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.
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).