Anthony Ranaudo and Chris Beck combined on a three-hitter Thursday night as the Charlotte Knights opened the second half of their Class AAA International League season with a 4-0 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Ranaudo (5-3) saw his ERA drop to 3.14 after liming Pawtucket to two singles and a double over eighth innings. He finished with four strikeouts and one walk. Beck struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to complete the shutout.
The Red Sox did get runners as far as third base during the third and fourth innings, but Ranaudo got Marco Hernandez to ground out to first to end the third inning and got Jantzen Witte on strikes to stop the threat in the fourth.
After that, Pawtucket never got a runner to second base.
The Knights got all of the offense then needed in the third against Justin Haley (2-3) on a one-out RBI double by Jason Bourgeois and a run-scoring single by Danny Muno.
Charlotte added to its advantage in the sixth. Jerry Sands smacked a leadoff doubles and was sacrificed to third. Jake Peter followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Knights head 3-0.
The lead grew in the ninth when Marcus Lemon singled with two outs against reliever Pat Light, who had come on to replace Roman Mendez to start the inning.
With the victory, Charlotte will go into Game 2 of the series at 7:05 p.m. Friday with a 1 1/2-game lead on Gwinnett in the South Division.