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Knights Knotes — June 30, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a 10-game road trip today and play game two of their three-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA at 12:05 p.m. this afternoon – the first of two 12:05 games this week (Friday is the other). With yesterday’s 6-2 win, the Knights have taken over first place in the IL South Division and are now a half-game ahead of second place Norfolk in the IL South Division and 3.5 games ahead of the Durham Bulls. The Knights are 11-4 over their last 15 games.knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: 1B Chris Curley launched his first career Triple-A home run, LHP Jarrett Casey earned his seventh win of the season after retiring one batter in the sixth, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Norfolk Tides by a score of 6-2 on Monday in the opener of their three-game series from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. OF Matt Tuiasosopo went 2-for-4 with an RBI. The win snapped Norfolk’s six-game win-streak and knocked Norfolk from first place in the IL South. The first place Knights are 4-4 on the current road trip.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Terance Marin (2-0, 0.00), 1396who was reinstated by the Chicago White Sox from Mexico and assigned to Charlotte on Friday, June 5, will make his fourth start of the season with the Knights today and appear in his fifth game. Marin has not allowed a run in 22.0 innings pitched this season with the Knights since coming back to the United States. He has tossed back-to-back seven innings of shutout baseball. Marin, who was on loan to the Toros de Tijuana, posted a 2-5 record with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) this season with the Toros (47.1 IP). Other notable names on that Toros team with Marin this season were Jose Contreras, Miguel Olivo, and Yuniesky Betancourt. Before returning this season, Marin last pitched in Chicago’s organization last season – going 4-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 14 games (70.0 IP) for the Winston-Salem Dash. He also spent time last season with Double-A Birmingham and was 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in two games (12.1 IP). Marin, who was originally signed by the White Sox as a free agent on July 12, 2010, was released by the organization last year. He then signed with the Frontier League’s Evansville Otters, made six starts, and then was re-signed by the White Sox on June 19, 2014. Marin is a native of Modesto, CA and was undrafted out of Modesto Junior College.

CURLEY HOMERS: 1B Chris Curley was promoted to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham on June 24 and has now appeared in five games with the Knights. On Monday, Curley went 2-for-3 and launched his first career Triple-A home run. In five games with Charlotte, the Kentucky native is hitting .429 (6-for-14). Curley was the Carolina League’s MVP in 2013 after hitting .280 with 24 home runs and 92 RBIs.

ZACH ATTACK: LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.14) tossed another scoreless inning on Monday. Phillips has allowed just three earned runs over his last 17 games (20.1 IP) and has not allowed a run in 21 of his 27 games this season. After going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in April (7 games), Phillips has gone 0-0 with a 1.32 ERA in May (10 games), and 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA in June (10 games). He has four saves on the season in five opportunities.

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 June 21. 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 (77), fourth in slugging percentage (.458), second in IL in extra-base hits (31), and third in IL in total bases (132)… 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.

LAST SIX : RHP Shawn Haviland (3-4, 4.60) started Monday’s game and allowed two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings, but did not factor in the decision. Haviland has allowed two earned runs or less over his last six starts. He is 2-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts this year and is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in five starts during the month of June (27.2 IP, 25 SO).

REHABBING: 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. Albers, 32, was back on the mound last night and threw two shutout innings (2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO). He 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. 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 of Sunday’s doubleheader. 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).

KNIGHTS TEAM RANKS: As a team, the Knights are tied with Durham for the IL lead in home runs (62) … The Knights are tied for third in the IL this season in runs scored (335)… Charlotte’s 316 RBIs are second in the IL behind Toledo (320)… Charlotte’s .393 slugging percentage is tops in the IL… Their 84 stolen bases are second in the IL to Gwinnett (85).

CAN’T SPELL KNIGHTS WITHOUT “K”: Charlotte Knights pitchers have combined to strike out 627 batters this season – tops in Triple-A this year – 28 more than Sacramento (599) – the top PCL team(s) and 63 more than Durham (564).

CHARLOTTE’S PEN: RHP Matt Lindstrom (2-0, 4.50) extended his scoreless innings streak to nine games and 12.2 innings pitched on Sunday 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… RHP Maikel Cleto has the fourth lowest batting average against (.168) among relievers in the IL…LHP Onelki Garcia has 22 strikeouts over 15.1 innings pitched this season with the Knights.

WHO’S HOT AT THE PLATE: Over his last 10 games, Charlotte 3B Matt Davidson is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with three home runs and four RBIs… Outfielder Chris Marrero is hitting .360 (9-for-25) in eight 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 .600 (6-for-10) over his last four games

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.

Knights Knotes — June 18, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their six-game homestand tonight and play the finale of their three-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) at 7:05 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark. The two teams met last week in Pawtucket, RI with the Knights winning two of three games there. Charlotte won the first two games before dropping the finale last Wednesday. With a win last night, the Knights have now won four of five against the defending IL champs – the PawSox and go for the three-game sweep. The Knights enter today’s game with a three-game win-streak and in third place in the IL South – 2.0 games back of first place Durham.

knights knotesLAST KNIGHTS GAME: Outfielder Trayce Thompson launched two home runs – including what proved to be the game-winner in the eighth inning – and the Charlotte Knights beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 7-5 on Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark. Thompson’s three-run blast in the eighth led the Knights to their third-straight win.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (2-4, 5.11) will make his eighth start of the 2015 season today and appear in his 14th overall game with the Knights in 2015. Tonight’s start will be his second against the PawSox – who he beat back on June 9 at Pawtucket (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO). It was his finest start of the season. 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. In seven professional seasons, Haviland owns a 39-53 mark with a 4.71 ERA in 831.1 innings pitched. 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.

CARROLL PROMOTED: RHP Scott Carroll (3-2, 2.37) was recalled to the Chicago White Sox today to replace White Sox hurler Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.89), who was designated for assignment this afternoon. This is Carroll’s second promotion to Chicago this year. He had his contract purchased on April 26. He is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in eight games for Chicago in 2015.

THOMPSON SEAL: Charlotte outfielder Trayce Thompson sealed the game with his three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning last night to lead the Knights to the 7-5 win. It was Thompson’s second home run of the game – fifth over his last nine games. The two-home run game was also his second of the month. After hitting .325 in April, and just .241 in May, Thompson is now hitting .288 in June with five of his nine home runs of the season. It was a great 24-hour stretch for the Thompson family as his brother Klay won an NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Trayce is second in the IL in games (65), tied for second in the IL in home runs (9), first in IL in extra-base hits (27), and second in IL in total bases (116).

1 MILLION STRONG… AND GROWING: Before the official 7:05 p.m. first pitch of Wednesday’s game against the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Charlotte Knights welcomed their one millionth fan through the gates of BB&T Ballpark. Bill Lavell, 69, of Rock Hill, SC walked through the gates and was greeted by Charlotte Knights staff members and honored as the ballpark’s one millionth Knights fan. By welcoming their one millionth Knights fan through the gates on Wednesday – the team’s 105th regular season home game – the Knights became the fastest IL team to achieve the one million mark in their new ballpark. Both the Ottawa Lynx and Louisville Bats welcomed their one millionth fan in their 107th career home game.

APPROACHING 250: Charlotte Knights manager Joel Skinner (2012-present) has compiled a total of 247 career Knights wins — the most in Charlotte Knights franchise history. Skinner and Nick Leyva (202) are the only two managers in franchise history to win 200 games.

CAN’T SPELL KNIGHTS WITHOUT “K”: Charlotte pitchers have combined to strike out 536 batters this season – tops in Triple-A this year – 13 more than the top PCL team Sacramento (523) and 48 more than Pawtucket (IL). On Tuesday, three pitchers combined on 18 strikeouts (Erik Johnson had 11 in six innings).

TERANCE TERRIFIC: RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 0.00), who last pitched on June 8 as a starter against the PawSox, relieved RHP Chris Beck on Saturday and tossed two solid innings. Marin, who spun six shutout innings on June 8, did not allow a run in his two frames on Saturday – extending his scoreless innings streak to eight with Charlotte. He is expected to start tomorrow’s opener against the Indianapolis Indians.

IL STRIKEOUT LEADER: RHP Erik Johnson (5-5, 3.34) did not allow a run over six innings on Tuesday and fanned a career-game high 11. He increased his season strikeouts total to an International League best of 79. Johnson is also tops in the IL this season in strikeouts per nine innings with a 10.21 mark. He hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last 17.0 IP.

DR DRA: RHP Kyle Drabek has limited opposing batters to a .199 mark this season – second lowest in the IL among starters in 2015. He also has the lowest WHIP (1.05), has allowed the fewest baserunners per nine innings (9.60) and has the fifth lowest ERA (2.60).

ZACH ATTACK: LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 1.95) had another scoreless appearance on Sunday tossing 1.0 scoreless frames to earn his third save of the season. Phillips has not allowed a run over his last nine games (10.0 IP). Overall in 2015, Phillips has not allowed a run in 16 of his 21 appearances and just two earned runs over his last 16 appearances. He has 32 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched this year.

HOME RUN MATT: 3B Matt Davidson is currently in a three-way tie for the IL home run lead with 10 (Durham’s J.P. Arencibia and Corey Brown also have 10). Davidson’s 36 RBIs are tied for fourth in the IL this season. He has 110 career Minor League homers.

ON THE BASES: Infielder Leury Garcia leads the Knights in steals (23) and is second in the IL in that category – four behind IL leader Eury Perez (28). Infielder Tyler Saladino swiped two bases last and now has 15. Saladino has stolen at least two bases in four games this season (stole three on April 10) and has six stolen bases over his last four games.

MILESTONE MATT: OF Matt Tuiasosopo now has 950 hits for his Minor League career (12 seasons) and is within one RBI of 500. He has 96 career Minor League homers.

FIRST TO 300,000: After welcoming 9,076 fans through the gates on June 7, BB&T Ballpark became the first Minor League Baseball venue to welcome 300,000 fans in 2015. Since 2010, the Knights have hit the 300,000 attendance mark three times (2010, 2014, and 2015). Currently, the Knights are first in MiLB in overall attendance (311,678) through 33 openings and first in average attendance (9,445).

ATTENDANCE LEADERS: In 34 openings, the Knights have welcomed 321,559 fans through the gates – tops in all of Minor League Baseball this season. BB&T Ballpark also leads in average per game with a mark of 9,458.

Knights Knotes — June 9, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a seven-game road trip through Pawtucket, RI and Buffalo, NY tonight with game two of their three-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) at 7:05 p.m. from McCoy Stadium. The Knights enter today’s game back in a three-way tie for first place in the IL South with the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) and the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). The Bulls have won seven of their last 10 games (Charlotte has won five of their last 10). knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Knights used five home runs – two each from Jason Coats and Trayce Thompson – and beat the Pawtucket Red Sox by a score of 7-2 in game one of the three-game series last night. RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 0.00) did not allow a run over six innings for the win in his Triple-A debut. Catcher Kevan Smith also homered for Charlotte.

SOUTHERN COMFORT: With a three-way tie atop the IL South Division between Charlotte, Norfolk, and Durham – the division has been Minor League Baseball’s most competitive this season. Currently, the IL South owns a combined .546 (125-104) winning percentage – which is tops around all of MiLB. Last season, the IL South Division posted the lowest winning percentage by any division in Minor League Baseball — .467 (268-306).

KNIGHTS OFFENSE: The Knights lead the IL in runs scored as a team with 250 and RBIs with 236. The Knights are second behind Pawtucket in home runs with 43 and their 749 total bases are tops. Their .391 team slugging percentage is tops in the IL as well.

KNIGHTS STARTER: Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (1-4, 5.92) will make his seventh start of the 2015 season today and appear in his 13th overall game with the Knights in 2015 – first career game against Pawtucket. Tonight’s start will only be his third since May 1, when he faced the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at BB&T Ballpark (L, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO). That 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. In seven professional seasons, Haviland owns a 38-53 mark with a 4.74 ERA in 825.1 innings pitched. 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.
Thompson_Home Run Knights

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

TERANCE TERRIFIC: Six days before last night’s start with Charlotte, RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 0.00) was coming out of the bullpen in Tijuana. The White Sox, who loaned him to the Mexican League’s Toros de Tijuana, reinstated him on Friday and added him to Charlotte’s roster. Marin, 25, made the most of his opportunity last night allowing just five hits over six shutout innings en-route to his first Triple-A victory. He tossed 101 pitches (60 strikes).

TWO-FOR-TWO: In last night’s game, two Knights homered – twice. Both Trayce Thompson and Jason Coats homered to become the first Knights teammates to hit two home runs each in the same game since May 2, 2011 when Eduardo Escobar and Gookie Dawkins achieved that feat at Knights Stadium against the Columbus Clippers.

IL HOME RUN LEADER: 3B Matt Davidson is currently tied for International League lead in home runs with nine and is tied for fourth in the league in RBIs with 33. He is currently fourth in the IL in HR/AB Ratio with one home run every 23.33 at-bats.

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs last night. It was his first two-home run game since June 20, 2014 as a member of the Winston-Salem Dash against Salem. Coats had two multi-home run games last year with the Dash and one with Kannapolis in 2013 (June 28, 2013). Coats, who has appeared in 42 games with the Knights this season after starting the year in Birmingham, leads the team in RBIs with 35 – which ranks second overall in the IL behind Buffalo’s Matt Hague (36).

