The Norfolk Tides returned home to the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish and got back on the winning track defeating the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 5-2. In a game that featured strong pitching by Tillman and the Tides relievers as well as tremendous defensive play especially by Robert Andino who despite his error filled season is when he wants to be is a superb defensive shortstop.
Tillman set and the defense set the pace early by shutting down the Braves until he was relieved for the pitch count and number of innings thrown as he will likely be recalled to Baltimore. Of note was a tremendous double play began by Robert Andino on a ball hit softly well to his right which he fielded, made a perfect throw to Second Baseman Paco Figueroa who in turn threw a strike to Brandon Snyder at first base to double up Luis Bolivar and Clint Sammons.
The Tides struck early in the second inning off Braves starter Jose Oretgano. Ortegano walked Nolan Reimold and then Brandon Snyder hit what appeared to be a routine deep fly ball that just kept going until it landed in the Straub Beer Party Deck to give the Tides a 2-0 lead. In the 6th inning the Tides stretched the lead. Matt Angle got aboard when Braves Center Fielder Antoan Richardson who dropped a routine fly ball. Robert Andino then had an infield single to advance Angle to second base. Ortegano then tried to pick off Angle and threw the ball away, Angle went to third and then Shortstop Joe Thurston rushed the throw to third and threw the ball away allowing Angle to score to give the Tides a 3-0 lead.
Tillman struck out the first two batters that he faced in the 7th inning and was relieved by Armando Gabino who retired Antoan Richardson to ground out to shortstop Robert Andino for the third out. The Tides added two insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning. With one out catcher Adam Donachie walked and Paco Figueroa then doubled to score Donachie and advanced to third on the throw home. Figueroa scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar who had come into the game as a defensive substitution for Matt Angle in the top of the 7th inning. In the 8th Gabino ran into a problem walking Wes Timmons with one out and the giving up a 2 run home run to Joe Thurston before pitching out of the inning.
The Tides sent Dennis Sarfate to the hill to close the game and Dennis struck out the side on 11 pitches to get his 19th save of the year. Chris Tillman (11-7 3.34 ERA) got the win giving up 5 hits in 6.2 innings work striking out three braves. Jose Ortegano despite on giving up 3 hits in 5.2 innings work got the loss with his record going to 3-10 with a 6.12 ERA. The Tides had 5 runs on 5 hits with no errors leaving 3 men on base. The Braves had 2 runs on 7 hits leaving 7 men aboard but made three critical errors that helped give the Tides some additional help.
The teams meet tonight at Harbor Park for the final time of this season with Tim Bascom (3-7 7.31 ERA) coming off an excellent start against Charlotte on the road pitching for the Tides against Erik Cordier making his first start at the Triple-A level.
In personnel moves the Orioles called up Robert Andino and recalled both Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder in the first of their September call-ups. I expect that Chris Tillman and at least two other pitchers will be called up, my money would be on Armando Gabino and either Dennis Sarfate, Kam Mickolio or Frank Mata.
See you at the game,