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Aubrey’s Assault Continues: 2 Home Runs and 6 RBIs in Tides 10-7 Win over Chiefs Gabino Gets 6th Win

Michael Aubrey hits his second of two home runs in the 4th inning

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.

Armando Gabino pitched his way to his 6th victory

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.

Jonathan Tucker scores in the 7th inning

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.

Robert Andino homers in the 4th 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.

Fair Winds and Following Seas…the Tides release Joey Gathright

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.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Padre Steve’s Tides and Orioles Report: A Look at Where we Stand

As the Tides get ready for game three of their four-game set with the Syracuse Chiefs there have been some significant personnel moves which involve both the Tides and their parent organization the Baltimore Orioles.  These moves are probably just the start of moves that might take place prior to the trading deadline at the end of the month.  This is the report that I promised back at the All-Star break

To begin in Baltimore the O’s reinstated closer Mike Gonzalez after the completion of his minor league rehab for a strained left shoulder.  They made room on the 40 man roster by moving relief pitcher Jim Johnson from the 15 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list effectively ending his season.  Johnson has been on the DL since May 28th with right elbow inflammation.  Third Baseman Josh Bell was optioned back to the Tides after going 6 for 19 (.263) in six games for the O’s.  Bell’s return to the Tides will add another strong bat to the order as well as a switch hitter.  On Tuesday the Orioles had optioned Chris Tillman back to the Tides as was reliever Frank Mata on the 19th. While disappointing for these pitchers they are both still on the 40 man roster and their return to the Tides solidifies both the starting rotation as well as the bullpen.

Some Tides are making a difference at Baltimore, especially outfielder Corey Patterson and relief pitcher Alfredo Simon.

In the moves Tides left handed pitcher Troy Patton was recalled to Baltimore after going 6 and 9 with a 4.91 ERA which was 3.44 in the last 18 games. A lot of Troy’s losses came on games where he got no run support or the opposing team was given extra chances through the errors of Tides players.  It the first time that Troy has been at the Major League level since 2007 with Houston.  The move of Patton to Baltimore means that Armando Gabino will be called upon again to make a spot start.

The Tides have 29 players on the roster 3 of which are on the DL so a player will have to be moved to keep the active roster at the 25 man limit.  My recommendation would be Tim Bascom for the time being in order to let his injury heal and to get his confidence back after several outings where he was shelled by the opposition. Pat Egan is another possibility for movement and even potentially Brandon Erbe however I would not want to see that move just yet.  There is the case of Cla Meredith who was sent to Norfolk from the Orioles and cut from the O’s 40 man roster and he has not been effective at all since coming down to Norfolk and my sources tell me that he is extremely frustrated with his situation vice the Orioles.  He could be used to sweeten any deals that the O’s make approaching the trading deadline as I believe that he can be effective at the Major League level despite his struggles here and that a fresh start may be what he needs.  Alberto Castillo has performed adequately with the exception of a couple of bad outings but it is obvious that the 35 year old lefty’s better days are behind him.  Chris George has been solid for the Tides and is good to have in the organization as a left hander and Armando Gabino is the undiscovered gem of the Tides. Gabino has pitched well in starting situations where he is 5-0 and has helped hold the bullpen together in middle to late relief.  Two men that have been up and down between the Tides and Aberdeen which is for all purposes functioning as a taxi squad are relievers Jim Miller and Andy Mitchell.  Both had rough starts to their seasons but have been solid “go to” guys when a starter gets in trouble early in the game and Miller has served well in his natural position of being a closer.  Brandon Erbe has been on the DL and while struggling early has been bereft of run support and as is the case with most of the Tides pitchers victimized by poor defense at critical junctures.  Mike Hinckley appears to have major league stuff but still needs some work as he is inconsistent.  Zack Clark also seems to be solid and except for one bad outing has done well but had almost no run support.  Zack Britton seems to be on the fast track for the majors and I am really impressed by his speed, ball movement and control as well his sense for where he needs to be on the diamond when the ball is in play.  Kam Mickolio has been on the DL much of the year and when he was healthy seemed to struggle. He has major league stuff but something needs to be fine tuned. He has been on the 7 day DL for some time now and since he is on the 40 man roster I wonder if it would not be wise at this point to move him to the 60 day DL if he is not ready in order to free up some room and give him time to heal and get his mechanics right.  He has too much potential just to let go but I wonder about leaving him in the 7 day DL limbo.  Denis Sarfate is another that is overlooked. He has been functioning for the most part as the closer and done well with the exception of one appearance.  He has great stuff with speed, control and good movement throwing in the mid to high 90s with the ability to throw hitters off with an occasional off speed pitch.  Jim Hoey looks to have promise but has not been up long enough to see how he will do in the long run.

