Hector Noesi took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Dayan Viciedo and Kevan Smith provided the offensive punch, and the Charlotte Knights beat the first place Norfolk Tides by a score of 3-1 Monday in the opening game of their two-game series. The Knights gained a full game in the standings, pulling to 3 1/2 games back of the Tides with seven games left to play during the regular season.
Inning after inning, Noesi (3-4, 3.51) befuddled the division-leading Tides. The 6-foot-3 Dominican native allowed just one walk over his first five innings. He struck out five and didn’t allow a hit over that span.
Viciedo and Smith both homered in the 3-run fourth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tides finally figured out Noesi and touched him up for their first hit and run. Both came on the same at-bat as Norfolk catcher Audry Perez broke-up the no-hitter with a leadoff home run, which put the Tides on the scoreboard, down 3-1. That was all the Tides could muster.
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Reliever Junior Guerra allowed one hit over a scoreless eighth inning, while Zach Phillips notched his team-high 12th save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Viciedo’s solo home run in the fourth was his 46th Knights home run, which tied him with Josh Phegley for sixth all-time in Knights history.
The two teams will conclude their two-game set on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Kyle Drabek (7-9, 3.55) will start for the Knights against Norfolk RHP Mike Wright (8-1, 2.40).