With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning Sunday, Charlotte Knights reliever Miguel Chalas entered the game looking to halt the Norfolk Tides’ momentum.
After scoring two runs earlier in the inning to extend their lead to 4-1, the Tides threatened to break open the game with a base hit. But Chalas wouldn’t allow it, striking out Sean Halton to end the inning.
The strikeout marked the first of 13 consecutive batters retired by Chalas and Maikel Cleto, as the Charlotte bullpen pitched 41/3 scoreless innings and led the Knights to an 8-4 victory at BB&T BallPark.
After Chalas escaped the inning without any further damage, Charlotte (54-42) tied the score at 4 in the bottom of the inning on a two-run home run by DH Tyler Colvin and an RBI single by Matt Davidson.
Matt Tuiasosopo broke the tie in the sixth inning with a solo home run, his third in as many days.
Cleto entered the game in the eighth and after getting the first out on a fly to center, struck out the next five batters to seal the win.
With the victory, the Knights regained a half-game lead over the Tides in the International League South Division.
“(Miguel Chalas) came in and stopped the tide. They scored two in the fourth and had already scored two in the fifth. He was able to stop that, and we were able to bounce back and tie the ballgame up right then and there so the momentum went back in our favor. Our guys just added onto it, which was big for us.” — Charlotte manager Joel Skinner
Drew Garcia’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning was his first since May 2014 as a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Sunday was Garcia’s 264th game with the Knights, tying him with Casey Rogowski for 10th place on the franchise list. … Garcia entered the game as a pinch hitter for Trayce Thompson in the sixth inning. Skinner said Thompson was removed for precautionary reasons after experiencing leg cramps. Thompson leads the International League in games played, having appeared in all 96 games this season.
The Knights begin a four-game series against the Durham Bulls at BB&T BallPark at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Charlotte right-hander Erik Johnson (7-5, 2.73 ERA) is scheduled to start against left-hander Scott Diamond (9-3, 3.28).