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Charlotte Knights beat Durham Bulls on Beck’s pitching

0730knightswilkins
Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
Durham Bulls base runner Ray Olmedoslides safely to third base, ahead of Charlotte Knights third baseman Matt Davidson’s tag on Tuesday.

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Chris Beck’s second trip up to Charlotte was much better for him than his first go-around.

After being called up to Charlotte on Monday, Beck pitched five strong innings to earn the win in the Knights’ 4-2 victory over the Durham Bulls, allowing just one earned run, five hits, one walk, and striking out five.

Particularly impressive were his five strikeouts, since he mostly pitches to contact. Beck only had 61 strikeouts in his 121 1/3 innings coming into this game.

“Tonight I just went with the fastball and change-up,” Beck said. “That’s my best strength, and the change-up is the best pitch behind the fastball. Why not use it and try to force it? Luckily it got some swings and misses tonight and got some weak contact. Five strikeouts in five innings, that’s good for any starter. ”

This performance was a far cry from his first start in Class AAA. Beck, who came into the season ranked the fourth best prospect in the White Sox system by Baseball Prospectus, allowed 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings in a spot start and was sent down to Class AA Birmingham after the game.

“The good thing (tonight) is I knew what it was like to pitch in this park,” Beck said. “I had been here before, so the jitters were kind of out of the way. I had been here and been with these guys and got to throw with Phegley before. My expectations were just to stick to what I did and try to get ground balls and try to pound the zone early and pitch to contact. For the most part I think that went as planned.”

The Knights jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on Marcus Semien’s triple that was deflected off a diving Robby Price in right field. Jordan Danks drove him in one batter later with a single up the middle.

Danks, who was 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, is one hit shy of Joe Borchard’s team record 439 career hits.

After Durham tagged Beck with an unearned run in the third, Charlotte quickly reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer by Josh Phegley.

That would be all the scoring Charlotte would need.

Semien added a home run in the fifth inning, and Charlotte’s bullpen held the Bulls in check, allowing Beck to earn his first win in Charlotte. Matt Zaleski and Jarrett Casey didn’t allow any runs in their 4 innings of relief.

South Atlantic

Lakewood 7, Kannapolis 2: The host BlueClaws broke open a 1-1 tie with consecutive 3-run innings in the fifth and sixth innings en route to a victory against the Intimidators. Dylan Cozens’ three-run homer was the big blow in the fifth for Lakewood.

Delmarva 10, Hickory 4: Travis Demeritte’s first-inning grand slam to center field was all the runs the host Shorebirds needed in their victory against the Crawdads.

KNIGHTS 4, BULLS 2

Durhamabrhbi
Price rf5010
Dontenot 2b4000
Mahtook cf3000
Moore lf2000
Betemit dh4000
Belnome 1b4000
Solis c4110
Lee ss4020
Olmedo 3b4131
Totals34271

Charlotteabrhbi
Johnson 2b3000
Semien ss3221
Danks cf4121
Phegley c4112
Wilkins dh3000
Davidson 3b4000
Taylor rf4010
Black 1b2010
Tekotte lf3000
Totals30474

Durham001010000270
Charlotte10201000X470

DP–Durham 1. LOB–Durham 8, Charlotte 6. 2B–Danks, Solis, Lee, Olmedo. 3B–Semien. HR—Phegley, Semien.

DurhamIPHRERBBSO
Kelly L, 6-35.074415
Mathis3.000033

CharlotteIPHRERBBSO
Beck W, 1-15.052115
Zaleski2.010000
Casey S, 12.010022

WP-Mathis.

T-2:58. A-9,683.

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