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Tides let Victory “Walk Away” from them, Lose 11-9 to Braves

Scott Moore hit his 10th home run his 3rd in 2 days

The Norfolk Tides went down to George to do battle with their long time International League South rival the Gwinnett Braves.  In a game that looked like it would be another of their more recent comeback wins after getting behind early in the game.  After the Tides took an 8-7 lead the relief staff quite literally let victory “walk away” from them in a 7th inning meltdown where the relievers were strike-zone challenged.

Tim Bascom started for the Tides and Tim got roughed up early and often.  In the first inning he gave up a walk and a single which the Braves used to manufacture a run when Freddie Freeman sacrificed Matt Young across the plate.  He gave up two more runs in the 2nd inning when on a series of alternating walks and singles Nate McLouth singled to score Joe Thurston and Wilkin Ramirez.  In the 3rd inning Barbaro Canizares homered off of Bascom to put the Braves up by a 4-0 count.

Michael Aubrey hit his 18th homer of the year

The Tides offense manufactured 2 runs in the top of the 4th inning when. Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore reached on a force attempt where Braves starter Todd Redmond committed a throwing error attempting to force Reimold out at second. Lou Montanez singled to bring Reimold across the plate and Moore to second.  Rhyne Hughes hit into a double play and Moore went to 3rd base. Michel Hernandez singled to bring Moore across to close the gap to 4-2.

However the Braves opened up an even larger lead scoring 3 more runs off of Bascom who allowed consecutive singles to Wilkin Ramirez and Clint Sammons to set the stage for Nate McLouth who homered to make the score 7-2. However the Tides rectified that situation in the top of the 5th scoring 4 runs and in the top of the 6th adding two more. Robert Andino doubled, Michael Aubrey walked and Nolan Reimold singled to load the bases with no outs.  After Scott Moore flied out to short center Lou Montanez doubled to score Andino and Aubrey.  Michel Hernandez popped up for the second out but Paco Figueroa singled to score Reimold and Montanez to close the gap to 7-6.  In the top of the 6th with two outs Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore hit his 10th home run of the season to give the Tides their lead of the game.

It was at this point that things walked away from the Tides. Pat Egan had relieved Bascom in the 5th inning and was still pitching in the bottom of the 7th.  Egan got Martin Prado to ground out and then gave up singles to Freddie Freeman and Barbaro Canizares. This brought in Jim Hoey who has pitched very well since coming up from double-A Bowie having allowed just three runs in 10.1 innings pitched during 9 appearances.  In that time walks have been the bane of him as he has only allowed 3 hits but counting last night 11 walks.  Hoey gave up a single to Joe Thurston to load the bases and struck out Luis Bolivar.  He then issued a walk to Wilkin Ramirez to score Freeman and a wild pitch which scored Canizares.  He then walked Clint Sammons to reload the bases and followed that with a walk to Nate McLouth which scored Thurston.  The brought out Bobby Dickerson and Alberto Castillo came in.  Castillo walked Matt Young to score Ramirez before he struck out Willie Cabrera to end the inning with the Tides having lost their lead training by a score of 11-8.

In the 8th Michael Aubrey hit a solo home run, his 18th of the year with two outs to make the score 11-9. In the 9th Scott Moore had a 2 out double but pinch hitter Jeff Salazar struck out to end the inning and the game with the score Gwinnett 11 and Norfolk 9. Pat Egan (1-1 6.23 ERA) took the loss in relief and Scott Proctor (4-3 7.98 ERA) the win.  The Tides had 9 runs on 12 hits with 1 error stranding 8 runners and the Braves 11 runs on 13 hits and an error with 8 left on base.  The teams square off tonight with Mike Hinckley (1-3 4.78 ERA) making his first start for the Tides going up against Kenshin Kawakami (0-1, 3.18 ERA) for the G-Braves.

Up in Baltimore a rejuvenated and confident Orioles squad defeated the Seattle Mariners in 11 innings 5-4.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Top Braves 4-3 on Solid Pitching and Key Home Runs

Chris George provide 6 innings of solid pitching for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides finished their home stand in convincing fashion defeating the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 4-3 on a beautiful night for baseball at the Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish.  Chris George of the Tides faced off against Jo-Jo Reyes and tonight would belong to the Tides Left hander backed up by solid relief work by Kam Mickolio, Ross Wolf and closer Denis Sarfate.

