(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - The Charlotte Knights scored a season-high 17 runs - including five home runs - and tied a season-high with 17 hits on their way to a 17-4 victory over the Durham Bulls. The Knights have won five-straight games and have scored 28 runs over their last 16 innings at BB&T Ballpark.
The Charlotte offense scored early and often in the Tuesday night series-opener against their in-state rivals. Tyler Saladino led the 17-hit attack, getting the scoring started in the first inning when he doubled and scored on a Jason Coats sacrifice fly.
Coats and Matt Davidson delivered back-to-back home runs to lead-off the third frame to put the Knights ahead 4-0. The homer gave Coats two RBI on the day - one of five Knights to tally a multi-RBI game - putting him ahead of Davidson for the team-lead with 47 on the season.
After the Knights added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, Saladino continued his productive night with his second-career grand slam to put Charlotte ahead 10-2.
The offensive output was in support of Junior Guerra who earned his first win as a Knight after tossing five innings of two-run ball. The pair of runs came on a two-run homer by Luke Maile in the top of the fifth inning. Guerra struck out nine Bulls over five innings, tying his career-high.
After not scoring in the sixth frame, the Knights added two more runs in the seventh on a two-RBI double by Kevan Smith.
The Bulls cut the lead to 12-6 in the top of the eighth inning with a pair of two-run home runs by Corey Brown and Nick Franklin.
Micah Johnson joined the home run derby with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to put the Knights ahead 13-6. The scoring was concluded when Chris Marrero added the second grand slam of the night to give Charlotte the 17-6 lead.
The Knights and Bulls will play game two of their three-game set on Wednesday with Brad Penny set to take the mound for Charlotte in the 7:05 p.m. matchup. Wednesday is "Back to the Future Night" and fans will be able to take pictures with the DeLorean Time Machine from the classic movie trilogy.