Left-hander Pedro Hernandez made his first start for the Red Wings after spending most of the season in Minnesota, and Hernandez fanned the first two batters he faced Friday in a scoreless first inning. He also struck out a pair of Knights in the fourth, giving the former Knight six K's through only the first four innings. The 24-year-old finished with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits while walking only one.
Charlotte's Zach Stewart retired the first five Rochester batters he faced, before allowing back-to-back singles to Chris Herrmann and Brian Dinkelman. The Wings had the same scenario in the second inning of Thursday's game, and for the second straight night Doug Bernier delivered a run-scoring single for a 1-0 Red Wings lead.
Hernandez found himself in trouble in the third. A Blake Tekotte double and Carlos Sanchez single put runners on the corners with only one out. Hernandez responded by retiring Morel on a called third strike and forcing Jordan Danks to ground out to first, preserving the one-run lead.
Clete Thomas extended the Red Wings' lead in the bottom of the third. In only his second game back after missing 14 with a quad injury, Thomas knocked his seventh home run of the season over the Rochester bullpen in right field. His two-out homer was his first hit since his return to the lineup, giving Rochester a 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Charlotte's Brandon Short led off with a line drive into center field, which was nearly caught by a diving Thomas. In the next at-bat, Short was doubled up at first after Rochester's Jeff Clement snagged a liner out of the air and then stepped on first. Hernandez closed the frame with his seventh strikeout, retiring Sanchez for the second time on strikes.
Morel broke up Hernandez's shutout in the sixth inning with one swing of the bat. He led off the frame with a solo homer to left center field, cutting the Knights' deficit to one.
The Knights gained their first lead in the their half of the seventh. Hernandez was relieved in favor of Luis Perdomo after loading the bases with his only walk of the night with two outs. Morel knocked his second double of the game down the left field line off Perdomo, driving in a pair of runs. A third run scored after an errant throw to home from the cut-off man, Bernier, giving Charlotte a 4-2 lead.