The Charlotte Knights defeated the Gwinnett Braves 7-5, in 10 innings on Thursday night at Gwinnett Stadium. The Knights improved to 4-10 while the G-Braves dropped to 5-10 on the season.
Josh Kroeger was 2-for-5 with a run and three RBI to lead the Knights. Jayson Nix was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Leading Gwinnett was Barbaro Canizares, who was 2-for-5 with two RBI and hit his fourth homer of the season. Brandon Jones improved his batting average to .308 with a 4-for-5 night at the plate.
For the seventh straight game, the G-Braves found themselves in a hole. Charlotte scored a run in the first inning when right fielder Kroeger plated Eider Torres with a single to right.
Momentarily the Braves were able to take the lead. Canizares singled to right field, tying the game at one. The next batter, Jones, singled home newly acquired Brian Barton for a 2-1 advantage.
But the Braves were unable to hold onto the lead for even one out.
Charlotte first baseman Bryan Myrow led off the second inning with a double into the left-field gap and was plated when the next batter, Javier Castillo, reached on a fielding error by Canizares. The error allowed the Knights to tie the game at two.
With two outs in the second, Charlotte took the lead when Nix singled home Javier Castillo and Scott Podsednik. The two-run single put the Knights up 4-2. Andy Phillips capped the inning with a double to right that scored Nix to put Charlotte up 5-2.
The Braves pulled to within two runs in the bottom of the inning. J.C. Holt scored on a Gregor Blanco groundout to second. The Holt run made it a 5-3 Charlotte lead.
The Braves tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth inning. Canizares smashed a homer to left field to lead off the inning. Jones followed with a double and was later plated on a sacrifice-fly off the bat of Reid Gorecki.
The score remained even until the top of the tenth when Kroeger belted a two-run homer into the Charlotte bullpen. His second home run of the season gave Charlotte the 7-5 lead.
The Braves brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the tenth. With two outs, Jones reached on a single to right field and advanced to third on an error by Kroeger. That’s as close as Gwinnett would get. G-Braves’ catcher Clint Sammons struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Manny Acosta was charged with the loss. Charlotte reliever Kelvin Jimenez picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings in relief. Jon Link earned his second save of the season with a scoreless tenth.
The Braves look to avenge their series-opening loss to the Knights today when they send RHP Tommy Hanson to the mound. Hanson will battle Charlotte RHP Carlos Torres in the 7 p.m. start.