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Tides Win in Durham 6-4

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.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Fall to Durham 3-2 Split Series with Bulls

Troy Patton pitched well but not well enough getting the loss

The Norfolk Tides nearly pulled off a comeback but fell short on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 4320 on a beautiful April day at Harbor Park. With the sun shining and a light breeze the conditions were ideal for a ball game.  Troy Patton faced Durham’s Virgil Vasquez in a pitching duel.  Patton pitched well giving up only 2 hits but gave up 3 walks which ultimately were decisive in the Bull’s win.

A beautiful day for a ball game

After a scoreless first inning Patton gave up a walk to Ryan Shealy to lead off the inning which was followed by what appeared to be a routine fly ball to right off the bat of Joe Dillon was dropped by right fielder Rhyne Hughes which advanced Shealy to third and allowed Dillon aboard.  Shealy scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Angel Chavez before Patton retired the side.  The Tides went down in order in the bottom half of the second and Patton returned the favor against the Bulls in the third.

The Tides had their first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third when Rhyne Hughes doubled to left with one out. Adam Donachie walked and the Tides had two on with only one out.  Joey Gathright grounded into a force out with Hughes being out at third. The inning ended on a force out on a ground ball by Robert Andino.

Scott Moore got his first and the Tides first home run of the season

In the fourth inning Patton shut down the Bulls despite allowing a double to Joe Dillon.  Scott Moore hammered a deep home run to right in the bottom of the fourth off Vasquez to tie the game.  Moor who was injured early in 2009 after a strong start appears to have  returned with a vengeance in 2010.

The fifth inning was Durham’s chance to give up what appeared to be an excellent scoring opportunity when Angel Chavez tripled to center when Joey Gathright attempted a diving catch on a dying line drive. The ball got by Gathright and rolled to deep center where Hughes recovered it and delivered it back to the infield.  Patton then bore down on the bulls, striking out Alvin Colina, got Elliott Johnson to fly out softly to shallow right and then to get Fernando Perez to ground out to third on a nice diving stop and throw by Josh Bell.  The Tides then squandered an opportunity in the bottom of the fifth when Michael Aubrey slammed a leadoff double off Vasquez but Hughes flied out while Donachie and Gathright both popped out to end the inning.

Frustration a swing and a miss by Robert Andino

Patton came back out in the top of the sixth but appeared to be tiring. After striking out Rashad Eldridge Patton walked Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Shealy.  Ross Wolf came in to relieve Patton and gave up a double to Joe Dillon which scored Ruggiano. With runners on second and third Chris Richard who had homered Saturday night off of Chris George was given an intentional pass to load the bases to set up the potential double play.  Angel Chavez then sacrificed to right scoring Shealy.  Wolf retired Alvin Colina on a fly to centerfielder Joey Gathright. In the bottom of the inning Scott Moore doubled with 2 outs which resulted in Vasquez being pulled for veteran reliever and former Texas Ranger Joaquin Benoit. Benoit who missed the entire 2009 season after having surgery on a torn rotator cuff was picked up by Tampa Bay in the off season.  Benoit struck out Tides clean up man Brandon Snyder to end the inning.

Wolf held the line in the top of the seventh allowing a two out single to Rashad Eldridge but no runs and Benoit shut down the Tides in order in the bottom half of the inning. Wolf sent the Bulls down in order in the eighth and Winston Abreu came into the game to send the Tides down in order in the bottom half of the inning.

Frank Mata who got the Tides first win of the season Friday came on for the Tides in the 9th getting Angel Chavez, Alvin Colina and Elliott Johnson all to ground out to shortstop Robert Andino.  The Tides finally got something going in the bottom of the ninth.  Lou Montanez and Scott Moore began the inning with consecutive singles.  Brandon Snyder grounded into a force out where Montanez was out at third. Still with runners on first and second the Tides still appeared to be rallying but Josh Bell also hit into a force and Snyder was out at second.  With runners on first and third Michael Aubrey collected his second hit of the day a single to center which scored Moore.  Rhyne Hughes walked and with the ides left 7 runners on base but had 10 in scoring position and only drove one in.  It was a bad day for Tides hitting in that they could not put hits together in key situations with runners in scoring position although they outhit the Bulls 7-4.  It was the walks as well as the error by Hughes that gave the Bulls the winning margin.