Brandon Hicks gets himself thrown out of the game in the 2nd inning

The Braves got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning without a single hit as Chris George initially struggled with control walking Matt Young and Wes Timmons before getting Freddie Freeman to hit into a double play.  Young advanced to third on the play and scored when a balk was called on George.  In the second inning the Braves threatened and were shut down by the Tides and in the process having their Manager Dave Brundage and Brandon Hicks thrown out of the game.  Mitch Jones doubled and advanced to third on a single by Brandon Hicks.  Jordan Schafer reached first when on a fielder’s choice ground ball Tides First Baseman Brandon Snyder alertly saw Jones attempting to score and gunned him down at the plate. Brandon Hicks then with Luis Bolivar batting attempted to steal third and was thrown out by Tides Catcher Michel Hernandez.  This was a close call and Braves Manager Dave Brundage fiercely argued the call with Hicks.  Both were thrown out of the game after a delay of about 5 minutes.  Bolivar then grounded out to end the inning.

J C Boscan attempts to pick off a Tides runner at 2nd base as Matt Angle attempts to get out of the way

In the bottom half of the 2nd inning the Tides struck back with the suddenness of a thunder storm.  Rhyne Hughes reached on a fielding error by Braves First Baseman Freddie Freeman. The next batter, Brandon Snyder then crushed a pitch over the left field wall deep into the left field picnic area.  Michael Aubrey grounded out to Jo-Jo Reyes and it appeared with the bottom part of the Tides lineup coming to bat that he might escape with no more damage.  However that was not the case as Tides Catcher Michel Hernandez lifted a ball to the opposite field send the pitch into the Straub’s Beer right field party deck to make the score 3-1.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning Robert Andino cracked his 17th double of the year with one out and scored on a single by Jeff Salazar. The Braves plated another run in the top of the 4th inning when Mitch Jones scored from 2nd base on a Luis Bolivar single.

Michel Hernandez got his first home run in Norfolk

Kam Mickolio came into the game in the 7th in relief of George and after allowing a single to Luis Bolivar to lead off the inning got J C Boscan to ground into a 5-4-3 double play and then struck out Matt Young on a 96 mile and hour fast ball.  Ross Wolf came into the game in the 8th and working quickly got Wes Timmons and Freddie Freeman to ground out and Barbaro Canizares to pop out to end the inning.  Denis Sarfate came in to close the game and got Mitch Jones to fly out and then on a low and inside off speed pitch saw Joe Thurston who had replaced Hicks when the latter was tossed in the 2nd inning lift the ball just over the right field wall near the foul pole for a solo home run.  Sarfate wasted nothing else and using high hard heat with every pitch in the mid-90’s blew away Alex Romero and Luis Bolivar to end the game.

The Braves had 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 costly error and left 5 men on base.  The Tides had 4 runs on 8 hits and no errors leaving 6 on base.  Chris George (2-1 3.63) got the win and Jo-Jo Reyes (0-4 5.40) took the loss for the Braves.  Denis Sarfate got his 7th save.  Tonight after a long bus ride west the Tides take on the Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians who lead the International League West.  Troy Patton (4-7 5.13) will take the hill for the Tides facing Josh Tomlin (5-2 2.89).  In personnel news the Orioles outrighted relief pitcher Alberto Castillo to Norfolk in what seems an endless roller coaster for the left hander.  It was announced as well that Bobby Valentine, Padre Steve’s choice for the permanent managerial post for the Orioles since last season interviewed with Peter Angelos and Andy McPhail yesterday.  If you are an Orioles fan you have to hope that Bobby V will join the Orioles after all one can only hope and after all of the suffering with no name managers through most of the decade it is time that we have a marquis manager with a winning attitude and skill working with young talent, and Bobby V fits the bill.

The Tides finished the home stand with a 4 and 4 record which is remarkable if one remembers that the first three games of the series were lost in slugfests to the Buffalo Bisons.  The remarkable thing about the Tides right now is the change that I have seen on the field in the past week. Hitters are more aggressive, the base running is more aggressive, infielders are communicating better, pitchers are challenging hitters and the team is playing as a team with every member in the game even if they are not on the field.  It has been a remarkable sea change and it looks like the Tides are rolling in and might turn into a Tsunami to wreak havoc on the southern division of the International League.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Blanked by Braves as Resop Pitches One Hitter: Arietta Wins ML Debut against Yankees

Tim Bascom pitched well in his AAA Debut in Norfolk

After a hitting frenzy in the first five games of this home stand there have bee two pitcher’s duels at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish with the second being even more impressive than the first. What had been scheduled as a match up between the two leading pitchers in the International League, Tides right-hander Jake Arietta and Braves right-hander Chris Resop changed when Arietta had his contract selected by the Orioles and at game time in Norfolk was on the mound in Baltimore pitching in his Major League debut against the World Champion New York Yankees.

