Sunday, May 11, 2014

Joel Skinner tossed; Tommy Hanson saddled with 8-4 loss to Buffalo

Jared Goedert’s second home run of the game gave the Bisons the lead for good off Tommy Hanson and the Knights on Sunday afternoon, as Charlotte dropped game three of its four-game series with Buffalo, 8-4, in front of a sold out crowd of 10,203 at BB&T BallPark.

Goedert’s three-run shot – which was originally ruled a double by the umpires, before being overturned – came on a 2-2 curveball and gave Buffalo a 5-3 lead in the sixth inning.

“I didn’t throw a lot of (curveballs) today, so I thought I would get (Goedert) with that,” said Hanson, who went six innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits with two walks and a strikeout over the course of 101 pitches. “I didn’t want to throw him a ball and go 3-2 there. I thought I made a pretty good pitch and it wound up going out – barely.

“If I could go back, I don’t even know if I would make better pitches,” he continued. “I just think that he got me. Sometimes you’ve got to tip your hat to a guy. He swung the bat well today.”

The home run also marked the end of the afternoon for Knights manager Joel Skinner, who was thrown out for arguing the change in call.

“(After seeing a replay), it looked like it hit right off the base of the railing above the wall in left,” said Skinner, who was sent to the showers early for the second time this season. “From what I heard on the television, they probably got it right. But still, you’re fighting for your guys and sometimes that happens.”

Hanson allowed single runs in both the first and second innings before settling down until the sixth. In the meantime, his teammates were able to put up a three spot in the third inning off Buffalo starter Liam Hendricks (5-0).

Blake Tekotte led off with a double to left and came around to score on a single by Alex Liddi. The Knights then loaded the bases for Jordan Danks, who blooped a single to left.

On the play, Jared Mitchell had to hold up to make sure the ball fell in before advancing home. Bisons left fielder, Kevin Pillar, came up throwing to home, but the ball got away and allowed Gorkys Hernandez to scamper home as well. 

The hit was the first on two on the afternoon for Jordan Danks, who was reassigned to Charlotte on May 9th, after hitting .098 in 21 games with the Chicago White Sox.

“I’m getting there,” said Danks, who is hitting .364 (4-for-11) since his return. “That’s the best I can do for right now. The confidence is still there. Obviously, when you’re squeezing out hits and grinding out at bats and they’re falling in there every now and then, that’s good, but I’d like to find the barrel (more).

Andy Wilkins connected on his team-leading seventh home run of the season in the sixth inning off Hendricks before three Buffalo relievers combined on three scoreless innings to close out the win -- the team’s second straight against Charlotte. The loss dropped Hanson to 2-3 on the season and elevated his ERA to 3.55.

Buffalo finished the afternoon with four home runs, with the final two coming off Charlotte reliever David Purcey, who allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings of work.

“(Hanson’s) an experienced big leaguer and he’s fun to watch,” said Danks. ‘Even when guys like that don’t have their best stuff, they’re going to give you a good game and he stayed in there for six innings. He battled and we just didn’t give him the run support for him today.”

The Knights will conclude their four-game series with the Bisons on Monday. Erik Johnson (0-0, 1.38) will get the 12:05 p.m. start, while Buffalo will hand the ball to Shawn Hill (0-1, 7.50).