(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) – Trailing by as many as seven runs, the Charlotte Knights quickly erased two separate deficits to storm back and defeat the Pawtucket Red Sox 13-10 on Sunday afternoon in the finale of their three-game series.
Down 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth, Luis Robert reached as the tying run and Zack Collins followed with a single. Alcides Escobar then tied the game with an RBI single to center. The next hitter, Yermín Mercedes, crushed a 405-foot three-run homer to left to give the Knights a 13-10 lead, the first lead of the game for the home team.
In the ninth, Juan Minaya (W, 3-1) returned to the mound and retired the PawSox in order to finish the improbable win for Charlotte.
Behind 5-0 early, the Knights got on the board behind solo home runs from Seby Zavala and Danny Mendick to trim the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the second. But the PawSox responded with four runs between the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead to 9-2.
Charlie Tilson led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to get a run back for the Knights. Three hitters later, Daniel Palka’s 19th home run of the season, a two-run shot, trimmed the Knights’ deficit to 9-5. Escobar capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run homer of his own, his 10th of the season, to get the Knights within two runs at 9-7.
RBI singles from Escobar and Mercedes tied the game at 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth. Pawtucket retook the lead 10-9 in the seventh off Knights reliever Colton Turner. Minaya tossed a scoreless top of the eighth to set the stage for the offensive heroics in the bottom of the inning.
At the plate, Escobar led the way by going 3-for-5 with the home run, four RBI, and two runs scored while Collins went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI. Robert was 1-for-4 with two runs scored. All nine Charlotte starters recorded at least one hit and one run scored in the win.
The Knights begin a quick two-game road series with the Norfolk Tides on Monday night. Odrisamer Despaigne (4-4, 3.21) is set to start for Charlotte. Pregame coverage of the 7:05 p.m. game is set for 6:50 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.