Charlotte, NC --- Merrill Kelly checked Charlotte to one run over six innings, while Justin Christian homered as Durham beat the Knights 8-4 on Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark.
Kelly (W, 4-0) became the International Leauge's first four-game winner and beat the Knights (6-13) for the second time this season. Kelly fanned seven and allowed just a fourth inning run as the Bulls (15-5) dropped the Knights to their eighth straight loss.
Christian hit his third home run of the season - all against Charlotte - in the third inning against starter Dylan Axelrod (L, 1-2). Christian's shot atop an awning beyond the left field patio gave the Bulls a 3-0 lead.
A Knights' error in the fourth allowed Mikie Mahtook to score with two outs for a 4-0 lead.
After Charlotte closed to 4-3 on the first of two Tyler Saladino home runs, the Bulls put the game away with two runs in both the eighth and ninth against Mitchell Boggs. Mahtook and Mike Fontenot doubled in a run in the eighth, then Fontenot doubled home two more in the ninth for an 8-3 lead.
Brad Boxberger (S, 2) made 42 pitches to close out the Knights over the final two innings.
The Bulls assumed a three game lead on second place Gwinnett, which lost at Toledo on Tuesday night.
Now 4-1 on their current eight-game road trip, Durham starts Nathan Karns (2-1, 5.59) on Wednesday morning at 11:05 AM ET against Deunte Heath.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.