WITHOUT A TRAYCE: Trayce Thompson’s two-homer game last night was his first since August 14, 2014 with Birmingham and the ninth of his MiLB career. On two occasions in 2013 with Birmingham, he homered twice in a game. He also achieved the feat once in 2012 (Winston-Salem), three times in 2011 (Kannapolis), and once in 2010 (Kannapolis). Thompson is tied for second in the IL in games (57), tied for third in at-bats (215), tied for third in extra-base hits (22), and third in total bases (96).

FIRST TO 300,000: After welcoming 9,076 fans through the gates on Sunday, BB&T Ballpark became the first Minor League Baseball venue to welcome 300,000 fans in 2015. Since 2010, the Knights have hit the 300,000 attendance mark three times (2010, 2014, and 2015). Currently, the Knights lead MiLB in overall attendance (302,560) through 32 openings, as well as average attendance (9,455).

SELL-OUT CROWDS: A year after welcoming 31 sell-out crowds through the gates in the first season in BB&T Ballpark history, the Knights welcomed their 15th sell-out crowd of the regular season on Saturday – and 16th overall (April 3rd against the White Sox exhibition).

NEARING 1 MILLION: After welcoming 687,715 Knights fans through 71 regular-season games last season, and 302,560 fans through 32 regular season games this season, the Knights are now just 9,725 fans away from 1 million at BB&T Ballpark for regular-season Knights games (the attendance number does not factor in exhibition games or the National Championship Game). The Knights return home Tuesday, June 16 for a six-game homestand.

ZACH ATTACK: LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.16) tossed a scoreless inning Sunday and has not allowed a run over his last six games (6.1 IP). Overall this year, Phillips has not allowed a run in 14 of his 19 appearances and just two earned runs over his last 12 appearances. During the month of May, Phillips posted a 0-0 mark with one save and a 1.32 ERA in 10 games.

ROAD WARRIORS: Catcher Kevan Smith, who homered yesterday, is hitting .326 (14-for-43) in road games…LHP Jarrett Casey is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven road games… RHP Maikel Cleto, who notched his second save yesterday, is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA (7 G).

Photo credit: Buren Foster

Photo credit: Buren Foster

THE SKIPPER TOO: Joel Skinner (2012-present) has compiled a total of 243 career Knights wins — the most in Charlotte Knights franchise history. Skinner and Nick Leyva (202) are the only two managers in franchise history to win 200 games.

DR. DRA: Opposing batters are hitting just .193 against RHP Kyle Drabek – the lowest in the IL among starters. He has the second lowest WHIP (1.03) and the eighth lowest ERA (2.79). He has also allowed the third fewest base runners (per 9 IP) with a 9.50 total.

NEARING 500: OF Matt Tuiasosopo homered and drove in two runs on Saturday – coming within one RBI of 500 for his Minor League career. The solo home run was his fourth of the season and the 96th of his MiLB career. He hit 11 home runs with Charlotte in 63 games last season – his first with the Knights.

Knights Knotes — June 6, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) tonight at 7:05 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. The Knights entered the day on Friday in a three-way tie for first place in the IL South Division with Norfolk and the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). Last night’s game one loss, combined with Durham’s loss, pushed the Knights and Bulls to second place. Both teams now sit one full game behind the Norfolk Tides in the IL South. The Knights have scored 236 runs this season – tied with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for second in the IL behind the Toledo Mud Hens (230). knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights were held to a season-low two hits as the Norfolk Tides tallied eleven on their way to a 5-0 victory in game one of a weekend series at BB&T Ballpark to maintain their place atop the International League South Division standings. The Tides sent knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa to the mound for Friday night’s matchup, and the 30-year-old allowed only two hits over 6.0 innings pitched while striking out five.

SOUTHERN COMFORT: A day after three teams were tied for the top spot, the Tides lead the IL South Division – just a game ahead of the Knights and Bulls. This season, the IL South Division has been Minor League Baseball’s most competitive. Currently, the IL South owns a combined .544 (118-99) winning percentage – which is tops around all of MiLB — better than the California League South’s Division (.519 winning percentage) and the South Atlantic League North Division (.518 winning percentage). Last season, the IL South Division posted the lowest winning percentage by any division in Minor League Baseball — .467 (268-306).

