Charlotte Knights manager Joel Skinner knows the opposing team is keeping the ball on the ground when righty Scott Carroll is on his game.
And on Saturday night, Carroll was in the zone. The Charlotte starting pitcher got into trouble over the course of three consecutive innings, but he escaped unscathed, as the Knights shut out the Norfolk Tides 6-0 at BB&T BallPark.
The Knights (31-24) jumped on the board early, as first baseman Matt Tuiasosopo recorded 2 RBIs in his first two at-bats en route to giving Charlotte a 3-0 lead after three innings.
But the Tides (31-24) began to threaten in the top of the fourth. Carroll surrendered back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with two outs, but he escaped any damage via an inning-ending double play.
An inning later, Carroll surrendered three consecutive singles to load the bases with two outs. But behind another double play, he and the Knights exited the top of the fifth still holding onto a 3-0 lead.
After allowing a single and a double with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Carroll walked the bases loaded after being called for a pitch-clock violation on a 3-1 count. But right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom entered the game and ended the inning on a groundout to short.
Charlotte scored three runs total over the course of the sixth and seventh innings to secure Carroll and the Knights the win.
“Got to give big ups to my defense. Big double plays in the fourth and fifth innings. It’s kind of funny, because (catcher Kevan Smith) came out and said (in the fifth inning), ‘Trust your sinker here, and we’ll get you a double play behind us.’ It worked out that way.” –Charlotte starting pitcher Scott Carroll on his performance.
With the win, the Knights move back into a tie with the Tides for first place in the International League South Division standings. ... With a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning, Charlotte third baseman Matt Davidson tallied his 33rd RBI of the season. Davidson entered Saturday night’s game in a tie for third in the IL in RBIs.
The Knights and Tides will face off in the final game of their three-game series at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday. RHP Kyle Drabek (1-3, 2.36) is slated to take the mound for the Knights against RHP Zach Davies (3-3, 2.96).