Alfredo Simon (shown at Harbor Park) got his first win for the Tides
The Norfolk Tides began their first road trip of the year in Durham tonight defeat the Bulls 6-4 as I listened to the game on ESPN Radio 94.1 while doing my taxes. I love listening to a well called game on the radio as I can imagine what is going on and find it more enjoyable than watching on television. When I was a young I was always mesmerized by the legendary Dodger’s announcer Vin Scully even though his is in the employ of Satan’s Major League franchise. What can I say I’m a Giants fan? Stone me with heavy stones. Anyway I digress.
Tonight I listened to Tides announcer Bob Socci call the game against the Bulls as on Jackie Robinson Day I waited as is my custom to e-file my Federal Taxes 2 hours before the midnight deadline. The Tides jumped off to an early first inning lead when Bulls starter Jeff Bennett surrendered walks to Joey Gathright and Jeff Salazar on 8 consecutive pitches and was removed from the game with an injury. Brian Baker came in to relieve Bennett and gave up a double to Lou Montanez which scored Gathright and advanced Salazar to third. Scott Moore singled to Center to drive in Salazar and advance Montanez to third. Bulls Catcher Alvin Colina allowed a passed ball which scored Montanez and the Tides led 3-0. Baker the retired Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell to pop out but Baker then allowed a double to left by former Bull Rhyne Hughes doubled to drive in scoring Scott Moore before Baker got Robert Andino to pop out to Second Baseman Joe Dillon. In the bottom half of the first Tides starting pitcher Alfredo Simon allowed two hits but stuck out two before getting ground out to Tides Third Baseman Brandon Snyder.
The Tides went down in order to Baker in the second and Alfredo Simon surrendered a single to Angel Chavez before getting Chavez on a force play at second. The Third inning was equally uneventful as in the top of the third Lou Montanez reached first on a base on balls. Scott Moore then flied out to left and Brandon Snyder hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the Tides at bat. Durham picked up a run in the third when Elliott Johnson got a bunt single and advanced to second when Rashad Eldridge grounded out to the pitcher Simon. Justin Ruggiano flied out but John reached third on a wild pitch from Simon. Hank Blalock then picked up an infield single to second scoring Johnson before Joe Dillon popped out to Brandon Snyder at first to end the inning.
Rhyne Hughes doubled with one out in the fourth but the Tides failed to bring him home as Robert Andino flied to left and Adam Donachie struck out swinging. Durham picked up a second run when Dan Johnson homered to right. Simon would get the next three Bulls in order to end the inning.
The Tides threatened in the top of the fifth. Joey Gathright walked; Jeff Salazar struck out swinging which brought about a pitching change for the Bulls. Richard De Los Santos relieved Baker and got Lou Montanez to0 ground out to short but Gathright advanced to second. He would reach third when De Los Santos threw a wild pitch; however Gathright would advance no further as Scott Moore struck out swinging. The Bulls did nothing in the bottom of the fifth; Simon gave up a walk to Justin Ruggiano but nothing else. The Tides added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Brandon Snyder got a leadoff single but it looked like De Los Santos was going to get out of the inning when he got Josh Bell to line out to center and Rhyne Hughes to ground out advancing Snyder to second. Robert Andino then tripled to drive in Hughes and was driven home on an Adam Donachie single to left. Joey Gathright singled to third but Donachie allowed himself to get caught between second and third and was tagged out by Shortstop Angel Chavez. Simon put the Bulls down in order in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tides went quietly in the seventh although Scott Moore reached first on a walk allowed by De Los Santos. Chris George then came into the game for the Tides. The Bulls left two on base in the bottom of the seventh on a Tides error and a base on balls. Both the Tides and the Bulls went down in order in the eighth inning.
The Tides threatened in the top of the ninth. Adam Donachie walked to start the inning and moved to second when Joey Gathright grounded out to catcher Adam Colina. Jeff Salazar collected a single to right which sent Donachie to third. Durham then brought Heath Rollins into the game and after Salazar stole second Rollins got Lou Montanez to ground out with Joe Dillon holding Donachie at third. Scott Moore went down swinging to end the inning ending the Tides threat. The call was a check swing which third base umpire Manny Gonzalez said that Moore had gone around on. Scott said something to Gonzales most likely questioning Gonzalez’s parentage or something that he does in the privacy of his bedroom and was ejected from the game.
The Bulls made interesting in the bottom of the ninth. The Tides brought in Frank Mata to close the game and Jonathan Tucker came in for the ejected Moore at second. Chris Richard led off the inning getting on when Tucker committed a fielding error. Mata then got Angel Chavez to fly out to left and Alvin Colina to ground out to third with Richard advancing to second. Elliott Johnson singled to right sending Chavez to third and then stole second. Rashad Eldridge walked to load the bases and Justin Ruggiano singled to drive in Chavez. With the bases still loaded and the Bulls down by three Tides closer Alberto Castillo relieved Mata. Hank Blalock singled to left scoring Johnson however with the home crowd cheering Joe Dillon flied out deep to left when Lou Montanez caught the ball at the foot of Durham’s 32 foot “Blue Monster.”
The Tides had 6 runs on 9 hits with 2 errors and the Bulls 4 runs on 9 hits and no errors. Alfredo Simon got his first win of the 2010 season and Jeff Bennett lost his second. Alberto Castillo got his second save of the season. Rhyne Hughes led the attack for the Tides with 2 doubles and an RBI his 7th of the season. The teams will meet tomorrow with Troy Patton scheduled to pitch for the Tides. As of now the Bulls pitcher is not announced. With the win the Tides improve to 4-4 evening their record. Tomorrow I am on duty at the medical center so I probably will not get much of a chance to listen to the Tides but do expect to file some report on the game.