The Louisville Bats suffered their fifth straight loss Wednesday night 5-3 to the Charlotte Knights. Louisville mustered just five hits against Knights’ pitching and for the second straight night lost late in the game.
Jared Mitchell’s seventh inning RBI double that scored Jose Lopez broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Knights the lead. On the play, Mitchell tried to sneak to third while Bats shortstop Didi Gregorius argued with umpire Jon Bryne. Gregorius quickly threw to third baseman Mike Costanzo who tagged out Mitchell for the second out of the inning.
The Knights weren’t done, though. Tyler Saladino singled after Mitchell’s double and came around to score on an RBI double from Tommy Manzella to extend Charlotte’s lead to 4-2.
That’s all the Knights needed to cap their victory and hand the Bats their seventh loss in their last eight games.
The loss dropped the Bats to a season-low 30 games under the .500 mark at 48-78. It’s the lowest mark in franchise history since 1991.
Charlotte scored in the first against rehabbing Bats starter Nick Masset. After Greg Golson was hit by a pitch, he advanced to third on a single from Jordan Danks. The single gave Danks a 25-game hitting streak. Golson scored when Conor Jackson grounded into a fielder’s choice, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Louisville came right back to tie it in the second. After Costanzo and Corky Miller each drew back-to-back, two-out walks, Willie Harris stepped in and singled home to Costanzo to tie the game.
Louisville took their first and only lead in the third. Didi Gregorius led the inning off with a double. After getting Henry Rodriguez to pop out, Knights starter Charlie Shirek hit Felix Perez and Neftali Soto each with a pitch to load the bases. The next batter, Dioner Navarro, grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Gregorius and gave the Bats a 2-1 lead.
Keeping form with the back and forth terms of the game, Charlotte got a leadoff, solo home run from Greg Golson in the bottom of the third to quickly tie the game 2-2.
The Bats got a run in the eighth on an RBI single from Costanzo but gave it right back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Conor Jackson.
Golson’s homer came off Chad Reineke, who took over for Masset to start the third. Masset, in his fourth rehab appearance with the Bats, went two innings giving up a run on two hits and striking out four.
After Golson’s homer, Reineke (5-8) gave up a single to Danks then proceeded to retire 11 straight before giving up the two runs in the seventh.
The Bats look to halt their skid Thursday night against the Knights when Tim Gustafson (4-4, 4.22 ERA) takes the mound against Charlotte’s Dylan Axelrod (6-4, 2.72 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15.
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