FORT MILL, S.C. -- White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham ripped the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Charlotte Knights walked-off with a 3-2 win on Friday in the opening game of their four-game series with the Rochester Red Wings from Knights Stadium in Fort Mill. It was Charlotte’s third walk-off win of the season.
"He threw a fastball, I was able to get enough of it, and it worked out," Beckham explained after the game.
After a three-hit game on Thursday, Beckham was making his second-straight rehab start at Knights Stadium on Friday. The starting second baseman for the White Sox felt good after his rehab appearance a night ago and he continued to progress on Friday.
For the Knights, however, things got tricky in the late innings.
With the Knights ahead by a score of 2-0 in the eighth, the Red Wings began to close the gap. It all started with a solo home run from Oswaldo Arcia off reliever Ramon Troncoso. One inning later, things continued to go in favor of Rochester.
After taking a 2-1 lead to the top of the ninth inning, Troncoso allowed a game-tying solo home run to Brian Dinkelman in the ninth, which made it a 2-2 game. It was the second home run allowed by Troncoso in the game.
With the game now tied at 2-2, it all came down to the bottom of the ninth for the Knights.
Carlos Sanchez led the inning off against Virgil Vasquez with a single. Jim Gallagher -- Thursday’s hero, then stepped to the plate and laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put Sanchez in scoring position with just one out.
With first base now open, Blake Tekotte was intentionally walked. That set things up for Beckham to be the hero.
Reliever Michael Tonkin replaced Vasquez to face Beckham and it didn't take long for the White Sox star to come through in the clutch.
Beckham lined the first pitch he saw into left field for the game-winner. For Beckham, it was his only hit of the night, but it was the most important. He finished 1-for-5.
Charlie Leesman started for the first time at Knights Stadium this season and he was impressive. The young lefty tossed six shutout innings and he was in line for his first win of the season. Unfortunately, he didn’t get that win. Leesman allowed just four hits and two walks. He struck-out seven.
LHP Daniel Moskos (1-1) recorded the final out in the top of the ninth to earn the win.
The two teams will continue their series on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the Knights will hand the ball to RHP Simon Castro. RHP Vance Worley will start the game for Rochester. Fans can enjoy post-game fireworks on Saturday thanks to BB&T Ballpark and News Talk 1110 WBT.