Knights Knotes — June 29, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a 10-game road trip today and open a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA at 7:05 p.m. tonight. The Knights wrapped up their seven-game trek through Upstate New York yesterday by dropping both games of their doubleheader in Rochester to the Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins). The Knights are now 3-4 on the road trip and just 17-21 this season on the road (26-12 at home). Charlotte enters play today in second place in the IL South Division – 0.5 game behind first place Norfolk. The Durham Bulls are in third place in the IL South Division (3.0 games back). Still, despite getting swept in yesterday’s twin bill, the Knights have won 10 of their last 14 games.knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME(S): The Knights dropped both games of Sunday’s doubleheader on Sunday to the Rochester Red Wings, falling in game one by a score of 1-0 and game two by a score of 5-4 in 11 innings. Wilkin Ramirez hit two home runs in game two, including a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th off Charlotte RHP Maikel Cleto (3-2, 2.90), who was saddled with the loss. In game one, Charlotte RHP Miguel Chalas allowed one run over four innings and was saddled with the loss.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (3-4, 4.75) Haviland_Shawnwill make his 10th start of the 2015 season today and appear in his 16th overall game with the Knights in 2015. Haviland enters tonight’s start having won two of his last three starts. He entered his last start with a two-game win-streak with both coming against the PawSox. He beat them back on June 9 at Pawtucket (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO) and followed up that performance with another win over Pawtucket at BB&T Ballpark on June 18 (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). Haviland was solid in his last start – back on June 23 at Syracuse – but did not factor in the decision (ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO). In his only career start against Norfolk (April 26 @ NOR), Haviland is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA (ND, 6.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO). His first start of the year – 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). 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. 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. Haviland was originally drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft out of Harvard University.

IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson launched his 12th and 13th home runs of the season to re-take the IL lead in home runs this season on Sunday. Davidson’s 13 are one more than Kyle Roller, Jefry Marte, and J.P. Arencibia’s 12… Outfielder Trayce Thompson is first in the IL in games played (76), fourth in slugging percentage (.458), tied for second in IL in extra-base hits (30), and tied for third in IL in total bases (129)… Infielder Leury Garcia, who is now on the DL, is third in the IL in stolen bases (23)… Kyle Drabek (3-4, 2.85) won his second consecutive decision on Thursday after allowing just one run over six innings. Drabek is eighth in the IL in ERA (2.85) and tied for third in WHIP (1.13) this season in 12 starts with the Knights this year… As a team, the Knights are second in the IL lead in home runs (61) – one behind Durham (62)… The Knights have scored the third most runs in the IL this season (329)… Charlotte’s 310 RBIs are third most in the IL behind Toledo (316).

COATS OF ARMOR: Outfielder Jason Coats homered in game two of yesterday’s twin bill – his seventh of the season with the Knights – and fourth in June. He finished the game with two hits and has 12 hits over his last nine games with six RBIs.

IL STRIKEOUT LEADER: RHP Erik Johnson (7-5, 2.86) allowed one run on four hits over seven innings en-route to his third-straight win on Friday. He has allowed two earned runs over his last 32.0 IP. Last week, he was named IL Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (14.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO). He is 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) over 85.0 innings pitched in 2015. His 96 strikeouts are first in the IL, his 2.86 ERA is ninth, and he is averaging 10.21 strikeouts per nine innings – tops in the IL.

CAN’T SPELL KNIGHTS WITHOUT “K”: Charlotte Knights pitchers have combined to strike out 619 batters this season – tops in Triple-A this year – 29 more than El Paso/Sacramento (590) – the top PCL team(s) and 60 more than the second highest IL team, Durham (559).

REHABBING: Chicago White Sox LHP Dan Jennings, who was placed on the team’s 15-day disabled list with inflammation on the left side of his neck on June 7 (retroactive to June 5), began a MLB rehab assignment with the Knights on Monday, June 22 and continued his rehab in game one yesterday. Jennings allowed just two hits over two scoreless innings and has now appeared in three games with the Knights this season on his rehab (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO). Chicago RHP Matt Albers, who was placed on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list with a broken little finger on his right hand on April 26 (retroactive to April 20), began a Major League Rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights on Friday – tossing a scoreless eighth inning for the club (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO, 10 pitches, 6 for strikes). Albers, 32, went 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four games out of Chicago’s bullpen (5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) before being placed on the DL.

CHARLOTTE’S PEN: RHP Matt Lindstrom (2-0, 4.50) extended his scoreless innings streak to nine games and 12.2 innings pitched yesterday in game two of the doubleheader. He last allowed a run on May 28 against the Clippers. He has not allowed a run in 11 of his 16 appearances this season… LHP Jarrett Casey won his sixth game of the season Saturday – third highest in the IL this season… RHP Maikel Cleto has the third lowest batting average against (.168) among relievers in the IL… LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.20) notched his fifth save of the season on Friday after another scoreless appearance. Phillips has allowed just three earned runs over his last 16 games and has not allowed a run in 20 of his 26 appearances this season.

WHO’S HOT AT THE PLATE: Over his last 10 games, Charlotte 3B Matt Davidson is hitting .316 (12-for-38) with three home runs and four RBIs… Outfielder Chris Marrero is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in seven games this season with the Knights… Catcher George Kottaras went 1-for-4 on Thursday with his fifth home run of the season – a solo shot off Chiefs RHP Joe Ross. He now has four home runs and 13 RBIs over his last five games. In 21 games this season, he is hitting .311 (19-for-61) with five home runs, 21 walks, and a .482 on-base percentage… Catcher Kevan Smith is hitting .455 (5-for-11) over his last four games… Recently promoted Chris Curley is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in four games this season.

LOOKING AHEAD: RHP Terance Marin (2-0, 0.00), who has not allowed a run in 22.0 innings pitched this season with the Knights in four games overall, will get the start on Tuesday for the Knights. Marin, who was reinstated by the Chicago White Sox on June 5th after being on loan to the Mexican League’s Toros de Tijuana, posted a 2-5 record with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) earlier this season with the Toros (47.1 IP).

250th CAREER KNIGHTS VICTORY: Manager Joel Skinner recorded his 250th career victory with the Knights — the most in franchise history – on June 20 at BB&T Ballpark.

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