(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) -- The red-hot Charlotte Knights used four home runs to power past the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the finale of their three-game series by a score of 7-5 on Thursday night from BB&T Ballpark. With the win, the Knights earned a three-game series sweep of the RailRiders for the second time in two weeks.
Over their last 16 games, the Charlotte Knights have won a remarkable 13 games (13-3) and pulled to just a half-game back of the Durham Bulls in the International League Wild Card race. The Knights, who still have 18 games left during the 2019 regular season, will begin a four-game series against the Bulls on Monday from Durham, NC. The Bulls lost to the Syracuse Mets by a score of 5-3 on Thursday.
The Knights are also now just three games back of the first place Gwinnett Stripers in the IL South Division.
First baseman Zack Collins , catcher Seby Zavala , right fielder Daniel Palka , and center fielder Luis Robert all homered in Thursday's finale. For the season, the Knights have now hit 181 home runs, which is tied for the third-most in the International League.
Zavala launched his 19th home run of the season in the second inning off Nick Nelson (0-1, 7.20), who was saddled with the loss for the RailRiders. Nelson also allowed a solo home run to Robert -- his ninth of the season -- in the third inning. Both Collins and Palka homered off reliever Josh Maciejewski, a product of the Charlotte 49ers.
Offensively, Robert, Collins, and second baseman Nick Madrigal all had two hits apiece in the game. The Knights scored 35 runs in the three-game series.
LHP Justin Nicolino (7-6, 6.05) earned the win for the Knights after allowing four runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings pitched. RHP Matt Foster earned his third save of the season after he allowed just one hit over a scoreless ninth inning.
The Knights finished their regular season series against the RailRiders with a 6-0 record.
The Knights will host the Columbus Clippers on Friday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. Pre-game radio coverage of Friday's 1:05 p.m. game is set for 12:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte and CharlotteKnights.com. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad and long-time broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call for all of the action.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.