(LAWRENCEVILLE, GA) - Chien-Ming Wang was solid over six innings, Michael Taylor drove in three runs, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-3 on Saturday in game one of their two-game series from Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA. The win was Charlotte's third straight and fourth over their last five games.
The win also propelled the Knights one game closer to first place Durham, who lost in Allentown, PA to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Saturday by a score of 4-1. The Knights currently sit 7.5 games back in the IL South Division.
Wang (11-6, 3.98) allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings en route to his third win with the Knights in four starts. The Taiwanese right-hander won his 11th game of the season (tied for second in the IL) and he now leads the IL in innings pitched (142.1). He improved to 3-1 with Charlotte.
Offensively, the Knights belted out 11 hits against Gwinnett. Taylor led the way with key hits in both of Charlotte's run-scoring innings. The former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand hit a two-run double in the fourth inning and added an RBI single in the sixth. The red-hot Taylor has five hits, two home runs, and six RBIs over his last three games. Josh Phegley chipped in with two hits.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia continued his Major League Rehab assignment with the Knights. Garcia, 23, was the team's DH for the second consecutive night and went 3-for-5. On Friday, in his first game with the Knights on the rehab assignment, he went 2-for-4 and scored the game-winning run. He's 5-for-9 so far through two games with the Knights.
Jarrett Casey and Maikel Cleto combined to hold the G-Braves scoreless over the final three innings. Cleto walked one and struck-out two batters over the final two innings to notch his third save of the season.
Charlotte will go for the two-game series sweep on Sunday as the two teams conclude their series with the finale at 2:05 p.m. from Coolray Field. RHP Matt Lindstrom, who is on a Major League Rehab assignment, is expected to start the game for Charlotte with RHP Chris Beck (1-1, 5.59) to follow the White Sox reliever. RHP Kanekoa Texeira (1-3, 5.50) will start for Gwinnett. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 1:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 730 AM, WRHI (94.3 FM and 1340 AM) and online at www.charlotteknights.com. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.