(DURHAM, NC) - In a tight game early, the Charlotte Knights ultimately couldn't keep it close late in an 8-2 loss to the Durham Bulls on Tuesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The loss evens up the three-game series at one game apiece.
Leading 3-2 in the seventh, the Bulls got key insurance runs against Charlotte reliever Zach Thompson. Solo home runs from Nate Lowe and Michael Brosseau extended the lead to 5-2 before Lowe's third home run of the night, a three-run shot in the eighth, put the game out of reach.
The game began well for the Knights. For the second straight night, Charlotte took a lead just two batters into the first inning. Adam Engel led off with a double then scored on Danny Mendick's single to right.
But the Bulls responded on Michael Perez's two-run homer off Charlotte starter Donny Roach (L, 2-4) in the second to jump in front 2-1. Lowe's first home run of the game increased the lead to 3-1 in the fifth.
Roach limited the damage to two home runs, but was still saddled with the loss. Over 6.0 innings, he gave up three earned runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
In the seventh, the Knights got a run closer on Ryan Goins' RBI single to center to score Jacob Scavuzzo. The Knights then put the tying run on second base later in the inning, but Yermin Mercedes was called out on strikes to end the frame and strand the runners.
From there, the Bulls extended the lead to earn the win. All eight of Durham's runs came on the strength of five home runs against Roach and Thompson.
For the Knights, Engel and Goins each recorded a pair of hits while eight of the nine Charlotte starters recorded a hit in the loss.
The Knights and Bulls conclude their series on Wednesday night. Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3, 3.28) is expected to start for the Knights. Pre-game radio coverage of the 6:35 p.m. game is set for 6:20 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad 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.