Knights Drop Monday’s Contest to Bulls 7-4
Yoan Moncada Continues Hot Hitting with Second Homer of 2017
(DURHAM, NC) -- Yoan Moncada continued his torrid pace to start the 2017 season. Moncada homered and scored two runs, but the Charlotte Knights dropped the opening game of their four-game series to the Durham Bulls by a score of 7-4 on Monday from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC. Monday’s loss was Charlotte’s first of the 2017 campaign and it moved them into a two-way tie for first in the International League South Division with the Bulls.
Moncada, baseball’s number two overall prospect as rated by Baseball America, homered for the second time over his last three games. The 21-year-old Cuban native’s first Triple-A home run came on Saturday, which was one of Charlotte’s six home runs that day. On Monday, Moncada added a solo shot in the fourth inning. He finished Monday’s opener by going 1-for-3 with two runs scored, a stolen base, and the home run. He’s batting .391 (9-for-23) in five games this season.
Before Moncada’s solo home run, Ryan Raburn, who made his season debut on Monday, homered for the Knights in the top of the third inning. Raburn launched a solo home run in his first at-bat of the season. The 35-year-old was signed by the White Sox on Saturday and assigned to Charlotte. On that same day, the Knights also received Mike Pelfrey.
Two days after joining the Knights with Raburn on Saturday, Pelfrey made his Charlotte debut on Monday from Durham. Pelfrey (0-1, 10.13) gave up three runs on five hits over 2.2 innings of work and was saddled with the loss. The 33-year-old veteran threw 61 pitches, 39 for strikes. He was relieved by Chris Volstad in the third, who gave up three runs on five hits over 3.1 innings pitched. LHP Giovanni Soto allowed one run on one hit over two innings out of the Charlotte ‘pen.
The Bulls recorded a game-high 11 hits, including three home runs in the contest. Shane Peterson put the team on the scoreboard first in the second inning with a solo home run off Pelfrey. Two innings later, Dayron Varona added a two-run home run off Volstad. Casey Gillaspie chipped in with a solo shot in the seventh off of Soto. Peterson, Varona, and Patrick Leonard all had three hits apiece.
Durham RHP Justin Marks (2-0, 2.08) earned the win in relief of starter Chase Whitley. Marks allowed one run (Moncada’s home run) and two hits over 2.2 innings to notch his second win of the season. Reliever Ryan Garton recorded the final four outs to pick up his first save of the season.
Willy Garcia, who was named as the International League Batter of the Week earlier in the day, went 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s now hitting a team-high .500 (9-for-18) with nine runs scored, two home runs, four RBIs, and seven walks this season.
The two teams will continue their four-game set from Durham, NC on Tuesday with a 7:05 p.m. game. RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-0, 6.00), who started Charlotte’s home opener on Thursday, will face RHP Jake Faria (0-0, 6.23) for Durham. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Charlotte (730 AM) and CharlotteKnights.com. The “Voice of the Charlotte Knights” Matt Swierad will have the call for all of the action.
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