Of position players there are a number that have been struggling or injured that might be moved to Aberdeen as a holding measure including Joey Gathright who has not been the same as he was last year when he hit .325 for the Tides.  Joey still hustles and plays hard but there is something in his mechanics that is limiting his effectiveness at the plate.  Nolan Reimold who the Orioles have invested a great deal of hope in is still only hitting .210 after leading the American League rookies in 2009 in home runs. He too had an injury that he does not seem to have bounced back from and suffered from some personal issues that have taken his focus off the game.  He does not seem to have the winning look in his eyes right now and seems to have his head down a lot.  Orioles and Tides fans really want him to succeed so I don’t know what will be the case.  Michael Aubrey has come on strong hitting 5 home runs in the last 6 games while Jeff Salazar, Matt Angle and Rhyne Hughes stay very productive.  Paco Figueroa  and Blake Davis are coming along and Jonathan Tucker shows promise.  Robert Andino has to improve defensively but he has been a clutch hitter with men in scoring position leading the Tides in RBI production.

I think that there are a good number of Tides with major league potential. Of course their disposition depends on what the Orioles do in Baltimore. The trade deadline is approaching and there are a number of players that could be moved whose moves could affect players in Norfolk and Bowie.  In the system the O’s have players that could be used to sweeten deals and would not have to be their big time prospects. We saw this in the move of Ross Wolf to get Jake Fox from Oakland.

The time has come for Andy McPhail and the Orioles to get a new manager, hopefully Buck Showalter and start shedding unproductive or underperforming players at Baltimore and in their minor league system. The teaching of fundamentals at all levels must be reemphasized especially fielding and various reaction drills.  Bobby Dickerson has really done well in changing how the Tides play, there is a lot more heads up play and players that are not on the field seem now to be in the game.  The team is responding to his leadership where maybe they had gotten used to Gary Allenson and did not respond to him as they should have done.

There is work to be done in the Orioles organization and it has to start from the top, a new manager and possibly new hitting and pitching coaches at the major league level. I think that Showalter need to be hired now and not later and that Bobby Dickerson be announced as the manager and not the interim manager of the Tides.

My prediction is that I think that the Tides will finish the season above .500 and I do not see the meltdown of last year happening with this year’s team. I think that they will finish in either second or third place in the division while Durham wins it.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Lose 1-0 to Clippers: Andino’s 20th Error Allows Only Run

Zack Clark pitched very well but took the loss for the Tides

Zack Clark deserved a win on Sunday night but did not get one.  Clark allowed just one run in the 2nd inning a run that very well should not have scored. With runners on first and third with one out and Columbus catcher Lou Marson batting Clark got Marson to hit a ground ball to second base setting up what appeared to be a easy double play that would have ended the inning.  Jonathan Tucker playing his first game at 2nd Base for the Tides made the play and threw cleanly to Shortstop Robert Andino coming across the bag. Andino fumbled the ball, Wes Hodges scored and all runners we safe.  It was Andino’s 20th error of the season a stat that makes him the league leader in errors with only Toledo Shortstop Brent Dlugach being close with 19.  Andino has committed 22% of all errors committed by position players on the Tides this year and in many cases those errors have hurt the team giving the opposition additional opportunities to score runs and frequently torpedoing otherwise excellent pitching performances by Tides starting pitchers.

Rhyne Hughes looks on in disbelief at the umpires explanation after not getting an obvious interference call when attempting to advance to 3rd base

The run was the only run scored in the game. Clark worked his way out of a number of jams as did Alberto Castillo (1-0, S3 4.37 ERA) .  The Clippers got 10 hits, 4 walks and had two runners reach on errors but scored just the one run leaving 8 men on base. The Tides made 3 key double plays which squelched scoring opportunities for the Clippers and both pitchers aided by a strong wind coming in from right field kept the long ball at bay.

Clack picked off Eziquiel Carrera in the top of the 5th inning

While Clark and Castillo kept the Clippers from scoring any more runs the Tides offense was shut down by Clippers starter David Huff who until he jumped the gun on the Indians press department by announcing on Facebook that he would start against Detroit Sunday and because he had broken team policy was kept with the Clippers.  Huff (4-0 3.14 ERA) pitched 7 innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 3 and walking 3 during the game.  The Clippers gave the Tides three gifts in the form of 3 errors but the Tides failed to capitalize and left 6 men on base in a very disappointing night. With the loss the Tides go 3 and 5 against the Clippers for the season.  The Clippers can help Norfolk this week as they play the IL South Division leading Durham Bulls beginning tonight.  The Bulls and Clippers match up well so it should be a good series.

