After last night’s 15-5 rout of the Norfolk Tides, the Charlotte Knights were looking for a sweep of the season-opening 4-game homestand from Norfolk at BB&T Ballpark this afternoon, and unlike last night, the Knights would get some solid pitching from starter Tyler Danish, who went 5 innings and giving up one run while striking out 2 to earn his first win of the season, as Charlotte would hold on to defeat the Tides 4-3 to go to 4-0 on the season.
The scoring wouldn’t get started until the bottom half of the opening inning, as Willy Garcia would launch his second home run of the season to left field off Norfolk starter Jayson Aquino to give Charlotte an early 1-0 advantage, then one inning later with runners at second and third after a ground out from shortstop Everth Cabrera, Jose Vinicio would deliver an RBI ground out that would score Danny Hayes from third to make it a 2-0 lead.
Norfolk would battle back in the top half of the third when Chris Dickerson would cut into the Knights lead with his first homer of the season, making it a one-run lead for Charlotte at 2-1, but in the bottom of the third, Charlotte would score its final two runs on the day when Kevan Smith would hit a double to right field to drive in Garcia to give Charlotte a 3-1 edge, and after Danny Hayes would strike out swinging, Jason Bourgeois would have an RBI single of his own to bring in Nicky Delmonico and to give the Knights a 4-1 advantage.
Later in the top half of the Norfolk sixth against Charlotte reliever Matt Purke, who came on for Danish, Tides shortstop Roberto Andino would bring in Pedro Alvarez to make it a 4-2 game, and two innings later against Knights closer Zack Burdi, Alvarez would bring in catcher Francisco Pena on an RBI ground out to make it a one-run game at 4-3, and with two out and the potential tying run 90 feet away at third base, Burdi would strike out pinch-hitter Henry Urrutia, who was added to the Tides roster earlier in the day, to end the game and to complete the four-game sweep of Norfolk at home to begin the season.
The Knights will be on the road for a seven-game road trip which begins tomorrow night in Durham as they take on the top farm team of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Durham Bulls at Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a 6:05 start, and the mound match-up for tomorrow’s game will feature Mike Pelfrey, a veteran Major League starter, making his Charlotte Knights debut, while the Bulls will send out Chase Whitley to the hill to start for Durham in their home opener.