A wining streak can disappear almost as quickly as it can be built. And on Wednesday night, the Charlotte Knights’ five-game winning streak vanished with one swing of the bat.
Entering the top of the seventh inning locked in a 2-2 tie, Durham Bulls designated hitter Corey Brown blasted a three-run home run to hand the Knights a 5-2 loss at BB&T BallPark.
The Bulls (45-41) struck first in the top of the second inning, as Nick Franklin hit a one-out triple and scored on a RBI double by Mikie Mahtook in the ensuing at-bat.
After going 0-for-5 with a walk in Tuesday’s 17-6 win and being the only Knight not to record a hit, Trayce Thompson hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1. It was his 11th this season.
The Knights (49-38) broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Tyler Saladino hit a leadoff home run to give Charlotte a 2-1 lead. The home run was his second in two days.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Durham hit three consecutive singles off Charlotte starting pitcher Brad Penny to tie the game at 2-2. But with runners on second and third, Penny recorded back-to-back strikeouts to escape further damage.
The score remained tied until the top of the seventh inning, when Brown hit his go-ahead home run. The Knights got one hit after Saladino’s home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and were unable to rally.
“Their starter pitched well. They (their relievers) came in, kept it right there. They beat us with the one swing of the bat, and that happens.” – Charlotte manager Joel Skinner on Durham’s bullpen.
Brown’s home run in the top of the seventh inning placed him in a three-way tie with Matt Davidson and J.P. Arencibia for the International League-lead in home runs. All three players have hit 14 home runs this season. ... Saladino’s home run was his fourth of the season. All four of his home runs have come at BB&T BallPark, where he is batting .324 this season after going 1-for-4 on Wednesday. ... Charlotte reliever Jarrett Casey pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters.
The Knights conclude their three-game, home series against the Bulls at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday. Charlotte right-hander Shawn Haviland (4-4, 4.19) is scheduled to against Durham’s Bradin Hagens (0-0, 1.13).