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Charlotte Knights, Phegley sweep Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN The originally scheduled starting pitcher was officially promoted to the majors just hours before first pitch. A veteran hurler – who is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery – was slotted into the rotation to make a record-tying start. Another veteran entered the game just hits away from becoming the all-time leader in franchise history. The club’s first baseman started the day with nine home runs over his last seven games.

And then there was Josh Phegley.

Phegley extended his hit-streak to 17 straight games, Matt Zaleski (1-0, 3.48) threw five solid innings, and the Charlotte Knights earned a four-game series sweep of the Indianapolis Indians with a 9-2 win on Thursday in the finale of their four-game set from Victory Field. The win was Charlotte’s ninth over their last 10 games and they knocked Indianapolis out of first place with the sweep.

Making just his third start of the season, Zaleski allowed two runs on four hits over five innings en route to his first win of the year and 20th in his Knights career, which is tied for eighth all-time in franchise history. Perhaps more important was the start itself. After missing the majority of last season and the first two months of 2014, Zaleski took the mound as a Knights starter for the 73rd time in his career – tying Charlie Haeger for the most starts in franchise history. And, as great as that was alone, he didn’t disappoint.

Zaleski worked hard over his five innings – the most he’s thrown in a game this season – and kept his team in the game. Down by a score of 2-0 and Frank De Los Santos warming up in the ‘pen ready to start the bottom of the sixth inning, the Charlotte bats ignited.

Charlotte scored seven runs in the top of the sixth inning – all without using the home run ball. Instead, they drew walks, laid down bunts, and got the big hits when they needed it. Phegley played a big part in it.

Phegley stepped to the plate in the sixth inning hitless. He was 0-for-2 at that point and his hit-streak was on the line. That all changed on a 0-2 pitch from starter Nick Kingham (4-2, 3.04). The hard-hitting backstop ripped a two-run double to right field and just like that extended his streak to 17 games. He’s now just two games away from tying Tilson Brito’s 19-gamer, which is the longest in franchise history.

Jordan Danks went 3-for-4 at the plate in Thursday’s finale and is now just six hits away from tying Joe Borchard as the all-time hits leader in franchise history. Andy Wilkins was 1-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

The Charlotte bullpen was superb on the evening. De Los Santos and Parker Frazier tossed two scoreless innings apiece.

The Knights will now make the trek to Louisville, Ky., and open a five-game, four-day series with the Bats beginning with Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game. RHP Shawn Hill (3-4, 5.43) gets the nod for the Knights in the opener against LHP Scott Diamond (4-7, 6.28).

South Atlantic

Hagerstown 5, Kannapolis 4: Hagerstown third baseman John Wooten drove in four of the Suns’ five runs, including the game winner with a base hit in the bottom of the 13th inning to drop the Intimidators, on Thursday at Municipal Stadium. Kannapolis (47-53, 18-15) saw its four-game winning streak end as the Suns knotted the series.

Adam Engel had two hits and scored two runs for the Intimidators.

KNIGHTS 9, INDIANS 2

Thursday’s box score

Charlotteabrhbi
Johnson 2b2100
C. Sanchez ss4000
Semien 3b4100
Danks cf4131
Phegley c5223
Wilkins dh4210
Tuiasosopo rf2101
Tejotte lf4012
Black 1b2112
Totals31989

Indianapolisabrhbi
d’Arnaud cf4000
Decker lf4111
Tabata rf4000
Lambo 1b3010
Andino ss4000
McGuiness dh3010
T. Sanchez c3110
Davis 3b3010
Anna 2b2000
Totals30251

Charlotte000007011981
Indianapolis000110000250

E —Sanchez. DP–Charlotte 1, Indianapolis 1. LOB–Charlotte 6, Indianapolis 3. 2B–T. Sanchez, Phegley, Tekotte, Wilkins. HR—Decker. SF–Black. PO—Davis, Lambo.

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Zaleski W, 1-05.042202
De Los Santos2.010000
Frazier2.000021

IndianapolisIPHRERBBSO
Kingham L, 4-25.144454
Mazzaro1.220010
Obispo1.011120
Oliver1.011101

WP-Zaleski, Mazzaro, Obispo.

T-2:46. A-13,526.

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