The Norfolk Tides rolled into Allentown where they once closed the factories down and defeated the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by a score of 8-3 on hot and humid Friday night. The game was delayed twice by rain for a total of delay of an hour and six minutes. Troy Patton started for the Tides and pitched 4 innings allowing only 2 hits and no runs striking out 4 Iron Pigs. He left following the first delay after having faced only 14 batters and throwing only 56 pitches. Leaving in after 4 meant that though the Tides were ahead by a 3-0 score Patton did not figure in the decision.
The Tides struck first scoring 3 runs in the top of the 2nd inning. Josh Bell led off the inning by taking Brian Mazone’s 3 and 2 offering and putting it over the left field wall. Rhyne Hughes was then hit by a pitch and with Brandon Snyder at the plate stole 2nd base. Snyder in the order for the first time since he went on the DL in June took a 2 and 1 offering from Mazone and planted it over the left center field wall. The game would remain 3-0 until the 7th inning. Troy Patton was followed by relievers Pat Egan, Mike Hinckley and Jim Hoey who held the Iron Pigs scoreless allowing only 3 hits.
In the top of the 7th the Tides struck for 3 more runs. Michel Hernandez singled to lead off the inning and Robert Andino walked with 2 out. This brought Michael Aubrey to the plate and Aubrey hit a laser like blast over the right field wall on a 1 ball 1 strike count off Iron Pigs reliever Oscar Villareal over the right field wall. The blast was his 8th home run in the last 8 games, his 14th of the season. In the last 10 games Aubrey is hitting .353 with 8 homers and 21 RBIs and has a slugging percentage of 1.118 which is basically off the chart.
The Tides scored two more runs in the top of the 8th inning. With one out Brandon Snyder doubled off of Mike Zagurski and Michel Hernandez drew a walk. Paco Figueroa singled to right to score Snyder and send Hernandez to 3rd base. This brought Matt “the Right” Angle to the plate and he singled to drive in Hernandez making the score 8-0.
In the bottom of the 8th the Tides brought in Frank Mata in relief. Mata struggled in his first appearance after being optioned back to the Tides from the Orioles and struggled again Friday night. In the 8th he gave up back to back doubles to Domonic Brown and Andy Tracy then hit John Mayberry and walked Chris Aguila to load the bases before getting Neil Sellers and Paul Hoover both to pop and then strike out Brian Bocock to end the inning. Mata returned in the 9th inning and gave up a leadoff double to Chris Duffy and then a one out home run to Domonic Brown. Mata then struck out Andy Tracy and got John Mayberry to fly out to left fielder Nolan Reimold.
Pat Egan (1-0 7.30 ERA) got the win for the Tides and Brian Mazone (5-11 3.97 ERA) got the loss. The Tides scored 8 runs on 12 hits with one error and left 6 men on base. The Iron Pigs had 3 runs on 9 hits with no errors and left 11 runners stranded. The teams meet again tonight with Chris Tillman (8-4 2.72 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Nate Bump (7-4 3.15 ERA) pitching for the Iron Pigs.
In Tides and Orioles personnel moves Brandon Snyder was activated from the DL and Jonathan Tucker sent to AA Bowie to make room for Snyder. Brian Roberts was activated in Baltimore and made his first appearance since being injured in April with the Orioles designating Scott Moore for assignment. Moore was quoted that if he clears waivers he would likely sign to remain in the Orioles organization and come back to the Tides.
In an interesting statistical note the Tides now have 88 home runs compared to a season total of 78 in 2009 and 66 in 2008.
Until the next time,