The Norfolk Tides had a chance to sweep a series but were unable to do so but took the series from the Indianapolis Indians by 3 games to one. It was an interesting series the Tides took the first two games in comeback winds and on Monday never trailed. Tuesday was another matter as the Tides got behind early and could not come from behind as they had on Saturday and Sunday.
On a beautiful Monday night newly acquired Rick Vanden Hurk taking the place of new promoted Troy Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits striking out four enroute to the victory. Hewould be backed up by strong relief performances by Frank Mata in the 8th inning and Denis Sarfate closing the game and getting the save by striking out the side in the 9th.
The only run given up by Vanden Hurk came in the 3rd inning when Luke Carlin led off the inning with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Friday, He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Melillo before retiring the side. The Tides took an early lead in the 2nd inning off of Indians starter Michael Crotta. Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore singled with one out. After Brandon Snyder was retired on a fly ball to right catcher Craig Tatum tripled to score Reimold and Scott before Paco Figueroa struck out swinging to end the inning. The Tides would pick up two more runs in the 4th inning. Nolan Reimold singled and stole 2nd base. He was followed by Brandon Snyder who crushed Crotta’s pitch over the left field wall into the Indian’s bullpen to give the Tides a 4-1 lead which they never relinquished.
Rick Vanden Hurk got the win (1-0 1.29 ERA) and Michael Crotta (5-6 4.90 ERA) the loss. Denis Sarfate got his 14th save and lowered his ERA to 3.29. The Indians had 1 run on 5 hits with no errors leaving 5 men on base. The Tides 4 runs on 5 hits with 1 error once again relying on the long ball for the win.
On Tuesday afternoon the Tides sent Chris Tillman to the hill. Chris was hit hard in the first inning giving up 4 runs on 6 hits also giving up a wild pitch and a costly throwing error. He did recover and threw 4 more innings giving up 3 more hits and no runs before being pulled at the end of the inning having throw 81 pitches. It is my opinion that mentally Chris has not recovered from the last “bungi-cord” trip to Baltimore when in two appearances he threw a magnificent game including 6 no-hit innings on the big hitting Texas Rangers before being hit hard by the Minnesota Twins. I for the life of me I cannot understand why the Orioles have not been more patient at the major league level with Tillman who is still only 22 years old. Hopefully he will get his chance under Buck Showalter a manager with much experience dealing with young pitchers.
The Tides bullpen had another strong night with Armando Gabino going 2 scoreless innings, Alberto Castillo gave up a run in the 8th facing 3 batters giving up a walk and hit before being relieved by Pat Egan who gave up a double to send one of Castillo’s runners to score with Castillo being chaged with the run. In the 9th inning Jim Hoey entered the game getting the final two outs allowing no runs and no hits.
The Tides scored their 3 runs in the 6th inning. Brandon Snyder walked and Michel Hernandez singled. Paco Figueroa laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Matt Angle singled to score Snyder and Jeff Salazar hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez. Matt Angle stole second and scored on Robert Andino’s single. They would not score again and the game and the Tides three game winning streak were over, the Tides going down to the Indians by a score of 5-3. The Indians had 5 runs on 11 hits with no errors and the Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with 1 error. Chris Tillman (8-7 3.61 ERA) got the loss, his third since coming back from Baltimore and Jeremy Powell (8-7 4.79 ERA) the win. The Tides have Wednesday off and begin a four game series against the Louisville Bats on Thursday.