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Norfolk Tides 2010: The Season in Review

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” A. Bartlett Giamatti

Now that the World Series is over it is time for my annual Norfolk Tides photo essay.  This time of year is kind of sad for me because baseball is over until the Spring and one of my refuges from the storms of life goes away for a time. Baseball has its own liturgical cycle beginning with Spring Training moving to Opening Day, the All-Star Game, the Pennant Race, the Post Season and the World Series.

The season began at Harbor Park with the Home Opener in early April and closed on the Road.  From my vantage point in Section 102 I had the opportunity to watch some great baseball, get some great pictures and become friends with some great people.  These photos chronicle the 2010 season at the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish and is dedicated to the players and management of the Norfolk Tides.

Opening Day

Left-hander Troy Patton had a rough start but finished strong and ended up in Baltimore

Adam Donachie with kids from a “Field of Dreams team”

Robert Andino hammers a double down the left field line

Twilight at Harbor Park

Jake Arrieta comes into field a bunt

Strike three! Alberto Castillo strikes out a member of the Toledo Mudhens

Close call…Steve Lerud gets a brush back against the Durham Bulls

Saluting the Negro Leagues

Muddy Warrior: Michel Hernandez during a rainy game. By the way the Tides had no home rain outs in 2010

The Mascot: Rip Tide

Adam Donachie tags a runner out at home

Chris Tillman had a great year with the Tides including a no-hitter against the Gwinnett Braves and a one-hitter

Andy Mitchell’s flowing submarine delivery continued in 2010 although he struggled at times. He was the go-to man in middle relief for much of the season and saved many bullpen arms.

Close play at 2nd

Adam Donachie guns down a runner at second

Jake Arrieta jams Gwinnett’s Joe Thurston

Call to the Bullpen: Chris George picks up the call

Blake Davis slides head first into home

Mike Gonzalez making a rehab appearance with the Tides before going back up to Baltimore

Robert Andino goes high to keep a throw from the plate from going into center field

Paco Figueroa slides into home

Michael Aubrey slams one of his 22 home runs

Blake Davis slides into home

Elliott the Usher give his opinion on a call

Alberto Castillo played the setup man for much of the season

Nolan Reimold hits a home-run during a season marked with by early struggles and steady recovery of his 2009 Rookie season in Baltimore

Joey Gathright dodges a pitch

Brandon Snyder played a solid first base and became a solid hitter as the season went on

Nolan Reimold and Rhyne Hughes wait for a pitching change

General Manager Dave Rosenfield

Steve Lerud makes the throw to first after making the force at at home

Matt Angle gets out of the way of Gwinnett catcher J. C. Boscan

Robert Andino and a member of a “Field of Dreams” team

Nolan Reimold tosses to Paco Figueroa for the out with pitcher Mike Hinckley looking on

Jim Miller was moved from being a 2009 AAA All-star closer to various places in the bullpen

Before the storm

Chris George moved from the bullpen to a starting slot

Rhyne Hughes looks on incredulously after a bad call

Celebrating a walk off win

Jeff Salazar drives a pitch into right field

Regina blows a kiss at the home plate umpire

Josh Bell worked his way up to Baltimore where he took the 3rd base job

Brandon Snyder makes the putout at first

Zach Britton moved up from Bowie mid-season did very well and may be a mid-season call up to Baltimore in 2011

Matt Angle makes the throw in from right field

Safe at home on throwback night

Josh Bell singles past a Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitcher

The bullpen waits for the call

Jim Hoey fires a strike

Bobby Dickerson has a few words with an umpire

Chris Chambliss and Gary Allenson meet with the umpiring crew before a game

Call third strike

Come backer a visiting pitcher dodges a line drive

Rhyne Hughes rounds third

And the rain comes down

After the rain: The grounds crew hustles to dry out the field

Jeff Salazar chase down a fly ball

The Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish at night

Brandon Erbe struggled much of the year until an injury put him on the DL for the rest of the season

Brandon Snyder takes a lead at first against Gwinnett

Art the Usher with Cow Ripken  in the background

Robert Andino tags out a member of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees

