Well Sunday’s weather was best described as murky as were the fortunes of the Tides as they were defeated by a score of 8-4 by the visiting Rochester Red Wings at Harbor Park. With a delay of 45 minutes due to rain to begin the day and the constant threat of showers throughout the day the Tides got out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning when Rhyne Hughes singled to drive across Robert Andino and Brandon Snyder pounded out a double to score Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes.
But just when you thought it was safe to go into the water the Red Wings who had hammered the Tides on Saturday night struck again for 5 runs off of Brandon Erbe in the top of the 2nd inning on 7 hits including a 2 RBI triple by Brock Peterson. Erbe finished the second inning be he was done for the day as the Tides brought in Ross Wolf. Wolf would pitch three solid innings allowing 2 hits and 2 walks but no runs showing his continued poise to hold an opposing team when they have the momentum. Denis Sarfate came on in the 6th inning to shut down the Red “hot” Wings allowing a hit and a walk but nothing more striking out four in 2 innings work.
The work of Wolf and Sarfate seemed to give the Tides a chance to get back into the game and Jeff Salazar got them back into the game with a solo home run, his 6th of the year off of Wings reliever Steven Waldrop. However in the top of the 8th the Wings came back with 3 runs on 3 hits the big one being a 2 run homer by Brian Dinkleman. The Tides would muster nothing more and the game ended with the Red Wings defeating the Tides by a score of 8-4.
For the Tides they had 4 runs 8 hits with one error and 7 men left on base. The Wings had 8 runs on 13 hits and no errors with 8 runners left on base. The winning pitcher was Rochester reliever Tim Lahey (3-1 6.90) and the loser Brandon Erbe (0-8 6.80).
Monday night would be another matter it was the night of the pitchers. All the scoring was accounted for in the 1st inning on this temperate and windy Tuesday night. The Wings struck first as Jason Repko led off with a double and was driven home by Matt Tolbert. Jose Morales then walked but Tillman got Dustin Martin to ground into a double play and got Danny Valencia to pop out to third to end the inning. In the bottom frame the Tides got to work fast. Jeff Salazar led off with a double and was singled home by Robert Andino who would score on a Josh Bell double. That gave the Tides a 2-1 lead which starter Chris Tillman (5-4 3.24) and the relief corps tenaciously defended with the help of inspired defense. Tillman left after completing six innings allowing just the one run on 8 hits walking one and striking out seven. He was relieved in the 7th by Armando Gabino who was a gem of a pickup for the Tides becoming a very solid middle relief and set up man as well as occasional starting pitcher. Gabino would pitch three innings giving up 3 hits and a walk, allowing no runs and striking out three. However good his pitching was it was defense that came to his rescue in the 8th and 9th innings. The defensive highlights were many but two most memorable came late in the game to squelch Red Wing rallies in the 8th and 9th innings. In the 8th with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd Wilson Ramos singled to left field and Danny Valencia decided to test the arm of Jeff Salazar. Salazar threw a laser which took one hop and catcher Adam Donachie made a great tag to get the out on Valencia to end the inning. In the 9th inning with 2 on including a runner at third base with only 1 out Gabino faced Rochester shortstop Matt Tolbert. Tolbert hit a sharp ground ball to first baseman Brandon Snyder who threw to shortstop Robert Andino to get the runner at second who threw back to Snyder to just get the very fast Tolbert at first for the 3-6-3 double play and the win.
Rochester had 1 run on 11 hits with no errors and 10 men left on base. They had their leadoff batter reach base in 7 of 9 innings but between stand up pitching by Tillman and Gabino as well as the defense could do no more against a Tides team that scored 2 runs on 7 hits and no errors and left 6 men on base. Chris Tillman (5-4 3.24) got the win and Gabino (2-0 S1 1.50) got the save. The loss went to Rochester starter Deolis Guerra (0-2 5.29). The teams will wrap up their series with an afternoon game on Wednesday at Harbor Park with Jake Arietta (4-2 1.93) on the mound for the Tides facing Anthony Swarzak (0-1 7.00).