Friday, August 1, 2014

Jordan Danks sets Knights all-time hits mark in 7-1 win; Matt Lindstrom allows run in rehab appearance

Jordan Danks added yet another milestone to his still young career as he became the Charlotte Knights’ all-time hits leader with No. 440 against the Durham Bulls in Friday’s continuation of Thursday’s rain-suspended game.

Danks laced a 0-2 two-run home run to left center field off Durham’s Brandon Gomes in the seventh inning to jump ahead of Joe Borchard atop the 26-year-old franchise’s record books.  

The home run was Danks’ 51st with the Knights and helped lead Charlotte to a 7-1 win over the Bulls in front of 9,919 at BB&T BallPark – most of whom rose as one to salute Danks as he rounded the bases.

“I got behind 0-2 in the at-bat and wasn’t trying to do anything too big, but I was able to square up a ball and it got out,” said Danks moments after taking a shaving cream pie to the face from teammates Carlos Sanchez and Frank De Los Santos.

The 27-year-old Danks began Friday’s action with a 3-2 count and the Knights leading 3-0 in the top of the third after rain forced Thursday’s game to be suspended in the middle of his second at-bat.

After fouling off a pitch, Danks, who had a sacrifice fly in the first inning of the game on Thursday, flied to left.

Danks finished the game 1-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. He made his Knights debut on April 8, 2010 and recorded one hit – a two-run home run.

In parts of five seasons with the Knights, the 6-foot-4-inch outfielder has amassed team records in games played (451), runs scored (243), triples (12), walks (208) and strikeouts (516). He’s also appeared in 150 games with the White Sox.

Andy Wilkins, who was earlier in the day named the International League’s Player of the Month, provided the rest of the Charlotte offense with two doubles and a 3-for-4 showing overall.

For the month of July, Wilkins led the International League with 12 home runs, 31 RBI, 44 hits, 21 extra‐base hits, and a .857 slugging percentage

White Sox closer Matt Lindstrom (with the Knights on a Major League rehab assignment) got the call to start the top of the fourth inning and allowed a run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. He threw 16 pitches, eight for strikes.

“I felt pretty good,” said Lindstrom, who has been on the White Sox disabled list since a tear in his left ankle required surgery the past May. “I was a little apprehensive with the mound being a little bit wet, but everything felt as close to normal as I think it’s going to feel.”  

After being promoted from Class AA Birmingham on Thursday, Scott Snodgress made his Knights debut and tossed a one-two-three ninth inning with two strikeouts.

But the night belonged to Danks.

“It’s an honor,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed the past five years here and as my wife said the other day, ‘as much as you’d (rather be in the Majors) this is still something to be pretty proud of.’”