The Charlotte Knights started their 10-game road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs on Monday night, snapping their season-best, seven-game winning streak. With the Durham Bulls having the day off on Monday, the Knights remain 11/2 games ahead of their in-state rivals for first place in the International League South Division.
Chiefs starter Paolo Espino was able to slow down a Knights offense that had scored 37 runs over their last four contests – allowing one unearned run over 7.0 innings pitched. The 28-year-old is now 2-0 in six starts since joining the Syracuse rotation on May 24, and has yet to allow more than two runs in an outing.
A pair of Syracuse errors led to the only Knights run of the game. Micah Johnson led-off the first inning by reaching base on a fielding error, and eventually scored from third when Chiefs catcher Steve Lerud committed a throwing error when tossing the ball back to Espino after a pitch to Matt Tuiasosopo.
Brady Penny got the start after being activated from the disabled list prior to Monday’s game, and the 37-year-old delivered four scoreless innings of two-hit ball. The 14-year, major-league veteran did not factor in the decision in his first appearance since May 29.
Left-hander Dan Jennings began his major-league rehab assignment with the Knights on Monday, relieving Penny to being the fifth inning. After walking the first batter he faced, the University of Nebraska product allowed a two-out, RBI-double to Darin Mastroianni to tie the game 1-1. Jennings would allow one run on two hits and one walk while striking out two in 2.0 innings pitched in his first rehab performance with the Knights.
Mario Lisson would lead-off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single off of Miguel Chalas and later score when Mastroianni came through with a sacrifice-fly for his second RBI of the game. Chalas would allow one run on two hits over 2.0 innings pitched and was saddled with his second loss of the season.
Rafael Martin would come-on in the ninth inning for Syracuse and strike out the side to close-out the 2-1 Chiefs victory and earn his third save of the season.
After reaching a season-high 17 hits on Sunday, the Knights offense tallied seven on Monday, with Jason Coats and Tyler Colvin leading the way with two apiece. A two-out, fourth-inning double by Colvin would be the only extra-base hit by a Knight in the game.
The Knights continue their 10-game road trip with game two of their four-game set in Syracuse on Tuesday. Shawn Haviland is set to take the mound for Charlotte in the 7:05 p.m. matchup from NBT Bank Stadium, and you can catch all the action on the Knights flagship station, ESPN 730 AM.