The Charlotte Knights scored five runs on 12 hits – including a two-run homer by Tyler Colvin – and to win the rubber match against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 5-2, on a chilly morning at PNC Field.
The Knights offense got to work early. Matt Davidson’s RBI single in the first inning gave Charlotte an early 1-0 lead.
After Matt Tuiasosopo doubled to lead off the fourth inning, Colvin made the score 3-0 with his first home run in a Knights uniform. Drew Garcia would then single and score on Jason Coats’ double to give Charlotte a 4-0 lead. The double extended Coats’ hitting streak to 11 games.
The run support was more than enough for Knights starter Erik Johnson (4-3), who turned in his best performance of the season. The right-hander set season-highs with seven innings pitched and nine strikeouts – one strikeout shy of his career high – while allowing just one run on six hits. The nine strikeouts tied Carlos Rodon’s mark for the highest single-game total by a Knights pitcher this season. Rodon, the former N.C. State standout, is now in the Chicago White Sox starting rotation.
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The Knights added an insurance run in the eighth on Trayce Thompson's team-leading fourth triple, scoring George Kottaras from first base to push the lead to 5-1.
With the victory, the Knights have now won four consecutive series and nine of their last 12 games.
The Knights’ seven-game road trip continues Thursday at 7:05 p.m. with the series opener in Allentown, Pa., against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Kyle Drabek (0-1) will look for his first victory as a Knight when he takes on Joely Rodriguez (1-3).