Frustration at the plate: Nolan Reimold bounces a pitch foul

Instead of this highly anticipated match up the Tides started Tim Bascom who had been called up Thursday from AA Bowie and Bascom performed magnificently in his AAA debut for the Tides.  However it was Resop that stole the show last night pitching to the minimum 27 batters allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts and no walks to shut down a Tides offense that had been running roughshod over opposing pitching most of this home stand.  Bascom went 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and tendered just one walk.  He would be followed by Jim Miller who pitched well but had problems with his throws to first on two bunts which resulted in errors and allowed runners placed on board by Bascom to score.

Chris Resop was just about perfect in Thursday’s game

There was not much offense for either team. The Tides had just the one hit by Rhyne Hughes which was negated when Braves outfielder Mitch Jones made an incredible defensive play to rob Brandon Snyder of extra bases and then caught Hughes who had passed second base off of first for a double play the Tides were robbed by Jones twice late in the game on sharply hit fly balls that looked as if they would fall for singles or extra base hits.  The Braves got a run in the top of the 3rd inning which Elliott the Usher and I both felt should not have happened had Left Fielder Nolan Reimold caught what appeared to be a very catchable fly ball off the bat of Matt Young. Reimold did not make the play and one has to wonder what is going on with last year’s hot rookie.  Reimold has struggled with injury to his heel and I wonder if he is still having problems with it or if there is something going on in his life that is hurting his game.  Anyway, Young would score on a sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman and the score would remain 1-0 until the 8th inning.  In the 8th Bascom who had not allowed a run or for that matter not much else gave up an infield single to J C Boscan and an infield single to Matt Young.  Reliever Jim Miller came into the game with two on and no outs and faced Wes Timmons.  Timmons also bunted a beauty; Miller did a great job getting to the ball but hurried his throw which got past First Baseman Brandon Snyder allowing Boscan to score and Young to advance to third base.  Freddie Freeman then hit a sacrifice fly which scored Young. Miller picked off Timmons and retired Mitch Jones to end the inning.  The Braves got an insurance run in the 9th when Joe Thurston bunted and for the second time Miller fielded the ball well but his throw went awry allowing Thurston on base.   Jordan Schafer then bunted sharply past the mound and Robert Andino made a great play to get Schafer but Thurston was running hard for third.  Brandon Snyder saw this and made a strong throw to third which had it been on target would have nailed Thurston, but the throw went high over the head of Paco Figueroa and Thurston scored.  Victimed by three errors in two innings the Tides lost 4-0.Chris Resop (5-2 1.84) got the win and Tim Bascom (0-1 3.86) got the loss.  The Tides had no runs on one hit and three errors and left no men on base.  The Braves had 4 runs on 8 hits and no errors leaving 6 men on base.  The teams will conclude their series tonight at Harbor Park with Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3 5.94) on the hill for the Braves facing Chris George (1-1  3.71)

Jake Arietta notched his first Major League win against the Yankees in Baltimore Thursday

In Baltimore Jake Arietta was the story pitching 6 innings and getting his first Major League win against the New York Yankees by a score of 4-3 with some help by some of his Norfolk Tides team mates.  Scott Moore who went to Baltimore last month from the Tides who hit his first Major League home run, Frank Mata came in to shut down the Yankees in the 7th and David Hernandez notched his first Major League save as the closer.  The O’s broke a 10 game losing streak against the Yankees with the win.

See you tonight at Harbor Park,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Win Pitcher’s Duel: Hughes Powers Offense

Rhyne Hughes leaving the batters box as he hits his 4th inning home run

The Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish has seen its share of slugfests this home stand in which Norfolk and their opponents scored a combined 80 runs saw instead a pitcher’s duel as the Tides defeated the Braves 3-1.  The story for the Tides on a sultry humid Tidewater Wednesday night  was pitching which had been problematic over the home stand with only Troy Patton’s 3 hit blanking of the Buffalo Bisons on Monday being a notable pitching performance. That changed Wednesday night as Armando Gabino, Mike Hinckley, Ross Wolf and Denis Sarfate combined to pitch a 7 hit game giving up only one run to the Gwinnett Braves.

