Charlotte Knights

Knights can’t overcome Bisons’ early charge

The Charlotte Knights’ highlight reel was very short from Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Bisons.

That’s because not much went right for the Knights in their series-ending 9-2 loss to the Bisons at BB&T BallPark.

Charlotte (60-53) dropped two out of three games against Buffalo (58-54) in the series and fell further back in the International League playoff race.

The one-time IL South frontrunners have gone 3-12 in their past 15 games and are tied with Gwinnett (59-52) for second in the division standings, 61/2 games behind Norfolk. The Knights also dropped 21/2 games behind Columbus (62-50) for the league’s wild-card berth.

The Bisons took command with four runs in the first two innings, and got a strong performance from former major-league pitcher Randy Wolf with six shutout innings.

Wolf – 133-120 in 15 seasons in the majors with seven teams – struck out eight in 62/3 innings to get the win for Buffalo, improving to 8-1 on the season and 5-0 in road games.

Charlotte broke the shutout in the seventh inning, connecting off three straight two-out hits – a double by Justin Sellers, an RBI single from Rob Brantly and an RBI double by Jason Coats.

But the game was pretty much out of reach by that point, with the Bisons up 8-0. They had scored solo runs in the fourth and sixth innings, added a two-run home run from Luke Scott in the seventh, and a solo homer by Matt Hague in the ninth.

Former major leaguer Brad Penny (5-6) took the loss for the Knights, giving up six runs off 10 hits in six innings, with four strikeouts.

Worth mentioning

Brantly finished with three hits for the Knights. Coats, Sellers, Dayan Viciedo and Drew Garcia added two hits each. … The start of Thursday’s game was delayed 39 minutes by rain.… The White Sox released Knights first baseman Chris Marrero on Thursday afternoon. Marrero hit .278 (37 of 133) in 39 games for the Knights this season, with four home runs and 17 RBIs.

What’s next?

The Knights’ homestand continues Friday with the opener of a three-game series against the Rochester Red Wings. Right-hander Scott Carroll (4-2 2.45 ERA) will start for Charlotte, while the Red Wings will go with left-hander Pat Dean (8-9, 2.92 ERA).

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