KNIGHTS STARTER: Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (2-1, 1.83 ERA) will make his fifth start of the 2015 season with the Knights tonight. Carroll started three games for the Knights before his contract was purchased by the Chicago White Sox on April 26. He posted a 1-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in eight games for the White Sox before being optioned down to the Knights on May 28. Most recently, Carroll started on Sunday, May 31 at BB&T Ballpark and earned a win after five shutout innings (W, 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 SO). It was his first Knights win since he earned the win in his second Knights outing of the season on April 17 after tossing five good innings against Gwinnett (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO). Last season with the Knights in four starts, he won IL Pitcher of the Week honors before earning a promotion to Chicago. He started his award-winning week with a solid performance at Durham on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The Kansas City, MO native pitched six innings and allowed two unearned runs over four hits en-route to his second win of the year. The Knights beat the Bulls 8-2 that day and Carroll improved to 2-0 on the season at that time. Five days later, Carroll started for the Knights in front of 10,200 fans at BB&T Ballpark in the team’s three-game series finale with the Norfolk Tides. The 29-year-old was sharp again and tossed a season-high seven shutout innings. He needed just 76 pitches to get through seven innings and allowed just three hits and one walk over that span. He entered his final 2014 start with the Knights without having allowed an earned run in 19.0 innings pitched. Carroll had his contract purchased by the White Sox on April 27 and made his Major League debut that day in a start against Tampa Bay (W, 7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER). It was the longest outing by a White Sox pitcher making his Major League debut since Gerry Janeski on April 10, 1970 (also 7.1 IP). Carroll spent part of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and appeared in just 11 starts between Advanced Rookie Bristol and Double-A Birmingham.

IL HR LEADER: 3B Matt Davidson leads the International League with nine home runs this year and is tied for third in the IL in RBIs (32). He has 109 career Minor League home runs.

Photo credit: Laura Wolf

Photo credit: Laura Wolf

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 lead MiLB in overall attendance (282,979) and average attendance with (9,433) through 30 openings. Sacramento (PCL) is second with a 264,122 total and a 9,433 average through 28 openings.

SELL-OUT CROWDS: A year after welcoming 31 sell-out crowds through the gates in the first season in BB&T Ballpark history, the Knights welcomed their 14th sell-out crowd of the regular season last night – and 15th if you count the sell-out crowd on April 3rd against the Chicago White Sox. Last night’s crowd of 10,594 fans was the second-highest crowd of the season – behind the May 29th crowd of 10,643. That crowd on May 29th is the highest ever in BB&T Ballpark history.

NEARING 1 MILLION FANS: BB&T Ballpark has already welcomed 970,684 fans through 101 regular season home games – an average of 9,611 fans per game. Factor in the team’s extra games – Triple-A National Championship Game (8,886), Charlotte 49ers vs. NC State (8,147), and the Chicago White Sox exhibition game (10,556) – and BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 998,273 fans overall – which means BB&T Ballpark will welcome its 1 millionth overall fan through the gates during this homestand. However, the Knights will welcome and celebrate the 1 millionth regular-season Knights fan during the next homestand (June 16-21).

RUN LEURY RUN: Infielder Leury Garcia is batting .299 (56-for-187) and is tied for third in the IL this season in runs scored (29) – four behind IL leader Daniel Fields. He has a team-high 20 stolen bases and ranks second in the IL. 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.

THIS DAY IN KNIGHTS HISTORY: On June 6, 2013, the Charlotte Knights beat the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI by a score of 10-5. Steve Tolleson launched a grand slam in the game and went 2-for-3 with five RBIs. Mike McDade and Josh Phegley also homered to lead the Knights to the win.

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 MiLB.com 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.
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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).

Knights Knotes — May 21, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) continue a seven-game road trip and open a four-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA at 7:05 p.m. tonight. Charlotte concluded their three-game series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees) yesterday with a win to take the three-game road series (2-1) and seven-game season series (4-3). The Knights, who won five of seven games on their last homestand, enter today in first place in the IL South Division – 2.5 games ahead of Norfolk and 3.5 games ahead of the Durham Bulls. Charlotte has won seven of their last 10 games and six of 10 games against the North Division this season. knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Knights scored five runs on 12 hits – including a two-run homer by OF Tyler Colvin – behind a dominant performance by RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 3.96) to win the rubber match against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-2 at PNC Field.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Kyle Drabek (0-1, 1.80) will make his sixth Knights start of the season tonight and first career start at Coca-Cola Park. Drabek tied a season-high with six innings in his last start – back on May 16 at BB&T Ballpark and did not factor in the decision and was saddled with the loss (6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO). Drabek has had some tough-luck this season – especially over his last three starts. Over that three-game span, he has allowed just two runs over 17.0 IP while striking out 15 batters. He’s 0-1 with a 1.06 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 IronPigs once last season in a relief role and allowed one run over two innings pitched. A season earlier, Drabek started for the Bisons against the ‘Pigs on August 25, 2013 and allowed three runs on seven hits over 3.1 IP and was charged with the loss. In two career games against the ‘Pigs (both in Buffalo) Drabek is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA (5.1 IP, 4 ER). 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 MiLB.com 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.

DANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: IronPigs OF Jordan Danks spent parts of five seasons with the Knights (2010-14) and holds the Knights franchise record for hits with 449. He is also the all-time Knights franchise leader in games played (463), runs scored (250), triples (12), walks (215), and at-bats (1682). He is second in doubles (95) and RBIs (221) and fourth in home runs (52). Only Danks and Joe Borchard have compiled 1,600+ at bats, 400+ games played, 400+ hits, and 200+ runs in franchise history. He broke the Knights hit record on August 1, 2014 during the resumption of the July 31st suspended game at BB&T Ballpark.

ERIK WITH A “K”: With seven solid innings yesterday, RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 3.96) notched his fourth win of the season (tying Jarrett Casey for the team-high). Johnson allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings while fanning a season-high nine batters. He last fanned nine batters on April 15, 2014 with Chicago vs. Boston. His career game-high is 10.

BASH BROTHERS: 1B/DH Dan Black and 3B Matt Davidson are tied for second in the IL this season in home runs – one behind Ian Stewart of SYR and Kyle Roller of SWB. Black is now hitting .318 (34-for-107) and is first in the IL in on-base percentage (.439) and tied for first in slugging percentage (.561). He is second in HR/AB with a home run every 17.83 at-bats, first in intentional walks with five and third in walks with 23. Black had a 25-game on-base streak snapped with a 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), Black hit .342 with four homers and 16 RBIs. Davidson has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.

THOMPSON’S SEAL: OF Trayce Thompson scored the go-ahead run in Tuesday’s game, which sealed the victory for the Knights. Yesterday, Thompson recorded two hits and is beginning to heat up. Over his last four games, the former White Sox second-rounder (June 2009 draft) has seven hits with one home run and five RBIs. He hit .325 (25-for-77) in 20 games during the month of April.

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats extended his hit-streak to 11-straight games yesterday and finished the game with two hits (2-for-5) for the second-straight game. Coats, who is now hitting .309 (30-for-97) this season in 24 games with the Knights, has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. During the month of May, he is hitting .329 (23-for-70). Overall, Coats has hit safely in 20 of his 24 games with the Knights.

THRIVING IN MAY AND ON-THE-ROAD: In 14 games this month, infielder Leury Garcia is hitting .333 (19-for-57) with four doubles and four RBIs. He continued his hot-hitting on the road as well. Through 15 road games this season, Garcia owns a .344 batting average (21-for-61) with eight runs scored, four doubles, and four RBIs.

THE SKIPPER TOO: Joel Skinner has compiled a total 234 Knights wins — the most in franchise history in four seasons. Skinner and former Knights manager Nick Leyva (202) are the only two managers in franchise history to win 200 games. In 12 seasons as a Minor League manager (including this season), he owns a career 827-727 record. At the Triple-A level (five seasons including this year), he has a 320-294 record.

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 MiLB.com 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.

Knights Knotes — May 10, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) conclude their three-game series with the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) today at 2:00 p.m. from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH. The Knights snapped their season-long five-game losing skid with a commanding 8-4 win last night. It was Charlotte’s first win on the current six-game road trip (1-4). The Knights, who were tied for first place in the IL South Division just five days ago (May 5), are now in third place, two games back of the first place Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). With a win today, Charlotte, who is 6-7 on the road in 2015, can pull to .500 on the road. knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: A strong night from the Charlotte Knights battery led to an 8-4 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday night, as veteran RHP Brad Penny spun six solid innings and catcher Kevan Smith delivered a perfect three-for-three night at the plate. Smith led a Knights offensive attack that tallied 8 runs and 11 hits – both game-highs for this current road trip. The Knights catcher accounted for five of the team’s eight runs, tallying three RBI and scoring two runs of his own in the game.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Erik Johnson (3-2, 3.74) will make his fifth start of the 2015 season today as he toes the rubber for Charlotte in the finale against Toledo. Johnson made his 2015 debut on April 13 in relief against the Durham Bulls and earned the win after three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He gave up just two hits while fanning three batters. He then 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. All three of Johnson’s wins this season have come at home. He beat Toledo back on April 29 at BB&T Ballpark (5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO). 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. He began last season with the White Sox and posted a 1-1 record with a 6.46 ERA in five starts. He was then optioned to Charlotte on April 26, 2014, where he 20 starts with the club and compiled a 5-7 record with a 6.73 ERA (105.2 IP). Johnson started 10 games for the Knights in 2013 and posted a 4-1 record with a 1.57 ERA over 57.1 IP. The Mountain View, California native averaged close to one strikeout per inning in 2013 totaling 57 Ks with the Knights. In 2013, pitching across two levels, Johnson ranked third among qualified minor league starters in WHIP (0.99), fifth in ERA (1.96), and sixth in opponents’ average (.197).

