Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights’ oldest player hits a milestone in quest to reclaim magic of majors

Charlotte outfielder Jason Bourgeois’ seventh-inning single Sunday against Lehigh Valley gave him 400 career hits with the Knights.
Charlotte outfielder Jason Bourgeois’ seventh-inning single Sunday against Lehigh Valley gave him 400 career hits with the Knights. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Minor league baseball rosters are loaded with 20-somethings, trying to work their way onto a major league team.

But there also is a spot for players like Charlotte outfielder Jason Bourgeois, whose seventh-inning single Sunday against Lehigh Valley gave him 400 career hits with the Knights.

Bourgeois is 35, the oldest player on the team. He has appeared in 317 major league games and is hoping to reclaim the magic of 2011, when he batted .294 and stole 31 bases in 93 games with his hometown Houston Astros.

He has played with 25 professional baseball teams – six in the majors, 19 in the minors. That journey included a 2007 stop with the Knights and a return in 2016. In 17 seasons in the minors, he has appeared in nearly 1,630 games and batted more than 6,200 times, with a .282 career batting average.

Bourgeois, who played on a Little League baseball team that also included future major-leaguers Carl Crawford and Michael Bowen, is the third Knights player with 400 hits. The others are Jordan Danks (449) and Joe Borchard (439).

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Charlotte Knights outfielder Jason Bourgeois signs autographs before a June game at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Monday: Hector Velazquez (7-3, 1.93 ERA) limited Charlotte to two hits in five innings, lifting Pawtucket to a 7-0 victory.

Tuesday: Pawtucket won 9-2 behind another strong pitching performance, with Jalen Beeks limiting Charlotte to three hits in six innings. Rymer Liriano homered for the Knights.

Wednesday: The Red Sox completed a series sweep, winning 6-5. Liriano hit his 13th homer of the season, but Charlotte starter Carson Fulmer and reliever Al Alburquerque suffered control problems in Pawtucket’s three-run sixth inning.

Thursday: The Knights opened a four-game series at Lehigh Valley with a 9-8 victory over the IronPigs. Liriano homered again and had three hits.

Friday: Charlotte won 5-2, with Rob Brantly hitting two home runs. Charlotte starting pitcher Steve Johnson, acquired by Chicago from Baltimore on Wednesday, threw three innings, giving up one hit.

Saturday: Lehigh Valley won 4-2, but Liriano had three hits. He is batting better than .370 over the last six games.

Sunday: Jake Peter’s home run helped the Knights beat Lehigh Valley 9-4. Peter is batting .311 in 23 games since being called up from AA Birmingham last month.

What’s Next: Charlotte is idle Monday, returning home for games Tuesday through Thursday nights against Toledo and Friday through next Sunday against Lehigh Valley. Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. contest includes an appearance by former major league pitcher Jack Morris and a midweek postgame fireworks show.

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