The Charlotte Knights dropped their second consecutive game on Tuesday, falling to Durham 4-2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, despite out-hitting the Bulls 9-7.
Durham (6-7) was first on the scoreboard, with Eugenio Velez connecting on a Chris Beck (0-1, 4.02) offering for a solo shot in the third inning.
The Knights (7-5) immediately answered, as Dan Black led off the top of the fourth inning with a solo blast of his own, tying the game 1-1 and tying Matt Davidson for the team-lead in home runs with two.
Righty Alex Colome – who was making a major league rehab appearance for the Bulls – was pulled from the game one batter after the Black home run, using 77 pitches to get through 3 1/3 innings and leaving with the game tied at one.
The Bulls were able to add two in the bottom of the fourth, with a Joey Butler delivering the big hit. After a lead-off walk by Mikie Mahtook, Butler drove him in with a triple off the wall in right field. Butler later came in to score on a J.P. Arencibia sacrifice-fly to give the Bulls a 3-1 lead.
Engel Beltre was shaken up on the Butler triple when he crashed into the wall in right field trying to make the play, but the Knights outfielder was able to stay in the game. Beltre was involved in another incident involving the outfield wall at DBAP in the top of the fifth inning, when Mahtook robbed him of extra bases with a running catch in deep center field. Mahtook crashed into the center-field fence and dislodged a panel of the wall, causing a ten-minute delay.
Knights catcher Jeremy Dowdy – who made his second career Class AAA start Tuesday – cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the sixth with an RBI-double. The Triangle-area native enjoyed a nice homecoming on Tuesday, reaching base in all four of his at-bats, tallying the first two hits of his Class AAA career and drawing a pair of walks.
Beck turned in a solid outing for the Knights, allowing three runs on just four hits over six innings pitched. The former second-round pick by the White Sox was saddled with the loss despite becoming the first Charlotte pitcher to throw six full frames this season.
Maikel Cleto was able to pitch his way out of a jam in the seventh inning, to extend his scoreless streak to 14 1/3 innings pitched. After a sacrifice bunt put men on second and third with only one out, the Dominican native didn’t allow another ball to leave the infield, getting out of the jam with the score still 3-2.
A final run was added by the Bulls in the eighth inning off of Knights closer righty Jairo Asencio. The 31-year-old righty entered the game in a non-save situation and allowed three singles in the frame, with Arencibia knocking in Butler to give the home team a 4-2 advantage.
The in-state rivalry will continue on Wednesday night as Scott Carroll (1-1, 3.00) will make his third start of the season, facing-off against RHP Matt Buschmann (1-1, 2.84). Carroll will attempt to end the streak of three-straight losses to the Bulls, while going for his second win of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.