Louisville, KY - On a beautiful Sunday evening at Louisville Slugger Field, the Bats snapped a three-game losing streak, by defeating the Charlotte Knights 8-5. The Bats' offense put together a pair of innings in which they batted around the lineup, pounding out eight hits on the night, in front of 8,651 fans.
Bats' reliever Lee Tabor (1-0, 5.40) picked up the win in his Triple-A debut. Tabor pitched 3.1 innings for a Bats' bullpen, which has been forced to throw a lot of innings this week. He allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out a pair of batters.
The Knights brought eight batters to the plate in the second, tallying a pair of runs. In an inning that saw 44 pitches from Bats' starter, Matt Klinker, Charlotte earned three free passes, along with a pair of hits. With the bases loaded and only one out, Knights' catcher Cole Armstrong laced a two-RBI double, which barely managed fair down the right field line. Charlotte loaded the bases again, later in the inning, but Klinker induced Keith Ginter to ground out, ending the half-inning with the Knights favoring a 2-0 lead.
Louisville managed to retalliate, taking the lead by scoring four runs of their own, in the bottom of the second. The first three batters all reached base, including a pair of singles by Chris Heisey and Wes Bankston, to go along with a walk by Kevin Barker. With one out, Michael Griffin hit a ground ball to third base, giving third baseman Josh Fields a nice Sunday-hop. Fields threw home, causing Armstrong to catch the ball away from the plate. The ensuing tag was not in time to catch Barker at the plate. Corky Miller followed with a two-run single up the middle, advancing Griffin to second. With runners on the corners, Luis Bolivar drove in the Bats' fourth run of the inning, scoring Griffin to give the Bats a 4-2 edge.
Charlotte was able to cut their two-run deficit in half, with a run in the fourth inning. Wilson Betemit led off with a ground-rule double down the left field line. Two batters later, Miguel Negron lined a base-hit to bring in Betemit and make the score 4-3.
For the second time in the game, the Bats were able to bat around in the home-half of the fourth. Chris Valaika reached base with a leadoff single, then advanced ninety-feet when shortstop Eider Torres failed to field a ground ball by Griffin. Executing perfectly, Miller laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing both runners to move ahead. After a walk issued to Drew Stubbs, Luis Bolivar hit a tough ground ball to Fields at third. The ball came up on Fields, hitting him off of the left shoulder, before ricocheting towards second base. The play, ruled an error, allowed everyone to be safe, including Valaika, who scored. With Darnell McDonald batting, Whisler threw wild to the plate, letting Griffin scamper home, while putting Stubbs and Bolivar in scoring position. Then, the Knights chose to intentionally walk Darnell McDonald to pitch to Barker. Barker came through, ripping a line drive single through the right-side of the infield, bringing home Stubbs and Bolivar to extend the Bats' lead 8-3.
In the sixth, the Knights tacked two more runs on the board, with a home run and a pair of singles. Armstrong hit a solo shot to right field off reliever Tabor, making the score 8-4. Miguel Negron followed Armstrong with a single, with one out. Tabor allowed Negron to move into scoring position, due to a wild pitch. Ginter drove in Negron with his RBI-single, bringing the Knights closer at 8-5.
Klinker (0-1, 7.36) was not sharp, in his Triple-A debut. He lasted 3.2 innings, throwing 90 pitches, while surrendering to three runs on five hits. Klinker also issued four base on balls.
The Bats and the Knights will meet again tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m. Probable pitchers for the match-up are RHP Sam LeCure (8-5, 4.11) for Louisville against RHP Jack Egbert (6-5, 3.93) for Charlotte. Come out to beautiful Louisville Slugger Field for Meijer Monday and Baseball Bingo.