The Charlotte Knights improved to 6-3 on the season, defeating the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 7-5. Carlos Sanchez – 12-for-26 with 5 RBIs since his demotion from the White Sox – led the way with three base hits, 2 RBIs, a run scored, and a stolen base. Tyler Saladino, the versatile infielder, had one base hit in five ABs. Matt Davidson – he of an 11:2 SO:BB in 27 ABs in 2015 – had a base hit, an RBI, a run scored, and a strikeout in four ABs. While Sanchez provided a few base hits, Trayce Thompson provided the thump. Thompson hit a homer off of the Braves’ Matt Wisler (Baseball America’s #34 rated prospect pre-2015). Thompson had two strikeouts on the night, as the home run was his lone hit – enough to extend his nine-game hitting streak. Kevan Smith had two hits and a run scored. Jarred Mitchell continues to flounder, as his batting average dipped to .074 (27 ABs), striking out twice in four ABs on the night (14:3 SO:BB for the season). On the pitching side, Scott Carroll did Scott Caroll things, going five innings allowing 2Rs (1 ER), two walks, and two hits, while striking out four. Jairo Asencio got his fourth save of the season, striking out two batters in the ninth and allowing no hits or walks.
Erik Johnson is tonight’s starter versus the Gwinnett Braves.
Tim Anderson, Jacob May, and Courtney Hawkins – the dynamic top third of the Barons’ lineup – combined for 11 total bases as the Barons took the second game of the series after losing on Wednesday. Anderson had two hits in five ABs, scoring a run and stealing a base, while striking out once. May – a prototypical leadoff hitter –had three hits (two doubles) in five ABs, an RBI, a run scored, and a strike out. Squaring up against Jose Berrios, the top pitcher in a deep Minnesota Twins’ farm system, Courtney Hawkins hit a home run and struck out once in four ABs. The top third of the lineup, though, did not carry the full offensive burden. Jason Coats was 4-5 on the night with an RBI and a run scored, while Adrian Nieto had two walks, two base hits and a run scored in three PAs. Mike Recchia was the starter for the Barons, managing five innings of four-earned run ball against a fearsome Chattanooga lineup that features elite prospects such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Working in relief, Miguel Chalas and J.B Wendelken (each pitched two scoreless innings) combined for five Ks, allowing just one hit and no walks.
The Dash lost a close one Friday night, falling to 3-5 on the season. Jace Fry got the start for Winston-Salem. He went five innings, surrendering seven hits, three earned runs, three walks, while striking out three. Jefferson Olacio – a 6’7” 270lb LHP – issued three walks and had two strikeouts in an inning of relief. Adam Engel tripled, one of his two hits, as he drew a walk in four ABs. Trey Michalczewski had two hits (one double) and a walk in three ABs. Defensive ace Cleuluis Rondon was hitless, but drew one walk. Keenyn Walker – one hit in four ABs – stole his fifth base of the season.
Kannapolis got swept in a double header against Hickory.
Spencer Adams took the mound for the Intimidators in game one, getting knocked around for eight hits and five earned runs (7 runs total) in 2.2 IP. He struck out two and walked one. Baseball America’s Josh Norris was in attendance and tweeted how Adams worked his way out of a jam: “Adams fans a pair and leaves the bases stranded. Sat 91-92 with FB with life and did a good job hitting corners.” He also notes (via Twitter) that a faulty defense contributed to the rough outing. “Adams is done after 2 2/3. Struggled to break 90 that inning. Defense let him down, but he finishes with 7 runs allowed on 8 hits and 2 [errors].” Peter Tago, an MiLB Rule V selection in the offseason, struck out four in 3.1 IP of relief, brandishing a 96 MPH heater. Brett Austin was two for three with two runs scored, continuing his torrid start to the 2015 season, raising his batting average to .450 in 20 ABs.
In game two, there were few notable offensive performances, as 27-year-old Chris Curley had the only extra base hit – a home run. Louie Lechich had two hits in three ABs. Eddy Alvarez went hitless and struck out twice, but drew a walk from the leadoff spot. Working in relief, David Trexler struck out two over 2 IP, but allowed an earned run on one hit.
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