Paco Figueroa tagged out trying to crash through an opposing catcher

Marine Night

Jonathan Tucker takes a strike

Jonathan Tucker safe at home

Armando Gabino was a solid spot starter and reliever. He went 7-0 in games that he started

Another shot of Andy Mitchell the Tides winningest pitcher in franchise history. He declared free agency at the end of the season

Nolan Reimold beats out a ground ball at first base

Michael Aubrey and Paco Figueroa shift as an opposing hitter hits a ground ball

An opposing batter swings over a pitch

Dennis Sarfate led the Tides in saves and had an outstanding year, he is now a free agent

Kam Mickolio fires a strike

Harbor Park at dusk

A member of the Charlotte Knights looks on after a called strike

Jeff Salazar greets a runner at home

A season draws to an end

Rip Tide loses again in a race around the bases

Alfredo Simon warms up in the bullpen. Simon went from starter with the Tides to sometimes closer with the Orioles

The season at home comes to an end

Chris Tillman pitches a win against the Detroit Tigers on October 3rd at Camden Yards

And so the season ended and this team will go different ways, many players that I consider friends will move on and others up.  New prospects will come up and some of the team will be back. To my friends and all the 2010 Norfolk Tides have a great off season and my best to you and your families.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Another Comeback: Tides Scalp Braves 5-4 on 8th Inning Rally

Kam Mickolio picked up his 4th win of the season in relief against the Braves allowing just one hit

The Norfolk Tides won their 4th game in a row on the road their longest road winning streak of the year against the Gwinnett Braves at Cool Ray Field in Lawrenceville Georgia. Early in the game it did not appear that the Tides would come out in the win column as the Braves scored early against Tides starter Chris George who was victimized, as so many other Tides have been by errors by Shortstop Robert Andino.  The Braves scored twice in the second inning on consecutive errors by Andino to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.  The Braves scored again in the 4th inning when Wilkin Ramirez singled and Clint Sammons homered to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.  Chris would give up the 2 earned runs on 8 hits in 5 innings work before coming out in favor of Kam Mickolio in the 6th inning. Mickolio pitched two strong innings of relief giving up 1 hit and no runs.  During the first 6 innings Braves starter Todd Redmond had the Tides number as he has throughout the year giving up no runs on 5 hits a walk while striking out 8 Tides.

Brandon Snyder had his 7th home run of the season 41st RBI

The Tides began their comeback in the top of the 7th against reliever Michael Dunn who had gone 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in the International League and a win with Atlanta before Saturday and this game would be different.  Brandon Snyder crushed a pitch by Dunn over the left center field wall to put the Tides on the board and cut the Braves lead to 4-1.  Mickolio held the Braves scoreless in the bottom half of the inning and the Tides came back up to the plate in the top of the 8th.  In that inning the Tides struck hard. After Matt Angle was put out on a bunt ground ball Robert Andino singled. Jeff Salazar then walked and Braves Manager Dave Brundage decided that Dunn was done bringing in Stephen Marek who in 45 appearances for the Braves had a 2-1 record with a 1.15 ERA but who gave up 2 runs to the Tides and registered his only loss of the season the last time he faced the Tides on August 17th at Harbor Park.  Marek got Nolan Reimold to pop up on the infield fly rule but then with Lou Montanez batting Andino and Salazar executed a double steal to put them both in scoring position.  Montanez singled to score Andino and Salazar bringing Rhyne Hughes to the plate.  On a 1-1 count Hughes homered to right to give the Tides a 5-4 lead.

Rhyne Hughes hammered his 9th home run of the year in the 8th inning

Frank Mata relieved Mickolio in the bottom of the 8th and put the Braves down in order.  The Tides were silent in the 9th inning and the Tides brought Dennis Sarfate into the game to attempt the save. After getting Wilkin Ramirez to pop out and Clint Sammons to ground out Dennis gave up a two out single to Nate McLouth. He then retired Matt Young on a fly ball to left fielder Jeff Salazar to end the game and give the Tides their 4th win of the road trip. Kam Mickolio (4-3 6.32 ERA) got the win for the Tides and Dennis Sarfate got his 18th save. Stephen Marek (2-2 1.51 ERA) took the loss his second to the Tides in 10 days.  The Tides had 5 runs on 9 hits and Andino’s two errors stranding 5 runners. The Braves had 4 runs on 10 hits with no errors leaving 7 men on base. The teams will meet Sunday afternoon with Troy Patton (7-11 4.67 ERA) taking the hill for the Tides against Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (2-0 2.67 ERA).

