The Norfolk Tides won their 4th game in a row on the road their longest road winning streak of the year against the Gwinnett Braves at Cool Ray Field in Lawrenceville Georgia. Early in the game it did not appear that the Tides would come out in the win column as the Braves scored early against Tides starter Chris George who was victimized, as so many other Tides have been by errors by Shortstop Robert Andino. The Braves scored twice in the second inning on consecutive errors by Andino to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Braves scored again in the 4th inning when Wilkin Ramirez singled and Clint Sammons homered to give the Braves a 4-0 lead. Chris would give up the 2 earned runs on 8 hits in 5 innings work before coming out in favor of Kam Mickolio in the 6th inning. Mickolio pitched two strong innings of relief giving up 1 hit and no runs. During the first 6 innings Braves starter Todd Redmond had the Tides number as he has throughout the year giving up no runs on 5 hits a walk while striking out 8 Tides.
The Tides began their comeback in the top of the 7th against reliever Michael Dunn who had gone 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in the International League and a win with Atlanta before Saturday and this game would be different. Brandon Snyder crushed a pitch by Dunn over the left center field wall to put the Tides on the board and cut the Braves lead to 4-1. Mickolio held the Braves scoreless in the bottom half of the inning and the Tides came back up to the plate in the top of the 8th. In that inning the Tides struck hard. After Matt Angle was put out on a bunt ground ball Robert Andino singled. Jeff Salazar then walked and Braves Manager Dave Brundage decided that Dunn was done bringing in Stephen Marek who in 45 appearances for the Braves had a 2-1 record with a 1.15 ERA but who gave up 2 runs to the Tides and registered his only loss of the season the last time he faced the Tides on August 17th at Harbor Park. Marek got Nolan Reimold to pop up on the infield fly rule but then with Lou Montanez batting Andino and Salazar executed a double steal to put them both in scoring position. Montanez singled to score Andino and Salazar bringing Rhyne Hughes to the plate. On a 1-1 count Hughes homered to right to give the Tides a 5-4 lead.
Frank Mata relieved Mickolio in the bottom of the 8th and put the Braves down in order. The Tides were silent in the 9th inning and the Tides brought Dennis Sarfate into the game to attempt the save. After getting Wilkin Ramirez to pop out and Clint Sammons to ground out Dennis gave up a two out single to Nate McLouth. He then retired Matt Young on a fly ball to left fielder Jeff Salazar to end the game and give the Tides their 4th win of the road trip. Kam Mickolio (4-3 6.32 ERA) got the win for the Tides and Dennis Sarfate got his 18th save. Stephen Marek (2-2 1.51 ERA) took the loss his second to the Tides in 10 days. The Tides had 5 runs on 9 hits and Andino’s two errors stranding 5 runners. The Braves had 4 runs on 10 hits with no errors leaving 7 men on base. The teams will meet Sunday afternoon with Troy Patton (7-11 4.67 ERA) taking the hill for the Tides against Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (2-0 2.67 ERA).
The Orioles transferred Jason Berken from the 15 Day to the 60 Day DL. In Anaheim the Orioles defeated the Angels 5-0 on a strong performance by Kevin Millwood. Former Tide Josh Bell had his 3rd homer of the year a 2 run shot against Angels’ starter Scott Kazmir. Jim Johnson made his first relief appearance since coming off the DL shutting down the Angels in the 9th inning to give the O’s a 2-0 series lead and their 5th win in a row over the Angels.