Tuesday, May 12, 2015

White Sox No. 13 prospect Chris Beck dominant in Knights' 4-0 win

Charlotte Knights’ right-hander Chris Beck served as the Chicago White Sox 26th man for this Saturday’s doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.

As it turned out, the White Sox made it through their two games without needing Beck’s services and the 24-year-old second-round pick (No. 76 overall in 2012) was returned to Charlotte the following day.

Had things worked out differently and Beck entered the game on Saturday and pitched liked he did in the Knights’ 4-0 win over the Louisville Bats on Tuesday in front of 9,125 at BB&T Ballpark, the right-hander might still be in Chicago right now.

Beck mowed down the Bats for six innings on Tuesday, holding the Reds’ minor league affiliate to a single hit, while striking out five, walking two, and posting a 10/1 groundout-to-flyout ratio.

In six starts this year, Beck has gone 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA and a 23:6 K:BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning that they would never relinquish, Knights’ first baseman Dan Black stepped to the plate in the following frame and launched a three-run home run to give Charlotte a four-run lead.

The home run, which came on the first pitch of the at-bat from Donovan Hand (0-1), was Black's sixth of the season and tied him with teammate Matt Davidson and one other for the most in the International League this season. 

The win was the fourth in a row for the Knights (18-13), who clinched at least a series split with the Bats (13-19).

"The command I think, just down in the zone. I got to build a good relationship with George (Kottaras) in Spring Training and we were on the same page tonight. There was a couple times where I had the grip in my glove and then he would put it down. " -- Knights’ starter Chris Beck, on what clicked tonight

"Yeah, It’s huge actually. I guess it throws the idea into the back of your head that (the White Sox are) thinking about you possibly being a big leaguer. I think with that, if they think you are, then you should have the confidence in yourself." -- Beck, on if it was a confidence boost to have been the White Sox' 26th man on Saturday.

Worth mentioning
Knights’ starting pitching has dominated the Bats over the teams' first two meetings this season. Kyle Drabek (5IP, 1H, 0R) and Chris Beck (6IP, 1H, 0R) have combined to toss 11 scoreless innings in the series, while striking out 10 and surrendering just two hits. … The four-game winning streak is tied for the Knights’ longest of the season (April 15-18). … The win also improved the Knights to 11-6 at BB&T Ballpark this season. … Prior to the game, the Chicago White Sox released outfielder Engle Beltre and activated Matt Tuiasosopo from the Temporarily Inactive list. Beltre, who was signed by the White Sox and assigned to Charlotte this offseason, was hitting .234 in 21 games with one home run. He had struck out in 27-percent of his at-bats and posted just a .268 on-base percentage.  

What's next?
The Knights will play Game 3 of their four-game series with the Bats on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Junior Guerra (0-1, 1.80) will take the mound for the Knights against Bats’ RHP Josh Smith (0-0 8.31).