Chris George got roughed up by the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday night at 5th 3rd Field in the second game of a four game set between the Norfolk Tides and the Mud Hens. Chris gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning on a 3 run homer by Jeff Larish with 2 outs in the inning. Chris was stung again in the bottom of the 2nd when Scott Sizemore hit a 2 run blast with 2 outs in the bottom frame of that inning.
The Tides got a run in the 1st inning when Matt Angle singled, stole second and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Mud Hens catcher Jeff Kunkle. He scored on a ground ball hit by Robert Andino. In the second inning the Tides scored again when Nolan Reimold and Michel Hernandez singled and Reimold scored on a ground out by Blake Davis.
With the score 5-2 the Mud Hens picked up another run on George when Jeff Kunkle doubled and scored on an RBI single by Brent Dlugach. The Tides made the game closer in the top of the 5th inning closing the gap to 6-4. Matt Angle walked and then erased on a force out when Robert Andino grounded to third. Jeff Salazar popped out to third for the 2nd out bringing Josh Bell to the plate. Bell walked and was followed by Michael Aubrey who doubled to score Andino and Bell.
The rest of the game was about relief pitching. George left the game in the top of the 5th having surrendered 6 runs on 9 hits including 2 home runs in 4 innings work. In those 4 innings he threw 85 pitches. Mike Hinckley came on in relief pitching the 5th and 6th innings allowing 2 runs but no runs walking none and striking out two. Alberto Castillo came on in the 7th and pitched two scoreless innings giving up no hits or walks and striking out two. The Mud Hens relievers were just as effective as the Tides. Josh Rainwater came into the game in the top of the 6th inning and pitched three scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. John Sborz closed the game getting his 15th save of the campaign allowing no hits though Robert Andino reached on an error by Scott Sizemore.
The game ended with the Tides having 4 runs on 9 hits with two errors and leaving 8 men on base. The Mud Hens had 6 runs on 11 hits and one error also leaving 8 runners on base. Ruddy Lugo (2-3 8.23 ERA) got the win for the Mud Hens while Chris George (2-2 4.28 ERA) got the loss.
On Saturday the Tides bats came alive to give Troy Patton his 5th win of the season, something that Troy had not had much of early in the year. Troy pitched 5 innings allowing 3 runs, only one of which was earned, 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 strike outs. Armando Gabino back in the middle relief role with the return of Brad Bergeson to the Tides came into the game in the top of the 6th inning and remained strong in relief pitching three scoreless innings giving up three hits. Cla Meredith closed the game for the Tides and for the first time since his arrival shut down the opposing team pitching a one-two-three 9th inning striking out two.
The Tides went to work on Mud Hens pitchers beginning with the starter Lauren Gagnier who they tagged for 6 runs on 9 hits including a 3rd inning home run by Josh Bell, his 8th of the season.
The Mud Hens got out to an early lead scoring on a pair of doubles by Scott Sizemore and Jeff Frazier however they would not score again until the 5th inning when Patton walked Scott Sizemore and then made a throwing error on a force attempt which allowed Jeff Frazier on board. Jeff Larish doubled to score both Sizemore and Frazier but Patton would pitch out of trouble ending the inning.
The Tides scored early pounding out 4 runs in the top of the 2nd inning against Gagnier. Nolan Reimold doubled with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Michael Aubrey walked and with Robert Andino batting Gagnier threw wild on a pickoff attempt allowing Reimold to score and Aubrey to take 2nd. Andino struck out swinging and catcher Michel Hernandez singled to score Aubrey and took second on the attempt to get Aubrey at home. Paco Figueroa singled to score Hernandez and scored on an RBI double by Matt Angle. Josh Bell hit his 8th home run in the top of the 3rd and made the score 5-1. In the top of the 6th Hernandez singled with one out and scored on a triple by Paco Figueroa. This sent Gagnier to the showers and brought in Matt Hoffman. Then the Tides did something that they have not done this year, made the bold attempt to steal home. Figueroa was out at the plate but the next batter, Matt Angle singled and scored on Jeff Salazar’s 10th home run of the season to make the score 8-3. In the top of the 8th with Hoffman still pitching Michel Hernandez doubled and Paco Figueroa walked to chase Hoffman from the game and bring on Scott Drucker. Drucker got Matt Angle to ground into a double play giving the Mud Hens hope that they might stop the Tides. His hopes were dashed when Salazar hit his second home run of the game, his 11th of the season.
At the end of the day it was the Tides wining scoring 10 runs on 14 hits and one error with three home runs leaving 6 men on base. The Mud Hens scored 3 runs on 9 hits also having an error leaving 9 runners stranded. Troy Patton (5-7 4.74 ERA) got the win and Gagnier (3-3 3.49 ERA) got the loss. The teams play the final game against each other for the season tonight with Brandon Erbe (0-9 6.03 ERA) going up against Alfredo Figaro (5-4 4.36 ERA) on the hill for the Hens.
In a personnel note Tides outfielder Joey Gathright was reactivated coming off the 7 Day Disabled List.
Until next time.