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Knights Edged in Pawtucket 4-3

July 19, 2019 - International League (IL) - Charlotte Knights News Release

(PAWTUCKET, RI) - A late Charlotte Knights rally couldn't get all the way back in a 4-3 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday Night at McCoy Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams this season.

Down 4-0 in the seventh, the Knights loaded the bases on Daniel Palka's double and walks to Matt Skole and Alcides Escobar. Two hitters later, Yermín Mercedes got the Knights on the board with a two-run single down the right field line. The next batter, Paulo Orlando, singled to left, scoring Escobar to trim the Pawtucket lead to 4-3.

In their next turn at the plate, the Knights looked to take the lead as Charlie Tilson led off the inning with a bunt single. Two hitters later, Skole hit a deep fly ball to right field. But with his glove over the right field wall, Pawtucket right fielder Rusney Castillo made the catch to rob Skole of a home run and keep the Red Sox in front.

The Knights would get no closer, as Pawtucket reliever Trevor Kelly retired the Knights in order in the ninth to record the save.

Early on, the Knights were the ones with the strong defense. In the bottom of the third, Castillo launched a deep fly ball to left. In his first game back with the Knights after being optioned by the White Sox yesterday, Tilson timed his leap at the left field wall perfectly to make a spectacular catch, robbing Castillo of a home run to keep the game tied.

In the fourth, Knights center fielder Luis Robert made a perfect throw to home plate to catch Pawtucket's Chad De La Guerra trying to score the game's first run and end the fourth inning.

However, two runs in both the fifth and sixth inning off Charlotte starter Héctor Santiago (L, 3-4) were enough for the PawSox. Over 6.0 innings, Santiago gave up four earned runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts and was saddled with the loss. Relievers Matt Foster and Zach Thompson each pitched a scoreless inning.

Offensively, Mercedes went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Palka's double was the Knights' only extra-base hit. Robert went hitless for the first time as a Knight, going 0-for-4 to end a seven-game hitting streak.

The Knights and PawSox continue their series on Saturday night. Kyle Kubat (1-1, 6.00) is set to start on the mound for Charlotte. Pregame coverage of the 6:15 p.m. game is set for 6:00 p.m. on 730 The Game ESPN Charlotte. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.

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