The Orioles transferred Jason Berken from the 15 Day to the 60 Day DL.  In Anaheim the Orioles defeated the Angels 5-0 on a strong performance by Kevin Millwood. Former Tide Josh Bell had his 3rd homer of the year a 2 run shot against Angels’ starter Scott Kazmir.  Jim Johnson made his first relief appearance since coming off the DL shutting down the Angels in the 9th inning to give the O’s a 2-0 series lead and their 5th win in a row over the Angels.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Pitcher’s Duel Baker Versus Tillman: Tides Lose 1-0

Chris Tillman pitched a 2 hitter through 7 innings striking out 8 but had a no decision in the Tides loss Saturday night

The Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls played one of the most tension filled games at Harbor Park this season. Fans were treated to the best pitcher’s duel that has been seen here all season as Chris Tillman pitched a tremendous game against Brian Baker of the Bulls who put on a show in his own right.

Justin Ruggiano doubles to drive in the only run of the game

Tillman pitched 7 innings allowing no runs and just 2 hits striking out 8 and walking two Bulls.  Baker allowed no runs and only one hit while striking out 4 and walking 4 Tides.  The only run of the game came in the top of the 8th inning when Kam Mickolio in to relieve Tillman struck out struck out Fernando Perez and then gave up a single to Desmond Jennings.  He then struck out Elliott Johnson and with two outs with Justin Ruggiano batting Jennings stole second base.  Ruggiano then hit a ground rule double which bounced over the right field fence to drive in Jennings.  Mickolio then retired Chris Richard to end the inning.  The Tides managed nothing in the 8th and Mickolio very efficiently put the Bulls down in order in the 9th.

Michael Aubrey’s 2 out Double in the bottom of the 9th nearly cleared the right field fence

The Tides attempted a comeback in the bottom of the 9th. With2 outs and no one on base Michael Aubrey came up as a pinch hitter and drove a ball deep into right field which looked like it would be a home run. It was not striking about a foot from the top of the fence and Aubrey was in with a double. The rally came to an end though one batter later when Winston Abreu stuck out Brandon Snyder to end the game.

The Bulls had 1 run on 4 hits with no errors and the Tides no runs on 2 hits with one error.  Brian Baker (8-4 3.34 ERA) got the win while Kam Mickolio (3-3 6.67 ERA) got the loss. Winston Abreu picked up his 20th save and second in two days.  The teams meet tonight with Tim Bascom (2-7 8.01 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Bobby Livingston (0-0 13.50 ERA) up for the Bulls. Earlier in the season Livingston had pitched for Buffalo where he was 3-8 with a 5.34 ERA.

Up in Baltimore yesterday the Orioles defeated the Rangers 8-6 hitting 4 home runs against Cliff Lee, the most that Lee has given up in a game. Two of those came from former Tide Josh Bell who drove in 5 RBIs. Bell was hitting in the 9th spot and it was the first time since 1920 that an Oriole hitter in that spot had hit two home runs in a game.

The game begins at 6:15 this evening and rain could be a factor.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Go Paco Go! Tides Win on Figueroa’s Walk-off Double with 2 out in Bottom of 11th

Paco Figueroa hits his game winning double

On a beautiful night the fans at Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish were treated to an outstanding pitcher’s duel and probably the most exciting finish to a game at Harbor Park.  In front of a crowd of 8247 excited fans the Norfolk Tides and the Indianapolis Indians played an outstanding ball game that was full of suspense and excitement.

Tides starter Tim Bascom got off to a rough start walking Kevin Melillo to lead off the inning and with 2 outs give up a home run that banged off of the right field scoreboard to Brandon Moss to give the I-Tribe a 2-0 lead.  After that Bascom settled down giving up only 2 more hits and 2 walks in 6.2 innings work.

Craig Tatum cross home with the winning run

The Indians starter Brian Burres gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings work. The Tides got their first run in the 7th inning off of Burres when Nolan Reimold walked and stole second base and with two outs catcher Craig Tatum got his first hit in a Tides uniform a single that scored Reimold.

