Charlotte, NC -- Patrick Leonard doubled home the tie-breaking run in the 9th to spark the Durham Bulls past the Charlotte Knights 6-4 before 10,221 fans at BB&T Ballpark Friday night.
Leonard's blast sailed over Jacob May's head, landing on the centerfield warning track against losing pitcher Philippe Aumont (L, 0-2). Aumont had walked the first two batters of the Bulls' (6-3) inning. A wild pitch later in the inning would tack on insurance.
The Knights (2-6) rallied with three unearned runs in the eighth inning against Ryan Garton to tie the game. Carlos Sanchez delivered a game-tying, two-run single against Jhan Marinez (W, 1-1) with two outs to even the game 4-4.
The Charlotte rally neutered another stellar outing by Austin Pruitt, who for his second straight Triple-A start, whiffed 11 Knights, allowing just three hits and issuing no walks. Pruitt worked six innings in a Sunday win over the Knights, but lasted seven frames on Friday.
Mikie Mahtook pulled a deep solo homer to left field in the third inning, part of a two extra-base hit evening.
Bulls pitchers matched a season-high with 15 combined strikeouts, one of which led to a pair of Charlotte ejections. Travis Ishikawa complained on a called third strike in the seventh, and was promptly run by James Rackley. When the argument was picked up by Charlotte manager Julio Vinas, Rackley tossed his as well.
The series continues Saturday night at 6:05 PM ET with Adam Wilk (0-0, 5.79) opposing Jacob Turner (0-0, 2.25) at BB&T.