Knights Knotes — July 28, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will play game two of their four-game series against the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY tonight at 7:05 p.m. After going 5-3 on their last homestand, the Knights hit the road on Friday to open a 10-game road trip. Charlotte dropped the first three games of the trip, before a 7-1 win last night – snapping a four-game losing streak. They enter tonight’s game 2.5 games back of the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division and a half-game out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus/Indianapolis (they also tied for first in the IL West).knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: 3B Matt Davidson had two hits including a home run and two RBIs as the Charlotte Knights beat the Louisville Bats by a score of 7-1 last night in the opening game of a four-game series from Louisville Slugger Field. Catcher Kevan Smith chipped in with three hits, while DH Chris Jacobs added two hits.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Erik Johnson (8-5, 2.59) will make his 17th start of the 2015 season and appear in his 18th game tonight when he gets the nod against the Louisville Bats — his first start since July 20 at BB&T Ballpark against the Durham Bulls. Johnson has won his last four decisions and currently leads the IL in strikeouts (105), erik johnsonis averaging 10.09 strikeouts per nine innings, which is tops in the IL, and has a 2.59 ERA, which is tied for third in the IL with teammate Kyle Drabek. Johnson has allowed just one earned run (two runs total) over his last six starts (38.0 IP). Overall, he has allowed just one earned run over his last 41.0 IP. He was named as the IL Pitcher of the Week (week of June 15-21) after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts (14.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO). Johnson became just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to get the Triple-A All-Star Game starting nod joining Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010). He tossed two scoreless innings at the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this month. He made his 2015 debut on April 13 in relief against Durham and earned the win after three scoreless innings. He won his first start of the season (second appearance in 2015) on April 18 in five innings of one-run ball against the Gwinnett Braves. 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

ON THE SPOT WITH SCOTT: RHP Scott Carroll (4-2, 2.45) allowed just one run on six hits over six innings last night for the win, his first with the Knights since June 6 against Norfolk. Carroll re-joined the Knights on July 10th after being optioned from Chicago on July 9. Since his return to Charlotte, Carroll is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts (21.0 IP, 19 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 9 SO). Carroll has been promoted to the White Sox twice this season and went 1-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 12 games for Chicago.

MIC’S ON: 2B Micah Johnson walked twice last night and drove in two runs. Johnson is now batting .330 on the season in 64 games this year, which currently ranks second in the IL behind Buffalo’s Matt Hague (.349). Johnson is also tied for second in the IL in OBP (.381), and second in slugging percentage (.490). He is ranked as the number four prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. Johnson earned IL Batter of the Week honors last week becoming the fourth Knights player this season with the weekly honor (Carlos Sanchez, Erik Johnson, and Kyle Drabek are the others).

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is tied for third in home runs (16), second in walks (50), fifth in at-bats (376), and tied for first in games played (101) with teammate OF Trayce Thompson. Thompson is also tied for fourth in at-bats (378), second in extra-base hits (39), tied for fourth in doubles (23), fourth in total bases (165), and tied for fourth in runs scored (52)… OF Jason Coats is third in the IL in RBIs (61)…. The Knights lead the IL in home runs (97), runs (467), and RBIs (443)… .): Infielder Leury Garcia is currently tied for third in the IL in steals (27) and is 10th in the IL in batting average with a .296 mark…1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo has homered once every 19.15 at-bats which is the second best HR/AB ratio in the IL… RHP Erik Johnson and RHP Kyle Drabek are tied for third in the IL in ERA (2.59). Johnson leads the IL in strikeouts with 105 and has the highest K/9 IP ratio in the IL with a 10.09 mark. Drabek is second in WHIP (1.11) and opponents are batting just .215 against Drabek this season – tied for the second lowest mark in the IL this season. Drabek has also allowed the fewest baserunners per nine innings this season in the IL (10.26).

KNIGHTS FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia moved into sole possession of ninth place on the Charlotte Knights all-time games played list last night when he played in his 271st career Knights game. Garcia is also inching closer to another mark as he now has 944 career Knights at-bats – 54 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett. 2B Micah Johnson recorded his third triple of the season on Sunday and moved into fifth place on Charlotte’s all-time franchise record for triples with eight. He joined Jason Bourgeois, McKay Christensen, Jerry Holtz, and Carlos Sanchez in a tie for fifth place.

WHO’S HOT: Charlotte 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo extended his hit-streak to seven-straight games yesterday and has enjoyed the month of July. He leads all IL batters in the month of July in home runs (9), while he is second in RBIs (21), and is third in runs scored (18) behind teammate Micah Johnson (25) over that span. Tuiasosopo is hitting .353 (12-for-34) with five home runs and nine RBIs over his last 10 games… Infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia has a 10-game home hit-streak.

CHARLOTTE’S ‘PEN: LHP Jarrett Casey (9-2, 4.30) is tied with Durham pitchers Scott Diamond and Dylan Floro, along with Columbus pitcher Toru Murata for the IL lead in wins… Opposing batters are hitting .172 against RHP Maikel Cleto – the second lowest opponents’ batting average in the IL among relievers… LHP Zach Phillips has allowed just three runs over his last 12 games (11.1 IP)… RHP Blake Smith has not allowed a run over his last four appearances (5.0 IP, 7 SO)… RHP Miguel Chalas has not allowed a run over his last three games (4.1 IP).

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage with a .968 mark and all IL third baseman in assists (199) and double plays (17) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (69), most total chances (542), and most putouts (497)… OF Trayce Thompson is first in games played (101), first in total chances (242), and first in putouts (236) among IL outfielders. As a team, the Knights have the fourth best fielding percentage in the IL (.982) and are first in the IL in assists (1109) and third in putouts (2761).

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