Tim Bascom pitched 6.2 innings allowing just 3 hits

Alberto Castillo came on with 2 outs in the top of the 7th and retired the side and sent the Indians down in order in the 8th with 2 strikeouts.  Indians reliever Corey Hamman gave up a single to Robert Andino with one out but got out of the inning when Jeff Salazar hit into a double play.  Frank Mata came in at the top of the 9th for the Tides and gave up a walk but allowed no runs or hits.  In the bottom frame the Indians send up Jean Machi to attempt to save the game and secure the win and it looked like he would do it with ease.  Machi retired both Scott Moore and Nolan Reimold but then gave up a single to Rhyne Hughes who stole 2nd base.  Machi then struck out Brandon Snyder on a wild pitch which went to the backstop and Snyder hustled down the line to first base and Hughes alertly took third base.  Craig Tatum then hit a soft grounder to the right side of the infield that Indians First Baseman Jonathan Van Every bobbled for an error allowing Hughes to score and Tatum to take first base.  Still with two outs the Tides sent Paco Figueroa to the plate as the crowd chanted “Go Paco Go!” and on the first pitch Paco hit a sinking line drive that looked as if it would fall for a hit that would score Snyder. Instead Tides fans hopes were dashed for the inning when Right Fielder Mitch Jones made a sliding catch to end the inning.

Armando Gabino notched his 7th win of the season against no losses

The game entered extra innings and the Tides brought in Armando Gabino to pitch in the 10th inning.  Gabino who has been rock solid and the undiscovered gem of the Tides bullpen blew the Indians down in order in the top of the 10th inning.  In the bottom half of the inning the Tides threatened with Robert Andino and Scott Moore on 2nd and third with 2 outs Nolan Reimold plastered a deep fly ball to left which was caught near the warning track by outfielder Kevin Melillo for the 3rd out.

Gabino gave up a hit in the top of the 11th but pitched out of the inning to keep the score tied at two.  In the bottom half of the 11th and reliever Brian Bass came was sent to the hill by the Indians.  He retired Reimold and Snyder before giving up a walk to Craig Tatum.  With each inning the cheering of the crowd had been getting louder and Paco Figueroa came to the plate with fans chanting “Go Paco Go!”  Figueroa worked the count full Figueroa hit a deep drive to the warning track that went for a double, scored Tatum and ended the game.  The atmosphere in the park was electric as the Tides ran onto the field to congratulate Figueroa and fans standing and cheering.

Armando Gabino (7-0, S2 2.18 ERA) got the win and Bass (2-3 4.11 ERA) the loss. The Indians had 2 runs on 5 hits with 1 error leaving 6 men stranded. The Tides 3 runs on 6 hits with no errors stranding 10.  The teams meet tonight with Zach Britton (1-1 2.28 ERA) pitching for the Tides and Charlie Morton (3-4 4.82ERA) on the hill for the Indians.

In personnel moves the Orioles called up Josh Bell to replace Miguell Tejada who was traded to the Padres. Troy Patton was called up to replace Will Ohman who was traded to Florida for minor league reliever Rick Vanden Hurk with Vanden Hurk being assigned to the Tides.

I’m on the way to the ballpark on a soggy Sunday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Take Down Yankees 8-6, Bell and Reimold Homer

Nolan Reimold homered and had a double on Wednesday

There was no pitcher’s duel in Scranton on Wednesday as the Norfolk Tides slugged it out with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees 8-6 in a game that each team had 14 hits.  Starting pitcher Troy Patton pitched well enough to get the win and unlike many of his early season appearances had good hitting support. Patton gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5.2 innings work before being relieved with 2 outs in the 6th inning by Pat Egan. One of the charged runs to Patton scored on a single hit by Kevin Russo off of Egan.  The Yankees’ starter David Phelps last only 3 innings giving up 5 runs on 7 hits.  Kei Igawa came in the 4th inning for the Yankees and lasted 3 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits.  Mark Melancon gave up the 8th run allowed by the Yankees in two innings work.  Tides relievers Frank Mata and Denis Sarfate each gave up a run in the final innings with Sarfate facing 7 batters and throwing 34 pitches to get through the inning.

