Welcome to September…
SAT: CHA RHP Charlie Shirek (11-4, 3.71) @ DUR LHP Alex Torres (3-7, 7.96)
SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and Durham Bulls will conclude the final two-game series from Durham, NC tonight. The Knights are 13-5 against the Bulls this season, including just a 5-5 mark in Durham. Charlotte is 8-0 against the Bulls in Charlotte. With a win tonight, the Knights will finish over .500 in Durham this year. Charlotte has won seven of the last eight games against the Bulls. Last season, Charlotte went just 9-12 against the Bulls.
81: With the 7-2 win last night over the Bulls, the Knights improved to 81-60 on the season. They are now just one win shy of the 1999 team’s 82-win season. With three games left to play, Charlotte has a chance to surpass the ’99 club in wins. That team went on to win the IL Championship and currently ranks second in franchise history with the 82 wins. The most wins by a Knights team came in 1993 – 86 wins.
Knight Moves: There were seven roster moves today.
The Chicago White Sox purchased the contract of infielder Dan Johnson from the Charlotte Knights. That move makes Johnson the 18th player this season to go from Charlotte to Chicago. Johnson was hitting .267 with an International League-high 28 home runs and 85 RBIs. He ranked second in the IL in RBIs, first in walks (94), first in games played (137), third in on-base percentage (.388), fourth in runs scored (77), and fifth in slugging percentage (.492). Earlier this week, Johnson was named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team as the squad’s utility player. He was also a Mid-Season All-Star and finished second in the 2012 Triple-A Home Run Derby in Buffalo, NY.
Deunte Heath and Brian Omogrosso also earned promotions to Chicago today as they were both recalled for the second time this season. Also, there were two additions to the Knights roster.
OF Brandon Short, a 28th round selection of the White Sox in the 2008 Draft, has been promoted to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham. Short began the season on Charlotte’s disabled list and had since appeared in 10 games with Winston-Salem and 10 games with Birmingham. He had a .214 batting average (9-42) with the Double-A Barons this year. RHP Ryan Kussmaul, 25, was also added to Charlotte’s roster today. The Wisconsin native was 2-1 with a 1.11 ERA and 3 saves in 57 games for the Barons this season.
Rehabbing: Both Orlando Hudson and Alejandro De Aza continued their rehab assignments on Friday night for Charlotte. De Aza was Charlotte’s leadoff hitter again on Friday and this time he led the game off with a home run, which helped the Knights get out to an early lead. Charlotte ended up scoring four runs in the first inning and went on to win 7-2. De Aza finished 2-5 with two runs and is hitting .313 on his rehab assignment (four games). Hudson and Leyson Septimo were both activated today off of their rehabs.
T.G.I.F. Friday is officially the Knights’ favorite day of the week after their 7-2 win over the Durham Bulls, pending the result of Saturday night’s game in Durham. They are now 14-7 (.667) on Fridays compared to 15-8 (.652) in Saturday games.
Like Déjà vu: By beating the Bulls Friday night on the last day of August, Charlotte finished the month with an 18-11 record. That matches June’s 18-11 mark for their best individual month this season.
Triple-Double: The Knights tied a season-high for one game by turning three double plays Friday night against Durham.
A Look Ahead!: There are just three games left in the 2012 regular season and the Knights will play the final two home games beginning on Sunday. After Monday’s season finale, the Knights will make the trek to Indianapolis to face the Indians in game one of the IL Playoffs on Wednesday, September 5. Games one and two will be played at Victory Field and Charlotte will return home to host games 3-5 from September 7-9.