Matt Tuiasosopo and Michael Taylor found themselves together on the Charlotte Knights roster for the first time June 16.
The Knights entered that day 22 games below .500 and with a clubhouse atmosphere that would have made Charlie Brown seem upbeat on his lowest of days.
On Sunday, a team barely recognizable to the one that struggled through the first half of the season entered the All-Star break fresh off a 13-8 win against the International League-leading Syracuse Chiefs in front of 8,565 at BB&T BallPark.
The win improved the Knights to 17-12 since the acquisitions of Tuiasosopo and Taylor , and it salvaged a series split.
Before I got here, there had been some struggles and weve talked about it, said Taylor, who went 2-for-4 with a grand slam. But it seems maybe within the first week I was here, the mood changed.
It changed from Oh no, here we go again, or how are we going to score enough runs? to one where it feels like if (the other team) scores three runs, that we feel like well come back and score five.
The Chiefs (57-39) scored three runs in the first off Bobby Doran (1-0) in his Charlotte debut, but the Knights (40-58) responded with eight of their own in the bottom half.
Marcus Semien (3-for-4) and Matt Davidson (2-for-4) hit home runs during Charlottes first inning, with Semien adding a double to jumpstart a 13-hit day for an offense that has hit .334 over its past 11 games.
Taylor Hill (9-4), who started the game for the Chiefs, entered with the ILs lowest ERA (2.04), but he lasted just one-third of an inning and allowed six hits, a walk and seven earned runs. The outing was the shortest of Hills season by 3 2/3 innings and boosted his ERA to 2.63.
The eight runs were a season-high in an inning for Charlotte.
Asked about what the presence of Tuiasosopo who reached base three times Sunday and Taylor has meant to the team, manger Joel Skinner didnt mince words.
The way they go about their business stands out, he said. Those guys have been at this level and theyve brought a mature atmosphere to our clubhouse. Theyre just good people and its rubbed off on everyone.
Note: Carlos Sanchez was called up to the Chicago White Sox. He started at shortstop and went 0-for-5.
Rome 9, Hickory 4: The Crawdads hit 13 singles in the loss at Rome. Brandon Barker earned the win. Akeem Bostick took the loss, giving up seven runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts during his 4 1/3 innings.
Asheville 8, Kannapolis 2: Jose Briceno hit two home runs, including a three-run blast in the first inning, to lead visiting Asheville (60-34). Kannapolis (43-49) has lost five straight.
KNIGHTS 13, CHIEFS 8
|Souza Jr. rf||4||2||2||2|
E Johnson (5). DPSyracuse 1. LOBSyracuse 9, Charlotte 6. 2BHood 2 (16), Rhymes (15), Souza (21), Semien 2 (10), Wilkins (22). 3BKobernus (1). HRSouza (14), Walters (13), Davidson (17), Semien (6), Taylor (3). SFJirschele.
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