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Charlotte Knights Josh Phegley a hit for IL stars

By Seth Lakso
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/00/00/14kGCC.Em.138.jpeg|222
    Robert Willett - rwillett@newsobserver.com
    Syracuse’s Jhonatan Solano is greeted at third base by IL coach Charlie Montoyo after a two-run homer in the second inning.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/00/00/TXB3R.Em.138.jpeg|316
    -
    Josh Phegley went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the International League’s 7-3 win over the Pacific Coast League in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,274 in Durham.

More Information

  • International League stars shine brighter in 7-3 victory in Triple-A All Star game in Durham
  • Durham shines in Triple-A All-Star Game’s spotlight
  • More information

    Wednesday’s box score

    PCLabrhbi
    Orlando cf3000
    Piscotty lf2010
    Pederson rf3211
    Taylor ss4030
    Jacobs 1b2000
    Paulsen ph-1b2011
    Pena c2000
    Susac c1000
    Stassi c1000
    Dykstra dh3000
    O’Malley ph-dh1000
    Franklin 2b4110
    Peterson lf4110
    Hoying cf2010
    Noriega 3b2000
    Galvez 3b2011
    Totals36393

    INTabrhbi
    Carrera cf2010
    Perez lf2122
    Pirela 2b1100
    Gotay 2b2000
    Souza rf4011
    Aguilar 1b4100
    Betemit dh4012
    Mahtook lf-cf4000
    Gosselin 3b4110
    Solano c2112
    Phegley c2110
    De Jesus ss4120
    Totals357107

    PCL000001011391
    INT22000300x7101

    E—Noriega, Perez. DP–INT 1. LOB–PCL 7, INT 8. 2B–Taylor, Souza, Perez. 3B–Perez. HR—Pederson (1), Solano (1). SB–Carrera 2 (2).

    PCLIPHRERBBSO
    Villanueva (L, 0-1)2/344221
    Patton1/300001
    Hendricks 200022
    Hembree100001
    Smyth2/343301
    Fiers1/300003
    Castro1/310001
    Hand2/310000

    INTIPHRERBBSO
    Hendriks (W, 1-0)210004
    Montgomery100001
    Laffey110001
    Sadler110001
    Achter021101
    Layne100001
    Jaime100002
    Oliver2/311110
    Garcia1/310000
    Korecky2/311101
    Kelly1/310000

    WP-Sadler.

    T-2:53. A-10,274.



DURHAM Triple-A All-Star batting practice was scheduled for Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Two groups of players got through their sessions before the skies opened up and washed the rest of the day’s baseball activities away.

Charlotte Knights catcher Josh Phegley was scheduled to bat in the third grouping.

Rather than waste his cuts, Phegley saved them for Wednesday’s All-Star game, where he went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the International League’s 7-3 win over the Pacific Coast League in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,274 at the DBAP.

Phegley walked to the plate with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and brought with him the advanced approach to the plate that’s a large part of the reason he’s hit .264 with 13 home runs (the most by any catcher in the IL) already this season.

He turned hard on the first pitch he saw from Oakland Athletics farmhand Paul Smyth and ripped it foul down the left-field line. The next pitch he took for a ball before once again pulling a fastball to the left of third base.

With two strikes, Phegley took a step out of the batter’s box, a deep breath, and thought about what he’d see Smyth try to do to the batter before him.

“I remembered seeing him throw four consecutive sliders,” said Phegley. “I knew that would probably be his go-to pitch for the strikeout. So, once he had two strikes on me, I sat back, looked for it.”

Phegley pegged Smyth correctly and sent the slider on a line through the hole between shortstop and third base for his first career Triple-A All-Star game hit (he went 0-for-2 in 2012 in Buffalo).

Two IL hits later, Phegley motored home from second base with his team’s fifth run of the game and a memory he’s not likely to forget.

“You want to try to do your best in these games,” Phegley said. “Ultimately, it doesn’t matter and is just for fun, but you want to show that you belong here, too. After I got that hit, it almost didn’t matter what happened after that.”

After playing his way out of the Triple-A All-Star game (and Futures Game) and into the major leagues in 2013 (.316, 15 HRs in 61 games in Class AAA), Phegley, 26, hoped the next All-Star team he’d be vying for would come in the majors.

However, a down second half with the White Sox, where he hit .206 and just four more home runs in 65 game, led to a return to Charlotte.

Since then, he’s tried to keep himself ready for the next time Chicago comes calling.

“Coming to another All-Star game, I think just builds the resume,” Phegley said. “(The White Sox are) constantly evaluating me and they know what they’re going to get if they call me up. While I’m here, I’m going to try to have fun.”

Notes: Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Liam Hendricks earned IL All-Star Game MVP honors after he struck out four batters and surrendered one hit in two innings to earn the win. Chris Taylor earned the honor for the PCL, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles.

• Knights shortstop Tyler Saladino was voted to start the All-Star game, but had to pull out because of an arm injury.

“(Saladino) was definitely deserving and it would have been really nice for him to have been able to show up and be recognized,” Phegley said. “But his name’s on the shirt and his card’s in the stack, so everyone knows that he belonged here and it’s just sad he didn’t get to make it.”

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