On a warm and windy Monday night in front of a crowd of 2932 fans the Norfolk Tides dropped their second straight to the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Harbor Park. Once again the Tides lack of offense despite 11 hits spoiled a good pitching performance by Chris Tillman. Tillman (2-3 3.98) making his first appearance since his historic no-hitter in Gwinnett was not as sharp as his last two outings but still only allowed 2 runs in five innings work and left the Tides in position to come back and win the game. Unfortunately for Chris and the Tides hitters failed to capitalize on 11 hits, two walks and 2 Yankees errors and save for an error in the bottom of the 6th inning could have been shut out a second straight night.
Despite this Corey Patterson has definitely got his bat back in the groove and probably making the Mariners wish that they had kept him or other Major League teams wish that they had picked him up. Patterson went four for four getting four singles.
The Yankees scored two runs in the top of the 4th inning as Jesus Montero led off with a double. Tillman then got Jon Weber to fly out and struck out Chad Huffman. He then walked Greg Golson which brought Kevin Russo to the plate. Russo who is hitting .290 and has 5 doubles, 2 triples hit a sharp line drive double into the right-center gap which scored both Montero and Golson. This prompted a visit to the mound by pitching coach Mike Griffin. Tillman then got Reegie Corona out to end the inning.
Tillman left the game at the end of the 5th inning and was relieved by Koji Uehara who pitched the 6th inning. Uehara, who was making his second rehab appearance with the Tides gave up a hit but no runs serving up 14 pitches of which 12 were strikes. Uehara was effective in both appearances at Harbor Park and it seems apparent that he is ready to rejoin the Orioles bullpen.
The Tides got on the board in the bottom of the 6th when with one out Corey Patterson got on with a single. Pattersonwas then called out attempting to steal second after having appeared to slide under the tag. Josh Bell then singled as did Jeff Salazar. With two on and two out Scott Moore came to the plate. Moore who is hitting .237 and has two home runs and 10 RBIs, hit a routine pop up to left center, which unexpectedly became anything but routine when Yankees Center Fielder Greg Golson dropped the ball allowing both Bell and Salazar to score. Justin Turner walked but Brandon Snyder grounded into a force out to end the inning.
With the score now tied it seemed that the Tides were poised for a comeback. Pedro Viola (0-1 27.00) came on in relief of Uehara. Viola who was claimed off of waivers by the Orioles and placed on the team’s 40 man roster after being designated for assignment by the Cincinnati Reds on April 21st was rocked in this outing as he was in his first two appearances for the Tides. Viola pitched but two thirds of an inning and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk despite striking out two Yankees batters. The inning began with some promise; Viola struck out Reegie Corona then walked Eduardo Nunez before striking out Juan Miranda. It was then that things went bad in a hurry for the Tides new reliever. David Winfree singled to left. Jesus Montero hit his 6th double of the season driving in Nunez and advancing Winfree to third. Jon Weber then singled to score Winfree prompting a visit to the mound by Gary Allenson. Chad Huffman then came to the plate and singled to score both Montero and Winfree. This drove Viola from the game and brought in Jim Miller who struck out Kevin Russo swinging.
The Tides attempted a two out rally in the 7th inning when Robert Andino walked and was advanced to third on a single by Corey Patterson. Andino then scored when Josh Bell connected on a single but the inning ended when Jeff Salazar flied out to Chad Huffman.
Neither team added to their run totals while Jim Miller finished the game for the Tides giving up no runs on two hits with a strikeout in 2.1 innings work. Yankees closer Jonathan Albaladejo (1-1 S8 1.32) got the save giving up two hits but surrendering no runs.
The Tides and Yankees meet again on Tuesday with Jake Arrieta pitching for the Tides against Scranton’s Zack McAllister and the Tides hope to bounce back and get their hitting on track.