Knights Knotes — June 2, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The first place Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) are back on the baseball diamond tonight after a scheduled off-day on Monday. After winning five of seven games on their recent homestand, the Knights open a three-game road trip tonight in Durham, NC with the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). The Knights enter today in first place in the IL South Division – 0.5 games ahead of Norfolk and 1.0 game ahead of tonight’s opponent — the Durham Bulls. The Knights have scored 230 runs this season – which is tied for the top spot in the IL with the Toledo Mud Hens this season. After going 13-7 in April, the Knights went 16-14 in the month of May. Charlotte is also tied for second in team batting average (.269) with Rochester. knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: RHP Scott Carroll (2-1, 1.83) tossed five scoreless innings, Matt Davidson recorded two hits, and the Charlotte Knights shut out the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday 2-0 in the finale of their three-game series from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. The Knights took two of three from Lehigh Valley and five of seven on the homestand to improve to 19-10 at home this season.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Kyle Drabek (1-2, 2.25) will make his eighth Knights start of the season tonight and first against the Bulls this year. He earned his first win of the season in his last start back on May 26 at BB&T Ballpark against the Clippers. Drabek has gone at least six innings in two of his last three starts and has had some tough-luck this season – especially in the month of May. Over that five-game span, he allowed just six earned runs over 28.0 IP while striking out 25 batters. He went 1-2 with a 1.93 ERA over that span. 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 Bulls twice last season and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in two games (3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 SO). Those two appearances are his only appearances against the Bulls in his career. 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 3.92 ERA (142 games, 117 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 Pittsburgh.

Leury Garcia hit .330 during the month of May (photo credit: Laura Wolff).

IL HR LEADER: 3B Matt Davidson leads the International League with nine long balls this year and is third in the IL in RBIs with 31. He now has 109 career Minor League home runs.

RUN LEURY RUN: Infielder Leury Garcia is now batting .301 (53-for-176) on the year. He is tied for third in the IL this season in runs scored with 29 – four behind IL leader Daniel Fields of Toledo. Garcia has a team-high 19 stolen bases and currently ranks second in the IL behind Perez (25). In 25 games during the month of May, Garcia hit .330 (32-for-97) with seven doubles, one home run, seven RBIs, and 10 stolen bases.

BB&T BALLPARK NAMED BEST IN MiLB, LEADS IN ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark was named as “Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball” by Baseball America earlier this season. The ballpark led all of MiLB in attendance last season with a mark of 687,715 fans through 71 games. The Knights are once against at the top of MiLB in overall attendance (272,385) and average attendance with (9,393) through 29 openings. Sacramento (PCL) is second with a 264,122 total and a 9,433 average through 28 openings.

ZACH ATTACK: LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.35) earned his first save of the season on Sunday with another scoreless inning on the mound. Phillips has not allowed a run over his last four games and has not allowed a run in 12 of his 17 appearances this season. During the month of May, Phillips posted a 0-0 mark with one save and a 1.32 ERA in 10 games.

KNIGHTS DEBUT: RHP Miguel Chalas made his Charlotte Knights debut on Sunday and did not allow a run in two innings pitched. He was promoted to Charlotte on May 30 from Double-A Birmingham where he was 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 14 games.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: RHP Erik Johnson was solid in his last start of the season back on Saturday despite being saddled with a loss (L, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO). Johnson leads the International League in strikeouts per nine innings (9.96) and is second overall with 55 on the season. 2B Micah Johnson has reached base in 10 of 11 games this season with the Knights and has a hit in nine of 11.

THE MIGHTY CASEY: LHP Jarrett Casey (5-0, 2.59) leads Charlotte with five wins and is tied for third in the IL in wins. He has not allowed a run over his last three games (6.1 IP).

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