Pawtucket, R.I. – Jason Coats and Trayce Thompson each belted two of the Charlotte Knights’ five home runs in a 7-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday night at McCoy Stadium. Kevan Smith added the fifth round-tripper in Charlotte’s series-opening victory in front of 5,192.
Coats, who now has 6 homers in his first 42 AAA games, plated Micah Johnson with a blast to left in the opening inning. Johnson had singled to open the game. Brian Johnson struck out the next two to end the first, and would allow only two more baserunners before he was lifted with two outs in the sixth.
Coats struck again in the eighth inning, by which time the Thompson and Smith had left the yard. Thompson’s first homer was a line drive to straightaway center off Miguel Celestino; it came with two outs in the seventh. Neftali Soto, the next batter, then singled and scored on Smith’s homer, a mammoth shot to left that flew all the way out of McCoy.
Thompson answered a two-run, eighth inning PawSox rally with another impressive solo shot to center that opened the ninth.
Pawtucket (28-30) had climbed back into the game in the bottom of the eighth. Jackie Bradley, Jr. was hit by a pitch to begin the frame; Quintin Berry and Allen Craig then followed with singles. Travis Shaw then hit a hot shot that knocked the glove off third baseman Leury Garcia and scored Bradley. With two outs, Humberto Quintero’s single scored Berry and made it 6-2. But Knights reliever Maikel Cleto struck out Sean Coyle to end the threat.
Charlotte (32-25) starter Terance Marin shut the PawSox down for six scoreless innings; making his first start with the Knights, Marin allowed only five hits and struck out three. Johnson was held to a shorter pitch count in his first start in ten days; the lefthander allowed only three hits and struck out three.
The clubs play game two of the three-game series Tuesday night at 7:05 P.M. Henry Owens (2-4, 3.49) takes the mound for Pawtucket and will be opposed by Knights’ righthander Shawn Haviland (1-4, 5.92). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 P.M.
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.