After winning on Wednesday to even their series with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees the Norfolk Tides looked to more success sending Chris Tillman to the mound in Thursday night’s game. Instead the Tides and Tillman went down to defeat 7-1 at the hands of a very good Yankee team. Tillman allowed a run in each of the first three innings and pitched into the 5th inning when after retiring Kevin Russo on a strikeout he gave up a double to Eric Bruntlett and a single to Eduardo Nunez was taken out of the game after having thrown 92 pitches allowing 5 runs, 4 of which were earned on 7 hits, allowing 2 walks while striking out 3 Yankees. Mike Hinckley then entered the game for the Tides and did not get the job done. Hinckley gave up a single to Chad Tracy that scored Bruntlett. The next batter was leading Yankees prospect catcher Jesus Montero and Montero belted a home run over the right field wall to clear the bases and give the Yankees a 7-0 lead.
The Tides bats remained silent until the top of the 9th inning. They had a chance in the top of the 4th when Robert Andino and Nolan Reimold occupied 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs before Rhyne Hughes popped out to end the inning. They also got 2 base runners in the top of the 8th but left both aboard. The Tides final got a run across in the top of the 9th inning. Nolan Reimold doubled with one out and both Brandon Snyder and Craig Tatum drew walks with two outs. This loaded the bases for Paco Figueroa to single and drive in Reimold and keep the bases loaded. This was Figueroa’s third hit of the evening. With the bases loaded Matt Angle grounded out to end the inning and the game.
Tillman (8-6 3.40 ERA) got the loss and Jason Hirsch (6-7 4.22 ERA) picked up the win. The Tides had 1 run on 6 hits with no errors and left 9 men on base. The Yankees 7 runs on 12 hits with no errors leaving 6 men stranded.
On Friday it was a pitcher’s duel as Chris George battled Ivan Nova. George allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits striking out 7 in 7.2 innings work. The runs came in the 2nd inning when George struck out Jesus Montero but the pitch was wild and Montero took first. This brought Jorge Vazquez to the plate and Vazquez homered scoring both of the Yankees runs. The Tides got 9 hits of Nova and left the bases loaded twice scoring only once when Michael Aubrey singled in the 5th inning to score Matt Angle. Jonathan Albaladejo came in for the 9th inning and picked up his 34th save of the year. Chris George (5-5 3.88 ERA) got the loss while Nova (10-2 0.89 ERA) got the win. The Tides had 1 run on 10 hits with no errors leaving 7 aboard and the Yankees 2 runs on 6 hits with 1 error leaving 3 men on base. The Tides return to Norfolk on Saturday for a 4 game home stand against Indianapolis.
It was a pity that George had to lose, he pitched an excellent game apart from two pitches allowing few hits that hte Yankees starter and striking out more.
In Baltimore the news was that Buck Showalter has been hired by the O’s and will take the helm Tuesday at Camden Yards. Juan Samuel will resume his 3rd base coach job should he desire and Gary Allenson will return to the Tides. In trade news the O’s traded Miguel Tejada to the Padres for minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer.