Knights Knotes — August 9, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their season-long 10-game homestand tonight and play the finale of a three-game series against the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) at 5:05 p.m. tonight from BB&T Ballpark. knights knotesAfter a loss to the Red Wings last night, the Knights are now 2-3 on the homestand and 35-22 overall this season at home (26-32 on the road). Tonight’s game is the rubber game of the three-game set and the Knights will go for their first series win since winning three of four against Durham, (7/20-7/23). The Knights enter today’s game six games back of the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division and a game back of the second place Gwinnett Braves (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves). The Knights open a four-game series against the G-Braves tomorrow. The Knights are 2.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus.

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Oswaldo Arcia homered, Jose Berrios tossed seven shutout innings, and the Rochester Red Wings evened up the three-game series with a 3-0 win over the Knights on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,427 fans at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Erik Johnson (8-8, 2.58) allowed three runs over 6.2 innings and was saddled with the loss.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 2.67) will make his fifth start of the season with the Knights tonight and appear in his sixth game with the team overall. Noesi began the season with the White Sox and posted a 0-4 record with a 6.89 ERA for Chicago in 10 games. He was outrighted off Chicago’s roster on June 26 and assigned to Charlotte on June 28. Just a few days later (July 2), Noesi was placed on Charlotte’s Temporary Inactive List. He was activated off the Temporary Inactive List and made his Charlotte debut on July 11 in Norfolk out of the team’s bullpen. He allowed two hits over two shutout innings, while striking out three batters. Since then, Noesi has started four games and is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in those three starts (25.0 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 8 BB, 22 SO). Noesi fanned a season-high nine batters 7/29 @ LOU) over seven innings of work and has 16 strikeouts over his last two starts (13.0 IP). Originally signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent on December 3, 2004, Noesi owns a career major league record of 12-31 with a 5.30 ERA in 107 games (53 starts) over parts of five big league seasons. The White Sox claimed Noesi off waivers from the Texas Rangers on April 25, 2014. He went 8-11 with a 4.39 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) for Chicago last year.

LAST TIME VS. ROCHESTER: Noesi last faced the Rochester Red Wings in Rochester, NY on April 9, 2011 as a member of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He started the game and allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits over five innings and did not factor in the decision. That was his only appearance in his career against Rochester.

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia moved into a tie for eighth place on the Knights all-time games played last night by playing in his 282nd career Knights game – tying Josh Fields. Back for his fourth season with the Knights in 2015, Garcia is also now just 10 games away from tying Josh Phegley for seventh (292). He is also inching closer to another mark as he now has 983 career Knights at-bats – 15 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett… Charlotte manager Joel Skinner – the winningest manager in Knights franchise history – has compiled 272 career wins with the Knights over four seasons.

10 STRAIGHT FOR TANK: OF Dayan Viciedo has hit safely in all seven games with the Knights and 10-straight (three w/Nashville) since being acquired last week (signed by Chicago and assigned to Charlotte on 8/1). Viciedo, who hit .254 with 66 home runs and 211 RBIs over parts of five seasons with the Chicago White Sox from 2010 to 2014, mashed 20 home runs in back-to-back seasons for the Knights from 2010-11. He was named to the All-Knights Stadium Team in 2013. He is eighth all-time in Knights history in homers (41) – tied with Joe Crede.

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Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is third in the IL in home runs with 17. Davidson, who was a 2015 International League All-Star, is also tied for third in walks (51), fourth in at-bats (423), and tied for first in games (112)… OF Jason Coats is second in the IL in RBIs (69)… RHP Erik Johnson (8-8, 2.58) is first in the IL In strikeouts (115), third in ERA (2.58), and tied for third in WHIP (1.16). Johnson has the highest strikeouts per nine innings in the IL (9.44)… RHP Kyle Drabek (6-6, 2.74) has the fourth lowest ERA in the IL, he is also tied for third in WHIP (1.16), and tied for third in batting average against (.225)… LHP Jarrett Casey (9-2, 4.11) is in a four-way third place tie in the IL in wins with nine.

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights went over the 100-home run plateau of the season on Tuesday with two home runs – the first team in the IL to do so this season and are leading the IL in long balls with 106. The Knights as a team have hit 74 of their 106 home runs this season at BB&T Ballpark. Last year, the Knights hit 105 of their 176 home runs at BB&T Ballpark. The Knights have hit the most home runs at their home ballpark in all of Triple-A Baseball this season (Round Rock is second with 70).

RETURN TO MAYBERRY: 1B/OF John Mayberry Jr. recorded his first and second hits as a member of the Charlotte Knights last night. Mayberry Jr., who was signed by the Chicago White Sox and assigned to the Knights on Friday, has compiled 115 home runs over parts of nine minor league seasons. Mayberry hit .164 in 59 games for the New York Mets this season.

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage (.971), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (221) and tied for first double plays (18) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (75), is second in total chances (575), second in putouts (520) and second in assists (48),… As a team, the Knights are tied for fifth in fielding percentage in the IL (.981) and are first in the IL in assists (1248) and fourth in putouts (3057).

THREE FOR TUIA: 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo had the first three-homer game of his career on Friday and became just the eighth Knights player to achieve that feat (first since Dan Black on May 29, 2014 at Columbus). His back-to-back inning homers (1st & 2nd) were the first time a Knights player had done that since exactly one year ago (Josh Phegley in 6th & 7th inning at BB&T Ballpark on August 7, 2014). He’s recorded three multi-homer games this season and three grand slams. He now has 16 home runs in 2015, which are fourth most in the IL this season and one behind the Knights team leader Matt Davidson (17), who is third in the IL. Tuiasosopo has homered once every 18.13 at-bats, which is the second best HR/AB ratio in the IL. Since July 1, Matt Tuiasosopo has the most home runs in the IL (12) second in RBIs over that span (31) behind Matt Hague (32).

Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 539,313 this year (57 games) – the most in Minor League Baseball this season. Only four teams in MiLB this season have cracked the 500,000 mark (Lehigh Valley, Indianapolis, and Sacramento). Charlotte is averaging 9,462 fans per game – also the highest in MiLB in 2015. The Knights led the minors in attendance in 2014 – their first at BB&T Ballpark – with a mark of 687,715 fans (71 openings). The Knights have welcomed 27 sell-out crowds during the regular season this season and 30 sell-out crowds overall this year (White Sox exhibition game and Team USA game).

MILITARY APPRECIATION: The first 1,000 fans through the gates tonight will receive a Military Heroes Card Set featuring Military members with local family ties. Knights players will wear Military themed jerseys, which will be auctioned off later this month with proceeds to benefit Charlotte Knights Charities and the USO of North Carolina.

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