Once again a Tides pitcher pitched a great game and the team played great defense and once again the Norfolk Tides lost to the Durham Bulls, the 6th loss in the last 6 games to the IL South Champion Bulls. Troy Patton only gave up only 4 hits and three walks striking out 7 but gave up one earned run in the 4th inning when Justin Ruggiano led off with a single. Troy then hit both Chris Richard and Rocco Baldelli trying to pitch them in to load the bases. Dioner Navarro then hit a sacrifice fly to score Ruggiano for the only run of the game. Troy would complete 6.1 innings and had the Tides been able to produce runs would have likely had won the game.
The Tides had a chance in the 2nd inning when Nolan Reimold singled and was cut down at the plate trying to score from first on a Lou Montanez double. The Tides left two men aboard in the top of the 5th and scattered others throughout the game but could not plate a runner. Bulls’ starter Richard De Los Santos pitched 6.2 innings giving up 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4 Tides. The relief pitchers for both teams shut down the other team and the game ended with Durham winning 1-0. De Los Santos (15-5 3.42 ERA) got the win and Patton (7-11 4.67 ERA) took the loss while Winston Abreu notched his 21st save. The Bulls had 1 run on 6 hits and 2 errors leaving 7 men on base. The Tides had no runs on 6 hits and no errors leaving 7 runners stranded. Once again it was a case of the Bulls taking advantage of opponent’s mistakes, in this case the two hit batters in the 4th to get the win.
Both Troy Patton and Pat Egan pitched very well allowing only the 1 run and 6 hits between them. Both pitchers have pitched well recently but have not gotten the breaks, sometimes due to errors in the field by Tides players or by a lack of hitting as was the case Tuesday.
On Wednesday Zach Britton pitched a strong six innings to get a win over the Bulls aided by some good hitting, especially a grand slam home run in the 2nd inning by Blake Davis. It looked early like Britton might be off to a rough outing after giving up a two out single to Justin Ruggiano and home run to Chris Richard giving a the Bulls an early 2-0 lead. That lead disappeared in the second when the Tides scored the four runs when Nolan Reimold, Lou Montanez and Brandon Snyder singled to load the bases and Blake Davis in his first at bat after coming off the DL taking Bulls starter Ramon Ortiz yard on the 7th pitch of the at bat. The Tides picked up another run in the top of the 3rd inning when Nolan Reimold doubled to drive Jeff Salazar home. The score would remain 5-2 until the top of the 7th when the Tides scored again with a leadoff walk to Matt Angle followed by singles to Robert Andino and Jeff Salazar, whose hit drove in Angle to give the Tides a 6-2 lead.
Britton and relievers Kam Mickolio, Alberto Castillo and Frank Mata all pitched well giving up just the 2 runs on 9 hits walking 2 and striking out 7. These pitchers all deserved this after the past 6 games where so many of their efforts went unrewarded. Tides hitters uncorked on the Bulls pitching staff with the 6 runs on 12 hits. Lou Montanez and Jeff Salazar both doubled for the Tides but it was Blake Davis’ Grand Slam home run that capped a great night for the Tides who broke a 6 game losing streak to the Bulls, a streak that easily could have been at least a series 4-3 or 3-4 split. Zach Britton (3-3 3.09 ERA) got the win for the Tides and Ramon Ortiz (2-4 4.07 ERA) took the loss for the Bulls.
The Tides road trip continues tomorrow in Charlotte for a 2 game series against the Knights but as of 10:00 AM today the starting pitchers have not been announced. Chris Tillman (10-7 3.29 ERA) will start for the Tides going up against Freddy Dolsi (2-6 5.42 ERA) for the Knights.
In personnel moves Scott Moore suffering a partially collapsed lung was taken to hospital on Tuesday night and is now on the 7 Day DL with Blake Davis being activated. In Chicago the Orioles doubled up the White Sox with Brian Matusz getting the win.