CHARLOTTE, N.C. —The Charlotte Knights exploded for four runs in the seventh inning to topple the Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-4, and secure the three-game series Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark.
After originally falling behind in the second inning, the Knights (6-8) rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the seventh to win the rubber game with the PawSox (7-7).
Pawtucket starter Henry Owens worked 4.2 innings and gave up a pair of runs on four hits and four walks to go along with eight strikeouts. The lefty struck out the side in the second after loading the bases on a pair of walks and a bunt single. Owens’ final seven strikeouts came on fastballs. Over his last two outings, Owens has stacked up 18 strikeouts.
PawSox right-handed reliever Erik Cordier (L, 0-1) allowed two runs in two innings with a trio of strikeouts and two walks. Fellow righty Ben Taylor, in his Triple-A debut after beginning the season in Boston, was charged with two runs in 1.1 frames.
Knights starter Tyler Danish cruised through six innings and only gave up one earned run. He struck out four and didn’t walk a Pawtucket batter. David Holmberg (W, 2-0) added two hitless innings, and Chris Beck (S, 1) stamped the victory.
In the third game of his rehab assignment, Pawtucket third baseman Josh Rutledge (left hamstring strain) played five innings in the field for the first time and went 0-for-2 with a flyout and a strikeout.
PawSox right fielder Bryce Brentz (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI) led the offense, which was limited to five hits, matching a season low.
As he did in Tuesday’s series opener, Charlotte second baseman and top prospect Yoan Moncada, who joined the White Sox organization from Boston in the Chris Sale trade, smacked a solo home run in the first inning to lift the Knights ahead 1-0.
In the second, the PawSox strung together three consecutive one-out singles. Shortstop Ryan Court yanked an RBI base knock into left field to score Brentz and level the game, 1-1. A pair of Charlotte errors from Moncada and third baseman Nicky Delmonico then allowed center fielder Junior Lake and Court to score and push Pawtucket ahead 3-1.
The Knights inched closer in the fifth. Moncada stroked a one-out single, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Delmonico to trim the gap to 3-2.
Charlotte used a similar sequence to tie the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the seventh. After Moncada drew a one-out walk and stole second, he scored on another RBI single from Delmonico. Two batters later, first baseman Danny Hayes smoked a three-run home run to center off reliever Ben Taylor to hand Charlotte the 6-3 advantage.
With two outs in the ninth, Brentz blasted his first home run of the season — a line drive to left — to pull the PawSox within two, 6-4. Pawtucket brought the tying run to the plate, but Beck and the Knights held on.
The PawSox continue their six-game road trip Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Gwinnett at Coolray Field. Pawtucket right-hander Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 10.38) is scheduled to oppose Gwinnett lefty Andrew Albers (0-0, 1.42).