Charlotte, NC --- The Charlotte Knights defeated the Durham Bulls 5-2 in the opener of a four-game series at BB&T Ballpark on Monday night.
Micah Johnson, Jason Coats and Matt Davidson each homered in the first inning against Bulls starter Scott Diamond (L, 9-4), who was shooting for his league-best 10th win. The first-place Knights (55-42) added another run in the fifth against Diamond and one final run against reliever Jose Dominguez in the seventh.
After being stymied by Charlotte starter Erik Johnson (W, 8-5) over five scoreless innings, the Bulls (49-46) finally pushed through with a two-run homer by Richie Shaffer in the eighth after a double by Mikie Mahtook.
Diamond suffered the loss, working five innings allowing eight hits and four runs.
The defeat opened an 11-game, 10-day road trip entirely through the South Division, which pushed Durham five games behind the Knights.
The second game of the series is Tuesday night at 7:05 PM ET with Everett Teaford (4-6, 5.58) opposing Brad Penny (4-3, 3.94).