Robert Andino Strikes out in teh bottom of the 8th his 3rd strikeout of the night

The Tides host the Syracuse Chiefs beginning tonight in a 4 game set.  The Chiefs are another outstanding team with the 4th best record in the International League.  Chris George (4-4 4.36 ERA) will take the hill for the Tides and face Jeff Mandel (4-4 4.96 ERA) and though their records are similar George may have the edge as opponents are hitting .255 against him while Mandel’s opponents are .307 against him.  For once as well the Tides match up better offensively in most categories against the Chiefs than their recent opponents while Syracuse has a decided edge in team pitching over the Tides being second in the league in their team ERA. Up at Baltimore the Orioles activated Luke Scott from the DL and optioned reliever Frank Mata back to Norfolk.  Mata who did well for the Tides was roughed up on a number of occasions in pitching 17.1 innings in 15 games with a record of 0-0 and ERA of 7.79.  He allowed just 1 run in his first 7 appearances after being called up on May 26th but in his past 4 games in 5.1 innings has given up 8 earned runs.  Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez remains with the Tides on a rehab assignment after Gonzalez’s extended time on the DL.  Kam Mickolio, Brandon Erbe and Brandon Snyder remain on the DL for the Tides. It should be an interesting series.

Peace, Padre Steve+

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Britton and Tides Shut Out Clippers 4-0 while Aubrey Homers Twice

Zack Britton dominated the Clippers for 7.1 innings

Young Zack Britton stepped on the little hill in the center of the diamond to face the best hitting and top run scoring team in the International League, the Columbus Clippers who even on bad nights have rung up opposing pitchers like telemarketers calling at dinner. Tonight the 22 year old lefty from Panorama City California disconnected those heavy hitting telemarketers for 7.1 innings allowing only 5 hits. He was assisted by Armando Gabino who pitched 1.2 innings allowing just a hit.  It was a dominating performance by both Britton who is rumored to be on the fast track to the Major Leagues with a AAA record of 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and by Gabino who is certainly the most overlooked pitcher in the Orioles system.  By the way Gabino is 5-0 with 2 saves and an ERA of 2.42 and for the year opponents are only hitting .216 against him.

Armando Gabino (5-0, S2, 2.42 ERA) has been the most overlooked pitcher in the Orioles system this year

From where I was I could see the scouts in attendance taking copious notes and paying a lot of attention to both Britton and Gabino. Britton also showed that he sees the entire picture when in the 7th inning following a Josh Rodriguez double created a fielder’s choice which got Rodriguez at 3rd base after a rundown.  The other part of the play after getting the rundown in motion Britton was backing up third base at the end of the play.  Rodriguez was the only Clippers hitter to reach second base and with his elimination the only Clippers threat ended.  The Clippers scattered only 6 hits in the game and received only one walk.

Robert Andino hit his 10th home run and second in the past two days on Saturday

The Tides scored early and while only producing 7 hits were very effective in run production.  Robert Andino hit his 10th home run and second home run in two days in the bottom of the 1st inning.  Michael Aubrey got his 8th home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning Matt Angle reached on an infield single and advanced to 2nd base on a throwing error by Clippers 2nd Baseman Cord Phelps. He went to 3rd base on a Robert Andino single and scored on a sacrifice fly to the right field warning track by Jeff Salazar.   The Tides added a 4th run courtesy of Michael Aubrey who hit his 9th home run and 3rd in the past two days in the bottom of the 4th.

Defensively the Tides played a very solid game committing no errors and turning 3 double plays.

Michael Aubrey “high 5’s” Joey Gathright following his second home run of the evening and third in the past two days

Clippers starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (8-4 2.66 ERA) took the loss giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, three of which were home runs.  Interestingly enough Tomlin has only given up 11 home runs while facing 368 batters in 101 innings. However he has faced Michael Aubrey 5 times this season and given up 3 hits all of the home runs.  I think that Aubrey has Tomlin’s number.  Zack Britton (1-1 1.50 ERA) got the win for the Tides dominating the very powerful Clippers offense.  Armando Gabino (5-0 SV-2 2.42 ERA) picked up his 2nd save showing that he can effectively close games as well as start them or pitch solidly in the middle innings.

In all the Clippers had no runs on 6 hits with 1 error leaving four runners on base while the Tides had 4 runs on 7 hits with no errors stranding 3 runners.  The teams close out this series Sunday at 6:15 with Zack Clark (0-4 5.06 ERA) starting for the Tides against the Clippers David Huff (3-0 4.15 ERA).  The Tides can split their season series of 8 games with the Clippers with a win on Sunday.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Bulls Stomp Tides 11-3 in First Game of Series

Zack Clark was rung up for 6 runs on Thursday

After beating the daylights out of the Gwinnett Braves on Wednesday the Norfolk Tides had the favor repaid by the International League Southern Division leading Durham Bulls who seem to have a penchant for stomping the stuffings out of most of the teams that they play.   Thursday night was a brutal reminder of how deep the Tampa Bay farm system is and what they have in reserve down in Durham.

