Friday, May 1, 2015

Charlotte Knights' comeback comes up just short in 5-4 loss to RailRiders

After a week full of come-from-behind victories the Charlotte Knights’ luck rank out on Friday night in a 5-4 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to even their current four-game series at one game apiece in front of 10,422 at BB&T Ballpark.

Once again the Knights, who already had two walk-off wins this week, looked primed for some late-game heroics.

With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leading 5-3, Carlos Sanchez (5-for-5) led off the ninth inning with a double. Matt Davidson (who hit a walk-off home run on Thursday night) then made it a one-run game with a single up the middle and Trayce Thompson followed with a hit of his own.

For a moment, it looked as though Dan Black had won the game with a walk-off three-run home run, but the ball hooked just foul down the right field line. Black would strikeout on the next pitch and Engle Beltre would eventually do the same at the hands of RailRiders’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow, who earned his second save of the season.

After being no-hit for the game’s first three innings, the RailRiders (11-12) got to Knights’ right-hander Shawn Haviland (0-2) for four runs in the fourth inning thanks to two two-out hits from Ben Gamel and Austin Romine.

The Knights (13-8) rallied for two runs in the bottom half of the fourth after Black drew a one out walk, advanced to third on a double by Beltre, and then scored on a Kevan Smith fielder’s choice. Beltre would trot home a batter later on a Jason Coats’ single. 

Coats came through again in the eighth with his second run-scoring single to make it a 4-3 game.

The RailRiders added what turned out to be an important insurance run off Maikel Cleto in the top of the ninth inning. The run was the first allowed by the right-hander this season, bringing his scoreless-innings streak to an end at 20 1/3 innings. 
“It was another good ninth inning for us, regardless of whether we won or lost. We battled back, scored a run and, you know, just came up short.” – Knights’ manager Joel Skinner.

Worth mentioning
With two walks on Friday, Charlotte Knights’ designated hitter Dan Black (0 for 3) has now reached base in 20-straight games (dating back to last season). Despite seeing his 11-game hitting streak come to an end, Black finished the night hitting (.354). He entered Friday leading the International League in on-base percentage (.473) and slugging percentage (.733). … With his five-hit performance on Friday night, Charlotte second baseman Carlos Sanchez (273) jumped from 11th to eighth all-time on the Knights’ hits list, passing Lou Lucca (269) and Tim Hummel (271). ... Friday’s game was the first of the season where pitchers (with a called ball) and batters (with a called strike) were penalized for pitch timer violations. Shawn Haviland was called for a violation with one out in the top of the fourth inning with Tyler Austin at the plate. The RailRiders went on to score four runs in the inning. … Since his call up to Chicago on April 20, Carlos Rodon has made two appearances with the White Sox and thrown a total of 65 pitches over 3.1 innings. The left-hander has allowed two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two.

What's next?

The Knights will play the third game of their four-game series with the RailRiders at BB&T Ballpark on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Chris Beck (0-1, 5.31) will take the mound for the Knights across from RHP Jaron Long (0-1, 6.10).