The Tides took an early 2-0 lead on walks given up to Robert Andino and Jeff Salazar with Andino scoring on a Josh Bell single and Salazar scoring on a double by Nolan Reimold.  The Yankees got back one of those runs in the bottom of the inning when Kevin Russo singled to lead off the inning and scored on a double by Eric Bruntlett.  The Tides then struck hard in the 3rd inning when Jeff Salazar doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a 2 run home run by Josh Bell. Bell was followed by Nolan Reimold who also homered to give the Tides a 5-1 lead.  The Tides scored two more in the top of the 5th inning when Reimold walked, Rhyne Hughes singled and Brandon Snyder doubled to drive in both runners.  Scranton picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning when Reid Gorecki doubled and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Eric Bruntlett.  In the bottom of the 6th the Yankees finally got to Patton. Chad Tracy doubled and with two outs was driven in on a Chad Huffman single. Reegie Corona singled and Patton walked Gorecki to load the bases. Patton was pulled for Pat Egan who gave up a single to Kevin Russo which scored Huffman before getting Eric Bruntlett to ground into a force play. The Tides scored their final run when Josh Bell singled, Nolan Reimold walked and Rhyne Hughes singled to score Bell.

Denis Sarfate got his 13th save

Frank Mata came into the game in the 8th inning and once again struggled lasting only two thirds of an inning giving up a run on three singles and a walk and loading the bases before the Tides brought in Denis Sarfate. Sarfate got Eduardo Nunez to pop-out to Robert Andino to end the inning.  In the bottom half of the 9th Sarfate seemed to struggle giving up 2 singles and a walk before getting the final two batters to end the game.

Patton (7-9 4.80 ERA) got the win and Phelps (1-2 3.86 ERA) took the loss. Denis Sarfate notched his 13th save.  The Tides had 8 runs on 14 hits with no errors leaving 9 men on base. The Yankees 6 runs on 14 hits with no errors leaving 12 men on. The teams meet tonight with Chris Tillman back on the hill for the Tides facing Jason Hirsch.

In personnel moves before the game Jeff Salazar was activated from the DL and catcher Adam Donachie was sent to the single A Frederick Keys.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Drop Opener to Yankees 4-2

Robert Andino hit his 12th home run in the loss

After an exceptionally long game in Allentown, where they once we closing all the factories down the Norfolk Tides loaded up on their bus and traveled to Scranton to play the Yankees.  The game was a low scoring affair with the Tides scoring first in the top of the 2nd inning.  Josh Bell hit a leadoff homer and Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder singled but were stranded on base when Paco Figueroa grounded out to end the inning.  The Yankees score 2 runs in the bottom frame of the inning. Starter Zach Britton walked the leadoff batter and then set down the next two men that he faced. Chad Huffman singled and with Reegie Corona batting Britton made a wild pitch which advanced both runners.  Corona then singled scoring both runners giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.  The Tides tied the score in the top of the 3rd inning when Robert Andino hit his 12th home run of the year.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the 7th and both starters left the game. Britton pitched 5.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits walking 3 while Scranton starter Zach McAllister pitched 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks giving up the home runs to Bell and Andino. With the starters gone the game became the responsibility of the bullpens. The Tides bullpen depleted by the effort against Lehigh Valley on Monday had little left in the bullpen and brought in Cla Meredith who is to put it mildly struggling this year.  On Tuesday he escaped in the 6th after coming in with 2 outs to relief Britton. He walked the first batter that he faced to load the bases before getting ground out to him to end the inning.  In the 7th things went downhill for the former Padres and Orioles reliever.  He retired the first two batters that he faced before giving up a bunt single to Eduardo Nunez.  With Nunez on Meredith faced Chad Tracy who belted Meredith’s first pitch over the right field wall to make the score 4-2.  Following that there were no more runs scored.

Meredith (1-1 8.82 ERA) took the loss and Eric Wordekemper (1-0 3.31 ERA) got the win. Yankees closer Jonathan Albaladejo got his 33rd save of the year striking out 3 of the five Tides batters that he faced. The Tides had 2 runs on 9 hits with no errors leaving 11 men on base and the Yankees 4 runs on 8 hits with no errors leaving 7 runners stranded.  The Tides and Yankees meet again tonight with Troy Patton (6-9 4.72 ERA) on the hill for the Tides facing David Phelps (1-1 2.38 ERA).

