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.
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,