Knights Knotes — April 20, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights and Gwinnett Braves were postponed Sunday thus ending their series at just two games – which the Knights swept. The Knights enter tonight’s game with Durham having won their last four games – all against the G-Braves. It’s Charlotte’s longest win-streak since a four-game sweep of the Norfolk Tides last season from August 22 to August 25. Charlotte enters today’s game with a 1-1 mark against the Bulls so far this season.knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: A sell-out crowd of 10,527 fans filled BB&T Ballpark to watch the Charlotte Knights (7-3) claim sole possession of first place in the International League South Division with a 6-2 victory – the team’s fourth consecutive win over the Gwinnett Braves (3-7) on Saturday. The crowd was the largest at BB&T Ballpark during the 2015 regular season and it was the club’s fourth sell-out of the year. Matt Davidson put the Knights on the scoreboard last night with a two-run home run in the first inning off former Knights teammate Chien-Ming Wang.

KNIGHTS STARTER: Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the 2015 season today in the opening game of a four-game series with the Durham Bulls from the DBAP tonight. His last start – back on April 13 – was his first start in the International League and it was his first at the Triple-A level since June 20, 2010 as a member of Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). On April 13, Haviland allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings but did not factor in the decision. He walked one and fanned four. His last Triple-A start before that – back on June 20, 2010 — Haviland started against Salt Lake and allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits over 3.1 IP. (Also of note, Haviland’s teammates in that game were former Knights Dallas McPherson, Michael Taylor, and Steve Tolleson. Coco Crisp played CF). In six professional seasons, Haviland owns a 37-49 mark with a 4.69 ERA in 787.2 innings pitched. His nine wins in 2010 with the Stockton Ports (9-6, 3.65) are a season best. Haviland, 29, is a native of Middletown, Connecticut and was signed by Chicago as a free agent on January 12, 2015.

RODON PROMOTED, PETRICKA ACTIVATED BY SOX: Charlotte LHP Carlos Rodon, who entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the top prospect in Chicago’s system, had his contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox today. Rodon posted a 1-0 record with a 3.60 ERA in two starts for the Charlotte Knights this season. The 22-yeqar-old notched his first professional win earlier this year (April 11) in a solid outing for the Charlotte Knights at BB&T Ballpark against the Norfolk Tides. On that day, the hard-throwing left-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over five innings. He fanned a career-high nine batters and did so in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,480 fans at BB&T Ballpark. In his next outing of the season – which took place at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA – Rodon gave up three runs on six hits over five innings in a no-decision. In all, Rodon appeared in five games for the Knights over parts of two seasons and compiled a 1-0 record with a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings pitched. He allowed 17 hits and struck-out 31 batters over that span. RHP Jake Petricka was reinstated from the DL today after completing his Major League Rehab assignment, which started with the Knights on Thursday and continued on Saturday. In two games, he pitched two scoreless innings. He began the 2015season on Chicago’s DL with a right forearm strain.

Sanchez_CarlosIL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Carlos Sanchez — the International League’s leader in batting average with an impressive .485 mark –was named as the IL Player of the Week for the period of April 13-19. Sanchez, who began the season in Chicago with the White Sox, has hit safely in all seven games he’s played in this season with the Knights. He appeared in six games for the Knights last week and hit a stunning .536 (15-for-28) with six runs scored, four doubles, six RBIs, and one stolen base. The 22-year-old infielder is currently tied for second overall in the IL in hits (16), ranked third in on-base percentage (.500), and fourth in slugging (.606).

SOLID START: RHP Erik Johnson (2-0, 1.13) impressed in his first start (second appearance) of 2015, spinning five strong innings of one-run baseball. The second round pick by Chicago in 2011 also struck out four in his first start as a Knight since August 12 of last season. Johnson first appeared for the Knights this season in relief of Shawn Haviland (today’s starter) back on April 13. That day, Johnson threw three scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Knights and earned his first win of the season.

10 FOR TRAYCE: CF Trayce Thompson extended his hit-streak to 10-straight games on Saturday and is now hitting .385 (15-for-39) this season which is the eighth highest mark in the IL so far this year. Thompson is the only player this season in the IL to safely hit in 10 consecutive games, although his 10-game hit-streak is tied with Steve Lombardozzi (Indianapolis) for second place currently. Lombardozzi’s streak started on August 31, 2014. Pawtucket’s Blake Swihart has a 12-game hit streak – which also started last year. His streak began on August 27, 2014. Thompson’s 15 hits are tied for third in the league with three others.

SAVE THE LAST INNING FOR JAIRO: RHP Jairo Asencio notched his International League leading fourth save of the season on Friday night after a scoreless ninth inning for the Knights. He is tied for the league lead after Shawn Armstrong recorded his fourth on Saturday. Asencio fanned two batters and now has fanned seven batters in five innings pitched this season. He has a 1.80 ERA (5.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER) so far this season. Asencio led the IL in saves with 28 while he was a member of Norfolk in 2013. He also led the IL in saves during two stints with Gwinnett (27 in 2009 and 26 in 2011).

ATTENDANCE FEVER: Through eight regular season home games, the defending attendance champions – the Charlotte Knights — have welcomed a league-high 74,118 fans through the gates. The team is also averaging 9,265 fans per game. The Knights welcomed a Minor League best 687,715 fans through the gates during their regular season during their inaugural campaign at BB&T Ballpark

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