Norfolk, VA July 20, 2013 – Andy Wilkins has been on quite the offensive tear as of late. It continued on Saturday.
Wilkins homered for the fifth time over his last four games, Steve Tolleson had two hits, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Norfolk Tides 5-2 on Saturday in game one of their two-game series from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.
Ranked as the 12th best prospect in the White Sox organization by Baseball America, Wilkins has been the team’s number one offensive provider recently. On Saturday, Wilkins homered in his fourth-consecutive game — his sixth of the season with Charlotte. Overall, the home run was his 16th of the season (he hit 10 with Birmingham earlier this year).
Charlotte starter Andre Rienzo (7-6, 4.33) allowed two runs (one earned) on just one hit over 5.1 innings for the victory. Rienzo walked a season-high six batters, but was still able to earn his second win in July. He struck-out six en route to his seventh win of the year.
Norfolk jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning and tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead on Charlotte. The Knights battled back however.
Catcher Bryan Anderson singled home Tolleson in the fifth inning to cut the lead in half, 2-1. One inning later, Wilkins took over.
In the sixth, newcomer Travis Ishikawa drew a leadoff walk against Norfolk starter Josh Stinson. Although Stinson retired the next two batters, he was pulled from the game with 100 pitches under his belt. That set things up for Wilkins against reliever Mike Belfiore (1-1, 3.91). The rest was history.
On a 0-1 count, Wilkins launched a two-run home run over the right field wall to make it a 3-2 Charlotte lead.
Relievers Leyson Septimo and Jake Petricka closed out the final 3.2 innings to give the Knights the game one victory. Septimo (2.0 innings) and Petricka (1.2 innings) did not allow a run. Petricka notched his first Triple-A save.
White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise continued his Major League rehab assignment and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Tolleson raised his average to .291 on the year with his two hits.
The two teams will conclude their two-game series from Harbor Park on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. LHP Charlie Leesman (2-1, 3.27) will start for the Knights, while RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 7.20) will take the hill for the Tides. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad will have the call on 94.3 FM and 1340 AM WRHI beginning at 6:00 p.m. Fans can also tune to charlotteknights.com for all of the action.