INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - A day after scoring just one unearned run in a pitchers duel, the Charlotte Knights put up crooked numbers in each of the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings on Tuesday night en route to a 12-2 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field.
With the win, Charlotte (67-51) has taken the first two games of the four-game series between the International League's top two clubs. Indianapolis (71-47) now leads the Knights by just four games.
Charlotte scored all of their necessary runs in the top of the fourth inning, taking a 2-0 lead when C Hector Gimenez opened the scoring with an RBI double and eventually scored on a two-out single by 2B Drew Garcia. The Knights would then go on to score seven insurance runs across the next two innings.
In the fifth, Charlotte again scored a pair of runs, the first when CF Dewayne Wise doubled down the right-field line. Wise then stole third base and, after a walk, scored on a sacrifice fly by DH Dan Johnson.
The Knights then put up a five-spot in the top of the sixth inning. More than half of that total came on one swing of the bat as RF Greg Golson ripped a bases-loaded triple into the left-center-field gap. It was the seventh triple of the season for Golson, moving the outfielder into a three-way tie for the second-most in the league.
Tied with Syracuse OF Corey Brown and Buffalo OF Fred Lewis, Golson trails only former Indians OF Starling Marte, who had a minor league-leading 13 triples when he was promoted to the major leagues. Marte hit the first major league triple of his career on Sunday in Cincinnati. In 11 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Marte is batting .271 and on Tuesday night hit his third home run, a 434-foot bomb to straightaway center field at PNC Park.
Wise followed up Golson with a triple of his own, his first of the season, before scoring the fifth run of the frame on a double by 1B Conor Jackson. After a seventh-inning hiatus, Charlotte knocked in three more runs in the top of the eighth inning.
The first two runs of the eighth scored when 3B Brent Morel joined the hit parade with a two-run single to right field. LF Jared Mitchell then hit a sac fly to drive in Johnson for Charlotte's 12th and final run of the ballgame.
RHP Charlie Leesman picked up the win for the Knights, allowing just three hits and one run on five strong inning. Following RHP Dylan Axelrod on Monday night, Leesman (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) became the second Charlotte pitcher to stymie the Indians in each hurler's respective return from the disabled list.
In support of Leesman, RHP Shane Lindsay (2.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) allowed one hit and one run in 2.2 innings of relief and RHP Deunte Heath (1.1 IP, 1 H) gave up just one run in 1.1 inning to close out the game. RHP Daniel Cabrera (5.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) took the loss for Indianapolis, falling to 5-6 on the season.
The Indians had scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut Charlotte's early lead in half when CF Jose Tabata doubled to the wall in right field, allowing 2B Brock Holt to score all the way from first. It was the first-career Triple-A run scored for Holt, who made his Indians debut on Tuesday night and had recorded his first Triple-A hit -- a single -- prior to Tabata's double.
After the game had gotten away, Indianapolis scored an inconsequential run in the bottom of the eighth inning when SS Chase d'Arnaud grounded into a fielders choice and C Jose Morales scored from third, giving the contest its final 12-2 score.
The Indians will likely look to LHP Jeff Locke (9-5, 2.66) to right the ship in Wednesday afternoon's game three, the final business day game of the season at Victory Field, starting at 1:05 p.m. Charlotte is expected to counter with LHP Hector Santiago, who will be making just his second start with the Knights after working out of the Chicago White Sox bullpen for much of the season.
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