Thursday, April 17, 2014

Final: Charlotte Knights 0, Gwinnett Braves 1

By Seth Lakso, Charlotte Observer Correspondent 

Final: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- Matt Davidson K'd. Andy Wilkins popped to center. Denis Phipps K'd looking.

Top 9th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- Ryan Kussmaul walked Tommy La Stella to begin the inning, but then K'd the Braves No. 4 and 5 batters and got a groundout to third to end the inning. Matt Davidson, Andy Wilkins and Denis Phipps due up in the bottom of the ninth.

Bottom 8th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- RHP Wirfin Obispo retired Gorkys Hernandez, Carlos Sanchez and Josh Phegley in order. That's the fourth time tonight the Knights have gone 1-2-3. They have five hits.

Top 8th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- RHP Ryan Kussmaul came on to start the inning in relief of Charlie Leesman and tossed a scoreless frame, despite allowing a walk and a single.

Bottom 7th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- Twice this game the Knights have had a runner on third and one out and each time the batter at the plate has struck out. Can't win when you miss out on those kinds of opportunities.

Dan Black doubled to begin the inning and was pinch-run for by Denis Phipps. A Blake Tekotte groundout to second moved him to third. Tyler Saladino and jared Mitchell then both struck out. The Knights are now 9 for 66 with two outs and runners in scoring position this season.

Top 7th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- It took seven innings, but Charlie Leesman finally got his one-two-three inning. It ended with a strikeout of Edward Salcedo.

Leesman is likely done for the night, here's his line: 7 IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 4K (98 pitches).

Bottom 6th: Knights 0, Braves 1 --  The Braves got a solid night of work out of Mitch Atkins (4.2 IP, 0R, 3K, 2H), who was forced into action in the second after an injury to Yunesky Maya.

Atkins was pulled from the game with two outs in the inning after throwing 69 pitches and replaced by LHP Atahualpa Severino, who got Andy Wilkins to bounce to second to end the inning.

Top 6th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- Leesman is yet to have a one-two-three inning, but he's also yet to get into significant trouble. He successfully worked around a one-out double by Todd Cunningham to retire the side. He's thrown 83 pitches tonight, 49 for strikes.

Bottom 5th: Knights 0, Braves -- Three up and three down again for Atkins. That's 11 Knights retired in a row. Over the last four games, the Braves bullpen has been the opposite of the Chicago White Sox pen, combining for a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER in 15.1 IP).

Top 5th: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- For the fourth time in five inning's Leesman allowed a base runner and still faced the minimum. After getting Edward Salcedo to bounce out. Leesman walked Christian Bethancourt, but for the third time today, the Knights turned a double play behind him to end the inning.

The Knights have turned 27 double plays this season to lead the International League. The next closest team is Toledo, who entered today with 12.

Bottom 4th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- Andy Wilkins, Dan Black and Blake Tekotte go down in order. Since allowing back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out in the second, Mitchell Atkins has retired eight Knights in a row.

Top 4th: Knights 0, Braves 1 -- The Braves stole a run when what looked like a highlight throw from Gorkys Hernandez in center came out of the glove of Josh Phegley when he attempted to put the tag on the runner.

Todd Cunningham led off the inning with a double. The Braves sacrificed him to third and then with one out Tommy La Stella lined out to Hernandez in center, who fired the ball all the way home on the fly to nab Cunningham by two steps, until the ball trickled away. Phegley was charged with an error on the play.

Bottom 3rd: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- Carlos Sanchez and Josh Phegely (a rocket to third) each grounded out. Matt Davidson (broken bat) then lined out to first.

Top 3rd: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- Leesman is yet to have a one-two-three inning, but has somehow faced the minimum nine batters through three innings.

He began the inning by getting Christian Bethancourt to ground out. After a walk to Derrick Mitchell, Leesman struck out Tyler Greene and with Todd Cunningham up, Josh Phegley threw out Mitchell attempting to steal to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- After allowing a single to Andy Wilkins and throwing one pitch to Dan Black, Gwinnett starter Yunesky Maya had to leave the game with what looked like a lower-body injury.

Mitch Atkins (0-2 9.00 ERA) came on to pitch and struck out Black. Back-to-back singles by Blake Tekotte and Tyler Saladino loaded the bases with one out, but Jared Mitchell K'd and Gorkys Hernandez bounced to short. The Knighs have stranded four runners (three in scoring position) through two innings.

Top 2nd: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- Leesman worked around a Matt Davidson throwing error to begin the inning by striking out Joey Terdoslavich and then getting Edward Salcedo to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

Bottom 1st: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- Gorkys Hernandez led off the game with a single, advanced to second on a Carlos Sanchez sacrifice bunt, and then took third when Josh Phegley grounded out to second. But the inning came to an end when Matt Davidson hit a nubber that was fielded by the catcher.

Top 1st: Knights 0, Braves 0 -- Todd Cunningham led off the inning with an infield single, but was erased on the very next pitch when Phil Gosselin grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Charlie Leesman then got Tommy La Stella to bounce to short to end the inning.


Knights (6-8)
Gorkys Hernandez CF
Carlos Sanchez 2B
Josh Phegley C
Matt Davidson 3B
Andy Wilkins 1B
Dan Black DH
Blake Tekotte RF
Tyler Saladino SS
Jared Mitchell LF
Pitching: LHP Charlie Leesman (0-1 2.70)

Braves (7-6)
Todd Cunningham CF
Phil Gosselin 3B
Tommy La Stella 2B
Ernesto Majia 1B
Joey Terdoslavich RF
Edward Salcedo DH
Christian Bethancourt C
Derrick Mitchell LF
Tyler Greene SS
Pitching: RHP Yunesky Maya (0-0 2.35)

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MiLB.TV / ESPN 730

Stat of the Day: Through 14 games this season, Charlotte No. 3 batters have just two runs batted in. Strangely enough, it's the No. 1 batters that have led the Knights in RBIs with nine.

Zach Putnam recalled to Chicago White Sox

On Thursday, the White Sox recalled Knights' reliever Zach Putnam to Chicago. The righthander had put together four scoreless appearances this season, tossing six innings and striking out 11. Putnam is the third Knight to be promoted to Chicago this season. He joins Jake Petricka (4/4) and Jordan Danks (4/10).

Frank De Los Santos promoted to Charlott Knights 

To fill Putnam's place on the roster, the Knights have promoted Frank De Los Santos from Double-A Birmingham. The lefthander was 0-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five games with the Barons. The 26-year-old was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in September of 2013.

Frank Francisco transfered to Rookie Great Falls

To cap off a busy day, former Mets closer Frank Francisco was transferred to Rookie Great Falls. Francisco had been added to the Knights' roster on Monday, a day after signing as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox. The 34-year will likely stay in Great Falls until he's in game-shape.

Knights Walkup Song of the Day: Mitchell Boggs: Simple Man, Lynyrd Skynyrd.