The Norfolk Tides took the second game of their four game set against the Rochester Red Wings behind solid pitching by Chris George and Denis Sarfate. With the game time temperature at a comfortable 75 degrees and a light 5 mile and hour wind blowing out to center field under clear skies it was a beautiful western New York night for baseball in front of just under 5000 fans.
The game began on the wrong foot for the Tides when on the second pitch of the game Jason Repko hit a ground ball to third which Josh Bell mishandled and was charged with an error. Repko stole second and took third on a ground out by Brian Dinkelman. He would score on a single by Trevor Plouffe. This would be the only run allowed while George was pitching and was unearned. The Red Wings did not score again until the bottom of the 8th inning.
In 6.2 innings work George gave up 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 Red Wing batters. Rochester starting pitcher Glen Perkins held the Tides in check until the 4th inning. In the fourth Josh Bell hammered his 16th double of the season and Nolan Reimold still digging out of his horrific hitting slump on his arrival in Norfolk then singled. Paco Figueroa came up next and singled to score Bell and was followed by Adam Donachie who singled to drive in Reimold giving the Tides a 2-1 lead. George would get the first two batters of the 7th inning but after hitting Brian Dinkelman with a pitch was relieved by Ross Wolf who got the next batter, Trevor Plouffe to ground out to Brandon Snyder at first. In the top frame of the 8th inning the Tides scored again. Robert Andino doubled to lead the inning off of Red Wings reliever pitcher Brad Hennessy. Hennessy intentionally walked Josh Bell and got Nolan Reimold to pop up to first base for the second out. Brandon Snyder came up to the plate and singled the first pitch delivered by Hennessy into center field which scored Andino.
In the bottom of the 8th the Tides brought in newly activated relief pitcher Cla Meredith who had been optioned to Norfolk from the O’s late last week. Matt Macri singled to lead off the inning and Meredith walked Brock Peterson. Wilson Ramos advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt to first base and Meredith struck out Jose Morales. On a 0-2 count Dustin Martin singled to drive in Macri and Ramos to tie the game, which netted Meredith his first blown save in Norfolk. He was able to retire Jason Repko to end the inning.
In the top of the 9th with one out Joey Gathright singled on a ground ball to second and advanced to second on a throwing error by second baseman Brian Dinkelman and Matt Angle singled to bring Gathright home to retake the lead for the Tides. In the bottom frame the Tides brought in Denis Sarfate sent the Wings down in order on 12 pitches for his 4th save of the season.
Cla Meredith got what I am going to start calling the “unsave” instead of a standard “blown save.” The definition that I give to the “unsave” is a blown save where the reliever who blows the save ends up getting the win. It’s kind of like when 7-Up was called the “uncola” it’s not a save and yet it doesn’t have the same sting as a blown save, unless perhaps you are the pitcher that would have had a win had the reliever not blown the save. Unsaves are kind of wins that a pitcher falls into as he has to blow the save to get the win which if you think about it is not a way that you want to win if you can avoid it. But anyway I digress.
The Tides had 4 runs on 12 hits with 1 error and left 10 on base while the Red Wings had 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 error and also left 10 men on base. Cla Meredith (1-0 18.00 ERA) got the win for the Tides and Denis Sarfate (0-0 S4 1.15 ERA) the save. Anthony Slama (0-1 1.80 ERA) took the loss for the Wings. Tonight the teams play game three of this series with Troy Patton (3-6 5.70 ERA) who dominated Pawtucket in his last start taking the hill for the Tides and Matt Fox (4-2 2.44 ERA) pitching for the home team.
The Orioles lost their sixth straight, this time to the New York Yankees as Miguel Tejada committed an error which allowed two runs to score giving the loss to Brian Matusz who only allowed one earned run to the powerful Yankees attack. The loss dropped the O’s to 15-37with a .288 winning percentage. Things do not look any brighter tonight as the Yankees have a 6-0 lead in the 5th having driven Brad Bergeson from the game.