Knights Knotes — July 11, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their three-day, four-game series against the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) tonight at 7:05 p.m. from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. The Knights split yesterday’s doubleheader and enter today’s game 1.5 games behind the first place Tides in the IL South Division. The Knights and Tides are 7-7 head-to-head this season and will wrap up the first half of the year with this series on Sunday. The Triple-A All-Star Break runs Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 15. The Knights return home on July 16 to open an eight-game homestand.  knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Knights dropped game one of Friday’s twin bill to the Norfolk Tides by a score of 4-3 when Dariel Alvarez came through with an RBI, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Blake Smith (0-2, 5.91). In the nightcap, the Knights came back to score six runs to beat the Tides 6-5. Reliever Jarrett Casey earned his eighth win.

DOUBLEHEADERS: The Charlotte Knights played their fourth doubleheader of the season yesterday and split the two games. In eight games this year in doubleheader play, the Knights are 2-6. Yesterday’s doubleheader was Charlotte’s third in less than two weeks.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Kyle Drabek (4-5, 2.64) will make his 15th Knights start of the season tonight. Drabek has limited opposing batters to a .221 batting average this season – fourth lowest in the IL among starters. He also has the third lowest WHIP (1.11), has allowed the fewest baserunners per nine innings (10.23) and his 2.64 ERA is third in the IL. Drabek_KyleThe 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 — his first start in Triple-A 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 Texas native posted a 5.06 ERA (5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). He was claimed by Chicago on March 27, 2015 off waivers from Toronto. Last season with the 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). 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. 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 a MiLB.com Organization All-Star. Kyle is the son of Doug Drabek, who won 155 games in the majors. Doug was the 1990 Cy Young Award winner while pitching for Pittsburgh.

99 K’S: RHP Erik Johnson (7-5, 2.73) made his return to the mound in game one of yesterday’s doubleheader and tossed four scoreless innings (4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO). Johnson extended his season strikeouts total to 99 – tops in the IL this season. He is also tops in the IL in strikeouts per nine innings (10.05), while his 2.73 ERA is fifth lowest, and his 1.12 ERA is fourth lowest. Johnson will start Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game for the IL squad — just the fourth Knights hurler to do so joining Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010). Johnson has allowed one earned run over his last 36.0 IP.

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats had a doubleheader to remember on Friday. In game one, the former TCU standout went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. In game two, he went 2-for-4 with one RBI – combining to go 5-for-8 with a home run and four RBIs. He is now tied for third in the IL in RBIs with 51 and is hitting .333 (12-for-36) with six runs scored, two home runs, and eight RBIs in July (9).  Coats_Jason

WHO’S HOT: 1B/OF Chris Marrero went 1-for-3 in each game of Friday’s doubleheader and now has a nine-game hit-streak. Marrero homered in game two yesterday and now has four home runs with the Knights (two over his last five games). In 19 games with the Knights since being promoted from Birmingham, Marrero is hitting .359 (23-for-64)… 2B Micah Johnson had four hits over the course of Friday’s doubleheader and now has nine hits over his last four games. Johnson is hitting .313 (63-for-201) on the season with five home runs, 18 stolen bases, and 24 RBIs in 50 games with Charlotte… Matt Tuiasosopo slugged his third home run over his last eight games last night – his seventh of the season. The home run – a two-run blast off RHP Eddie Gamboa – was hit in game two of the doubleheader… Catcher George Kottaras has now reached base in 20-straight games dating back to 5/17. During that stretch, he is hitting .339 (20-for-59) with seven home runs, 18 RBIs and a .487 OBP.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is tied for third in home runs (14) and tief for second in walks (46)… OF Trayce Thompson is first in games played (90), second in runs scored (48), second in at-bats (337), and third in extra-base hits (34)… Tyler Saladino and Leury Garcia are tied for second in steals (25)…

CHARLOTTE’S PEN: Overall, RHP Jarrett Casey (8-1, 4.78) is tied for second in the IL in wins (8)… Among relievers, RHP Maikel Cleto (3-2, 2.74) is third in the IL in batting average against (.168) and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.17)… IL All-Star Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.50) has the second-best strikeouts rate per nine innings ratio (10.25) and opponents are hitting .176 against him (fourth lowest).