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Drop Pair over Weekend to Iron Pigs

Chris George struck out 11 but left with no decision on Sunday

The Norfolk Tides win streak and hitting barrage stopped on Saturday as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs defeated the Tides 6-4 on Saturday and 3-2 on Sunday.  On Saturday Chris Tillman made his first start since returning from Baltimore and was hit hard giving up 6 run on 8 hits.  Chris was stung by the long ball giving up a solo shot to John Mayberry in the 2nd inning and a two run homer to Ozzie Smith Chavez in the 3rd inning.  In the 4th inning Tillman gave up a double and three singles before being pulled in favor of Mike Hinckley.  Tillman left the game and relievers Mike Hinckley and Cla Meredith held the Iron Pigs scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Matt Angle has made a lot of money for the Tides as the lead off hitter and leading base stealer

The Tides scored four runs the first coming in the 1st inning when Matt Angle helped manufacture a run by walking, stealing second base and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Michael Aubrey. The Tides came up with nothing more until the 6th inning when Robert Andino singled and stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Lehigh Valley starter Nate Bump.  He scored on a single by Josh Bell.  Nolan Reimold singled and Michael Schwimer replaced Nate Bump. Schwimer threw a wild pitch and which allowed Bell and Reimold to advance.  Brandon Snyder singled to score both men before Schwimer struck out Adam Donachie swinging to end the inning.  The Tides went quietly in the last three innings and the Tides went down to a 6-4 defeat. Chris Tillman (8-5 3.14 ERA) got the loss and Nate Bump (8-4 3.33 ERA) the win.  The Tides had 4 runs on 9 hits with 1 error leaving 4 men on base. The Iron Pigs 6 runs on 11 hits and no errors leaving 6 runners stranded.

Sunday evenings game Chris George faced off against Drew Carpenter. The Tides struck first with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd inning when Michel Hernandez singled and stole second base and came home on a Matt Angle single with Angle advancing to second on the throw.  Robert Andino singled to drive in Angle and the Tides had a 2-0 lead.

Chris George pitched five scoreless innings before giving up 2 runs in the 6th inning.  He allowed 9 hits but struck out 11 Iron Pigs and walked none.  Chris gave up the runs on a single by John Mayberry a double by Chris Aguila which scored Mayberry and an RBI single to Neil Sellers.  Chris would yield in the 7th to Alberto Castillo who put the Iron Pigs down in order striking out 2 batters.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 8th inning. Frank Mata who has not been effective since his return from Baltimore walked Mayberry who stole second base and took third on a wild pitch by Mata. Neil Sellers singled to bring Mayberry home before Mata retired the side on a double play. The Tides went down in order in the 9th and to their second defeat in as many days.  Mata (2-2 3.52 ERA) took the loss while reliever Michael Stutes (2-0 3.63 ERA) got the win for the Chiefs with Antonio Bastardo got his 3rd save.  The Tides had 2 runs on 9 hits with 1 error and left 10 men on base.  The Iron Pigs 3 runs on 10 hits and 1 error with 8 men left on base.

These losses have hurt as the Iron Pigs are one of the weaker teams in the league and the Tides had a chance to gain ground or keep even with their Southern Division rivals.  They lead Gwinnett by 1.5 games and trail 2nd place Charlotte by 4.  The formidable and seemingly unstoppable Durham Bulls are up by 10 over the Knights and 14 over the Tides.  The teams will meet Monday with Tim Bascom (2-5 7.39 ERA) on the hill for the Tides while Joe Savery (1-8 5.01 ERA) starts for Lehigh Valley.

In Baltimore Matt Wieters returned to the lineup from the DL and the Orioles optioned catcher Craig Tatum to the Tides. The move is unpopular with many Orioles fans as Tatum is hitting .271 and has played well behind the plate. Kam Mickolio, Brandon Erbe and Jeff Salazar remain on the Tides Disabled List.

Until tomorrow my friends, peace,

Padre Steve+

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