Troy Patton notched his 6th win against the Gwinnett Braves
The Norfolk Tides suffered a bit of a letdown after taking the last three games of their seven game set against Charlotte on Tuesday night losing to the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 9-4. Tides starter Zach Britton (0-1 2.53 ERA) gave up 4 runs, 3 of which were earned on 7 hits while striking out 4 and walking 2. The Tides had 9 hits in the game and collected 5 walks from Braves pitchers but left 9 men on base including 6 left in scoring position the bulk of their runs coming in a 3 run 8th inning but it was not enough as Charlotte hitters dominated Tides pitchers in the first game of their four game series at Cool Ray Field. The Braves were doing the tomahawk chop on Tuesday on the Tides collecting a total of 14 hits while capitalizing on 2 Tides errors and 6 walks. Mike Minor (2-0 1.42 ERA) got the win for the Braves.
Robert Andino went 2 for 4 but had 4 RBIs
On Tuesday night the Tides struck back and struck back hard. Behind excellent pitching of Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) who has continued to get better as the season has worn one and finally is getting run support from the offense. Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Walking just 1 and striking out 3. He yielded to Pat Egan who allowed no runs and a hit in the 8th and Denis Sarfate who allowed no hits to close the game in the 9th. The Braves pitching staff on the other hand was smacked down hard by the Tides hitters. Starter Jo Jo Reyes did a good job lasting 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits striking out 8 Tides batters getting out of a number of jams. However the Braves could not spell “relief” and in the 7th inning Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80) was blasted for 6 runs on 4 hits including a two run home run by Nolan Reimold and a double by Rhyne Hughes as well as 2 walks. Gearrin lasted but two-thirds of an inning and was relieved by Scott Proctor. Proctor got the 3rd out but gave up a run on 2 hits in the 8th. Vladimir Nunez came on in the 9th and surrendered another run before getting out of the inning.
Nolan Reimold got his 5th Home run
Besides the Tides pitching the story was the hitting of the Tides. The Tides relentlessly pounded out 17 hits in the game in scoring the 10 runs. For the first time that I can remember every Tides batter had a hit and a good number multiple hits. Matt Angle went 3 for 4, Robert Andino 2-4 with 4 RBIs, Rhyne Hughes 2-5 with an RBI, Adam Donachie 3-3 with an RBI and Jonny Tucker 3-4 with 3 RBIs. Nolan Reimold had a single hit the home run while Paco Figueroa and Blake Davis each picked up hits.
The Tides scored twice in the 3rd inning on a series of singles, but the big damage came in the 7th inning against Cory Gearrin. Jonny Tucker walked and went to third on a wild pitch. Matt Angle walked and was followed by Robert Andino who singled to score Tucker. Michael Aubrey came to the plate and singled to score both Angle and Andino taking 2nd on an error by Center Fielder Jordan Schafer. This brought up Nolan Reimold who belted a home run to left field scoring him and Aubrey. Rhyne Hughes then doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Donachie. Tucker doubled to lead off the 8th inning advanced to 3rd on a Matt Angle single and score on a sacrifice fly by Robert Andino. In the 9th inning Adam Donachie doubled and scored on a single by Blake Davis.
All told Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) got the win, Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80 ERA) got the loss. The Tides had 10 runs on 17 hits and committed 2 errors leaving 8 men stranded. The Braves had just 2 runs on 5 hits and an error leaving 5 men on base. The Tides travelled to Durham where tonight they face the division leading Bulls with Zach Clark (0-3 3.06 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Richard D. De Los Santos (6-4 4.20 ERA) pitching for the Braves.
Chris George was reassigned to AA Bowie and former Tides reliever Ross Wolf who had been traded last month to the A’s AAA farm team the Sacramento River Cats had his contract purchased by the A’s and is now on that major league club. All the best to Ross in Oakland. Brandon Erbe, Kam Mickolio and Brandon Snyder all remain on the disabled list.
Until the next time,
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.