PAWTUCKET, RI -- Andre Rienzo struck-out seven batters over six shutout innings, Blake Tekotte homered, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 5-1 on Monday in the opening game of their four-game series from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI.
Rienzo (5-3, 6.02) earned his team-high fifth win of the season on Monday and did so by holding the PawSox to just four hits over six scoreless innings. The Brazilian native walked just two batters and was in the middle of a pitcher’s duel with Pawtucket starter Steven Wright (2-3, 4.99) -- until the fifth inning.
The Knights and PawSox were battling to a 0-0 score until the fifth when the Knights’ offense ignited.
Jim Gallagher started things off with a two-out single off of Wright. Tekotte then followed and hit the first pitch he saw over the right-center field wall for a two-run home run. The Knights quickly had a 2-0 lead at that point.
Charlotte (25-35) added on three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull away from Pawtucket. Brent Morel and Mike McDade started the inning off with back-to-back singles. The hit for McDade extended his hit streak to seven-straight games. Josh Phegley then doubled home Morel to make it a 3-0 game.
After Lars Anderson walked, the Knights turned two outs into runs. Seth Loman’s ground out scored McDade from third base and Phegley scored on a ground out by Angel Sanchez.
The Knights went to the ninth inning with a chance for their first shutout of the season – but that didn’t happen. Donnie Veal allowed Pawtucket’s first and only run on a Jeremy Hazelbaker RBI double.
The win for Charlotte was their third of the season against the PawSox. The two teams split a four-game series at Knights Stadium earlier this season.
The Knights and PawSox will continue their series from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI on Wednesday. LHP Charlie Leesman gets the start for the Knights in game two. The PawSox will hand the ball to LHP Chris Hernandez in the 7:05 p.m. contest.