Knights impale Bulls with 9-run, 10-hit attack, shutdown pitching
Charlotte pounded out nine runs on 10 hits, Deunte Heath was sharp over five scoreless innings and and the homestanding Knights beat the Durham Bulls 9-1 Wednesday in front of 9,574 fans who made it to BB&T Ballpark for the 11:05 a.m. game.
The Knights got off to a quick start in the first inning against the Bulls, who entered the game with the International League’s best record.
Back-to-back singles by Gorkys Hernandez and Carlos Sanchez started things off against Durham starter Nathan Karns (2-2, 8.02). Andy Wilkins followed with a big three-run home run to give his team a 3-0 lead. It was the second home run of the season for Wilkins.
Three batters later, Alex Liddi ripped a two-run home run to give Charlotte a 5-0 lead. The home run was Liddi’s second of the season.
One inning later, the Knights continued their hot-hitting against the Bulls. Jared Mitchell led things off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice by Hernandez. Three batters later, Hector Gimenez came up with a two-run double to give the Knights a commanding 9-0 lead. In all, the Knights tallied eight runs (seven earned) off Karns, who was saddled with the loss. He lasted just two innings.
Heath (1-0, 1.69), who started in place of the scheduled starter, Charlie Leesman, threw just 49 pitches and allowed two hits over five shutout innings for the win. The Atlanta native was called on to start the game when Leesman was promoted to the parent Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. It was Heath’s first start of the season and first since July 25, 2013.
RHP Frank Francisco made his Knight debut and allowed a run on a hit in one inning. Relievers Taylor Thompson (one inning) and Javy Guerra (two innings) combined to pitch three shutout innings as they closed the door on Charlotte’s first win since April 13. Wednesday’s win snapped a season-long eight-game losing skid for the Knights.
Kevin Kiermaier went 3 for 4 for the Bulls, pushing his hitting streak to eight games, while Mike Fontenot recorded a multi-hit game for the second straight day, going 2 for 3 with a double in the Bulls’ eight-hit attack.
The Bulls were hurt by the inability of Nos. 8 and 9 hitters Roman Ali Solis (0 for 4) and Hak-ju Lee (0 for 2 with a walk) to deliver a key hit. Solis stranded six baserunners and Lee four.
Lee, who hadn’t played a game since a season-ending knee injury suffered on April 20, 2013, scored the Bulls’ only run — in the top of the sixth — when he walked and later came in on an error.
NOTES — The Knights and Bulls will continue their series at 7:05 tonight (WDNC AM-620) at BB&T Ballpark. Righthander Matt Andriese (1-1, 3.79) gets the start for the Bulls against fellow righty Scott Carroll (3-1, 1.57) of the Knights. ... Justin Christian finished 0 for 3 for the Bulls Wednesday, ending his 10-game hitting streak, while Jerry Sands went 1 for 3, extending his hitting streak to 10… The loss was just the Bulls’ second loss on the road against Charlotte in their last 10 tries.
Charlotte Knights (7-13) 9, Durham Bulls (15-6) 1
April 23, 2014
|a-Rodriguez, E, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.097|
|Lee, H, SS||2||1||0||0||1||0||4||.000|
|a-Grounded out for Sands in the 9th.|
2B: Fontenot (6, Heath), Mahtook (4, Guerra, J).
TB: Sands; Betemit; Kiermaier 3; Fontenot 3; Mahtook 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Kiermaier; Lee, H 2; Solis.
Team RISP: 1-for-9.
Team LOB: 7.
CS: Christian (1, 2nd base by Heath/Gimenez, H).
E: Fontenot (3, fielding), Olmedo (2, throw).
|Hernandez, Go, CF||2||1||1||1||2||1||0||.241|
|Sanchez, C, 2B||4||2||2||0||1||0||2||.268|
|Gimenez, H, C||3||1||1||2||2||0||1||.129|
|Black, Da, 1B||3||1||0||0||2||1||2||.197|
|Mitchell, J, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||4||.196|
|Francisco, F, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Thompson, Ta, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Guerra, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Gimenez, H (1, Karns), Wilkins (4, Mathis).
3B: Mitchell, J (1, Karns).
HR: Wilkins (2, 1st inning off Karns, 2 on, 0 out), Liddi (2, 1st inning off Karns, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Sanchez, C 2; Gimenez, H 2; Tekotte 2; Wilkins 6; Hernandez, Go; Mitchell, J 3; Liddi 4.
RBI: Wilkins 3 (8), Liddi 2 (4), Hernandez, Go (2), Gimenez, H 2 (4), Saladino (13).
2-out RBI: Saladino.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Liddi; Sanchez, C; Mitchell, J 2; Gimenez, H; Wilkins.
SF: Hernandez, Go.
Team RISP: 3-for-12.
Team LOB: 10.
E: Saladino (6, throw).
DP: 2 (Sanchez, C-Black, Da, Sanchez, C-Saladino-Black, Da).
|Karns (L, 2-2)||2.0||6||8||7||2||3||2||8.02|
|Heath (W, 1-0)||5.0||2||0||0||1||0||0||1.69|
Sandoval pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.
WP: Karns, Guerra, J.
Pitches-strikes: Karns 61-40, Mathis 61-31, Sandoval 53-33, Liberatore 6-6, Heath 49-28, Francisco, F 14-10, Thompson, Ta 16-12, Guerra, J 30-21.
Groundouts-flyouts: Karns 3-1, Mathis 1-4, Sandoval 1-2, Liberatore 0-2, Heath 2-4, Francisco, F 3-0, Thompson, Ta 0-1, Guerra, J 4-0.
Batters faced: Karns 15, Mathis 16, Sandoval 9, Liberatore 3, Heath 16, Francisco, F 5, Thompson, Ta 6, Guerra, J 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Liberatore 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Jonathan Bailey. 1B: Jeff Gosney. 3B: Travis Carlson.
Weather: 64 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 7 mph, L to R.
Venue: BB&T Ballpark.
April 23, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media