The Charlotte Knights exploded offensively tonight on their way to an easy 8-0 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. It only took the Knights three innings to put four runs on the scoreboard and with Michael Kopech on the mound, that was more than enough to secure the win.
To say Michael Kopech was locked-in tonight would be an understatement. Kopech pounded the strike zone, relying heavily on his fastball that sat around 95-97 mph throughout the entire game.
Michael Kopech did not issue a walk tonight and has now walked two or less batters in six straight starts. That is a lot of improvement for a guy that struggled with control throughout a good portion of the 2018 season.
In the second inning, Michael Kopech was close to walking two batters. In both plate appearances, he was down 2-0 and 3-0 in both counts, but he battled back to pick up two strikeouts with both coming on fastballs.
He gave up two singles early in the game, however, Kopech would settle in and go through a stretch where he retired 11 consecutive batters. During that stretch, 9 out of the 11 batters were retired by either a strikeout or a ground out.
He would go on to breeze through seven shutout innings. He dominated from start to finish and even got a little help from his defense, with Jose Rondon making a few plays ranging to both his left and right-side to cancel out a couple of hits.
Michael Kopech has been in the zone over his last six start. Aside from walking two batters or less during that stretch, he has gone at least five innings in all of those starts and given up two earned runs or less. When talking about checking boxes, it seems like he manages to do that more and more each time he takes the field and that was no different tonight.
Final Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. 96 pitches, 69 strikes.
The Knights would take a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first on a Matt Skole RBI single. Eloy Jimenez would extend the lead in the third inning with an opposite field two-run shot, giving him 10 home runs since being promoted to Triple-A.
Jose Rondon contributed at the plate as well, picking up three hits tonight. Both Seby Zavala and Trayce Thompson had two hits and two RBIs each. The Knights had 15 hits in the ballgame and have now had 10 or more hits in back-to-back games. They will look to continue their hot streak tomorrow afternoon as they go for the sweep against the Red Wings.
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