Charlotte, NC --- Jacob Faria's perfect season came to an end on Monday night in Charlotte as the Knights beat the Durham Bulls 6-4 at BB&T Ballpark in the series opener.
Faria (L, 4-1) opened the year 4-0 over seven starts, but the minors' leader in strikeouts lasted five innings, fanning four, but yielded six runs (four earned) as the Bulls (23-13) fell to the third-place Knights (19-17).
Mallex Smith hit a leadoff homer for the second time in four games, but the Knights pushed across three in the first for a 3-1 lead. Nicky Delmonico hit a two-run homer to put the Knights ahead.
After the Bulls closed to 3-2 in the fourth, the Knights struck for another three-run inning, capped by a two-run single by Yoan Moncada to move ahead 6-2.
Jake Bauers drilled a two-run homer in the sixth to trim the deficit to 6-4, his second home run in two games.
Smith doubled with two outs in the seventh before being picked off. In the ninth, the Bulls placed two baserunners with two outs before Jake Hager flied out to end the game.
Chris Volstad (W, 1-2) worked six innings for the win, with Zach Burdi (S, 5) closed out the win.
Willy Adames went 3-4 with three singles.
Durham's South Division lead was trimmed to three games over Gwinnett, and four over the Knights, who won their fifth straight game.
The series continues on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM ET with Brent Honeywell (2-3, 4.05) opposing Reynaldo Lopez (4-1, 3.55).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.