Shirek Ready to Face Bats Tonight!

SERIES INFO: The Knights and Louisville Bats will continue a four-game series tonight at Knights Stadium at 7:15 p.m. This is the final series of the season between these two teams. The Knights are currently 3-2 against the Bats in 2012 after a four-game series from Louisville from August 2-5, that saw Charlotte and Louisville go 2-2 head-to-head. The Knights opened up a 1-0 series lead with a 6-2 win last night in the opener. Before this season’s series, the two teams last played against each other on 7/25/11 in Louisville and it was the Bats who won that game 5-3. Each team went 3-1 at home last season. They split their season series 4-4. With last night’s win, Charlotte is now 17-17 in series openers.

This MAGIC Moment: With Tuesday night’s win and Norfolk’s 3-1 loss to the Gwinnett Braves, Charlotte now leads the second-place Tides by a full 10 games. The Knights’ magic number of wins combined with Norfolk losses to clinch the International League South Division is also 10 games.

80 is Enough?: The Charlotte Knights earned win #72 on Tuesday and are now eight games away from #80 with 19 games left to play. As a Knights franchise, 80 wins have only been accomplished twice (1993, the team went 86-55 with Charlie Manuel and 1999 the team went 82-62 with Tom Spencer). They won the Championship in each of those two seasons.

Roster Moves: Before yesterday’s game, the Knights made three roster moves. Catcher Damaso Espino was activated off the DL, the Knights saw the return of Justin Greene from Double-A Birmingham, and the team added Jose Lopez, who was signed as a free agent by Chicago.

Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, JOSE! Jose Lopez made his Charlotte Knights debut last night and didn’t disappoint. The former Seattle Mariners standout, who hit 25 home runs and 96 RBIs in 2009, went 3-4 with a run and an RBI. In seven games with Columbus this season, he hit .556 with five RBIs. He also appeared in 66 games with Cleveland and hit .249 with four home runs and 28 RBIs. Lopez has 92 home runs at the Major League level.

Carroll-ing All the Way: Former Bat Scott Carroll had his second seven-inning performance against his former team since August 4th. This time he got the victory as he pitched three-hit ball and only allowed two runs and two walks while striking out five. He also picked Louisville’s Chris Valaika off of first base in the second inning. On August 4th, Carroll fanned four and gave up four runs to get saddled with the 4-3 loss.

36 Here, 3 Dozen There: The Knights have split their wins evenly between Knights Stadium and opposing stadiums this season. Tuesday night was their 36th win at home to make them 36-23 as hosts. Charlotte is 36-30 when wearing their road uniforms.

Like Old Times: Jordan Danks played his first game with the Knights since coming back from the Chicago White Sox. He picked up right where he left off as he led off the game with a sharp single right back up the middle off of Sean Gallagher. Danks was 2-for-4 with a walk and an eighth-inning RBI single to tally his 15th multi-hit game thought he has not played with Charlotte since early June. “Air” Jordan also finished off the game in style as he lept and banged into the center-field wall to haul in Mike Costanzo’s long shot with two runners on base for the final out of the ballgame. Jordan’s last at-bat with Charlotte was a home run on June 6th against the Toledo Mud Hens, and his most recent at-bat with the White Sox was a ninth-inning walk-off solo homer with two outs Friday night to defeat the Oakland Athletics. It was Danks’ first big-league home run of his career.

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