Knights Face Former ‘Mate Tonight…

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (45-35, 1st,  South)
@ PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-34, 1st, North)

Pawtucket, RI ~ McCoy Stadium ~ 7:05 PM (Game 2 of 4-game series)
Game #81~ Road Game #44

WED: LHP Charlie Leesman (7-5, 2.16) @ PAW RHP Zach Stewart(NR)

SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and Pawtucket Red Sox will continue their 2012 season series tonight at 7:05 p.m. from Pawtucket, RI. The two teams split their season series last season, going 4-4 against each other. Each team won three of four on the road. On Tuesday, in the opener, the Knights got solid pitching from starter Matt Zaleski, who threw seven shutout innings, and used home runs from Drew Garcia and Hector Gimenez to take the opener 8-0.

Four Knights Make All-Star Team: Left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman, along with position players Greg Golson, Dan Johnson and Josh Phegley were chosen to represent the Charlotte Knights at the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game, as announced by the International League earlier today. The 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game will be held on Wednesday, July 11 at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY and will feature the International League All-Stars against the Pacific Coast League All-Stars. Charlotte and Pawtucket are the only two IL teams to send four players to the All-Star Game.

Slumping: Tuesday night’s loss was the ninth in a row for Pawtucket and it drops them a percentage point behind the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for first place in the International League North Division. The IronPigs are 44-33 (.571) and the PawSox are 45-34 (.570).

Don’t I Know You? There will be a very interesting pitching matchup in Wednesday night’s game between Charlotte and Pawtucket. Charlie Leesman (7-5, 2.16) will take the hill for the Knights fresh off being named on Wednesday to the 2012 IL All-Star team along with three of his teammates. Leesman has the lowest ERA in the IL. The Knights and PawSox were the only two teams to each place four players on the IL team. The intrigue is the other half of the matchup. Zach Stewart will face off against the Knights, the very team he was scheduled to start for on Sunday before being traded with Brent Lillibridge to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Kevin Youkilis.

Cinco Ceros: Tuesday night’s 8-0 victory was the fifth shutout win for the Knights so far this season and their second in three days. The latter is very impressive considering the recent upheaval to the starting rotation. In the last few weeks, Charlotte has lost Terry Doyle to Japan, Dylan Axelrod and fill-in starter Brian Bruney to the parent White Sox, and Zach Stewart in the trade to the Red Sox.

Road Homers? Hector Gimenez hit his 10th home run of the season on Tuesday night and Drew Garcia hit his second. Oddly enough, Gimenez has hit seven of his on the road and both of Garcia’s have been on the opponent’s home field. Also, Matt Zaleski picked up his third win of the season Tuesday night and his second on the road.

Pesky Zaleski: The starting pitching rotation needed a long and strong outing Tuesday night and Matt Zaleski delivered just that. The big right-hander went seven innings and did not surrender a run, possibly his best performance of the season. Zaleski has gone at least six innings in five of his last six starts. He is 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in June (five starts).

CJack Is No CON-man: Conor Jackson continued to rip up opposing pitching since coming off the disabled list. He had another multi-hit game, his seventh, by going 3-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Jackson is now 8-for-17 on the road trip with five walks. In the last two games before the trip he went 4-for-5 in one game and hit three homers in the other.

0-for-8 Equals 8-0: Charlotte held Pawtucket to an 0-for-8 performance Tuesday night with runners in scoring position and the Sox left 11 men stranded on base.

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