(NORFOLK, VA) — Norfolk’s Johnny Giavotella singled home Michael Bourn in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and lead the Tides over the Charlotte Knights by a score of 4-3 on Thursday in the opening game of a four-game series from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.
The Knights jumped out to an early lead in the first inning courtesy of outfielder Adam Engel, who launched a two-run home run off Norfolk starter Jayson Aquino. Engel’s two-run blast — his sixth of the season — put the Knights ahead by a score of 2-0. The Knights added one more run in the top of the fourth inning on a Jacob May RBI single. With help from both Engel and May, the Knights led the Tides early by a score of 3-0. That was all the Knights could muster, however.
Charlotte RHP Lucas Giolito started strong on the night. Giolito did not allow a run over the first three innings, but ran into some trouble in the fourth and fifth frames. Norfolk slugger Pedro Alvarez provided the damage in each of the two innings for the Tides. Alvarez launched a solo home run in the fourth and added a two-run double in the fifth inning, which tied the game up at 3-3. Giolito finished after the fifth inning and allowed three runs on six hits over five innings of work.
In the bottom of the seventh inning — after a scoreless sixth inning from LHP Matt Purke — the Knights handed the ball to RHP Zack Burdi (0-2, 2.16), who gave up the go-ahead RBI single to Giavotella. Burdi, who pitched two innings, was charged with his second loss of the season.
Charlotte battled back in the top of the ninth inning and put two runners on base with two outs. Outfielder Rymer Liriano struck out with runners on first and second base to end the game. Norfolk LHP Paul Fry (1-0, 3.14) earned the win, while RHP Edwin Jackson notched his first save of the season.
The Knights will continue their four-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) on Friday night with game two. RHP Tyler Danish (1-3, 3.32) will get the start for the Knights against Norfolk LHP Chris Lee (2-1, 5.46). Pre-game radio coverage of Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game will begin at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Charlotte (730 AM) and CharlotteKnights.com. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
Story Credit: Charlotte Knights