Sunday, May 17, 2015

Chris Beck earns his third-straight win as Charlotte Knights close out seven-game home stand

Chris Beck earned his third-straight win and helped the Charlotte Knights close out their seven-game home stand with a 7-1 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs in front of 9,628 at BB&T Ballpark on Sunday. 

The Knights (21-15), who finished Sunday with 11 hits, finished their home stand 5-2 and now sit 1.5 games ahead of the Norfolk Tides for first place in the International League South Division. 

For the third-straight start, Beck -- who held the Chiefs (16-21) to one run on six hits over seven innings -- pitched into at least the sixth inning of a game, while surrendering two or less runs. 

Beck's final line read: 7IP, 6H, 1R, 3BB, 4K -- 105 pitches (69 strikes). 

Charlotte's five-six batters Dan Black (3 for 3, BB, 2R, RBI) and Trayce Thompson (2 for 3, BB, HR, R, 4 RBI) combined to go 5-for-6 with five runs knocked in and three runs scored to provide Beck with plenty of run support. 

Black's big hit came in the form of a fifth-inning triple -- his second of the season -- to dead centerfield that brought home Jason Coats and gave the Knights a 4-1 lead. 

Two innings later, the Chiefs decided to intentionally walk Black with one out and a runner on second to set up a potential double play with Thompson due up next. 

The plan backfired for Syracuse when Thompson launched his third home run of the season into the left-field bleachers to give the Knights a 7-1 lead. 

For his part, Beck -- who improved to 3-1 this season and lowered his ERA to 4.29 -- finished off his outing by striking out the International League's leading home run hitter, Ian Stewart, with a 2-2 changeup. 

Charlotte relievers Maikel Cleto and Daniel Webb tossed perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively to close out the game. 

It's probably not going to be a smart decision to walk Dan (Black) anymore, especially with Trayce (Thompson) putting up the numbers he is behind him. He's doing his job protecting Dan. ... There's really not a break in our lineup from top to bottom.” – Knights’ starter Chris Beck 

I have not gotten much luck over the last week and a half. But that swing (on the home run) felt good. I was just trying to attack the ball and not be so defensive. If you look at my numbers throughout my career, I've been a guy that drives the ball and I'm just trying to get back to that.” – Knights' centerfielder Trayce Thompson. 

Worth mentioning
Beck improved to 3-0 in his last three starts. Over that span, the 24-year-old second-round pick has allowed just three runs over 19 innings, while striking out 13. ... In the last two games, Knights' pitchers (Eric Surkamp 3IP, Cleto 1IP, Webb 1IP) have combined to toss five perfect innings of relief. ... The 3-for-3 performance from Black, upped his average to a Knights-leading .333 on the season. The first baseman entered the day second in the IL in on-base percentage (.437) (he was on base four times on Sunday) and first in slugging percentage (.563). The RBI was Black's 22nd of the season, which is also tops on the Knights. ... For the third time this season a team intentionally walked Black to face Thompson and for the third time Thompson came though. He's 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and a home run following a Black intentional free pass this season. ... Prior to Sunday's game, the Knights placed catcher Kevan Smith on the DL and recalled Raleigh, N.C. native Jeremy Dowdy from the Winston-Salem Dash. ... Knights' second baseman Micah Johnson was not in the lineup on Sunday after rolling his ankle on the second-base bag in yesterday's game following a ninth-inning walk-off double. He's likely just day-to-day. 

What's next?
The Knights will now hit the road for seven games, beginning with a three-game set in Scranton/Wiles-Barre against the RailRiders that kicks off on Monday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Junior Guerra (0-1, 2.45) will take the mound for the Knights across from LHP Matt Tracy (0-0, 3.50).

Emmanuel Lewis Morgan contributed to this report. 


Anonymous said...

Best of luck in Boston, Mr. Lakso. You did great work with your Knights reporting.You will be missed by SSS.

Stay metal!

Anonymous said...

Also, will Emmanuel Lewis Morgan take over the beat?

Stay metal!