(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - Despite a strong start on the mound, the Charlotte Knights suffered a 3-2 loss to the Durham Bulls on Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 10,358 in their regular season home finale at BB&T Ballpark.
The Knights now hold just a one-game lead over the Bulls in the International League Wild Card standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
The game started off promising for Charlotte, as starter Dylan Covey retired the first three hitters he faced in a scoreless first inning.
After trading zeroes for the first couple innings, the Knights got on the board first on Danny Mendick's solo home run to right to lead off the bottom of the third. The home run was the 17th of the season for Mendick as he continues to add to his career-high.
Luis Robert doubled the Charlotte lead to 2-0 in the fourth with a towering solo home run over the right field fence for his 15th with the Knights and 31st of the season.
Durham got a run back on Michael Perez's solo homer in the sixth. That would be all the Bulls could get off Covey. Over 6.0 strong innings, the righty gave up just one earned run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
From there, the Bulls rallied off rehabbing White Sox right-hander Carson Fulmer (L, 1-2) to load the bases with one out. Colton Turner came in and promptly walked Nate Lowe to tie the game. The next hitter, Michael Brosseau, was hit by a pitch to give Durham a 3-2 lead.
That would prove to be decisive. The Knights put runners on the corners with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. However, they were unable to plate the tying run.
In the ninth, the Knights got the tying run on base with a single from Yermin Mercedes. But Seby Zavala struck out for the final out of the night as the Bulls hung on for the win.
Offensively, Mendick and Robert homered to lead the way while Mercedes recorded three singles in the loss.
The Knights begin their final series of the regular season in Norfolk on Friday night. Matt Tomshaw (4-1, 4.13) is expected to start for Charlotte in the opener of the four-game set. Pregame coverage of the 7:05 p.m. game is set for 6:50 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.