Charlotte Knights

Gwinnett’s 2 big innings sink Knights

The weather sure didn’t cooperate with the Charlotte Knights in their series opener against the Gwinnett Braves.

Neither did the Braves, who rode two big innings to a 12-3 International League victory Monday at BB&T BallPark.

Gwinnett (62-53) tagged Charlotte (61-56) for five runs in an inning twice – during a rain-soaked third inning and again in the sixth – in handing the Knights their third straight loss.

The Braves got to four Charlotte pitchers for 16 hits, with all nine of their starters getting at least one hit each. All nine Gwinnett players had at least one hit and drove in a run, and eight of the nine scored at least one run.

The Knights managed just seven hits, stranding eight runners and going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Starting pitcher Kyle Drabek took the loss, falling to 6-7 on the season. Drabek allowed a season-worst seven runs in five innings on eight hits and four walks.

All five of those runs came during the third when Drabek appeared to get rattled by the showers, which started during the bottom of the second inning and began falling harder 10 minutes later.

The Braves added five runs in the sixth off Drabek and reliever Miguel Chalas, and solo runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Worth mentioning

Gwinnett starter Kanekoa Texeira got the win, improving to 5-3 this season. Texeira allowed two runs in five innings, with four strikeouts. … Todd Cunningham had three hits for the Braves, and Eric Young Jr., Christian Bethancourt, Cedric Hunter, Daniel Castro and Luis Mateo had two hits each. … The Knights lead the season series against Gwinnett 8-6, but the Braves have won the past four meetings. … The bottom half of the Knights’ order produced five of their seven hits. Drew Garcia had two and Chris Jacobs belted his first Class AAA home run in the fifth inning to break the shutout.

What’s next?

The Knights will play the second of the four-game series against the Braves on Tuesday at BB&T BallPark. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Brad Penny (5-6, 4.21 ERA) will start for Charlotte against right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (3-2, 3.03 ERA).

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