Knights Meet the ‘Pigs Tonight (6/8/13)…

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (26-36– 2013) (83-61, 1st South – 2012)

@ Lehigh Valley IronPigs (30-31– 2013) (75-68, 3rd North – 2012)

Allentown, PA ~ Coca-Cola Park – 6:35 PM (Game 1 of 4) (Game 63 of 144)


CHA RHP Jason Berken (4-5, 3.49) @ LHV RHP B. J. Rosenberg (1-5, 5.17)

KNIGHT LIGHTS: A night after rain canceled their finale in Pawtucket, RI, the Charlotteberken_2_full
Knights will open a four-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Allentown, PA  tonight at 6:35 p.m. The Knights are fresh off their first series win since May 2-5 at Toledo. The Knights took three of four from the Mud Hens. Since then, Charlotte split seven straight series, before winning two of three against the PawSox in Pawtucket.

ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and IronPigs will open up their first four-game series of the season and will do so in Allentown, PA tonight. The Knights and IronPigs began play in 2008 – Lehigh Valley’s first year in the IL. Since play, the Knights hold a 21-19 record against the ‘Pigs. At Coca-Cola Park, where they will play this four-game series, the ‘Pigs lead the series 12-8. At Knights Stadium, the Knights hold the advantage 13-7.

2012 VS. LEHIGH VALLEY: In eight games against the IronPigs a season ago, Charlotte went 5-3. Knights’ hitters posted a .270 batting average (70-259) with seven doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 35 RBIs. Dan Johnson and Jordan Danks each had two home runs. There are only two hitters currently on the Knights that faced the ‘Pigs last season — Jim Gallagher and Josh Phegley. Gallagher hit .238 (5-21) while Phegley hit .167 (4-24). As for the pitching, the Knights posted a team ERA of 3.52. LHP Charlie Leesman, who will face the ‘Pigs in the four-game finale on Tuesday, allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings.

KNIGHT MOVES: Over the past two days (6/6-6/7), the Knights have made seven roster moves. On 6/6, Ramon Troncoso, who posted a 1-1 record with a 2.19 ERA in 21 games for the Knights this season, had his contract purchased by the White Sox. Joining Troncoso on the White Sox roster on 6/6 was Charlotte RHP Deunte Heath, who was recalled to Chicago on Thursday for the third time this season. Both relievers enjoyed success with the Knights this season. Infielder Tyler Greene and RHP Brian Omogrosso both returned to the Knights on 6/6. Greene was reassigned to Charlotte on Thursday, while Omogrosso was optioned to the Knights. Also on Thursday, Charlotte RHP Jhan Carlos Marinez was placed on the disabled list. A day later, the roster shakeup continued. Slugger Seth Loman was traded to the Baltimore organization and RHP Michael Nix was signed by Chicago and assigned to Charlotte.

MIKE’S ON… HE’S READY TO GO: Mike McDade continued his hot-hitting on Thursday in game three. McDade went 2-5 with a home run and extended his hit-streak to a season-high nine games (5/28-pres.) — tying Brent Morel for the longest streak by a Knight this season. McDade has seen his batting average go up from .242 to .280 during the streak. He has three home runs over his last five games and 12 hits over the nine-game hit streak. He’s hitting .306 (15-49) on the road this season over 20 games.

AIN’T IT GRAND: The Charlotte Knights went the entire first month of the season without a grand slam. They almost went the entire second month (May) without a grand slam as well. On May 30, however, Jim Gallagher launched Charlotte’s first grand salami of the season. Seven days later, the Knights got another grand slam. On Thursday, Steve Tolleson launched a grand slam off Allen Webster in the second inning of Charlotte’s 10-5 win over Pawtucket. Tolleson led the game with five RBIs. The Knights had just one grand slam last year (Dan Johnson) and now have two on the season (tied for the most in the IL by a team).

PHEGLEY PHEELING IT: Catcher Josh Phegley continued his impressive 2013 campaign on Thursday. The Indiana native launched his team-high 12th home run of the season (single-season high) and finished the game with three runs scored and three RBIs. He’s hitting a home run once every 14.67 at-bats – the fifth-best success rate in the IL. He’s currently hitting .324. on the year.

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