(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - After taking an early lead, the Charlotte Knights survived a late Gwinnett Stripers rally to earn a 7-6 win on Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark in game two of their three-game series.
Charlotte wasted no time in striking first against Gwinnett starter Kyle Wright (L, 3-3). Paulo Orlando was the first Knight to reach base with a two-out double. Matt Skole followed with a single to right, scoring Orlando with the game's first run.
The next inning, the Knights added to the lead. Seby Zavala led off the inning with a double and Danny Mendick singled to put runners on the corners. Ryan Goins cashed in with a RBI single to right and Adam Engel followed with a RBI single of his own to right. Orlando capped the inning's scoring with his second double in as many frames to plate Goins and Engel, giving Charlotte a 5-0 lead.
Gwinnett responded with a run in the third and two in the fourth against Charlotte starter Dylan Cease (W, 5-2). With a 5-3 lead, Cease rebounded to pitch a scoreless inning, ending his night. Over 5.0 innings, he gave up three earned runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts to earn the win.
Matt Foster entered in the sixth and pitched a clean inning. Jordan Stephens made his first relief appearance of the year for the Knights and gave up a run in the seventh as Charlotte's lead was trimmed to 5-4. But the Knights regained a three-run lead in the seventh on RBI singles from Engel and Orlando.
Stephens kept the lead at three with a scoreless eighth. In the ninth, the Stripers cut the lead to 7-6 off Knights reliever Thyago Vieira, but the righty induced a ground out from Pedro Florimon to end the game and earn the save.
Offensively, Orlando led the way by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI while Engel drove in a pair of runs in the victory.
The Knights and Stripers conclude their series on Wednesday night. Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3, 3.54) is set to start for Charlotte against Gwinnett's Bryse Wilson (3-5, 3.92). Pre-game radio 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.