LOUISVILLE, KY - The Louisville Bats jumped out to an early lead and held on for the win as they ultimately defeated the Charlotte Knights 6-5 on Monday at Louisville Slugger Field.
Left-hander David Holmberg (1-5, 4.85) earned the first win of the season and his first career win at the Triple-A level. He pitched one batter into the seventh inning and allowed three runs on 11 hits with no walks and four strikeouts before being removed from the game and giving way to Curtis Partch.
Partch ran into trouble after walking a batter and hitting another. However, he was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam and preserve Holmberg's 5-3 lead after striking out the two-time IL Batter of the Week, Andy Wilkins, and forcing Matt Davidson to fly out to center.
Opposite Holmberg, right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (10-6, 3.96) suffered the loss against his former running mates. He pitched five innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Wang was granted his release by Louisville on July 13, signed with the Chicago White Sox and was assigned to Charlotte.
The Bats plated two runs in the first inning when Neftali Soto drove in Ruben Gotay and Felix Perez on a single to right. The club extended its lead to 4-0 in the third after Perez drove in Gotay on a RBI double and later scored on a throwing error by Charlotte's Davidson.
The Knights scored two in the ninth to cut Louisville's lead to 6-5 and moved the tying run in scoring position. However, right-hander Justin Freeman recorded the final two outs via a strikeout and fly out to center to earn his sixth save of the season
Perez led the way for Louisville offensively after going 3-for-5 with three runs, three doubles and one RBI. The three two-baggers recorded by Perez are a new season high for Louisville, who finished the five-game series versus Charlotte with 17 doubles.
With the win, the Bats not only avoided a home series loss to Charlotte for the first time since 2007, but also salvaged a 4-5 homestand after dropping three of the first four games to Columbus.
Louisville will enjoy a day off on Tuesday before heading to Columbus on Wednesday for the start of a three-game series. Left-hander Scott Diamond (4-7, 5.98) is scheduled to make the start for Louisville and be opposed by a Clippers pitcher to be announced.