Stripers Come up Short Again in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC - A ninth-inning rally fell short for the Gwinnett Stripers in a 5-4 loss to the Charlotte Knights Friday night in game two of the four-game series at BB&T Ballpark.
The loss was a season-high eighth in a row for the Stripers, who dropped to 0-6 on the current road trip.
Gwinnett went to the top of the ninth trailing 5-3, but with two outs, Phil Gosselin crushed a long home run (3) to left field off Charlotte reliever Gregory Infante to cut the deficit to 5-4. Rio Ruiz followed with a single to left and Michael Reed then singled to center to put the tying and go-ahead runs at the corners. However, Infante then struck out Carlos Franco to end the rally and the game.
The Stripers took an early lead in the top of the third. Knights' starting pitcher Jordan Guerrero walked Xavier Avery and Chris Stewart with one out. With two outs, Ruiz singled to left, scoring Avery from third for a 1-0 lead.
The Gwinnett lead moved to 2-0 in the top of the fourth as Dustin Peterson reached on a one-out infield single and scored from first on a double to left by Preston Tucker.
Stripers' starter Wes Parsons, who had been cruising through the first three innings, did not make it out of the fourth. Parsons walked Eloy Jimenez to begin the inning and gave up a double to Seby Zavala to put runners on second and third. With one out, Trayce Thompson doubled to left scoring both Jimenez and Zavala to tie the game at 2-2. Parsons then walked Patrick Leonard and gave up a two-run double to Mason Robbins to put the Knights up 4-2.
Parsons was replaced by Andres Santiago, who recorded the final out of the fourth with no additional damage.
In the top of the fifth, the Stripers pulled within a run at 4-3 as Ruiz led off with a single to right and scored from first on a double to left by Reed.
The Knights extended the lead back to two at 5-3 as with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Jose Rondon doubled to left off Santiago and scored on a single to left by Jimenez.
For Gwinnett, Parsons (L, 3-2) pitched 3.1 innings with five hits, four earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts. Santiago tossed 3.1 innings with three hits, one earned run, two walks and one strikeout. Evan Phillips worked 1.1 innings with one hit and three strikeouts.
Guerrero (W, 1-0) went 5.0 innings with five hits, three earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts for Charlotte. Ricardo Pinto (H, 1) pitched 2.0 innings with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. Rob Scahill (H, 7) tossed 1.0 inning with one strikeout. Infante (S, 5) worked 1.0 inning with three hits, one earned run and two strikeouts.
Ruiz had the big night at the plate for Gwinnett by going 4-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI. Reed was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Peterson went 1-for-4 with a run to extend his on-base streak to 14 games. Gosselin's ninth-inning homer was his only hit in five at-bats.
For Charlotte, Rondon was 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run. Jimenez went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Thompson and Robbins each had two RBIs.
The Gwinnett Stripers (34-46) continue the series Saturday night at 7:04 p.m. with game three against the Knights (37-43) at BB&T Ballpark. The Stripers are scheduled to start left-hander Luiz Gohara (0-3, 6.87 ERA), while Charlotte starts right-hander Michael Kopech (3-5, 4.66 ERA). Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 and 93.5 FM "The Other Side of the River" beginning at 6:35 p.m.
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