The Charlotte Knights have had problems with consistency over the past three weeks, and with it the ability to string together wins.
That’s proved costly for the Knights, who fell even further in the International League standings after a 11-1 loss to the Gwinnett Braves on Wednesday at BB&T BallPark.
The Knights (62-57) fell another game behind in the IL South division standings with Wednesday’s loss. They now trail division leader Norfolk (67-50) by six games, and the Braves (63-54) by two games.
Charlotte had won two or more consecutive games 13 times this season, topped by a seven-game winning streak June 14-21. However, since winning four straight between July 19-22 and taking the IL South lead, the Knights have gone 5-15.
Matt Davidson provided Charlotte’s lone bright spot Wednesday, breaking a shutout with his fourth-inning home run. Davidson’s shot in the right-field corner was his 19th of the season, second-best in the league.
Other than Davidson’s homer, the Knights managed little else against Gwinnett. They had just five other hits against three different Braves pitchers and committed three errors. The four Charlotte pitchers gave up 16 hits.
Knights starter Scott Carroll took the loss in his worst performance this season. Carroll (5-3) allowed seven runs (four of them earned) and 11 hits in four-plus innings, and suffered his first loss at BB&T BallPark since April 12.
“We’re just not playing well. We’re not playing as clean, and in all aspects of the game, we just aren’t as good as we were a while ago. We’re still doing the things we need to do, we just need to win more games. We’ve played a ton of games, and you’re going to have periods of time when the outcomes aren’t the way you want compared to the prior week or the prior month. You just have to get out there and keep grinding it out.” – Knights manager Joel Skinner.
Gwinnett’s Cedric Hunter had three hits and drove in four runs, including a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. Christian Bethancourt and Sean Kazmar also had three hits each for the Braves.
The Knights host the Braves in the final game of their four-game IL South series on Thursday at BB&T BallPark. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Erik Johnson (8-8, 2.58 ERA) will be on the mound for Charlotte; righty Victor Mateo (1-0, 2.25 ERA) will start for Gwinnett.