Charlotte Knights

Charlotte Knights hitters, Drabek pummel Norfolk Tides

The Charlotte Knights pounded out 13 hits and got a strong outing from Kyle Drabek in a 10-2 win over the Norfolk Tides on Saturday night to move within a half game of the IL South leaders.

Catcher Kevan Smith had four hits and four RBIs to lead Charlotte’s offense. Leury Garcia, Jason Coats and Trayce Thompson also had multiple hits.

Garcia, Micah Johnson and Matt Tuiasosopo each drove in two runs.

Drabek (5-5) earned the win for the Knights as he allowed two runs – one earned – on just two hits over six solid innings. He yielded an RBI on a fielder’s choice by Christian Walker and a run-scoring single to Sean Halton in the first inning but settled down after that, not allowing a hit over the next five innings. Drabek finished with six strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.56, third-best in the International League this season.

Norfolk starter T.J. McFarland (2-3) took the loss after yielding four runs – two earned – on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. McFarland, in his second start with the Tides since being optioned from Baltimore on June 28, walked one and struck out three while throwing 46 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

The two clubs wrap up the first half of the season Sunday evening at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 6:05. Kevin Gausman (0-0) is scheduled to make his second start of the season with the Tides and will be opposed by Knights right-hander Scott Carroll (3-2).