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Knights Drop Opener To PawSox 5-3

Palka hits 18th home run of season
Hector Santiago struck out eight in Friday's loss. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)
July 26, 2019

(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - In a game that began as a pitcher's duel, the Charlotte Knights couldn't climb all the way back in a 5-3 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark in the opener of their three-game series.

(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - In a game that began as a pitcher's duel, the Charlotte Knights couldn't climb all the way back in a 5-3 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark in the opener of their three-game series.

Charlotte began the scoring in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Luis Robert lined a base hit to the gap in right-center and made it to third base standing up with a triple. Pawtucket second baseman Marco Hernández then bobbled the throw back to the infield, allowing Robert to dash home on an error with the game's first run.
Pawtucket got even on an RBI single from Gorkys Hernández in the top of the fifth against Charlotte starter Héctor Santiago (L, 3-5). An inning later, the PawSox took a 2-1 lead on Chris Owings' double to left that scored Marco Hernandez.

That would be all Santiago gave up. Over 6.0 solid innings, the veteran lefty gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in his best outing as a Knight this season.
Out of the bullpen, Zach Thompson pitched a scoreless top of the seventh to keep the deficit at one run. However, the PawSox broke the game open in the eighth on Owings' three-run home run to increase the lead to 5-1. Connor Walsh entered with two outs in the eighth and threw 1.1 scoreless frames.
The Knights got closer as Zack Collins scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth to make it a three-run game. Daniel Palka hit a towering solo shot down the right field line in the ninth for his 18th home run of the season, but that would be the end of the scoring.
Offensively, Robert went 2-for-5 with the triple and a run scored while Collins was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. In the loss, Alcides Escobar hit his team-leading 28th double of the season, which ranks him second in the International League in that category.
The Knights and Red Sox continue their series on Saturday night. Donny Roach (2-6, 8.23) is set to start on the mound for the Knights. Pregame coverage of the 7:04 p.m. game is set for 6:50 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad and long-time Knights radio broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call for all of the action.