Scott Moore hit his 10th home run his 3rd in 2 days
The Norfolk Tides went down to George to do battle with their long time International League South rival the Gwinnett Braves. In a game that looked like it would be another of their more recent comeback wins after getting behind early in the game. After the Tides took an 8-7 lead the relief staff quite literally let victory “walk away” from them in a 7th inning meltdown where the relievers were strike-zone challenged.
Tim Bascom started for the Tides and Tim got roughed up early and often. In the first inning he gave up a walk and a single which the Braves used to manufacture a run when Freddie Freeman sacrificed Matt Young across the plate. He gave up two more runs in the 2nd inning when on a series of alternating walks and singles Nate McLouth singled to score Joe Thurston and Wilkin Ramirez. In the 3rd inning Barbaro Canizares homered off of Bascom to put the Braves up by a 4-0 count.
Michael Aubrey hit his 18th homer of the year
The Tides offense manufactured 2 runs in the top of the 4th inning when. Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore reached on a force attempt where Braves starter Todd Redmond committed a throwing error attempting to force Reimold out at second. Lou Montanez singled to bring Reimold across the plate and Moore to second. Rhyne Hughes hit into a double play and Moore went to 3rd base. Michel Hernandez singled to bring Moore across to close the gap to 4-2.
However the Braves opened up an even larger lead scoring 3 more runs off of Bascom who allowed consecutive singles to Wilkin Ramirez and Clint Sammons to set the stage for Nate McLouth who homered to make the score 7-2. However the Tides rectified that situation in the top of the 5th scoring 4 runs and in the top of the 6th adding two more. Robert Andino doubled, Michael Aubrey walked and Nolan Reimold singled to load the bases with no outs. After Scott Moore flied out to short center Lou Montanez doubled to score Andino and Aubrey. Michel Hernandez popped up for the second out but Paco Figueroa singled to score Reimold and Montanez to close the gap to 7-6. In the top of the 6th with two outs Nolan Reimold walked and Scott Moore hit his 10th home run of the season to give the Tides their lead of the game.
It was at this point that things walked away from the Tides. Pat Egan had relieved Bascom in the 5th inning and was still pitching in the bottom of the 7th. Egan got Martin Prado to ground out and then gave up singles to Freddie Freeman and Barbaro Canizares. This brought in Jim Hoey who has pitched very well since coming up from double-A Bowie having allowed just three runs in 10.1 innings pitched during 9 appearances. In that time walks have been the bane of him as he has only allowed 3 hits but counting last night 11 walks. Hoey gave up a single to Joe Thurston to load the bases and struck out Luis Bolivar. He then issued a walk to Wilkin Ramirez to score Freeman and a wild pitch which scored Canizares. He then walked Clint Sammons to reload the bases and followed that with a walk to Nate McLouth which scored Thurston. The brought out Bobby Dickerson and Alberto Castillo came in. Castillo walked Matt Young to score Ramirez before he struck out Willie Cabrera to end the inning with the Tides having lost their lead training by a score of 11-8.
In the 8th Michael Aubrey hit a solo home run, his 18th of the year with two outs to make the score 11-9. In the 9th Scott Moore had a 2 out double but pinch hitter Jeff Salazar struck out to end the inning and the game with the score Gwinnett 11 and Norfolk 9. Pat Egan (1-1 6.23 ERA) took the loss in relief and Scott Proctor (4-3 7.98 ERA) the win. The Tides had 9 runs on 12 hits with 1 error stranding 8 runners and the Braves 11 runs on 13 hits and an error with 8 left on base. The teams square off tonight with Mike Hinckley (1-3 4.78 ERA) making his first start for the Tides going up against Kenshin Kawakami (0-1, 3.18 ERA) for the G-Braves.
Up in Baltimore a rejuvenated and confident Orioles squad defeated the Seattle Mariners in 11 innings 5-4.
Troy Patton notched his 6th win against the Gwinnett Braves
The Norfolk Tides suffered a bit of a letdown after taking the last three games of their seven game set against Charlotte on Tuesday night losing to the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 9-4. Tides starter Zach Britton (0-1 2.53 ERA) gave up 4 runs, 3 of which were earned on 7 hits while striking out 4 and walking 2. The Tides had 9 hits in the game and collected 5 walks from Braves pitchers but left 9 men on base including 6 left in scoring position the bulk of their runs coming in a 3 run 8th inning but it was not enough as Charlotte hitters dominated Tides pitchers in the first game of their four game series at Cool Ray Field. The Braves were doing the tomahawk chop on Tuesday on the Tides collecting a total of 14 hits while capitalizing on 2 Tides errors and 6 walks. Mike Minor (2-0 1.42 ERA) got the win for the Braves.
Robert Andino went 2 for 4 but had 4 RBIs
On Tuesday night the Tides struck back and struck back hard. Behind excellent pitching of Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) who has continued to get better as the season has worn one and finally is getting run support from the offense. Patton pitched 7 strong innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Walking just 1 and striking out 3. He yielded to Pat Egan who allowed no runs and a hit in the 8th and Denis Sarfate who allowed no hits to close the game in the 9th. The Braves pitching staff on the other hand was smacked down hard by the Tides hitters. Starter Jo Jo Reyes did a good job lasting 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits striking out 8 Tides batters getting out of a number of jams. However the Braves could not spell “relief” and in the 7th inning Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80) was blasted for 6 runs on 4 hits including a two run home run by Nolan Reimold and a double by Rhyne Hughes as well as 2 walks. Gearrin lasted but two-thirds of an inning and was relieved by Scott Proctor. Proctor got the 3rd out but gave up a run on 2 hits in the 8th. Vladimir Nunez came on in the 9th and surrendered another run before getting out of the inning.