*MiLB Career: 26-17, 3.61 ERA (68 G, 65 GS, 363.2 IP, 341 H, 163 R, 146 ER, 305 SO).
*IL Career: 12-10, 4.78 ERA (35 G, 34 GS, 184.2 IP, 198 H, 106 R, 98 ER, 142 SO

BECK PROMOTED SATURDAY: RHP Chris Beck (1-1, 4.78) had his contract purchased by Chicago on Saturday and served as the club’s 26th player for game two of their doubleheader. Beck, who did not pitch, was returned to the Knights after the game. It was his first promotion to the majors and he was added to the team’s 40-man roster.

IL LEADERBOARD: Carlos Sanchez – who has earned two IL Batter of the Week honors this season – is currently second in the IL in batting average with a .372 mark. He is also first in hits (42), second in total bases (58), second in doubles (10), fourth in extra-base hits (12), and fifth in at-bats (113).

MOVING UP ON THE ALL-TIME LIST: With three hits in Friday’s game, Carlos Sanchez moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Knights all-time franchise hits list. His 284 career hits passed slugger Josh Fields (282) and he is one away from tying Brian Daubach’s 285 – which are good for fourth. Jordan Danks, now with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, broke the all-time hits record last season on August 1. His 449 are the most in franchise history ahead of Joe Borchard (439), and Josh Phegley (312).

Mr. SMITH: Catcher Kevan Smith extended his hit-streak to seven-straight games on Saturday after a solid game at the plate. Smith went 3-for-3 and finished a home run short of the cycle yesterday. He singled, doubled, and tripled, as well as scoring two runs and driving in three. Smith is now batting .304 (21-for-69) in 24 games this season. In 12 road games this year, he is hitting .379 (11-for-29) with a home run and four RBIs.

BLACK IS BACK: 1B/DH Dan Black went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI yesterday a day after his 25-straight on-base streak came to an end. In 22 games this season, he is hitting .314 (22-for-70) and is second in the IL in on-base percentage (.449) and fourth in slugging percentage (.543). Black’s 25-game streak dated back to July 28, 2014 (five games from last year and 20 from this year). During his 25-game on-base streak, he hit .342 with four homers and 16 RBIs.

HOME RUN LEADER: On Tuesday, 3B Matt Davidson launched his IL leading sixth homer of the season. Davidson, who passed Chris Colabello (Buffalo), has homered once every 17.50 at-bats – fifth best in the IL.

ATTENDANCE FEVER: The Charlotte Knights have welcomed 139,599 fans through 15 regular season home games this season. Last Sunday’s game was the team’s eighth sell-out crowd of the season. The defending attendance champions are now first overall in average attendance per game — averaging 9,307 fans per game. Charlotte is third behind Sacramento, who have welcomed 164,196 through 18 games (three more openings than Charlotte’s 15), and El Paso, who have welcomed 143,900 through 18 games as well. The Knights welcomed a Minor League best 687,715 fans through the gates during their regular season during their inaugural campaign at BB&T Ballpark.

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats ripped three hits last night and bumped his average up to .302 on the season with the Knights in 14 games. It was his second three-hit game of the season with the Knights and he also added two RBIs. Through seven games in May, Coats is hitting .346 (9-for-26) with three doubles and six RBIs.

