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Knights prospect strong in loss

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent

After a tough start to the season, Matt Davidson is beginning to show some of the promise that led the White Sox to deal away Addison Reed in order to add the former Diamondbacks prospect to their plans.

The Knights third baseman went 2-for-4 and with a home run and two runs scored in a 10-3 loss to the Norfolk Tides in front of 9,169 at BB&T BallPark on Wednesday.

The two-hit night helped Davidson’s average creep back up over the Mendoza line for the first time since April 20. His .201 average is 49 points higher than it was after an 0-for-4 showing on May 11.

“We’ve been making some adjustments,” said Davidson, who added that he has been trying to stay more up the middle in his approach. “Definitely the season hasn’t gone anywhere near how I wanted it to, or in line what I’ve done in the past.

“It’s been a tough struggle, but I’ve been trying to keep as positive as I can as I try to come out of it. I’ve just gotten back to basics and am starting from the ground up. There’s no way to go but up from here, so I’m just focusing on that.”

In the nine games since May 11, the Knights’ top prospect has gone 12-for-33 (.353), with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs. He has also posted a strikeout rate of 26 percent, after punching out more than 40 percent of the time over the first six weeks.

“I’ve been in a slump before,” he said. “It’s just happened to be a little bit longer this year. I’m just going to focus on continuing to have good months after this and see (the average) slowly continue to go up.”

In the second inning Wednesday, Davidson sent a 2-1 Suk-Min Yoon change-up into the left-field bleachers to cut the Tides’ lead to 2-1.

That Davidson, 23, connected on his fifth home run of the season was encouraging, but that it came on a change-up made it even more promising.

“That home run just goes back to my approach,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to do too much. I didn’t even hit that ball all that well. I hit it a little off the end of the bat, but I was in a good position to let my mechanics and power take over.”

Davidson again hit the ball hard in the fifth inning, lining a single off the left knee of Yoon, who had to be removed from the game.

By the time Davidson – who scored on a Micah Johnson (1-for-4) single in the fifth – came to the plate for a third time, Charlotte was well out of the game.

Charlotte starter Charlie Leesman failed to make it out of the fifth inning after allowing seven runs, five earned, on nine hits (six doubles).

Davidson came to the Knights with a career batting average of .268 and three consecutive seasons with 20-plus home runs. Right now, he's just trying to get back to normal.

Norfolkabrhbi
Weeks lf-2b5000
De Jesus ss4001
Phelps 1b5010
Peguero rf4430
Paul dh4331
Lomardozzi 3b4111
Casilla 2b3023
Borbon ph-cf2011
Ward c3100
Berry cf-lf4121
Totals3810138

Charlotteabrhbi
Johnson 2b4011
Sanchez ss4110
Phegley c3000
Danks cf2001
Davidson 3b4221
Wilkins 1b3000
Tekotte dh4000
Hernandez rf4000
Mitchell lf3010
Totals31353

Norfolk02212020110132
Charlotte010010010352

E —Ward. LOB–NOR: 7, CHA: 6. 2B–Phelps, Berry, Peguero, Paul 2, Casilla 2. 3B–Borbon. HR—Davidson. SF–De Jesus, Danks. SB–Sanchez. PO—Mitchell.

NorfolkIPHRERBBSO
Yoon422203
Additon320033
Bell111010
Guilmet100000

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Leesman4 1/397525
Fuentes232201
Boggs1 2/300001
Cleto111111

WP-Cleto 2. HBP-Peguero

T-2:53. A-9,169.

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