Former Charlotte starter Jason Berken (3-2) threw five scoreless innings, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs used a three-run second inning to squeak past the Charlotte Knights 3-1 on Friday in game two of their four-game series. The win was the fifth consecutive for the IronPigs.
Much like Thursday’s game in which Charlotte’s starter was effective, the IronPigs once again used solid pitching and timely hitting to keep the Knights at bay. The final score in each of the first two games of the series was also the same, 3-1.
Berken, a Clemosn product who spent the entire 2013 season with the Knights, allowed three walks and three hits over his five shutout innings for the win – his second as a starter this season.
The IronPigs scored all three of their runs in the second inning courtesy of three big hits. Chris McGuiness drove home the game’s first run with an RBI double. Cord Phelps followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. Three batters later, Tyler Henson singled home the third run of the game.
Despite the three-run second inning, Charlotte starter Chris Beck (3-2) was sharp over seven innings. Beck, who entered the game with a three-game win-streak, allowed three runs (all in the second inning) and was saddled with the loss. In all, Beck gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits. He struck out six. It was his first loss during the month of May (four starts).
The Knights scored their lone run of the game off Winthrop product Chris Leroux, who had his troubles in the eighth inning. Leroux, who came on in relief of Colton Murray, allowed an unearned run in the inning without allowing a hit. Charlotte infielder Leury Garcia scored in the eighth when Trayce Thompson reached on a throwing error by Lehigh Valley third baseman Cord Phelps.
Lehigh Valley reliever Caesar Jimenez recorded the final four outs to notch his fourth save.
The two teams will continue their series at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday. RHP Junior Guerra (0-2, 2.16) gets the start for the Knights against Lehigh Valley LHP Phillippe Aumont (1-1, 1.38).
▪ The Chicago White Sox trade Charlotte Knights left-handed pitcher Eric Surkamp to the Los Angeles Dodgers and received RHP Blake Smith. Surkamp appeared in 11 games with the Knights this season and posted a 3-0 record with one save and a 2.81 ERA.