In their opening series against the Norfolk Tides, the Charlotte Knights appeared to have the makings of a dynamic offense to pair with their stable of young arms.
Charlotte batters tallied 39 runs and 60 hits in the four-game sweep of Norfolk, steering the Knights to their best start to a season since they opened 2011 with a 5-0 record.
However, that offensive success was short-lived.
Charlotte’s struggles at the plate ultimately proved to be its undoing this past week, as the Knights registered just 14 runs and 39 hits during a winless seven-game road trip against the Durham Bulls and the Tides.
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Here’s how the Knights’ week went:
Monday: Ryan Raburn homered in his first at-bat with the team, but Mike Pelfrey — also making his debut — surrendered three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Pelfrey was the losing pitcher in the 7-4 defeat against the Bulls.
Tuesday: After entering the ninth inning trailing Durham 4-1, Charlotte cut the deficit to 4-3 before Nicky Delmonico was thrown out at home plate for the game’s final out. Reynaldo Lopez registered 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, but he gave up four runs and was saddled with the loss.
Wednesday: Carson Fulmer allowed six runs (five earned) across five innings in a 6-2 loss to the Bulls. Yoan Moncada accounted for two of the Knights’ five hits.
Thursday: Durham’s Mike Marjama homered for the third time in as many days, helping hand Charlotte a 6-0 loss. Lucas Giolito struggled with his command again in his second start, issuing four walks and throwing 43 of his 90 pitches for strikes.
Friday: Tyler Danish delivered the Knights’ best starting pitching performance of the week, allowing three runs (two earned) in seven innings. He was tabbed with the loss after Charlotte recorded just six hits in a 3-1 defeat against the Tides.
Saturday: The Knights were shut out for the second time in three days, as they managed just five hits. Former Belmont Abbey standout Alex Castellanos led the Tides to a 5-0 win with two hits and two RBIs.
Sunday: Charlotte entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead and appeared on the verge of snapping its six-game losing streak. However, Zack Burdi blew his first save of the season, allowing three runs (two earned) in a 5-4 defeat against Norfolk.
What’s next: The Knights open a six-game homestand against the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings with a 7:05 p.m. Tuesday contest against Pawtucket at BB&T Ballpark.