Knights Knotes — April 23, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights and Durham Bulls will conclude their four-game series tonight from Durham Bulls Athletic Park at 7:05 p.m. The Knights will look for the series split tonight with a win. Charlotte has not lost a series yet this season. Tonight’s finale will conclude their fifth series of the young season. The Knights enter today’s game in first place, 0.5 games ahead of Norfolk, who lost last night 3-2. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Charlotte third baseman Matt Davidson launched his team-high third home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday night to break a 2-2 tie in Durham and give the Knights a 3-2 win. Although he didn’t factor in the decision, Charlotte starter Scott Carroll was solid over 5.2 IP (4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). RHP Jairo Asencio notched his league-high fifth save of the season.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Erik Johnson (2-0, 1.13) will make his second start of the 2015 season tonight as he toes the rubber for Charlotte in the finale against Durham. Johnson made his 2015 debut on April 13 in relief against the Bulls and earned the win after three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He gave up just two hits while fanning three batters. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher entered the 2014 season ranked by Baseball America as the 2nd best prospect in the White Sox system. He began last season with the White Sox and posted a 1-1 record with a 6.46 ERA in five starts. He was then optioned to Charlotte on April 26, 2014, where he 20 starts with the club and compiled a 5-7 record with a 6.73 ERA (105.2 IP). Johnson started 10 games for the Knights in 2013 and posted a 4-1 record with a 1.57 ERA over 57.1 IP. The Mountain View, California native averaged close to one strikeout per inning in 2013 totaling 57 Ks with the Knights. In 2013, pitching across two levels, Johnson ranked third among qualified minor league starters in WHIP (0.99), fifth in ERA (1.96), and sixth in opponents’ average (.197). Johnson vs. Durham (2014): He made one start and allowed two runs on four hits over four innings in a no-decision on August 1 at BB&T Ballpark. Johnson vs. Durham (2013): He went 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts vs. the Bulls (11.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R, SO).

EN FUEGO: Carlos Sanchez, the reigning IL Player of the Week for the period of April 13-19, hit safely in his 10th game of the season and 11th-straight overall yesterday (dating back to August 20, 2014). His streak is now the current longest in the IL. Sanchez, who began the season in Chicago with the White Sox, is now hitting an IL best .413 in 10 games this season. The 22-year-old infielder is currently tied for second in the IL in hits (19) and tied for second in doubles (5).

ROSTER MOVES: The Knights announced a number of roster moves – including RHP Kyle Drabek, who was outrighted by Chicago to the Knights yesterday. Drabek is not on Charlotte’s active roster at this time. Infielder Tyler Saladino was placed on the DL (retroactive to April 22). He was hitting .289 (13-for-45) with six runs scored, one double, one triple, seven RBIs and five stolen bases for the Knights in 11 games this season. Infielder Justin Jirschele was assigned to Double-A Birmingham today. He appeared in two games for the Knights this season and went 1-for-7 at the plate. The Knights received two players from Birmingham today, infielder Drew Garcia, who returns to the Knights after spending 2011-2013 with the team – and outfielder Jason Coats. Garcia was signed by the White Sox as a free agent on January 20, 2015 after spending the entire 2014 campaign with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He began the 2015 season with Double-A Birmingham and was hitting .500 (5-for-10) over five games. Garcia was originally selected by the White Sox in the 21st round of the 2008 draft. Coats was hitting .340 (16-for-47) with six runs scored, nine doubles and two RBIs for the Double-A Birmingham Barons at the time of today’s promotion to Charlotte. Coats, a Dallas, TX native, was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 29th round of the 2012 draft.BF3_0186

ON-BASE: With a hit in yesterday’s game, 1B/DH Dan Black has now reached base in all seven games he’s played in this season. Dating back to last season (July 28, 2014), Black has reached base in 12-straight games. He is now hitting .333 (8-for-24) with two home runs and six RBIs.

HR MATT: 3B Matt Davidson entered this season with 100 home runs under his belt at the Minor League level. He slugged 20 home runs last year in his first season in Chicago’s organization – all of them coming with the Knights as he spent the entire season with the team. Last night, Davidson’s solo ninth-inning home run proved to be the game-winner. It was his third overall of the season, which is the most on the team this season and tied for second overall in the IL behind SWB’s Ramon Flores (4).

SAVE THE LAST INNING FOR JAIRO: RHP Jairo Asencio notched his International League leading fifth save of the season on yesterday after a scoreless ninth inning for the Knights. In six games this season, Asencio is sporting a 2.57 ERA (7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 9 SO). 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).

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