Michael Aubrey has been locked on of late and tonight against the Syracuse Chiefs he continued his recent rampage. In the past 6 games he has hit 7 home runs and driven in 16 RBIs. In the past 10 games he has a .314 batting average a .395 on base percentage and an astronomical .971 slugging percentage. After having struggled through much of the first half of the season battling injury and his mechanics the Tides slugger who hit .290 for the Tides last year and .289 for the Orioles as a September call up and before the terrible decision to sign Garrett Atkins in the off season was expected to be the Orioles starting First Baseman but instead was sent back to Norfolk. Michael Aubrey is locked on like no one in a Tides uniform that I have seen in recent years.
Meanwhile on that little hill in the middle of the Diamond Armando Gabino (6-0, S2 2.34 ERA) continues to rack up wins as a spot starter for the Tides tonight getting the win pitching 6 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits surrendering 2 walks and striking out 7 before yielding to some rather inadequate relief pitching by Pat Egan, Jim Hoey and Frank Mata. The trio of relievers combined to allow 6 runs on 7 hits and surrendered 4 walks to make the game a lot closer than it needed to be. The biggest disappointment continues to be Pat Egan who gave up 3 of those runs on 5 hits and a walk. Egan’s ERA is now 8.18 and in 11 innings work has given up 20 hits and 10 runs. He seems to have no movement on his pitches and every time that I have seen him he has been tattooed by opposing hitters.
The Tides hitters led by Aubrey lit up Chiefs pitchers beginning in the first inning where after singles by Robert Andino and Joey Gathright Nolan Reimold walked to load the bases for Michael Aubrey who plastered a pitch by Chiefs starter Jason Jones (1-5 6.21 ERA) over the right field wall for a grand slam home run and fast 4-0 lead. The Tides added another run after Paco Figueroa doubled and was driven home on a Michel Hernandez single. In the 2nd inning Matt Angle scored on a Nolan Reimold single. In the 4th inning the Tides extended their lead to 9-0 when Robert Andino hit his 11th home run with one out followed by a two run shot by Michael Aubrey. The Tides scored their final run in the bottom of the 7th when Jonathan Tucker and Joey Gathright singled off of reliever Josh Wilkie. Robert Andino singled to score Tucker and Gathright was thrown out at third to end the inning.
In the 5th inning Gabino made his only mistake when he gave up a home run to Luis Ordaz. Gabino left after completing the 6th inning and was relieved by Pat Egan who allowed 2 runs in the 7th and another in the 8th before yielding to Jim Hoey with one out in the 8th. Hoey put down the Chiefs’ threat in the 8th but walked two and was replaced by Frank Mata making his first appearance since being optioned back to the Tides. Mata was shaky in his return allowing a double and a single as well as giving up two wild pitches scoring both of the runs charged to Hoey and one of his own before striking out Justin Maxwell to end the game.
Gabino got the win his 6th of the year and Jason Jones the loss. The Chiefs had 7 runs on 9 hits with no errors leaving 7 on base while the Tides had 10 runs on 13 hits and no errors stranding 8 runners. Four Tides Gathright, Andino, Aubrey and Tucker had multiple hits and Aubrey was responsible for 6 of the Tides 10 runs.
The game would be the last for Joey Gathright in a Tides uniform as he was released today. Joey is a class individual and was well liked in Norfolk. In 2009 he hit .325 with 106 hits for the Tides before being traded to the Red Sox in September. He returned to the Tides this year and was not the same spending time on the DL. It was a disappointing and frustrating time for Joey but he conducted himself with a great deal of poise and grace even when struggling. He left on a good note going 2 for 3 with a run scored. I hope that someone picks up the 29 year old Gathright and wish him well. Zack Clark was assigned from the Tides to single A Frederick and Troy Patton called up to Baltimore to sit in the bullpen on the 21st was optioned back to the Tides following the O’s game against Tampa.
Well my friends, we’ll have more in my next post about Thursday afternoon’s series finale.