DURHAM, N.C. -- Catawba College product Jerry Sands homered and drove in three runs, Mike Montgomery threw eight solid innings, and the Durham Bulls beat the Charlotte Knights 5-2 in the opening game of their four-game series from Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday.
Montgomery (4-1, 4.12) gave up just two runs on two hits en route to his fourth win of the season. Montgomery -- a former Royals farmhand -- walked one and struck-out seven. He made one mistake on the evening, a two-run home run to Charlotte catcher Josh Phegley in the first inning.
Charlotte took the early 2-0 lead after Phegley’s fourth home run over his last six games. That was all the Knights would get against Montgomery and the Bulls as they came back to score five answered runs.
White Sox right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-2, 9.90) made his third Major League rehab start of the season with the Knights and allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits over five innings. Paulino, who was saddled with the loss, allowed a two-run home run to Sands during a three-run second inning. It was the third home run that he has allowed in 10 innings with the Knights this season.
Third baseman Matt Davidson had the only other hit for the Knights on Tuesday. It was his fourth hit over his last two games. Micah Johnson, who was promoted to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham before the game, made his Triple-A debut on Tuesday night and finished the game 0-for-4. Johnson is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in Chicago’s system by Baseball America.
Charlotte left-handed pitcher Eric Surkamp came on in relief of Paulino and did not allow a run over three scoreless innings. He walked one, allowed two hits, and fanned three batters.
Durham reliever Jeff Beliveau walked one in the ninth inning but notched his second save of the season.
Before the game, the Knights announced that LHP Chris Sale will start Thursday’s game on a Major League rehab assignment from Chicago. Sale is currently on the 15-day disabled list.
The Knights will continue the four-game series with the Durham Bulls from Durham, NC on Wednesday. LHP Charlie Leesman (1-2, 1.70) -- the reigning IL Pitcher of the Week -- gets the nod against Durham’s RHP Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.09). Pre-game radio coverage of Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. game starts at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 730 AM and WRHI (1340 AM and 94.3 FM). Fans can also listen to the game online at www.charlotteknights.com. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.