FORT MILL TOWNSHIP --
Charlotte Knights right-hander Terry Doyle was named as the International League’s Pitcher of the Week recently.
It was just the latest reason for smiles in the Knights’ dugout as the team surged into first place last week.
On Thursday, he made a strong case for another award next week. Doyle (6-3, 2.83) took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of Thursday’s game before allowing a leadoff double to Audy Ciriaco, and led the Charlotte Knights to a 6-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens in game three of their four-game series from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
For the second time this season, Doyle had a no-hitter broken up late in a game. He went to the eighth inning with a no-hitter on Memorial Day and finished by allowing just one hit over 7.1 scoreless innings. On Thursday, Doyle breezed through inning after inning, holding the Mud Hens hitless through the first eight frames.
In the top of the third inning, second baseman Drew Garcia hit a three-run home run to give Doyle and the Knights a 3-0 lead. It was all they would need.
In the top of the ninth inning, however, Doyle’s teammates tacked on a few more runs to make things a bit more comfortable. With one out and the bases loaded in the ninth, Greg Golson roped a three-run double to center field to give the Knights a 6-0 lead.
With a crisp six-run cushion, Doyle took the mound to begin the ninth with a no-hitter and his fifth-straight win in his sights.
On a 1-2 count, Ciriaco lined a double to left field and the no-hitter was no more. Still, for Doyle, a win was just three outs away. He then got Austin Jackson, who was on a Major League rehab assignment from Detroit, to ground out for the first out of the inning. With his pitch count at 115, Doyle’s night was through as he was taken out of the game. He received a nice ovation from the crowd in Toledo as he exited – coming ever so close to his first career no-hitter.
Reliever Anthony Carter entered the game and gave up an RBI single to Justin Henry, which made it a 6-1 ballgame. Carter then got Ben Guez to ground into a game-ending double play.
In all, Doyle allowed just one run on one hit over 8.1 innings and won for the fifth-straight game. He fanned nine batters and allowed three walks.
Garcia finished the game 2-4 with the home run and three RBIs. Josh Phegley also had two hits on the night and extended his hit streak to 10 games.
The Chicago White Sox recently called up Jordan Danks, Charlotte’s Gold Glove center fielder. Danks, who has been a key member of the Knights since 2010, received his first-ever promotion to the Majors and made his debut that night when he was inserted into the game as a pinch runner. The Sox placed outfielder Kosuke Fukudome on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.
At the time of his promotion, Danks was hitting .302 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 57 games for the Knights. The Austin, Texas, native hit his eighth home run of the season on Wednesday in the team’s 5-1 win over Toledo.
Danks entered the 2012 season ranked as the Best Defensive Outfielder in the White Sox organization by Baseball America for the third time in his career. He won the MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2011.
Originally selected by the White Sox in the seventh round of the June 2008 draft, Danks set a career-high in home runs last season with the Knights – hitting 14 in 133 games. He has 30 home runs and 135 RBIs in his Knights career (309 games). Danks is the younger brother of White Sox pitcher John Danks.
The Knights return home this week for an eight game home stand against Indianapolis and Columbus and currently sit in first place by three games over Gwinnett in the South Division through Sunday.