Scott Carroll didn’t perform his best the first time he faced his former team, the Louisville Bats. Carroll, who was released by the Cincinnati Reds July 9, gave up four runs on seven hits over seven innings in his August 4 start against the Bats. He made up for it Tuesday night.
Carroll shut down Bats hitters all night, giving up just two runs on three hits over seven innings of work as the Knights beat the Bats 6-2. Carroll struck out five and walked just two while earning his third win of the season.
For a while, it appeared Carroll might not get enough offense. His team trailed 2-1 after five innings and Bats starter Sean Gallagher looked up to the task of holding the Knights at bay.
But the Knights broke through against Gallagher and the Bats in the sixth. Dan Johnson and Jose Lopez each singled following a leadoff walk from Conor Jackson to load the bases with nobody out. The next batter, Josh Phegley, hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Jackson and knotting the game 2-2.
Gallagher was lifted for left hander Travis Webb, who came on to face Jared Mitchell. Mitchell drilled a 3-2 pitch up the right-center field alley; Johnson and Lopez scored as Mitchell strolled into third with a two-run triple, putting the Knights up 4-2.
Webb was quickly removed for Carlos Fisher. The first batter Fisher faced, Tyler Saladino ripped an RBI single to third that just tipped off Henry Rodriguez’s glove. The run capped a four-run frame for the Knights and gave them a 5-2 lead.
That’s all the Knights needed. Deunte Heath came on to pitch the final two innings of the game without giving up a run to earn his second save of the season.
Controversy struck in the eighth. After issuing multiple warnings throughout the game, home plate umpire Jon Byrne ejected Bats manager David Bell for arguing balls and strikes. Bell ensued to the field and yelled at Byrne for some time before finally returning the Bats’ dugout. Bats catcher Dioner Navarro was also ejected.
Louisville’s first run came in the first when Denis Phipps, who walked to start the inning, scored on a wild pitch.
Charlotte tied it in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Lopez.
The Bats took their final lead of the night when Chris Valaika singled home Navarro, who doubled to start the inning.
The Bats lost their fourth straight game and sixth of their last seven. They fell to 48-77 on the season putting them 29 games under the .500 mark for the first time since the 1991 season.
Reds lefty Bill Bray pitched a scoreless seventh in a rehab appearance for the Bats and Felix Perez singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
The teams do battle in game two for the four game set Wednesday night. Chad Reineke (5-7, 4.22 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bats against Charlotte’s Charlie Shierk (10-4, 3.55 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15.