Knights Knotes — May 8, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) head to Toledo, OH to open a three-game series with the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) tonight at 7:00 p.m. from Fifth Third Field. The Knights hit the road after a solid seven-game homestand (4-3) and began a six-game road trip on Tuesday. Charlotte dropped all three games to the Clippers in their series and enter today’s game with a four-game losing skid. The Knights find themselves in second place in the IL South Division – two games back of first place Durham. Charlotte won two of three from Toledo from April 27-29. knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Tyler Holt recorded three hits, Jordan Cooper tossed six shutout innings, and the Columbus Clippers beat the Charlotte Knights by a score of 5-2 on Thursday in the finale of their three-game series from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH. Cooper (1-1, 1.98) allowed just three hits and three walks on the day en-route to his first win of the season. The Topeka, KS native struck-out a season-high eight batters.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Chris Beck (1-1, 4.78), who is ranked as the number 11 prospect in the Chicago White Sox system by Baseball America, toes the rubber today for the Knights in the opening game of a three-game series from Toledo, OH. Beck, 24, last pitched for the Charlotte on May 2 at BB&T Ballpark against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Making his first career start against SWB, Beck allowed just two runs on eight hits over six innings en-route to his first win of the season. Tonight’s game will be his third road start of the season (0-1, 3.27 ERA in two road starts) and first career start against Toledo. In seven starts with the Knights last season, Beck posted a 1-3 record with a 4.05 ERA (33.1 IP, 36 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 13 BB, 28 SO). He began the 2014 campaign with the Double-A Birmingham Barons and posted a 5-8 mark with a 3.39 ERA in 20 starts before a promotion to Charlotte on June 26. He started his first career Triple-A game on June 26 against Louisville and was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits over 4.2 innings pitched. He was sent back to Birmingham the next day. He was promoted back to Charlotte on July 28. He went a combined 6-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 27 starts between both stops. He ranked among the White Sox minor leaguers in shutouts (T-1st), ERA (4th) and IP (4th). He entered the 2014 season ranked by Baseball America as the number nine prospect in Chicago’s system and as possessing the Best Changeup in the organization. Beck was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Georgia Southern University. MiLB: 24-25, 3.57 ERA, 73 G, 64 GS, 363.1 IP, 377 H, 168 R, 144 ER, 218 SO.
IL
: 2-4, 4.37 ERA, 12 G, 12 GS, 59.2 IP, 67 H, 30 R, 29 ER, 17 BB, 46 SO.

DAN THE MAN: 1B/DH Dan Black went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored on Thursday and has now reached base in all 20 games he’s played in this season. Dating back to last season (July 28, 2014), he has reached base in a remarkable 25-straight games. He is now hitting .339 (21-for-62) with four home runs, 17 walks, and 13 RBIs this year. During his 25-game on-base streak, Black is hitting .342 with four homers and 16 RBIs. His 25-gamer is the current longest in the IL. He currently leads the IL in on-base percentage (.475) and slugging percentage (.597) and is tied for second in walks (17). Black has the best HR/AB ration with a home run every 15.50 at-bats. BF3_0186

‘LOS IS MORE:
Despite going 0-for-8 over his last two games, Carlos Sanchez is still atop the International League in batting average with a .379 mark – which is tied with Steve Lombardozzi (Indianapolis). Sanchez, who was named as the IL Batter of the Week for the period of April 27-May 3 — his second IL Batter of the Week award already this season — is also first in hits (39), secon in total bases (55), second in doubles (10), third in extra-base hits (12). His 281 career hits are sixth all-time in Knights franchise history and he is now just one hit away from moving into a tie for fifth with Josh Fields (282).

TRIPLE-A DEBUT: RHP Junior Guerra made his Triple-A debut yesterday for the Charlotte Knights and was sharp despite being saddled with the loss. Guerra allowed just one run on one hit over five innings in the 5-2 loss to the Clippers. The Venezuelan native struck-out eight batters while walking two. The 30-year-old began the season with Double-A Birmingham and went 2-3 with a 2.29 ERA in five games (three starts). He was promoted to the Knights on May 5.

WELCOME BACK, GEORGE: Catcher George Kottaras was activated off the disabled list just before yesterday’s 10:35 a.m. game and got the start behind the plate for the first time since April 16 in Gwinnett. Kottaras, who was placed on the DL the next day (April 17), returned and went 1-for-1 at the plate with three walks – reaching base in all four plate appearances yesterday. The veteran backstop has a hit in all three games he’s played in this season. Kottaras took the roster spot of catcher Jeremy Dowdy, who was assigned back to Winston-Salem (A+) yesterday.

WITH TRAYCE
: OF Trayce Thompson has hit safely in 19 of his 26 games this season and is among the team leaders in a number of categories. Thompson is second on the team in hits (31), total bases (49), tied for second on the team in runs scored (14) and doubles (6), and third in batting average (.307) and stolen bases (3).

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