Armando Gabino got his 3rd win of the 2010 campaign

Scoring was sparse last night and there were no crooked numbers on the scoreboard.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning Rhyne Hughes tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Michael Aubrey.  The Tides scored again in the bottom of the 4th inning thanks to Hughes who belted a solo shot over the right field wall.  The Braves got a run in the top of the 5th inning when after retiring the first two batters Gabino hit Braves catcher Clint Sammons with a pitch.  Sammons stole second base and went to third on a single by Matt Young.  Sammons scored on the next at bat when Wes Timmons singed before Feddie Freeman struck out to end the inning.  The Tides final run came in the bottom half of the inning. Michel Hernandez reached on a throwing error by Braves shortstop Brandon Hicks.  Blake Davis grounded into a force out with Hernandez being put out a second base.  Matt Angle grounded out to first base and Davis advanced to second.  Robert Andino who had 5 RBIs in Tuesday’s game then singled to score Davis.  Neither team would score again.

The Braves had 1 run on 7 hits and an error the Tides 3 ruins on 6 hits and no errors.  Armando Gabino (3-0 2.56 ERA) got the win, Denis Sarfate got his 6th save of the year and Tim Gustafson (5-4 5.40 ERA) took the loss for the Braves.  The teams meet tonight at Harbor Park where Tim Bascom making his AAA debut for the Tides will face Chris Resop (4-2 2.10).

See you there.

Padre Steve+

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Tides Lose Opener in Georgia 7-2 Leave 9 Runners in Scoring Position; Orioles defeat Yankees 5-4 at Camden Yards

Brandon Hicks went 1 for 3 on Tuesday Night

The Norfolk Tides went down to Georgia to open their series against the Gwinnett Braves in cool and windy weather under a cloudy night sky more reminiscent of Norfolk than suburban Atlanta in front of 2547 fans at Gwinnett County Coolray Field.  The Tides hoped to come off of a loss in the final game of their series against Charlotte on Monday to restart their recent winning streak against the Braves but that did not happen as the Braves defeated the Tides 7-2 behind the solid pitching of four Braves pitchers who allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits despite walking 7 Tides batters.

Brandon Erbe fell to 0-4 continuing to struggle at AAA

Tides starter Brandon Erbe went down to Georgia seeking his first win of the season but got in trouble early walking Matt Young to lead off the inning followed by a single to Gregor Blanco, another walk this time to Freddie Freeman and a bases loaded single to Brent Clevlen which drove in Young and Blanco.  He gave up a third run in the 2nd inning when Wes Timmons and J C Boscan both singled and Timmons was driven home by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Young.

The Tides would get a run back in the top of the 4th inning when Josh Bell doubled on a sharp line drive to center and was advanced to third on a single by Scott Moore.  Braves catcher J C Boscan allowed a pitch by Braves starter Tim Gustafson to get by him giving Moore the chance to take second base. With two on and no outs Brandon Snyder grounded out to short scoring Bell.  The Tides mustered nothing else in the fourth as Corey Patterson flied to left and Justin Turner grounded into a Fielder’s Choice in which Moore was out at third.

Joey Gathright went 2 for 4 with a double

The Braves took that run back in the bottom of the fourth as Brandon Erbe’s woes continued.  Erbe walked Brandon Hicks and Wes Timmons. J C Boscan dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt that Tides Catcher Adam Donachie fielded but who only had a play at first.  This advanced Hicks and Timmons and brought Matt Young to the plate.  Young hit a sacrifice fly to Left Fielder Joey Gathright scoring Hicks.  Erbe want to the showers when he gave up a walk to Gregor Blanco.  Chris George entered the game to get the final out.

In the top of the 5th the Tides got another run when Adam Donachie singled, Joey Gathright doubled and Robert Andino hit a sacrifice fly to right which scored Donachie.

With the score 4-2 and the Tides looking to get back into the game the Braves literally “stole” the game and put a stake in the heart of the Tides hopes for the night. Chris George who has been a solid middle reliever this year walked the first batter Brent Clevlen and then got Mitchell Jones looking.  George then walked Joe Thurston.  The Braves then pulled off a double steal which advanced Clevlen to third and Thurston to second.  George then got Brandon Hicks to strike out and intentionally walked Wes Timmons.  With the bases loaded J C Boscan hit a soft fly to right which fell for a hit and scored Clevlen and Thurston and advanced Timmons to third.  With Matt Young batting Wes Timmons did what is seldom done and on a double steal attempt stole home for the third run of the inning.

