Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (4-3) at Charlotte Knights (1-6)

Probable Pitching Matchups:
Thu: David Hale (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Andre Rienzo (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Fri: Tim Corcoran (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Simon Castro (0-1, 6.00 ERA)

About the G-Braves
The G-Braves and the Knights meet up for the second time this season… In the last meeting, the G-Braves swept the Knights in a four-game set… The teams will meet for a short, two-game series before Gwinnett moves on to Norfolk. The Braves are currently in second place, two games behind the Durham Bulls.

Hitters: The Braves lineup features Ernesto Mejia, who is tied for second in the International League with four home runs. Last weekend Mejia went 5-for-14 (.357) with five runs, two homers and four RBI against the Knights… Tyler Pastornicky leads the G-Braves in hitting, he is batting .333 (9-for-27) with three doubles and one RBI. He leads the squad with two stolen bases… Since Blake DeWitt got called up by the Atlanta Braves, Sean Kazmar has filled in suitably. The slick-fielding shortstop is hitting .250 (4-for-16) with a homer and seven RBI… He is second on the team in RBI.

Pitchers: David Hale was solid in his first Triple-A start. The right-hander tossed five innings of two-run baseball against the Knights. He picked up his first victory of the season after striking out five… Tim Corcoran was even better on Sunday afternoon, as he tossed five scoreless against the Knights. The grizzled-veteran fended off the Knights attack by limiting them to two hits and four walks. He picked up his first win of the season and his first Triple-A victory since 9/6/10…

G-Braves Bites: The road woes continue. After sweeping the opening series, the G-Braves dropped three straight on the road to Durham. Last season, the G-Braves were 26-44 away from Coolray Field…The G-Braves held the Durham Bulls scoreless for eight innings on Monday night, but after dropping that game in the ninth inning, the G-Braves allowed 24 runs in the last 17 innings of that series. The output resulted in a series sweep… In two starts, left-hander Sean Gilmartin has surrendered seven walks. He leads the IL in walks…

About the Knights
The Charlotte Knights continue to struggle. They are currently in last place and are five games behind first place Durham… Their lone win came on Monday night, as they beat Norfolk 21-4…

Hitters: It has been a slow-start for some of the Knights. Leadoff hitter Jared Mitchell is hitting .107 (3-for-28) with a team-high 12 strikeouts. He recorded a single in his first at bat of the season, but since then he is 2-for-27… Josh Phegley has been on fire though, the backstop is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with two homers and five RBI. He went 4-for-9 (.444) with a round-tripper against the Braves last weekend… Despite his success, it was Seth Loman who led the Knights during teh opening series. The infielder hit .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles, a homer and 3 RBI. Loman accounted for five of the 11 runs the Knights manufactured against the Braves.

Pitchers: Andre Rienzo did not fare so well in his first outing of 2013. The right-hander gave up six runs, five earned in five innings of baseball. He was victimized by the long ball, as he gave up two mammoth blasts to Mejia. However, he did strikeout five… Simon Castro struggled as well, giving up four runs in six innings of baseball. He was also hurt by the home run, as he gave up two solo-blasts to Jordan Parraz. Castro was the only pitcher to go into the sixth inning for the Knights, as the three previous starters exited after the fifth…

Knights Tale: Charlotte scored 21 runs on Monday night, beating Norfolk. Three different Knights hit a home run, while six different players collected multi-hit games. The outburst was the highest tally of the season for the International League. The 21 runs are also two more runs than their 19 runs in other games (all resulting in losses)… Charlotte’s season opener is tonight, as this will be the last season they play at Knights Stadium. The Charlotte Knights and the city of Charlotte have agreed to build a new stadium closer to downtown Charlotte. The stadium is scheduled to open in 2014.

View the slideshow for images of our last hometand against the Knights. Thanks to our photographic team of Karl Moore, Mackensie Cooper, Chris Roughgarden, Davison Wheeler and Bill Lofton for the great shots.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-JD-

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