Knights Knotes – July 10, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will begin a three-day, four-game series against the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) today at 5:05 p.m. from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA with a doubleheader. The Knights dropped two of three games on their latest homestand against the Durham Bulls and enter today’s game 1.5 games behind the first place Tides in the IL South Division. The Knights and Tides are 6-6 head-to-head this season and will wrap up the first half of the year with this series. The Triple-A All-Star Break runs Monday, July 13 to Wednesday, July 15. The Knights return home on July 16 to open an eight-game homestand. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Charlotte native Richie Shaffer slugged two home runs in front of family and friends as the Durham Bulls beat the Charlotte Knights 10-8 last night in the finale of their three-game series from BB&T Ballpark. The Bulls used four long balls and 13 hits to beat the Knights. RHP Shawn Haviland (4-5, 4.09) allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings and was saddled with the loss. Tyler Colvin and Micah Johnson homered in the loss.

KNIGHTS GAME 1 STARTING PITCHER: RHP Erik Johnson (7-5, 2.86), who will start the Triple-A All-Star Game for the IL squad on Wednesday, will make his 15th start of the 2015 season, and appear in his 16th game tonight when he gets the nod against the Tides – his first start since June 26 at Rochester. Johnson leads theerik johnson IL in strikeouts (96), is averaging 10.21 strikeouts per nine innings, which is tops in the IL, and is eighth in the IL in ERA. Over his last 32.0 innings pitched, the 25-year-old has allowed just two runs (one earned). 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). He is just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to get the Triple-A All-Star Game starting nod — Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010), are the others. 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.

KNIGHTS GAME 2 STARTING PITCHER: RHP Terance Marin (3-0, 0.96) will make his sixth start of the season today (seventh overall game). Marin did not allow a run over his first five games (29.0 IP) and had a 31.0 consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped in the third inning of his last start – back on July 5. Still, the Modesto, CA native tossed 8.2 innings to earn his third win of the season. Marin was assigned to Charlotte on Friday, June 5, 2015 after he was on loan to the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League earlier this year. He posted a 2-5 record with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) in 47.1 innings pitched for the Toros. 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 went undrafted out of Modesto Junior College.

DOUBLEHEADERS: The Charlotte Knights have played three doubleheaders this season (six games) – most recently a day-night doubleheader at BB&T Ballpark on July 3 – and are 1-5 this year in twin bills. Charlotte split the day-night doubleheader on July 3 against the Gwinnett Braves, but lost the other two twin bills. Today’s doubleheader is Charlotte’s third in less than two weeks. They dropped both games of their June 28th doubleheader in Rochester.Saladino_Tyler

SALADINO RECALLED: Tyler Saladino, who is third in the IL in stolen bases with 25 this season, has been recalled to the Chicago White Sox today. Saladino, a member of Chicago’s 40-man roster, earns his first promotion to the majors. Saladino, 25, was hitting .255 (50-for-196) with 28 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, four home runs, 29 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases this season for the Knights. The San Diego, CA native was enjoying a solid month of July with the Knights. In eight games this month, Saladino was hitting .323 (10-for-31) with six runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, and 12 RBIs. He homered in back-to-back games (July 7-8).

FLURRY OF ROSTER MOVES: A flurry of roster moves have been announced today including RHP Shawn Haviland being placed on the DL, RHP Matt Lindstrom released by Chicago, as well as RHP Scott Carroll and infielder Ethan Wilson have been added to the roster, which is now at 24 active players. RHP Scott Carroll, who was optioned down to the Knights on Thursday from Chicago, takes the roster spot of Lindstrom. Carroll posted a 1-1 record with a 3.28 ERA in 12 games for the White Sox. The Kansas City, MO native began the 2015 campaign with the Knights and is 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA in six games with the club this year. Lindstrom, 35, posted a 2-1 record with two saves and a 5.56 ERA in 18 games out of Charlotte’s bullpen this season. Infielder Ethan Wilson, 26, has appeared in 17 games with the Dash this season and was hitting .170 (8-for-47) with seven runs scored, one home run, and eight RBIs. Haviland is 4-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 18 games this season.

