Bulls Comeback Falls Short in Opener
DURHAM, NC - After falling behind by 10 runs the Durham Bulls made a valiant comeback Monday night at the DBAP, but fell short against the Charlotte Knights in a 13-11 decision. Kyle Kubat (5-1) recorded the victory for the Knights, while Ricardo Pinto (9-5) suffered the loss for the Bulls.
Yermin Mercedes got the scoring started for the Knights with a two-run blast to right center field to make it 2-0 in the second. Mercedes continued his big day with an RBI single in the fourth inning to add on to the growing Knights lead and make it 3-0. Kevin Padlo did respond immediately with an RBI double to make it 3-1, but the Bulls offense was stagnant for several innings.
The fifth inning proved to be the dagger for the Knights, who tacked on six runs, beginning with an RBI single by the rehabbing Yoan Moncada to drive in two and make it 5-1. Luis Robert drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and then Charlie Tilson drove in three more runs on an RBI double to make it 9-1. Robert added on two more runs in the top of the sixth inning with a home run to left field to make it 11-1.
The Bulls would rally though, with Padlo continuing his strong day with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 11-2. Daniel Robertson added on with an RBI groundout and Rocky Gale tallied an RBI single to make it 11-4. In the seventh the Bulls loaded the bases and Padlo drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 11-5. Later in the frame Emilio Bonifacio scored on a wild pitch by Thyago Vieira, making it 11-6.
Moncada tallied a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to extend the lead to 12-6, and the home runs continued for the Knights with a blast from Seby Zavala to make it 13-6. Michael Perez responded with a two-run home run for Durham in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 13-8. Nathan Lukes added another run on an RBI single to cut the deficit to four, Bonifacio continued the rally with a two-run blast to make it 13-11. However, the Bulls stranded the tying run at second base and the rally ended there.
The Bulls and Knights will get together for game two of a four-game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 at the DBAP. Right-hander Sam McWilliams will start for the Bulls and face off against Knights left-hander Justin Nicolino.
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