It began with a rain delay and a pitching change but Tuesday the Norfolk Tides defeated one of the best teams in the International League in a convincing manner. Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez began the game for the Tides to get an inning of rehab work in following the delay. Gonzalez walked one batter who stole 2nd and 3rd base but retired the side striking out 2 batters and left the game in favor of scheduled starter Chris George. George had an excellent outing shutting out the Chiefs for 6 innings allowing just 4 hits while giving up a walk and striking out 2 batters. Relievers Jim Hoey and Pat Egan each pitched an inning of relief allowing a hit and 2 walks between them. However it was Chris George (5-4 4.07 ERA) that was the show tonight showing again that he provides a stable though often unheralded role on the Tides staff.
Chiefs starting pitcher Jeff Mandel (4-5 4.80 ERA) pitched very well for 7 innings. He allowed a run in the 3rd inning when he walked Matt Angel and then on an attempted pick off tossed the ball into foul territory in left field Angle took second and third base scoring the Tides first run on a sacrifice fly by Robert Andino.
The scored remained 1-0 in favor of the Tides until the bottom of the 6th inning when with 2 outs Michael Aubrey pounded a drive over the right field wall for his 10th home run of the season and 4th in the last 5 days to extend the lead to 2-0. It appeared that the game was destined to go into the 9th inning tied as Mandel got Matt Angle to ground out to 2nd and Robert Andino to ground to 3rd base. Mandel then walked Jeff Salazar to bring Nolan Reimold to the plate. Reimold has not has a good year though he shows occasional signs that he might be breaking out of his slump. Tonight was one of those nights. With two outs Reimold hammered a pitch to left field to score Salazar and give the Tides a 4 run lead. Pat Egan entered to close out the game and walked Kevin Mench but Mench was eliminated when Leonard Davis lined into a double play at first and Pete Orr grounded out to end the game.
The Chiefs hand no runs on 5 hits with 1 error and left 7 men on base while the Tides had 4 runs on 6 hits with no errors stranding 5. Jeff Mandel took the loss for the Clippers while Chris George got his 5th win of the campaign.
Tonight the Tides have Tim Bascom on the hill going up against Erik Arnesen. In Birdland last night Chris Tillman pitching for the first time since his one hit shut out in Texas was blown out to the water by the Tampa Bay Rays who scored 8 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks against Tillman. On a poistive note on an otherwise dismal day for the Orioles thier relievers held the Rays giving up no more runs and only allowing 2 hits and 2 walks in 6.1 innings striking out 7 Rays.
I’m not there as I have the overnight at the hosptial, so far so good.