One Monday the Charlotte Knights, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox come into town for a three game series at Harbor Park.  Brandon Erbe will make his AAA debut for the Tides and Dan Hudson a Virginia Beach native who attended Princess Anne High School and Old Dominion University comes home to make his first appearance at Harbor Park.  The game begins at 7:15 the weather is expected to be clear but cool with temperatures in the high 60s at game time and falling off during the evening. See you there.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Crush Bulls 12-3 with a 14 Hit Barrage

Alfredo Simon gets his first Norfolk Start of 2010

On a great night for baseball the Norfolk Tides lit up the night against their nemesis the 2009 Governor’s Cup champion Durham Bulls.  After splitting the first two games in this opening series between the teams the Tides combined outstanding pitching with an offensive display not seen since June of 2009.

Steven Lerud gets out of the way of a David Bennett pitch before walking in the 3rd inning

The Tides attack was led by First Baseman Brandon Snyder who went 2 for 5 and had 3 RBIs two of which came on a 7th inning double and Shortstop Robert Andino who cleared waivers from Baltimore and went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs.  Left Fielder Lou Montanez drove in 2 as did Right Fielder and former Bull Rhyne Hughes.  Center Fielder Joey Gathright got his first two hits of the season a single and a double and scored two runs.

Chris George got his first win of the 2010 Season

Tides’ pitching was led by newly acquired Alfredo Simon who pitched three innings allowing 3 hits and no runs and was pulled when he reached his pitch count striking out three. Chris George came into the game in relief of Simon in the 4th inning. George gave up 3 runs in 3.2 innings giving up a home run to Chris Richard in the 4th.  He would be relieved by Kam Mickolio in the bottom of the 7th. Mickolio pitched one and an third giving up a hit and two walks.  Dennis Sarfate took down the Bulls in order during the 9th.

The Bulls did not fare so well. Starting pitcher David Bennett went six innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits. He would be relieved in the 7th by Richard De Los Santos who was hammered for 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.

The Tides began their barrage scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the third after Bennett had gotten the first two Tides out. It began with a four pitch walk to catcher Steven Lerud and followed by a “merry-go-round” on the base paths with Joey Gathright, Robert Andino, Lou Montanez, Scott Moore, Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell all getting base hits before Michael Aubrey grounded out to end the inning.

Brandon Snyder doubles in the 7th

Durham would pick up one on Richard’s home run in the 4th, another in the 5th and a final run in the 7th off of George. Not to be outdone the Tides scored one in the bottom of the sixth when Rhyne Hughes grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive in Brandon Snyder off of Bennett.  In the 7th Norfolk picked up two more runs when Joey Gathright doubled off of De Los Santos, Scott Moore was intentionally walked and Brandon Snyder doubled deep to right field driving in both Gathright and Moore before being gunned down at third by Bulls Second Baseman Elliott Johnson on the relay from right.

Kam Mickolio gets Alvin Colina swinging in the 7th

After shutting down Durham in the top of the 8th the Tides run machine began again when Josh Bell led off with a double to right and driven in by a Rhyne Hughes single.  With Hughes on and one out Steven Lerud picked up his second walk and following a strike out to Joey Gathright Robert Andino doubled to score both Hughes and Lerud. De Los Santos threw a wild pitch which advanced Andino to third and then gave up a single to Montanez to drive home Andino while Scott Moore struck out to end the inning.

Dennis Sarfate gets Rashad Eldridge swinging to end the game

Dennis Sarfate came on in the ninth to close the game out in a non-save situation. He got Elliott Johnson to ground out and then struck out both Fernando Perez and Rashad Eldridge.  Sarfate showed no sign of the injury which plagued him in 2008 and 2009 throwing hard with 9 strikes on 13 pitches. Most of his pitches were above 94 miles an hour with one registering 98 on the scoreboard radar. His only off speed pitch was the final pitch of the game where he pulled up with an 82 mile an hour change up which Eldridge missed badly.

Chris George picked up the win and Bennett the loss.  The teams will complete this series on 1:15 PM Sunday at Harbor Park with Brandon Erbe making his Tides debut against Durham’s Virgil Vasquez. The weather is expected to be great with a temperature of 71 at game time and clear skies. See you there.

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