Charlotte Knights

Knights’ Hector Noesi pitches 6-inning shutout for 3-1 win over Gwinnett

Hector Noesi continued the Knights’ trend of solid starting pitching this series with six shutout innings Wednesday in a 3-1 win against Gwinnett.

Charlotte starters Scott Carroll, Erik Johnson and Noesi allowed just three earned runs in 21 innings this series, a big reason why the Knights completed a three-game sweep.

Noesi allowed just four hits, three of them singles, walked one and struck out three. He needed only 75 pitches in six innings, 51 of them for strikes, but came out so manager Joel Skinner could work White Sox reliever Daniel Webb in for a couple of innings on his minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Noesi outpitched Kanekoa Texeira, the White Sox 2006 22nd round pick who came in on a roll, having won a Gwinnett-record six straight starts before a no-decision in his previous start.

The Knights needed a couple of turns through the order to time Texeira up but did in the sixth when both Jason Coats and Dayan Viciedo hit solo home runs in a span of three batters to give the Knights a 3-0 lead.

Webb gave up a run in the eighth after hitting Mallex Smith with a pitch, watching him take third on a hit-and-run single, and scoring on a wild pitch. But Webb got 37 pitches in and worked a second inning for the first time in his rehab stint.

Quotes: “Hector did a nice job tonight and the guys made a couple plays. What was nice, too, Hector threw six solid innings and then we were able to get Webb in there and get his pitch count up a little bit. That’s the first time since he’s been back that he went back out for the second inning.” – Knights manager Joel Skinner

“I’ve played five or six games (rehabbing in Arizona), but it’s different. Fastballs aren’t straight here. It’ll take a while to get used to but it was good.” – second baseman Micah Johnson on his first game off the DL

Worth mentioning: Second baseman Micah Johnson, rated the White Sox No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, was activated from the disabled list after missing 26 games with the same hamstring injury that ended last season. He drew a leadoff walk and went 1-for-3 on the night. ... Gwinnett outfielder Cedric Hunter extended his hitting streak to 20 games, International League’s longest streak this season.

What’s next? The Knights open a four-game series in Durham Thursday, with right-hander Kyle Drabek (7-8, 3.36 ERA) facing Durham left-hander Scott Diamond (10-5, 3.75). The Knights return to BB&T BallPark for their final home stand September 2-4.

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