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Red-Hot Knights Beat the Stripers 7-5 on Thursday

June 20, 2024 - International League (IL)
Charlotte Knights News Release

(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - Right fielder Mark Payton launched a three-run home run to lead the Charlotte Knights over the Gwinnett Stripers by a score of 7-5 on Thursday night in game three of the six-game series from Truist Field in Uptown Charlotte. The win was Charlotte's third in the series and fifth consecutive overall.

Down by a score of 3-2 in the bottom of the second inning, Payton launched a three-run home run off Gwinnett starter Bryce Elder, which gave the Knights a lead they would never relinquish. The home run was the third of the season for Payton, who finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored, the home run and a game-high four RBI. With the three hits, Payton bumped his batting average up to .276 on the season.

RHP Touki Toussaint started the game for Charlotte and gave up four runs on four hits over four innings of work on his 28th birthday. He did not factor in the decision. Thursday's win went to Charlotte RHP Cory Abbott (3-1, 5.28), who pitched two shutout innings in relief. In fact, three Charlotte relievers shut down the Stripers over the next four innings of Thursday's game. In the top of the ninth inning, RHP Adisyn Coffey earned his third save of the season, despite allowing one run to the Stripers.

In addition to Payton's solid offensive game, center fielder Rafael Ortega excelled at the plate on Thursday night. Ortega had three hits, one RBI and two runs scored in Thursday's victory. Designated hitter Wilmer Difo chipped in with a two-RBI day for the Knights.

The Knights will continue the six-game home series against the Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) on Friday night from Truist Field. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad and long-time Knights broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call beginning at 7:00 p.m. on First pitch is set for 7:04 p.m. from Uptown Charlotte on Friday.

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