INDIANAPOLIS – Charlotte Knights (7-9) shortstop Eddy Alvarez clubbed a two-run home run to cap a three-run sixth inning, as the visitors rolled past the Indianapolis Indians (7-7) for a 7-2 win.
Alvarez’s homer helped ruin a solid start from Tribe pitcher Nick Kingham, who took his first loss of the season (and first since July 2017) despite giving up only one run in 5.2 innings of work.
Kingham was outdone by Knights right-hander Dylan Covey, who walked five batters but blanked Indianapolis over six frames pitched.
Indy’s righty wasn’t his usual self, but still put his team in position to win. Charlotte put at least one runner on in each inning Kingham pitched, but were only able to put together one run until the sixth. That run came in the third inning, on a Daniel Palka double.
Kingham started the sixth well enough, striking out Matt Skole and getting Casey Gillaspie to ground out, but Patrick Leonard kept the frame alive with a double and forced Indians manager Brian Esposito to call on his bullpen. Kingham was at 96 pitches after Leonard’s two-bagger.
Josh Smoker took over on the mound and was able to get Alfredo Gonzalez to ground to short, but Kevin Kramer threw the ball away and was charged with an error. As a result, the Knights took a 2-0 lead and kept batting in the sixth. Alvarez took full advantage, smashing his two-run homer over the left field wall to extend Charlotte’s edge to 4-0.
When it was all said and done, Kingham finished up with a final line of two runs allowed (one earned) on six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. The right-hander also struck out six batters, pushing his season total to 27 in four outings.
The Indians never recovered from that four-rule hole.
Charlotte used back-to-back two-out doubles against A.J. Schugel in the seventh to go ahead 5-0. They got two more in the ninth versus Casey Sadler, using three singles and two walks to tack on to their lead late.
Sunday just wasn’t Indianapolis’ day offensively. Covey had their number through six and their lone spurt of offense came in the bottom of the eighth against Knights reliever Jeanmar Gomez. Three consecutive two-out hits, one double and two singles, scored Indy’s only two runs of the contest. Jose Osuna and Jordan Luplow notched the RBIs.
Next up for the Tribe is a three-game series against the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field. The series opener is slated for Monday night with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Tyler Eppler (1-1, 2.84 ERA) makes the start for the Indians.