Aquino Continues Dominance with 3 Homers in Doubleheader
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Louisville Bats and Charlotte Knights played game one of their day-night doubleheader with a 1:05 first pitch, with the Knights coming out on top by an 11-4 score.
The scoring started in the bottom of the fourth, when Knights shortstop Ryan Goins hit a three-run homer off Louisville starting pitcher Keury Mella (4-7, 5.33), who got the loss. The right-hander went 5.0 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and the homer, walking two and striking out six on 104 pitches and 68 strikes.
Louisville scored its first run of the game in the top of the fifth, when Aristides Aquino went deep for his 14th home run of the season and his first of two in the game. The powerful right fielder would also go deep in the seventh, scoring Brian O'Grady to make it a 7-3 deficit and tying O'Grady for the team lead with 15 on the season.
The Knights broke it open in the bottom of the eighth with a four-spot, eventually winning by an 11-4 score while out-hitting the Bats, 17-5.
The Bats (28-47) fell in the nightcap of the doubleheader against the Knights (41-33) by a 7-6 score, suffering their first doubleheader sweep since May 20 last season. With the loss, Louisville has started the road trip 1-5 with two games remaining.
This time around, Louisville recorded the first run of the game, when Christian Colon's sacrifice fly scored Alex Blandino in the top of the first. It was the 18th time in the Bats' last 19 contests that they have held a lead in a game.
Charlotte took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second on a Daniel Palka home run, before Louisville regained the lead on a Josh VanMeter two-run double in the top of the third. Since returning from Cincinnati, VanMeter is batting .444 (8-for-18) in four games for the Bats, picking up right where he left off after taking home the league's Player of the Month honors for April.
The Knights would hit four home runs in total on the night, pulling ahead 7-3 after seven innings. In the top of the eighth, Christian Colon hit a two-run homer, his fifth of the season, scoring VanMeter to make it a 7-5 deficit. Aquino followed up with a home run himself, his third of the doubleheader and 16th on the season, breaking a tie with O'Grady for the team lead. Unfortunately, the Bats could not duplicate their eighth inning success in the ninth, with Charlotte closer Thyago Vieira pitching around a Scott Schebler leadoff walk to nail his fifth save of the season.
The Bats will enjoy a rare Sunday off day, before completing their lone three-city road trip of the season with a two-game series at Indianapolis, set for Monday and Tuesday at Victory Field, before returning to Louisville to begin a homestand on Wednesday.
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