Louisville, KY - The Louisville Bats won their second consecutive game, defeating the Charlotte Knights 8-4 in front of 7,550 fans at Louisville Slugger Field. Louisville was paced by an overall solid offensive night and a strong starting pitching performance. Drew Stubbs and Wes Bankston were the stars on offense with Stubbs going 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBI's. Bankston went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI's.
Sam LeCure (9-5, 4.14) took the mound tonight for the Bats, looking for his seventh straight win and hoping to give the Bats their eighth win in his last nine starts. He survived early trouble to pick up his ninth win of the season, pitching a solid six innings. He gave up three runs, on eight hits, walked two, and tied his career-high with eleven strikeouts.
The Knights wasted no time getting on the board pushing two runs across in the top of the first. Miguel Negron led off with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Josh Kroeger then reached on an infield single and with Michael Restovich at the plate, Kroeger took off for second, as Chris Denove's throw sailed into center, Negron broke home and was credited with a steal of home. After Restovich walked, Daryle Ward singled to right to score Kroeger and give Charlotte an early 2-0 lead.
Louisville responded by sending eight batters to the plate and putting four runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Stubbs drew a leadoff walk and then stole second. Bankston then doubled to left to drive home Stubbs. The struggling Chris Heisey followed with a single, driving in Bankston. Danny Dorn then slugged a two-run home run to right field, putting the Bats on top 4-2. Stubbs stolen base was his league-leading 42nd steal in 49 attempts.
In the top of the second inning the Knights pulled within one as Wilson Betemit launched his fifth home run of the season to left field. LeCure then began to settle down as he struck out the next three hitters swinging.
Still up 4-3, the Bats got an insurance run in their half of the seventh. Stubbs singled with one out and moved to second base on Luis Bolivar's ground out. Bankston lined a single into right that scored Stubbs easily. Kevin Barker then extended his on-base streak to 23 straight games with a single. The Knights avoided further damage though on a strike out of Heisey.
A three-run bottom half of the eighth inning allowed the Bats to put away the Knights. Danny Dorn was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and moved to second on Eric Eymann's walk. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance and with two outs Stubbs capped off a strong night with a two-run single. Bolivar then hit a ground-rule-double, scoring Stubbs.
Betemit hit his second home run of the night in the top of the ninth to reach the final 8-4 score.
Jack Egbert (6-6, 4.22) shook off a shaky start to throw six innings but took the loss. He gave up four runs, on seven hits, walked two, and struck out four.
Pedro Viola worked a perfect seventh and Enerio Del Rosario threw the eighth and ninth innings, earning his first career Triple-A save.
Louisville wraps up the series with Charlotte and their eight-game homestand tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. On the mound for the Bats will be Travis Wood (0-1, 4.63) and Matt Zaleski (0-0, 1.50) will start for Charlotte.