The IronPigs (70-56) hit three solo home runs, but fell 5-3 to the Charlotte Knights (52-73) Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark.
Scott Kingery led off the game with an inside-the-park home run to extend his hitting streak to a team season-high 17 games and gave the Pigs a 1-0 lead.
Two batters later, newcomer Carlos Tocci launched his first career Triple-A homerun to left giving the Pigs and starter Brandon Leibrandt a 2-0 cushion.
After surrendering a hit in the bottom of the first inning, Leibrandt picked the runner off and retired the side in order. The southpaw also faced the minimum in his first four innings.
That was, however, until the Knights rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Jake Peter hit a two-run single to give the Knights a 3-2 advantage as he scored Ronald Bueno and Roberto Pena. A wild pitch by Leibrandt allowed Eddy Alvarez to score from third later in the inning to give Charlotte a 4-2 lead.
The four-run frame chased Leibrandt from the game as he was replaced by Michael Mariot. Leibrandt was tabbed with his third-consecutive loss, as he pitched four 2/3 innings surrendering the four runs on four hits while striking out four.
Andrew Pullin brought the Pigs within a run as he launched a solo blast to right field, making it a 4-3 contest.
Yacksel Rios then came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning for the Pigs, having not allowed an earned run in 11 2/3 innings. Rymer Liriano quickly ended that streak with one swing of the bat as he hit a solo home run to left to up the Knights lead to 5-3.
The Pigs would not go quietly in the top of the ninth, as Brock Stassi walked to lead off the frame.
Unfortunatley for the Pigs, Charlotte closer Brandon Brennan would not allow another base runner as he struck out Angelo Mora and Dylan Cozens bounced out to second before Pullin flew out to left to end the game.
The Pigs have now lost 13 of their last 16 games and have lost five consecutive series.
The series concludes with game three of the three-game series against the Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. The Pigs had yet to name their starter, and the Knights will send right-hander Carson Fulmer (7-8, 5.61). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
The 2017 Season is the IronPigs 10th Anniversary season at Coca-Cola Park and 10th as the top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The IronPigs are debuting the brand-new Bacon, USA, Membership Program this season -- a year-round IronPigs experience pass featuring numerous new amenities such as savings on parking at games and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park, on-field VIP access to watch batting practice, access to an annual holiday party, an invitation to an exclusive player and coaches photo session and more. For more information, visit ironpigsbaseball.com or call (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Memberships and group outings are on sale now.
The 2017 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.