Luke Maile’s two-run single in the seventh inning propelled the Durham Bulls to a 5-4 win over the Charlotte Knights on Thursday in the opener of their four-game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The loss ended Charlotte’s three-game winning streak.
The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Matt Davidson’s RBI single, his 67th RBI this season.
The Bulls charged back in the third inning. Mikie Mahtook ripped a go-ahead two-run double off Kyle Drabek (7-9) to give Durham a 2-1 lead.
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In the fourth inning, Charlotte’s Drew Garcia tied the score at 2 with a double. One inning later, the Knights retook the lead on a two-run single by Kevan Smith.
Drabek began to struggle in the seventh. Charlotte native Richie Shaffer led off with a walk. Drabek then allowed back-to-back singles to load the bases. With Joey Rickard at the plate, Drabek uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Shaffer to score.
Drabek’s final batter of the game was Maile, who gave the Bulls a 5-4 leadwith his two-run single. For Maile, it was his only hit of the game.
Drabek allowed five runs on seven hits over 61/3 innings. Relievers Miguel Chalas and Jarrett Casey did not allow any runs over the final 12/3 innings.
Durham reliever C.J. Riefenhauser (4-2) earned the win after 11/3 scoreless innings. Jim Miller recorded his fourth save of the season after a perfect ninth inning.
Despite the loss, the Knights stayed 41/2 games behind first-place Norfolk in the International League South standings. The Tides lost to Gwinnett 9-3 on Thursday. The G-Braves are now two games back of Norfolk for first place in the division.
Charlotte and Durham will continue their series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Scott Carroll (6-4) will get the start for the Knights against left-hander Matt Moore (2-2).