Knights Knotes — April 17, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights return home tonight to open a three-game series with the Gwinnett Braves from BB&T Ballpark at 7:05 p.m. The Knights are coming off a two-game sweep of the G-Braves from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA from last night. The team’s last two-game sweep came against the G-Braves from August 5-6, 2014 at BB&T Ballpark. knights knotes

ABOUT LAST KNIGHT: Trayce Thompson went 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBIs last night as the Knights beat the Gwinnett Braves 7-6 in 10 innings last night. LHP Carlos Rodon started for the Knights and allowed three runs on six hits over five innings and did not factor in the decision. Rodon, the top ranked prospect in Chicago’s system by Baseball America, walked two batters and struck-out four. The North Carolina State University product tossed 87 pitches, 56 for strikes. It was just his fifth career start at the Triple-A level. Left-handed reliever Eric Surkamp (1-0, 0.00) tossed two scoreless innings (8th and 9th) for the Knights and went on to earn the win. He walked one and struck-out two.

KNIGHTS STARTER: Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (0-1, 4.50) will make his second start of the 2015 regular season tonight against the Gwinnett Braves at 7:05 p.m. in the opening game of a three-game series. Carroll made his 2015 season debut on Sunday and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits over four innings in a loss against Norfolk. Carroll last faced the G-Braves on April 19, 2014 in a road loss (4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO). He made that start as the reigning IL Pitcher of the Week – entering that game with an impressive 3-0 mark and a 0.00 ERA. He started his award-winning week with a solid performance at Durham on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The Kansas City, MO native pitched six innings and allowed two unearned runs over four hits en-route to his second win of the year. The Knights beat the Bulls 8-2 that day and Carroll improved to 2-0 on the season at that time. Five days later, Carroll started for the Knights in front of 10,200 fans at BB&T Ballpark in the team’s three-game series finale with the Norfolk Tides. The 29-year-old was sharp again and tossed a season-high seven shutout innings. He needed just 76 pitches to get through seven innings and allowed just three hits and one walk over that span. He entered his final 2014 start with the Knights without having allowed an earned run in 19.0 innings pitched. Carroll had his contract purchased by the White Sox on April 27 and made his Major League debut that day in a start against Tampa Bay (W, 7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER). It was the longest outing by a White Sox pitcher making his Major League debut since Gerry Janeski on April 10, 1970 (also 7.1 IP). Carroll spent part of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and appeared in just 11 starts between Advanced Rookie Bristol and Double-A Birmingham.

ROSTER MOVES: The Charlotte Knights placed catcher George Kottaras on the disabled list before today’s game and received catcher Jeremy Dowdy from Winston-Salem (A+). Kottaras appeared in two games with the Knights this year and was hitting .286 (2-for-7) with a double and an RBI. Dowdy has appeared in two games for the Winston-Salem Dash this season (0-for-6). A native of Raleigh, NC, Dowdy, 24, hit .302 (60-for-199) for Kannapolis last season in 53 games. He appeared in one game for the Charlotte Knights in 2013 (0-for-3). He was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as a free agent on June 9, 2012. He is a 2009 graduate of Wakefield High School in Raleigh, NC.

REHABBING: Chicago White Sox RHP Jake Petricka began a Major League Rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights last night and entered the game in the sixth inning in relief of Carlos Rodon. Petricka, 26, began the 2015 season on Chicago’s disabled list with a right forearm strain. Last night he tossed a scoreless, hitless inning – striking out one batter while tossing 16 pitches (11 for strikes). He’s expected to pitch again on Saturday.

MAGIC EIGHT BALL: CF Trayce Thompson extended his hit-streak to an International League high eight-straight games last night after recording three hits on the evening. The 24-year-old is now hitting .419 (13-for-31) through eight games on the season – which is tied for third-best in the IL so far this year. His 13 hits are tied for first in the league – with Pawtucket’s Jackie Bradley Jr. His eight-game streak is the longest current streak in the International League.

STRIKE CITY: RHP Maikel Cleto has started strong this season. He continued his solid stretch on Tuesday by striking out three batters over 1.2 scoreless innings. So far this season (two appearances). Cleto, 25, has fanned seven batters in just 3.2 scoreless innings. Dating back to July 18, 2014 – Cleto has not allowed a run with the Knights over his last seven games (11.1 IP). He has allowed just four hits and has fanned 19 batters over that span. He did not allow a run in his final three appearances with the Chicago last season either (9/20-26).

CHARLOTTE LEADERBOARD: The Knights enter play tonight with the top batting average in the IL after eight games this season. Charlotte’s team mark of .294 is now 30 points higher than second place Pawtucket (.264). The Knights also lead in slugging percentage (.409), triples (5) and are in second place in total bases (114) – eight behind the PawSox. Charlotte’s 14 team stolen bases are also first in the league – while Tyler Saladino’s five rank tied for second.

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