CHARLOTTE, NC - The Durham Bulls surrendered a four-run lead and allowed five home runs in an 11-7 loss to the Charlotte Knights Thursday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. With the loss, Durham was eliminated from playoff contention.
Trailing 7-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Jacobs hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to two. After Chris Curley followed with a dinger to make it a 7-6 ballgame, Dayan Viciedo cracked a two-run long ball to put Charlotte in front by a run. In the eighth the home side increased its advantage to 11-7 on a three-run home run by Micah Johnson.
Charlotte (73-67) took an early lead when it plated a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Matt Tuiasosopo. Durham tied the contest in the third though, as Boog Powell cracked his first career Triple-A home run to rightfield.
In the fourth the Bulls (71-69) struck again, as Powell singled home Alec Sole and Wilmer Dominguez, each making their Triple-A debuts. Three batters later Corey Brown knocked a single to right, scoring Powell and putting Durham ahead 4-1. The Knights countered in the bottom of the frame however, on a two-run homer by Tuiasosopo.
The visitors put some distance between themselves and the home side in the fifth inning, as again the Bulls struck for a trio of runs. Dominguez singled to right to score Cameron Seitzer, and Powell followed with an RBI single of his own. Ryan Brett then followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Dominguez for a 7-3 Durham advantage.
Blake Smith (1-2) earned the win for the Knights, tossing two innings of scoreless relief. Andrew Bellatti (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Southpaw Everett Teaford left the game with a 7-3 lead, but the Durham bullpen surrendered eight runs on four home runs over its three innings of work.
Offensively Powell tied a career-high with four hits, while setting a new career-high with four RBI. Seitzer finished the game 2-for-5 with a run, while Brown's fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The teams square off in the rubber match of the three-game set Friday when Durham sends LHP Blake Snell (5-2, 1.60) to the hill opposite RHP Terance Marin (3-3, 2.76) for Charlotte. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.