(ALLENTOWN, PA) -- RHP Odrisamer Despaigne dazzled on the mound, third baseman Trey Michalczewski, first baseman Yermin Mercedes, and catcher Zack Collins all homered, and the red-hot Charlotte Knights beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs by a score of 9-2 from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA on Friday night. The win
(ALLENTOWN, PA) -- RHP Odrisamer Despaigne dazzled on the mound, third baseman Trey Michalczewski, first baseman Yermin Mercedes, and catcher Zack Collins all homered, and the red-hot Charlotte Knights beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs by a score of 9-2 from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA on Friday night. The win was Charlotte's fifth straight and ninth over their last 11 games.
The Knights got off to a quick start in the opening game of their three-game series against the 'Pigs thanks to runs in each of the first four innings on Friday. The surging Knights scored their first five runs of the game over the first four frames highlighted by a two-run blast from Michalczewski in the fourth inning off Lehigh Valley starter JoJo Rivera (3-3, 7.57). Michalczewski's home run was his third of the season with the Knights.
In the ninth inning, the Knights added on to their 5-2 lead thanks to back-to-back home runs from Mercedes and Collins. The home run for Mercedes, a three-run shot, was his 11th of the season with the Knights. Collins followed with a solo home run, his 12th of the season with Charlotte. In all, the Knights added four insurance runs in the ninth to go on for a commanding win.
Despaigne (6-4, 3.41) allowed two runs (one earned) over six strong innings en route to his second-straight win. The Cuban native gave up just four hits and struck-out eight batters. Charlotte's bullpen once again performed well as RHP Matt Foster tossed two shutout innings and RHP Juan Minaya added a scoreless inning to shut the door on the opener.
For the season, the Knights have now hit a total of 171 home runs, which is the fourth-best mark in the International League. The Knights, who remain 2.5 games back in the International League Wild Card race, are tied for second in the IL in runs scored with 671 this season.
The Knights will continue their three-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Coca-Cola Park on Saturday night. Pre-game radio coverage of Saturday's 6:35 p.m. game is set for 6:20 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte and CharlotteKnights.com. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.