CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A big night at the plate from Alex Jackson and clutch work out of the bullpen from Corbin Clouse and Dan Winkler keyed the Gwinnett Stripers’ 8-5 win over the Charlotte Knights on Saturday night at BB&T Park.
Jackson went 2-for-5, including a home run, and drove in four runs on the evening, while Clouse, Winkler and Rafael De Paula helped preserve a win for Mike Foltynewicz (3-1) to help Gwinnett (53-39) stay 1 1/2 games behind Durham in the International League South Division and moved three games ahead of Charlotte (50-42) in the IL wild card race.
The Stripers to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on Travis DeMeritte’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder and RBI singles from Jonathan Morales and Jackson, and led 4-1 following Rafael Ortega’s solo homer in the top of the third.
Charlotte rallied to tie the game 3-all by the end of the fourth, but Ender Inciarte, on an injury rehab assignment from the Atlanta Braves, put Gwinnett back in front for good with his two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh.
An inning later, Jackson essentially put the game away an inning late with his three run home that made the lead 8-4.
Clouse, who struck out five hitters in two shutout innings, Winkler (one scoreless inning) and De Paula then closed things out to help make a winner out of Foltynewicz, who allowed nine hits and four runs with four strikeouts over four innings.
Morales finished the night 3-for-4 with the RBI, while Inciarte was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:05 p.m., with right-hander Patrick Weigel (2-1, 3.18 ERA) taking the mound for the Stripers against Knights lefty Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.88 ERA).