Matt Davidson has hit a team-leading 20 home runs this season for the Knights but nary a grand slam. He had designs on his first as a Charlotte Knight in the third inning Monday night at BB&T Ballpark when he connected on the first-pitch bases-loaded offering from Gwinnett’s Jake Brigham. Davidson settled for a left field wall-climbing two-run double instead.
That swing put the Knights up 2-1 on their way to a three-run inning and a 3-2 victory.
Davidson got a little zealous trying to score on a single by Rob Brantly and became the second Knights runner thrown out in the vicinity of home plate. The Knights could have used those runs in the ninth when Junior Guerra gave up a run on back-to-back two-out singles before stranding the tying run at second.
The Knights halted Gwinnett’s four-game winning streak in large part because of the pitching of Scott Carroll. The right-hander allowed just one run in seven innings, his longest outing since April 13, 2014.
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Carroll coaxed 10 groundouts, including a diving play from second baseman Drew Garcia and a picturesque double play he started by feeding shortstop Leury Garcia.
Quote: “I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it. That’s all you can really control, so I was thinking ‘just try to relax’ and I got a good pitch to hit, a slider.” – Davidson on his two-run double.
Worth mentioning: Knights left fielder Tyler Colvin – and manager Joel Skinner – thought he’d hit a home run down the left field line in the fourth inning but third base umpire saw (and the other umpires confirmed) that it had bounced off padding to the left of the foul pole before the ricochet looked fair. … Participating in the ceremonial first pitch was 100-year-old Hazeline Heath, who made her way to the edge of the home plate area before handing the ball off the ball to catcher Ethan Wilson.
What’s next? The Knights face Gwinnett in the second of a three-game series, behind International League ERA-leader Erik Johnson (10-8, 2.38). Sugar Ray Marimon got called up to Atlanta, so the Knights will face right-hander Ryan Weber (4-2, 2.04).