Charlotte fans possibly got a glimpse into the Chicago White Soxs future infield Friday night when Marcus Semien knocked in Micah Johnson twice in a 3-2 Knights win against the Toledo Mud Hens.
Semien and Johnson finished a combined 2-for-7, but accounted for two thirds of the Knights runs, while the rest of the team combined to leave 10 runners on base in front of a sold out crowd of 10,410 at BB&T BallPark
Johnson who was designated hitter, but normally plays second base led off the game with a single to center. He then stole second, took third on a sacrifice fly and came into score on a Semien fly to right.
Their pitcher was trying to work inside and get me to roll over to the third baseman, so I just tried to get my hands inside the ball and I was able to fly out to right, said Semien, who started at shortstop. I got ahead in the count and got something I could get the runner in with.
In the third, the duo teamed up again to generate another run. Johnson reached second base on a Mud Hens (36-39) throwing error, and Semien sent an RBI single up the middle to put the Knights up 2-0.
Micah brings a lot of speed and energy to the lineup and really to the whole building, Knights manager Joel Skinner said. He was able to steal a bag the first time he got on, and the second at-bat he busted it to first and put pressure on the defense. Both times (Semien) was able to come through with the situational hitting.
With Gordon Beckhams contract up at the end of this season and White Sox starting shortstop Alexi Ramirezs up at the end of the next (Chicago holds a team option for 2016), both Semien and Johnson look to be in line for permanent promotions.
Semien, 23, has already logged 17 games with Chicago this season and was sent back to Charlotte (26-49) only when a roster crunch forced the teams hand.
Johnson entered the season as the No. 5 prospect in the system and has hit .294 splitting time between Charlotte and Class AA Birmingham.
Matt Tuiasosopo added an RBI single in the sixth to give Charlotte starter Deunte Heath a bit of breathing room.
Heath, who got the nod after Tommy Hanson went down with a groin injury earlier in the week, allowed one run on five hits before being replaced by Matt Zaleski in the seventh.
Before the game we were trying to figure out how we were going to get to Zaleski, Skinner said. Tonight was a situation where (Heath) was able to go through a starters routine. He threw the ball well and got out of there in less than 80 pitches.
A combination of Zaleski (two innings) and Taylor Thompson recorded the games final nine outs, while allowing one run. Thompson earned the save, his third of the season.
South Atlantic League
Kannapolis 6, Charleston 1: James Dykstra shut down the RiverDogs with seven innings of five-hit ball as Kannapolis (30-39) picked up the road win. Carl Thomore was 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Intimidators offense.
Fridays box score
E Perez, Semien. DPCHA: 2. LOBTOL: 4, CHA: 7. 2BLennerton, Davidson, Phegley, Tuiasosopo. SFDouglas, Semien. SBJohnson. CSCrowe.
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