PAWTUCKET, R.I. -– Despite 17 roster moves over the past 10 days, the first place Charlotte Knights continue to play inspiring baseball. Friday’s game was a prime example.
Down 2-0 after the first two innings, Dan Johnson and Drew Garcia each hit solo home runs, the Charlotte bullpen did not allow a run the rest of the way, and the Knights went on to beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 5-2 on Friday in the finale of the four-game series from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. With the win, the Knights went on to take the series from Pawtucket after winning three of four games.
Taking the ball for Charlotte to begin the game on Friday was reliever Deunte Heath, who allowed just two runs (one earned) over four innings of work. He allowed both runs in the second inning and then settled in for his next two frames. Making just his third start of the season, Heath walked one and allowed seven hits. He did not factor in the decision.
Reliever Anthony Carter then came on and tossed two scoreless innings. He later gave way to Gregory Infante, who did not allow a run over three innings. Infante (4-0, 3.23) gave up just one hit and tied a season-high by striking out three batters. He earned the victory.
While Charlotte’s pitching was superb, their bats also came through in key spots.
Conor Jackson put Charlotte on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning with an RBI double off of Pawtucket starter Doug Mathis (5-6, 3.87). It was the first of three straight innings in which the Knights would score a run.
One inning later, Garcia came through with a solo home run – his third of the season and the two teams were now tied 2-2. Garcia finished the game 3-4.
In the top of the fifth inning, Johnson, a 2012 International League All-Star, hit his 19th home run of the season to give the Knights their first lead of the night, 3-2.
Charlotte (47-36) tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Dallas McPherson and Hector Gimenez each drew a bases loaded walk from reliever Daniel Bard.
Bard allowed two runs, three walks, and one hit over just 0.1 innings.
With the win, the Knights improved to 4-4 on the current 12-game road trip.
Earlier in the day, reliever Brian Omogrosso became the seventh Knights player to go from Charlotte to Chicago this season. He had his contract purchased by the White Sox.
Charlotte will now make the trek to Georgia to begin a four-game series with the Gwinnett Braves on Friday. In game one, the Knights will send RHP Charlie Shirek to the mound. Gwinnett will counter with RHP Eric Junge.