bullpen. Sunday, four relievers combined to only allow the Rochester Red Wings two hits and provide some much-needed relief to the rest of the staff. Deunte Heath made his second start of the season and only gave up the two hits in four innings of work while striking out three. It was his longest outing of the year. Jhan Carlos Marinez pitched the next two innings and got the win while not allowing a hit. Not to be outdone, Leyson Septimo worked the next two hitless innings and struck out three and Brian Omogrosso pitched a perfect ninth to finish things off. The two hits were tied for the fewest the Knights have given up in a game this season.
Above .500: Monday night the Knights have the opportunity to keep their record above .500 in three categories where they currently are. Charlotte is 12-11 against the International League North Division, 21-20 on the road, and 11-10 in series finales going into the game. They can also earn a split of the four-game series and split the season series at four games apiece with a win Monday night. The two teams split four games earlier in the year when the Red Wings came to Knights Stadium.
New Objects in the Rear View: All season long it has been a two-team race at the top of the IL South Division between the Knights and Gwinnett Braves. Today Charlotte finds a new team in the rear view, the Norfolk Tides. The Knights still maintain a six-game advantage over the Tides but their lead is now seven over the fading Braves, who have dropped nine consecutive games.
Goose Eggs: Four was the number of the day Sunday as the four pitchers combined to give the Knights their fourth shutout victory of the season. Charlotte pitchers only gave up two hits on the day, and none after the fourth inning. The Knights also picked up their fourth Sunday win of the season.
Coming From Ahead: The Knights are great frontrunners as they are now 33-13 when scoring first and 36-4 when holding the lead after the fifth inning.
Scoring Machine: Tyler Kuhn was the table-setter Sunday as he scored half of the teams’ six runs. He was three-for-five for his team-leading 22nd multi-hit game of the season.
3 of a Kind: Although it was not quite as impressive as his three-home run night last Thursday night, Conor Jackson had another three-of-a-kind Sunday. Against Rochester, Jackson walked three times, which tied for the individual high by a Knight in a game this season. He was also 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI to complete his perfect day.
Anything You Can Do… Dan Johnson had a pretty good day himself Sunday. He hit his 18th home run, and 14th on the road this year, and added to his league-leading walk total with two more to put him at 63. Johnson also extended his hitting streak to six games. He is second in the IL in home runs, second in RBIs, first in walks, first in OBP, and first in games. It has been an impressive season for Johnson. He won the IL MVP two seasons ago (2010) while with Durham.