Barons win tight one, Johnson an all-star

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

The Knights (24-35) were unable to take their four-game series from Rochester (26-32), as they fell 9-1.  Charlotte starter Zach Stewart (3-7) was hit early and often.  Over five innings of work, he allowed six runs on eight hits–which included a three-run first.  Neither Voyagers alumni in the Knights lineup were able to muster a hit off of Red Wing pitching, as Jim Gallagher (2007) and Brent Morel (2008) combined to go 0-7 with four strikeouts.  Charlotte’s only run of the game came in the bottom half of the second inning when first baseman Mike McDade went deep for the third time this season.  The Knights will hit the road tonight and begin an eight-game road trip.  They’ll kick off a four-game set against Pawtucket, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05.  Andre Rienzo (4-3, 6.71) will get the nod for Charlotte.  The righty has not lost a start since an April 26 outing against Norfolk.

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AA: Birmingham Barons

The Barons (37-20) won for the fifth time in six games last night with a tight 9-8 victory over Huntsville (24-31).  Stpehen McCray (6-3), who pitched for the Voyagers in 2010 and 2011, picked up the win after allowing three earned runs over five innings of work.  Despite falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the second, Birmingham would plate eight runs over the next three innings to take command of the game.  Ex-Voyager Trayce Thompson (2009) did some damage at the dish, as he went 2-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.  The right fielder also walked two times.  2010 Voyagers Andy Wilkins would also contribute with an RBI, and he’d come across to score twice.  2009 Voyager Taylor Thompson did get into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth, as he attempted to slam the door.  Entering the frame with a 9-6 advantage, the Barons closer went on to allow two earned runs in his second inning of work, but he would hold on to record his eighth save of the year.  Birmingham and Huntsville will be back at it tonight at 5:43.  2010 Voyager Spencer Arroyo (4-3, 2.73) will be making the start for the Barons.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

The Dash (29-28) began their road series against Salem (25-30) last night on a sour note, as they dropped both games of a doubleheader 5-4 and 6-3.  After four innings of play in game one, Winston-Salem trailed 5-0.  They would attempt to make a come back thanks to four runs in the top of the fifth, but that would be all they would get.  Freshly called up from Kannapolis, Jake Cose (0-1) would lose his first ever AA start.  The righty allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings of work.  Game two also saw Winston-Salem would fall behind early–this time by the score of 3-0.  The Dash eventually tied it up in the top of the fifth—only to allow two runs in the bottom frame.  Dash starter Jason Van Skike would only last three innings, allowing three runs (two earned), but he would not be charged for the loss.  Offensively, 2012 White Sox first round pick Courtney Hawkins blasted his eighth homer of the season in the losing effort.  The dinger marked the first time Hawkins had gone yard since suffering an injury that kept him off the diamond for over a month.  Chris Curley would also go deep for Winston-Salem.  These two squads will play game two of their series tonight at 5:05.  Bryan Blough (2-4, 5.43) will be making the start for the Dash.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (19-35) were the only White Sox affiliate to have the night off last night.  They head to Hagerstown today to begin a four-game series against the Suns.  First pitch is scheduled for 5:05.  It was announced earlier today, that current Kannapolis second baseman and 2012 Voyager, Micah Johnson, has been named to the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Team.  Johnson currently ranks eighth in the league in hitting with a .320 batting average, and his 47 stolen bases are the most of any player in not just the league, but all of Minor League Baseball.  He has certainly been on a tear as of late, as he his hitting over .400 in his past ten games with three homers and nine runs batted in.  The All-Star Game will take place on June 28 in Lakewood.  Johnson’s teammate, Jason Coats will also be joining him in the starting lineup for the Northern Division

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

Stephen McCray (2010-11)

5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 5 K, 0 BB in last night’s 9-8 win over Huntsville

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