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Charlotte Knights can’t hold off Syracuse Chiefs batters

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/23/32/DJRzx.Em.138.jpeg|146
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    The Charlotte Knights’ Marcus Semien dives safely back to first base in the fifth inning against Syracuse at BB&T BallPark on Thursday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/23/32/UfxvY.Em.138.jpeg|222
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    Knights center fielder Blake Tekotte watches his home run leave the park in the fifth inning Thursday, but Syracuse had more firepower.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/23/32/Qc4B1.Em.138.jpeg|223
    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    Michael Taylor greets Knights teammate Blake Tekotte (7) as he crosses home plate following his home run in the fifth inning Thursday.

Charlotte Knights starter Shawn Hill retired nine of the first 10 Syracuse batters he faced Thursday, but even early on there were ominous signs for the right-hander who tends to live and die with his sinking fastball.

The Chiefs (55-37) twice hit fly balls to the warning track in the second and by the end of the inning had as many fly outs (three) as groundouts – not the kind of ratio Hill aspires for in his starts.

Without the bowling-ball type action to his fastball, Syracuse was able to rack up 10 hits off Hill in 61/3 innings on the way to an 11-6 win against the Knights (38-57) in front of 9,416 at BB&T BallPark.

Hill did what he could to hold the Chiefs in check without his best stuff, until the levees broke during a three-run sixth inning that featured a double and two home runs off the 33-year-old and turned a 3-2 Charlotte edge into a 5-3 deficit.

“I had nothing in my legs today,” said Hill (3-4). “I was just gassed from the travel and all that stuff. Even before the game started, I was trying to get things going. It’s not an excuse or anything. I felt OK the first couple of innings, but even then, not near as strong as my last start.”

The big hit of the sixth was a two-run home run by Tyler Moore (2-for-4) that came on a change-up Hill left up in the strike zone.

Steven Souza Jr., who entered the night leading the International League in batting average, finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, upping his average to .374.

Before the sixth-inning outburst by the Chiefs, the Knights’ Josh Phegley (3-for-4) looked like the sure headliner of the day.

After being added to the IL All-Star team earlier in the afternoon, the Knights catcher broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a shattered-bat single to left.

Blake Tekotte’s 11th home run of the season tied the game at 2 prior to Phegley’s go-ahead single, but did little to hide the rough defensive game for the Knights’ right fielder, who walked off the field with three errors.

CHIEFS 11, KNIGHTS 6

Syracuseabrhbi
Burriss ss5121
Kobernus lf5110
Souza Jr. cf5242
Moore 1b4222
Walters 2b5111
Dobbs dh5111
Hood rf3211
Laird 3b4121
Leon c4011
Totals40111510

Charlotteabrhbi
Semien ss4230
Sanchez 2b4030
Phegley c5131
Danks cf5001
Davidson 3b4110
Wilkins 1b4010
Tuiasosopo lf4113
Tekotte rf4111
Taylor dh4000
Totals386136

Syracuse00020312311151
Charlotte10002003X6133

E — Tekotte 3, Walters. DP–Syracuse 2. LOB–Syracuse 9, Charlotte 7. 2B–Kobernus, Souza 3, Burriss. HR—Tekotte, Moore, Hood, Tuiasosopo. SB–Kobernus, Souza, Hood. CS—Souza.

SyracuseIPHRERBBSO
Treinen W, 5-0583324
Grace200001
Cedeno133303
Madrigal120002

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Hill L, 3-461/3106603
Fuentes12/322111
Rodriguez1/333340
Kussmaul2/300000

WP-Rodriguez. HBP-Burriss (by Hill). T-3:15. A-9,416.

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