Knights Knotes — May 11, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) return home to the friendly confines of BB&T Ballpark tonight to open a seven-game homestand and a four-game series against the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) at 7:05 p.m. in Uptown Charlotte. After dropping the first four games of the road trip – and five-in-a-row overall – the Knights battled back to win the final two games on the trip against the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) to win the three-game series (2-1). The Knights find themselves in third place in the IL South Division (two games back of the first place Durham Bulls). knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Down 4-2 in the eighth inning, Carlos Sanchez and Neftali Soto started a rally with back-to-back singles to lead-off the frame. After fouling off his first sacrifice-bunt attempt, Matt Davidson watched four consecutive balls go by to draw a walk from RHP Jose Valdez to load the bases. Valdez – who would eventually be saddled with the loss – was then relieved by RHP Alberto Cabrera, and Cabrera’s first pitch to Dan Black was sent deep to right-center field and over the wall to give the Knights a 6-4 advantage and the game three win. LHP Jarrett Casey (3-0, 2.25) tossed two scoreless innings in relief of starter Erik Johnson to earn the win.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Kyle Drabek (0-1, 2.57) will make his fourth Knights start of the season tonight. Drabek went a season-high six innings in his last start – back on May 6 in Columbus and was saddled with the loss (6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO). The former Phillies farmhand was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox (April 20) and officially outrighted to Charlotte on April 22. He made his Knights debut on April 24 at Norfolk (4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 SO) and was sharp in his first start at the Triple-A level since August 31, 2014 when he made his final appearance of the season with Buffalo at Syracuse (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB). In three games with the White Sox this year, the 27-year-old Texas native posted a 5.06 ERA (5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). He was claimed by the White Sox on March 27, 2015 off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Last season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Drabek appeared in 32 games and started 13 – posting a 7-7 mark with a 4.18 ERA (99.0 IP, 116 H, 57 R, 46 ER, 30 BB, 68 SO). With the Bisons, Drabek faced the Bats on two occasions in his career (both last season) and owns a 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA (13.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 11 SO). His last game against Louisville came on 5/22/14 in Louisville (8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO). In six Major League seasons, Drabek owns a career mark of 8-15 with a 5.27 ERA in 42 games (30 starts). He’s appeared in 177.2 IP during that span in the majors. In eight seasons at the Minor League level, Drabek has compiled a 46-35 mark with a 3.95 ERA (141 games, 116 starts). He won a career-best 14 games with Double-A New Hampshire in 2010. That season, he went 14-9 with an impressive 2.94 ERA in 27 games (all starts). He earned 2010 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honors for his efforts. He was also a mid-season and postseason EL All-Star as well as an Organization All-Star. Kyle is the son of former Major League Doug, who won 155 games over his Major League career. Doug was the 1990 Cy Young Award winner while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

BLACK IS BACK: 1B/DH Dan Black launched a game-winning grand slam in yesterday’s game – his second grand slam of his Knights career and his fifth home run of the season. In 23 games this season, he is hitting .324 (24-for-74) and is second in the IL in on-base percentage (.452) and first in slugging percentage (.581). He is also first in HR/AB with a home run every 14.80 at-bats, first in intentional walks with three, and is tied for third in the IL in walks with 18. Black had a 25-game on-base streak snapped with an 0-for-4 game on May 8. During his 25-game on-base streak, which began on July 28, 2014 (five games from last year and 20 from this year), he hit .342 with four homers and 16 RBIs.

JAVY IS BACK: RHP Javy Guerra was returned from his Major League Rehab assignment with the Knights on May 6, activated by the Chicago White Sox and designated for assignment. Guerra has now been outrighted to the Knights and is active for tonight’s game. This season, Guerra appeared in four rehab games for the Knights and posted a 0-0 mark with a 17.18 ERA (3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO). Guerra was placed on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list on April 20 (retroactive to April 13) with right shoulder inflammation after appearing in three games with the White Sox earlier this year (1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO).

TOP 4: Carlos Sanchez moved into a tie with Brian Daubach for fourth place on the Knights all-time franchise hits list after going 1-for-5 yesterday – his 285th career Knights hit. Sanchez is now hitting .364 on the season in 26 games – good for third best in the IL. Sanchez – who has earned two IL Batter of the Week honors this season – is currently first in the IL in hits (43), second in total bases (59), tied for second in doubles (10), and fourth in at-bats (118). On the all-time hits list, Sanchez trails Jordan Danks, now with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, who broke the all-time hits record last season on August 1. Danks (449) leads the pack ahead of Joe Borchard (439) and Josh Phegley (312).

ON THE BASES: Leury Garcia extended his hit-streak to five games yesterday – going 2-for-5 with a run scored. It was his 10th multi-hit game of the season. Garcia also swiped his 12th base of the season and is tied for second in the IL in stolen bases with Gwinnett’s Jose Peraza. Garcia bumped up his road batting average to .313 (15-for-48) on the year.

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