The Charlotte Knights pounded out 11 hits in a 6-3 win over the Tides Monday night at Harbor Park.
Charlotte starter Dan Hudson (1-0) was magnificent as he yielded just one run on three hits while striking out nine in 5.2 innings of work. The 23-year-old Old Dominion product allowed a solo home run to Jeff Salazar to lead off the contest, but retired each of the next 14 batters he faced to help the Knights take game one of the series.
After Salazar's first homer of the season, the Tides were kept off the board until the ninth inning, when they plated a pair of two-out runs on an RBI double by Josh Bell and a run-scoring single by Rhyne Hughes. Norfolk eventually brought the tying run to the plate in the final frame, but former Tide Greg Aquino got a flyout off the bat of Jonathan Tucker to end the late threat.
Tides starter Brandon Erbe (0-1) took the loss after yielding four runs on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings of his Triple-A debut. The 22-year-old struck out three but had already reached 85 pitches (55 strikes) before being relieved by Jim Miller in the fifth inning.
Brent Lillibridge, Javier Castillo and C.J. Retherford each had two hits and an RBI to lead Charlotte's offense, while Tyler Flowers added two runs batted in.
The Tides and Knights will continue their three-game series Tuesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:15. Chris Tillman (0-1, 4.50) will take the mound for Norfolk against Charlotte right-hander Lucas Harrell (0-0, 9.53).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.