The game would finish with the Braves using three relievers beginning in the top of the 6th inning to shut down the Tides.  The Tides would make an 8th inning rally attempt which fell short with the bases loaded.  Ross Wolf came on for the Tides to pitch the 6th and 7th innings and Frank Mata closed out the game with neither pitcher allowing any Braves runs.  Braves pitching was adequate Tim Gustafson (1-1 6.75) got the win giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and two walks. Both teams committed an error.

For the Tides Joey Gathright went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Brandon Snyder and Jeff Salazar each had an RBI.  Brandon Erbe got the loss dropping to 0-4 on the season with an 8.35 ERA.  Brandon gave up 4 runs on 6 hits walking 5 in 3.2 innings work. Chris George (1-0 4.50) had his first bad outing of the year going only one and a third innings giving up 3 runs on 1 hit with two walks.  The story for the Tides was the inability to score runs. They left eleven men on base and had eleven in scoring position of which only one the Tides brought home.

The Tides and Brave meet tonight at 7:05 PM with Chris Tillman (1-3 6.11) taking the Hill for the Tides and James Parr (1-1 3.48) on the hill for the Braves.

Alberto Castillo got his first win of the year in Baltimore against the Yankees

Meanwhile at Camden Yards the Orioles got their first home win of the season as well as their first winning streak by defeating the Champion New York Yankees and their wrecking crew holding on to win 5-4.  It was a night where former Norfolk Tides shined to secure the win.   In the 6th inning Rhyne Hughes continued to shine beginning an Orioles rally with a RBI single, this was followed by one by Nolan Reimold and Cesar Izturis.  Recent Tides Alberto Castillo got the win and Alfredo Simon in his appearance as an Oriole got the save.  Tonight the Yankees send C C Sabathia against the Orioles Jeremy Guthrie.

We’ll see how the night goes.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides fall to Braves 8-3 Erbe gets Third Loss

Jeff Salazar seen on Tuesday hit his second home run in as many days

After winning convincingly on Wednesday night the Norfolk Tides could not repeat and fell to the Gwinnett Braves 8-3 on a sunny spring afternoon at Harbor Park in front of 4375 fans.  While fog enshrouded the home of the Tides in the morning it had dissipated by game time to reveal a beautiful day for a baseball game. I personally don’t give a kilo of Limburger cheese if the rest of the country is focused on the NFL Draft tonight as I prefer Gordon Biersch draft beer, preferably Czech Pilsner and the Church of Baseball to football in general.  However I also enjoy the seasonal so long as it is not a Weizen and my mind and heart still believe the baseball is the true love of the Deity Herself and that she finds football in all forms only a mildly interesting metaphor for the Valley of Megiddo, but I digress.

After a convincing win on Wednesday night Tides starter Brandon Erbe (0-3 7.98) gave three runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and two more in the fourth on three hits.  All told Erbe gave up 5 runs on 7 hits however he gave up two home runs to Tides killer Freddie Freeman who hit his third home run of this series and doubles to Gregor Blanco, Mitch Jones and Jean Boscan.  The Braves would score 3 runs off of reliever Andy Mitchell before Jim Miller stood into his closer role in the bottom of the eighth giving up one hit and no runs.

Brandon Erbe continues to struggle

The Tides did have some hitting; Jeff Salazar hit a two run shot in the bottom of the third driving in Joey Gathright.  Rhyne Hughes hit a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth.  The Tides would muster no more runs although Joey Gathright would double in the fifth.  The Braves had 8 runs on 13 hits with no errors and the Tides 3 runs on 8 hits with two errors one of which a throwing error by Second Baseman Blake Davis resulted in a Braves run.

Brandon Erbe took the loss, his third of the young season and one has to wonder if it is a matter of confidence or mechanics that is the root cause of his lack of success. I would lean toward being uncomfortable in his first start and then lost his confidence and has not regained it. Andy Mitchell gave up one earned run on 3 hits in two innings of relief work and Jim Miller reprising his closer role from the first half of 2009 where he made the International League All-Star team allowed no runs on one hit.

With the loss the Tides fall to 5 wins and 10 losses falling 7 games behind the Durham Bulls who appear to a be the league Leviathan who are 12-3 and have scored 98 runs on 155 hits devastating many of their opponents with lopsided double digit wins.  Their pitching has been equally dominating allowing the fewest hits and the second best ERA in the League.  With the Tampa Bay Rays looking good and appearing deep the Bulls could well be on their way to repeating their 2009 AAA Championship and lead their nearest division competitor the Charlotte Knights by five games.