ATTENDANCE LEADERS: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 21 sell-out crowds in 44 Knights games this season – nearly half of the team’s games. Adding in the White Sox Exhibition Game (April 3) and the Team USA Game (July 4), BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 23 sell-out crowds this season. Overall during the 2015 regular season, BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 417,089 fans – tops in all of Minor League Baseball. The Knights led the minors in attendance last season – their first at BB&T Ballpark – with a mark of 687,715 fans (71 openings).

ALL-STAR GAME NOTES: 3B Matt Davidson, OF Trayce Thompson, and pitchers Erik Johnson, and Zach Phillips, will take part in the 28th Annual First National Bank Triple-A All-Star Game, presented by Gildan.Davidson_Matt The Charlotte foursome will represent the Knights and the International League against the Pacific Coast League All-Stars at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska on Wednesday, July 15. The Knights are one of just two IL teams with four All-Stars, along with the Norfolk Tides. Both Thompson (outfield) and Davidson (DH) were elected to start the game, while Johnson and Phillips were selected. Davidson will participate in the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13 — his second career Triple-derby. In 2013 — as a member of the Reno Aces — he won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Aces Ballpark in Reno, NV. His 2013 title came just a day after he competed in the Futures Game at Citi Field in New York, where won the game’s Most Valuable Player Award. Other Knights to take part in the Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby over the years are: Jim Thome (1993), Russ Morman (1997), Joe Crede (2002), and Dayan Viciedo (2011), and Dan Johnson (2012). Knights manager Joel Skinner will leave the team after tonight’s doubleheader and make his way to Cincinnati, OH to coach the U.S. Team on Sunday in the SiriusXM Futures Game for the second time in his career.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is second in home runs (14) and first in walks (46)… OF Trayce Thompson is first in games played (88), tied for second in runs scored (47), second in at-bats (329), and third in extra-base hits (34)… Tyler Saladino is third in the IL in steals (25) and Leury Garcia is fourth (23)… RHP Kyle Drabek (4-5, 2.64) has the third lowest WHIP (1.11) and fourth lowest ERA (2.64).

Knights Knotes — July 5, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their three-game road trip in Lawrenceville, GA and face the Gwinnett Braves (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) today in a 2:05 p.m. game at Coolray Field. The two teams are playing six games against each other over a five-day stretch, which started on Thursday and continued with a day-night doubleheader on Friday. The Knights, who entered the five-day stretch with a 4-0 record this season against Gwinnett, dropped the first two games, but have come back to win the next two. Charlotte is now 6-2 against Gwinnett this season. Entering today’s game, the Knights are 1.5 games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. Norfolk has won eight of their last 10 games, while Charlotte has gone 4-6 over their last 10. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Matt Tuiasosopo’s sixth inning grand slam led the Charlotte Knights to a 5-1 win over the Gwinnett Braves on Saturday in a Fourth of July matchup from Coolray Field. Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (4-4, 4.19) did not allow a run over six innings of one-hit baseball. Haviland is now 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA over his last five games.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Terance Marin (2-0, 0.00) gets the start today for the Knights – his fifth of the 1396season. Marin, who was reinstated by the Chicago White Sox from Mexico and assigned to Charlotte on Friday, June 5, will appear in his sixth overall game with the Knights this year and has yet to allow a run in what is his first taste of Triple-A Baseball. Coming into today’s start, Marin has not allowed a run in 29.0 consecutive innings pitched this season with the Knights since coming back to the United States. He has tossed three-straight games of seven shutout innings. 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.

GRAND SLAM: With Charlotte leading 1-0 last night, 1B Matt Tuiasosopo launched a grand slam off Gwinnett starter Mike Foltynewicz in the sixth inning. It was his second grand slam of the season (his first came on May 29 against Lehigh Valley starter Adam Morgan). The grand slam was Tuiasosopo’s third with the Knights. He also hit a grand slam last season (August 18 against Gwinnett starter Daniel Rodriguez). Charlotte as a team hit five grand slams last season. They have four already this season (Dan Black and George Kottaras are the other two players to hit grand slams this year).