Nolan Reimold got his 5th Home run
Besides the Tides pitching the story was the hitting of the Tides. The Tides relentlessly pounded out 17 hits in the game in scoring the 10 runs. For the first time that I can remember every Tides batter had a hit and a good number multiple hits. Matt Angle went 3 for 4, Robert Andino 2-4 with 4 RBIs, Rhyne Hughes 2-5 with an RBI, Adam Donachie 3-3 with an RBI and Jonny Tucker 3-4 with 3 RBIs. Nolan Reimold had a single hit the home run while Paco Figueroa and Blake Davis each picked up hits.
The Tides scored twice in the 3rd inning on a series of singles, but the big damage came in the 7th inning against Cory Gearrin. Jonny Tucker walked and went to third on a wild pitch. Matt Angle walked and was followed by Robert Andino who singled to score Tucker. Michael Aubrey came to the plate and singled to score both Angle and Andino taking 2nd on an error by Center Fielder Jordan Schafer. This brought up Nolan Reimold who belted a home run to left field scoring him and Aubrey. Rhyne Hughes then doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Donachie. Tucker doubled to lead off the 8th inning advanced to 3rd on a Matt Angle single and score on a sacrifice fly by Robert Andino. In the 9th inning Adam Donachie doubled and scored on a single by Blake Davis.
All told Troy Patton (6-8 4.67 ERA) got the win, Cory Gearrin (0-4 4.80 ERA) got the loss. The Tides had 10 runs on 17 hits and committed 2 errors leaving 8 men stranded. The Braves had just 2 runs on 5 hits and an error leaving 5 men on base. The Tides travelled to Durham where tonight they face the division leading Bulls with Zach Clark (0-3 3.06 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Richard D. De Los Santos (6-4 4.20 ERA) pitching for the Braves.
Chris George was reassigned to AA Bowie and former Tides reliever Ross Wolf who had been traded last month to the A’s AAA farm team the Sacramento River Cats had his contract purchased by the A’s and is now on that major league club. All the best to Ross in Oakland. Brandon Erbe, Kam Mickolio and Brandon Snyder all remain on the disabled list.
Until the next time,
Errors and unearned runs have been the bane of the Norfolk Tides this year. On a beautiful night in from of 3292 fans the Tides lost a game despite excellent pitching for their starting pitcher on an unearned run. Last night the Tides lost 4-3 to the Braves but gave up three unearned runs and tonight the Braves scored the deciding run on a throwing error by Tides Second Baseman Scott Moore to first. Tides starter Alfredo Simon pitched a solid game surrendering just one earned run in the first inning on a little twisting fly ball that was knocked down by the wind and fell in front of Jonathan Tucker by Brent Clevlen which scored Matt Young. Simon would give up just that one earned run on 7 hits with 5 strike outs in the loss. Simon had an excellent night continues his solid performance for the Tides and might wind up with a mid or late season call up.
For the second night in a row the Tides gave up three errors. Some of this is due to players like Moore playing out of position. Moore had not played the middle infield before this season and obviously has not adjusted to it. Of course he is there because Justin Turner was called up to Baltimore when Brian Roberts was injured.
Gwinnett was the beneficiary of an outstanding start by Todd Redmond who pitched 7.1 innings giving up one earned run on 6 hits with 4 strike outs. Scott Proctor got the two outs in the 8th and Craig Kimbrel got his third save of the year taking the Tides down in order in the ninth.
Joey Gathright grounding out to third. Gathright went 0-4 in Tuesday’s game
The Tides woes at the plate continued Joey Gathright, Scott Moore and Brandon Snyder all were hitless in 4 trips to the plate each. Robert Andino doubled deep to left center with 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth to drive in Adam Donachie.
Robert Andino getting one of his two hits, a single
The loss drops the Tides to 4 and 9. The anemic Tides hitting has driven the team batting average to .230 which is third from the bottom in the International League and their team on base percentage is a miserable .304. In 13 games the Tides have given up 68 runs on 131 hits while scoring 55 runs on 99 hits.
Jeff Salazar doubled in the bottom of the 8th to drive in the only Tides run
Now the Tides have already felt the ripple effect of the glut of injuries at Baltimore. Lou Montanez, Justin Turner and Kam Mickolio have all replaced injured O’s and Tides Alberto Castillo was brought up when Brad Bergeson was optioned to Norfolk. The talk is that if Bergeson can get his sinker and confidence back that he may go back up to Baltimore on May 1st to face the Red Sox. If he is not ready the belief is that Tides starter Jake Arrieta who is not on the 40 man roster could make his major league debut on that day. In one other personnel move Blake Davis was promoted to the Tides from AA Bowie.
Although the season is very early it appears that the depth, talent and youth of the Tampa Bay Rays organization is paying off big for their International League affiliate the Durham Bulls. The bulls lead the league in almost every offensive category. Durham’s pitching is solid giving up only 4 earned runs on 95 hits. In the past four games the Bulls have produced 39 runs compared with 5 by their opponents. When one looks at the Rays and the Bulls it is clear that unless both are hit with a ton of injuries that the Rays could challenge the Yankees in the AL East and the Bulls could well repeat as the Governor’s Cup Champion.
On Wednesday the Tides will send Troy Patton (0-2 11.12 ERA) against the Braves’ Ryne Reynoso (0-2 6.30) The weather might be on the soupy side with temperatures in the 60s and 50s and a 50% chance of rain showers. I’ll be there and hope that you are too!