CHARLOTTE — The Gwinnett Stripers pounded out a season-high 18 hits, including a pair of home runs by Alex Jackson, but Chicago White Sox prospect Luis Robert also hit two homers in his Triple-A debut, including a grand slam, to lift the Charlotte Knights to a 15-12 win Thursday night at BB&T Park.
Robert’s grand slam highlighted a six-run third inning that gave Charlotte (50-40) the lead for good, though the Stripers (51-39) tried to rally from as much as a 9-2 deficit to pull as close as 12-11 on a three-run blast by Jackson in the top of the sixth.
However, the Knights answered with three more runs in the bottom of the inning and held on for the win.
Robert finished the night 3-for-5 with the two homers and seven total RBIs, while Danny Mendick was 4-for-5 with a double and three runs scored to lead Charlotte, which got a scoreless inning from Matt Foster (4-1), one of four Knights relievers.
For the Stripers, Jackson led the way by going 4-for-5 with six RBIs, while Rafael Ortega was also 4-fot-5 with a pair of doubles and three runs, and Jack Lopez was 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs. Bryse Wilson (4-7) took the loss after giving up eight hits and nine earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
The two teams meet again Friday at BB&T Park, with right-hander Kyle Wright (6-4, 4.92 ERA) taking the mound for the Stripers against Charlotte lefty Justin Nicotine (5-2, 4.30 ERA).