Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

IronPigs fly with homer in 11th, beat Charlotte Knights

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent
KNIGHTS_IRONPIGS_21
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Knights second baseman Carlos Sanchez tags the IronPigs‘ Maikel Franco out as umpire Doug Vines watches the tag Wednesday at BB&T BallPark in Charlotte.

More Information


Reid Brignac knocked in two runs for Lehigh Valley, including the game-winner in the top of the 11th inning with a solo home run to sour what was otherwise an encouraging performance from the Charlotte Knights on Wednesday.

Brignac’s third home run of the season saddled Charlotte with a 3-2 loss, despite solid pitching from Erik Johnson and Frank Francisco.

Johnson – who entered the season as the White Sox’ No. 2 prospect, according to Baseball America – started in front of a crowd of 8,631 fans at BB&T BallPark for the 11:05 a.m. game, and he didn’t disappoint.

He turned in seven solid innings, allowing two runs, scattering five hits and striking out four. He walked only one and threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

“I felt good,” said Johnson, 24, whose fastball hovered between 87 and 89 mph. “I was throwing my fastball where I wanted and my slider was working.”

He mixed in his change-up more as the game progressed and showed a sharp curve ball.

“(The White Sox) just want me to get back to me being me and attacking the zone with multiple pitches and working ahead,” he said.

After two innings by left-hander Donnie Veal, former Mets closer Frank Francisco, 34, came on to toss a one-two-three ninth. The outing was his sixth since joining the Knights after a stint in Arizona for extended spring training.

In eight innings, Francisco has allowed four hits and has struck out 12. He’s yet to allow an earned run.

“He’s getting the ball every few days now and getting into shape,” Knights manager Joel Skinner said of Francisco. “He’s been a plus.”

After Johnson allowed a run in the second, the Knights countered with one thanks to a two-out RBI double by Tyler Saladino, who leads Charlotte with 18 RBIs.

In the sixth, Brignac knocked in the IronPigs second run with a sacrifice fly.

Just like in the second, Charlotte rallied in the bottom half when Carlos Sanchez (1-for-4), who walked with one out, came around to score from first on Andy Wilkins’ (2-for-5) second double of the afternoon.

Neither team was able to force a run across again until Brignac’s home run off David Purcey (0-2) in the 11th.

Luis Garcia came on to record his sixth save for the IronPigs, who avoided falling to the Knights for the third day in a row. Seth Rosin (1-1) pitched two perfect innings in relief to record the win.

“You just got the feeling that the first team to hit one out was going to win today’s game,” said Skinner. “But (Johnson) went out there and threw seven strong innings. The goal is to get him back on track, that’s all. Today was a step in the right direction.”

Notes: After the game, the Chicago White Sox announced that outfielder Jordan Danks has been reassigned to the Knights. With Conor Gillaspie’s rehab assignment complete, Danks was optioned back to Charlotte to make room on the roster. … With a two-out single in the bottom of the 11th, Carlos Sanchez extended his Knights hitting streak to 10 games. He has reached base in 23 straight. … Knights regular third baseman Matt Davidson missed his fourth straight game with a sore hand.

IronPigs 3, Knights 2 (11)

Lehigh Valleyabrhbi
Tolbert lf4000
Henson rf5120
Franco 3b4010
Brignac 2b4112
Hill c5000
Murphy 1b3000
Susdorf dh4110
Cedeno ss4010
Gillies cf4011
Totals37373

Charlotteabrhbi
Hernandez cf5000
Sanchez 2b4110
Wilkins 1b5021
Black dh3000
Liddi 3b4000
Gimenez c4110
Tekotte rf4010
Saladino ss4011
Mitchell lf4010
Totals37272

Lehigh Valley01000100001370
Charlotte01000100000270

DP–Lehigh Valley 1, Charlotte 1. LOB–Lehigh Valley 5, Charlotte 4. 2B–Gillies, Henson, Wilkins 2, Saladino. HR—Brignac. SF–Brignac. SB–Henson. CS—Tekotte.

TeamIPHRERBBSO
Pettibone5.142222
Fratus2.220002
Rosin W, 1-12.000002
Garcia S, 61.010001

TeamIPHRERBBSO
Johnson7.052214
Veal2.010011
Francisco1.000001
Purcey L, 0-21.011101

HBP-Murphy, (by Veal).

T-3:11. A-8,631.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com