International League Southern Division April 22nd 2010

TEAM         W      L      PCT       GB

Durham     12      3     .800         –

Charlotte    7       8     .467     5.0

Gwinnett    6       9    .400      6.0

Norfolk       5     10   .333       7.0

Unfortunately I had to work and had to catch snippets of the game between meetings and patient visits on MiLB Game Day.  The Tides will travel to Charlotte for a four game set against the Knights beginning Friday night which kicks off an eight game road trip which will also take them to Gwinnett. Chris Tillman (0-3 8.38) will try for his first win of the year going up against Charlotte’s Lucas Harrell (1-1 5.82) who defeated the Tides on the 13th allowing no runs and five hits in six innings work.

The Tides have added Left Handed Pitcher Pedro Viola who the Orioles picked up off waivers from Cincinnati.  Viola provides a badly needed left handed arm for the Tides bullpen and will be on the Orioles 40 man roster.  With Alberto Castillo and Kam Mickolio called to Baltimore and Dennis Sarfate on the DL the Tides bullpen has lost some of its power pitchers and the Tides have but two left handed pitchers on their roster.

The Tides for better or worse are inexorably bound to the fortunes of their parent club the Baltimore Orioles who have taken some major losses to injuries and are struggling.  While I believe that they will recover for the time being they have been forced to call upon the Tides incredibly early in the season for position players as well as pitchers, something that was not expected.  will return to Harbor Park on May 1st to face the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Patton and Salazar lead Tides over Braves 6-3

Troy Patton, show striking out Gregor Blanco got his first win of the season

The Norfolk Tides got back in the win column on a cool and damp Wednesday evening at Harbor Park.  With the cool temperature and threat of rain the attendance was only 2571 but those in attendance provided good support for the home team. With the exception of some mist and very light rain in the 6th and 7th inning it was actually a beautiful night for a ball game with calm winds and temperatures from the low 60s to mid 50s.

Joey Gathright gets his first of two hits to lead of the 1st inning

After two games where the Tides bats didn’t produce, the Tides hitters gave their pitchers the hitting support that was lacking the past several games.  Troy Patton got back on the winning track going 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts.   Troy was solid throughout the night and did not lose focus or control after a 4th inning home run by Braves Designated Hitter Freddie Freeman.  The Braves collected an unearned run in the 8th off of Chris George on a walk and then a throwing error by Josh Bell.  Frank Mata came on in the 8th to take over for George and he gave up a wild pitch which scored Matt Young. Mata would get the save shutting down the Braves in the 9th.

Jeff Salazar crosses the plate after his three run  homer in the 3rd

However, tonight’s big story was the Tides offense which when it is good is very good but when it is cold is colder than a hospital morgue. Tonight was a good night for the offense.  The scoring was highlighted by a three run home run by Jeff Salazar in the bottom of the 3rd.  The Tides never trailed and scored additional runs in the 5th and the 8th which were the difference in the game.  Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder both had solid doubles; Snyder broke out of his slump with 2 hits and Bell had 2 hits and 2 RBIs.  Joey Gathright went 2-3 with an RBI and Jeff Salazar went 2-3 with the home run and 3 RBIs.

Brandon Snyder ended his slump with 2 hits including a double

The Tides attack began in the bottom of the 3rd when Joey Gathright got a 2 out single. Robert Andino singled Gathright to third bringing up Salazar. Salazar got down 0-2 but worked the count fouling off a number of pitches before smashing his home run over the right field wall. In the 5th the Tides were led by Blake Davis who played in Norfolk last year and was recently brought up from AA Bowie. Davis scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Joey Gathright. In the bottom of the 8th the Tides added two insurance runs when Robert Andino got aboard with a base on balls. Brandon Snyder doubled to deep right advancing Andino to third. Josh Bell then pounded a double to deep right scoring both Andino and Snyder.

Troy Patton (1-2 6.92) got the win and Frank Mata (S1 1.29) got the save.  For the Braves Ryne Reynoso (0-3 6.60) got the loss.   Tomorrow the teams will close out the series with a 1215 Businessperson’s special.  Brandon Erbe (0-2 7.45) will get the start for the Tides seeking his first AAA win and he will face the Braves Tim Gustafson (0-1 12.27). The weather will be in the mid 70s with partly cloudy skies. I wish I could see you there but work beckons.

On a side note I collected my third foul ball of the season making me 3 balls for 9 games.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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