Opener in Georgia Tonight…

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (47-36, 1st,  South)
@ GWINNETT BRAVES (37-46, 4th
, South)
Lawrenceville, GA~ Coolray Stadium ~ 7:05 PM (Game 1 of 4-game series) Game #84~ Road Game #47

SAT: RHP Charlie Shirek (7-4, 3.71) @ GWN RHP Eric Junge (4-8, 5.14)

SERIES INFO: Last season, the Knights led the series against the Braves 6-5 at Knights Stadium. In all, however, the Braves won the 2011 overall series against the Knights 13-8. Charlotte is 7-5 against Gwinnett so far this season.

Coolray Field: Charlotte went 6-5 at Coolray Field in 2009 – the first season for Gwinnett. The Knights matched that total a year later and went 6-5 again at Coolray. Last season, however, the Knights went just 2-8 in Lawrenceville. This season, the Knights are 4-3 in Georgia vs. Gwinnett.

Last Knights Game: Dan Johnson and Drew Garcia each hit home runs to lead the Knights to a 5-2 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Welcome Back: RHP Shane Lindsay is back in the White Sox organization after being signed by Chicago today. He was assigned to Charlotte where he appeared in 45 games for the Knights a season ago and posted a 2-2 mark with a 1.98 ERA.

Battle of the 1st-Place Sox? With their 5-2 win Friday night, the Knights took the series between the two 1st-place teams three games to one. It is the second straight season the Knights have beaten the PawSox three out of four in Pawtucket. Pawtucket has lost 11 of their last 12 games to fall one game behind Lehigh Valley in the International League North Division.

What a Difference a Month Makes: The last time the Knights and Gwinnett Braves met was June 1st-June 4th when the two teams played two in Gwinnett and two at Knights Stadium. When that home-and-home began, the Braves were in 1st place by 2.5 games over the Knights. When the team parted ways after Charlotte’s 3-2 win on June 4th, the Knights had taken three out of four and only trailed Gwinnett by one-half game. The G-Braves lost their next four while the Knights won their next four to overtake them for first. Since June 4th, Charlotte is 14-10 while Gwinnett is 4-21. The Knights now lead 2nd-place Norfolk by seven games and the last-place Braves, who have lost 14 straight games, by 10 games.

Finishing Well: After defeating the Red Sox 5-2 Friday night to win that series, the Knights have moved their record in series finales to 12-11. It is also the sixth time the Knights have won a four-game series this year  while losing only three and splitting eight.

It’s Easier to Walk Before You Run: Dan Johnson had two more walks Friday night to bring his league-leading total to 68. That helped lead to his scoring three runs on the night which is tied for the most a Knight has scored in a single game this season. Johnson has now walked nine times on the road trip and scored seven runs. His other run came on his 19th home run of the season which is second in the IL. Of the 19 homers, it was his 15th on the road. Johnson added a double as well to complete his standout night. It was his 17th multi-hit game of the year.

The Heath Was On and So Was the AC: Deunte Heath got the start for the Knights Friday night and only allowed one earned run in four innings. In came Anthony Carter for some relief and he did not surrender a run in two innings of work.

Just How He DREW It Up: Drew Garcia was 3-for-4 Friday night with his third home run of the season, all on the road, and second in four days. It was the sixth multi-hit game of the season for Garcia.

Do You C What I C: Conor Jackson continued his tear Friday night. Jackson had his third double of the road trip and he is 13-29 on the trip and has a six-game hitting streak.

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