IL LEADERBOARD
: OF Trayce Thompson is currently first in the IL in games played (83), second in runs scored (44), second in at-bats (310), tied for sixth in slugging percentage (.451), and third in extra-base hits (32)… Tyler Saladino is third in the IL in steals (24) and Leury Garcia is fourth (23)… 3B Matt Davidson is now second in home runs in the IL this season – one behind IL leader, Durham’s J.P. Arencibia (14). Davidson is also tied for third in the IL in walks (40)… RHP Kyle Drabek (3-5, 2.86) is tied for eighth in the IL this season in ERA (2.86) with teammate RHP Erik Johnson. Drabek is second in the IL in WHIP (1.12), and batters are hitting .216 against him – the fifth best mark in the IL. He has allowed the second lowest baserunners per nine innings (10.20).3328

FOUR KNIGHTS NAMED 2015 ALL-STARS: 3B Matt Davidson, OF Trayce Thompson, and pitchers Erik Johnson, and Zach Phillips, have been named to the 28th Annual First National Bank Triple-A All-Star Game, presented by Gildan. The Charlotte foursome will represent the Knights and the International League against the Pacific Coast League All-Stars at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska on Wednesday, July 15. The Knights are one of just two IL teams with four All-Stars, along with the Norfolk Tides. Both Thompson (outfield) and Davidson (DH) were elected to start the game, while Johnson and Phillips were selected.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: RHP Erik Johnson is 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) this season with the Knights. He currently leads the IL with 96 strikeouts and his 2.86 ERA is tied for eighth in the IL with teammate Kyle Drabek. Johnson, who won IL Pitcher of the Week honors earlier this season, is averaging 10.21 strikeouts per nine innings — also tops in the IL this season. He has allowed just two runs (one earned) over his last 32.0 innings pitched. 2B Micah Johnson is hitting .291 (51-for-175) with 10 doubles, three home runs, 20 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases (44 G) for the Knights.

CHARLOTTE’S PEN: RHP Maikel Cleto has the third lowest batting average against (.167) among relievers in the IL… LHP Zach Phillips is 1-0 with five saves and a 2.08 ERA in 28 games out of Charlotte’s bullpen this season. The Sacramento, CA native has allowed just three earned runs over his last 18 games (21.1 IP) and has not allowed a run in 22 of his 28 games this season…. 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), continued his Major League Rehab assignment last night and allowed one run over two innings of work. He has allowed just one run over his six innings pitched with Charlotte.

KING GEORGE: Catcher George Kottaras homered for Charlotte in game two of the team’s day-night doubleheader on Friday – his sixth home run over his last seven games. Over that seven-game span, the Canadian native is hitting .409 (9-for-22) with seven runs scored, six home runs and 15 RBIs. In 23 games this season, Kottaras is hitting .328 (22-for-67) with seven home runs, 19 RBIs, 23 walks, and a .495 on-base percentage. In two-straight games (6/18-6/21), he hit three home runs with 12 RBIs after back-to-back six-RBI games. He homered twice on June 21. In nine games during the month of June, he hit .333 (8-for-24) with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

ATTENDANCE FEVER: Over the course of the 2015 regular season, BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 20 sell-out crowds in 41 Knights games – nearly half of the team’s games. The ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, welcomed a sell-out crowd at last night’s Team USA vs. Cuba matchup (10,352). The Knights opened up the 2015 campaign with a sold-out crowd for the team’s exhibition game on April 3rd against their parent club, the Chicago White Sox. Overall, BB&T Ballpark has welcomed 22 sell-out crowds this season. There were 31 sell-out crowds last season in 71 regular season Knights games. BB&T Ballpark – the most visited venue in Minor League Baseball last season, has welcomed 389,913 fans – second in Minor League Baseball behind Sacramento’s 399,191. Sacramento has had 43 openings, Charlotte has had two less (41).

TEAM USA WINS BIG AT BB&T BALLPARK
: Charlotte-born Nick Banks launched one of his team’s two home runs last night as Team USA beat the Cuban Baseball National Team 11-1 in front of 10,352 fans at BB&T Ballpark on July 4th. While the game attracted a sell-out crowd, the Uptown Charlotte area was packed with even more fans outside the ballpark. The Knights, along with News Talk 1110 WBT and 107.9 The Link hosted the 39th Annual WBT SkyShow event – second in as many seasons at BB&T Ballpark (10th overall for the Knights).

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.

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