(DURHAM, NC) - Behind a clutch overall performance on the mound, the Charlotte Knights earned a 3-0 win over the Durham Bulls on Wednesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the third game of a four-game series.
With the win, the Knights are now three games ahead of the Bulls in the International League Wild Card standings with 11 games to play. The Knights still trail first-place Gwinnett by 1.5 games in the South Division.
The Knights offense got on the right track in the top of the second as Seby Zavala and Trey Michalczewski singled to put two runners on with two outs. Ramon Torres cashed in with a triple into the right field corner, scoring both runs to give the Knights an early 2-0 lead.
Following Torres' at-bat, the skies opened up in Durham, causing a 26-minute rain delay.
Once play resumed, the Knights added to the lead on Danny Mendick's solo home run over the blue monster in left field, his 16th of the season, to make it 3-0 Knights in the fourth.
Given a lead, Charlotte starter Odrisamer Despaigne did all he could to hold it. Inning after inning, the veteran righty worked around runners on base to keep the Bulls off the board.
His biggest test came in the sixth. After retiring the first two hitters, Despaigne hit Kevin Padlo with a pitch. Michael Perez followed with a single and Dalton Kelly walked to load the bases. With the tying runs on base, Despaigne induced a ground out from Rocky Gale to strand the runners and end his outing.
Over 6.0 strong innings, Despaigne (W, 7-5) gave up just four hits and four walks with five strikeouts to earn the win. Hunter Schryver kept the Bulls scoreless for 1.2 innings before exiting with runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth. Jose Ruiz entered and struck out Gale swinging as the tying run to end the inning.
Ruiz (S, 5) returned to the mound in the ninth and completed the shutout to earn the save.
Offensively, Torres was 2-for-4 with two RBI while Zavala also went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Knights' 18th win in their last 23 games.
The Knights will go for the four-game sweep in Durham on Thursday night. Dylan Covey (1-1, 3.51) is set to start for Charlotte. 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.