The Bulls manhandled Tides pitching. Starter Zack Clark (0-4 5.06 ERA) lasted but 3.2 innings giving up 6 runs on 10 hits including a two run home run to Elliott Johnson, 2 doubles to Justin Ruggiano and a double to Chris Richard.  Mike Hinckley came in and pitched 2.1 innings momentarily halting the massacre only giving up 1 run on 3 hits.  The slaughter continued as Cla Meredith who has performed miserably since his demotion from Baltimore gave up 3 runs on 3 hits along with 2 walks in an innings work and saw his Earned Run Average creep back up to 12.91.  Closer Alberto Castillo was tagged for an 8th inning home run by Justin Ruggiano.  Meredith was dropped from the 40 man roster when he was designated for assignment in May by the Orioles and we all hoped that he would recover and do good things and work his way back to the majors.  This has not happened and it is time that the Orioles give him his outright release and bring Chris George or Andy Mitchell back to the Tides lineup.  As for Clark he is still learning at the AAA level, one hopes that he will learn what he needs to from this thumping and not let it affect his next start.  However Clark has been up and down the Orioles minor league system a number of times since being signed in 2006 including 2 prior trips to Norfolk so one has to wonder if Clark has reached his limit.  I do not know if he has but it certainly is a valid question to ask as Clark had played in College before coming into the Baltimore system and while he has a passable career ERA he does not have a history of being a consistent winner.  Castillo only gave up one run but it was a long ball and though only having two really bad outings has not been the same as he was last year.  He is now 35 years old, has been in professional ball 16 years, it is possible that he is running out of gas and no amount of heart and determination will keep you in the game when nothing is left in the tank.  Being an old guy in a young person’s organization I have a soft spot for guys like Castillo that are still plugging away when their best years appear to be behind them, it takes a lot to go out day after day when things hurt and don’t get better quickly and you know that the fastball doesn’t quite have the same zip that it once had the legs tell you that they feel like lead.  I’d like to see Castillo do well and get that one last shot in the majors, a time where the sun can shine upon him in the twilight of his career and he can go out a winner.  Of course I want the same for guys like Chris George who has not had a bad season and even Andy Mitchell who was shifted to the relief role and has had some good outings after a rough start to the season.  George was sent to Bowie and Mitchell appears to be back on the Tides “taxi squad” officially assigned to Aberdeen but apparently with the team.

On the offensive side of the house it looked like the Tides would match up well scoring 3 runs on 3 hits in the top of the 2nd inning, however after the 2nd inning the Tides would muster only 4 more hits.  Michael Aubrey and Jonny Tucker each had doubles while Tucker and Blake Davis each had 2 hits in the game.  The Tides also left 11 men on base which means that they did not capitalize on the hits that they got or the walks and errors committed by Durham.  The teams meet today with Tim Bascom (2-2 5.47 ERA) on the hill for the Tides and Virgil Vasquez (3-0 4.44 ERA) pitching for the Bulls.

Until next time,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Lose 9-4 on Tuesday but Romp Wednesday in 10-2 Win over Braves Patton Gets 6th Win

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,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Honor the Negro Leagues but Lose to Charlotte 2-1 in Pitcher’s Duel

Sam Allen, Thomas Burt and Levi “Champie” Drew unveil the New Negro League Commemorative Stamp

It was another beautiful night for a ball game at the Church of Baseball Harbor Park Parish as 8483 fans gathered to see th3e Charlotte Knights take on the Norfolk Tides.  It was a special night as the Tides honored the Negro Leagues with the unveiling of the new US Postal Service Commemorative Negro League stamp set and with each team wearing replica Negro League uniforms representing the great teams that played in the historic leagues which did so much to help the cause of racial equality in the United States. On hand were Hampton Roads natives and former Negro League players including the great Sam Allen as well as Thomas Burt, Levi “Champie” Drew and Chester Moody. The stamp set which is two 44 cent stamps that when together honor the league as well as Andrew “Rube Foster the founder of the Negro National League and black baseball’s most influential personality who organized the first professional league in Negro Baseball. In 1920 Foster the owner of the Chicago American Giants decided that the time had arrived for a truly organized and stable Negro league. With Foster at the helm the Negro National League was born in Kansas City in 1920.  The league fielded eight teams many of which remain etched in the minds of modern baseball fans and which pioneered professional baseball and which provided the set for future hall of famers and Negro league greats to achieve national prominence and for some to break the racial barriers of Major League Baseball. The teams, the  Chicago American Giants, Chicago Giants, Cuban Stars, Dayton Marcos, Detroit Stars, Indianapolis ABCs, Kansas City Monarchs and St. Louis Giants survived the end of the first Negro National League in 1931 and remain part of the American baseball scene.

Zack Clark pitched well but took the loss

The game as I said was a pitcher’s duel and hitting on both sides took second place to solid pitching by the starters and the relievers. The Knights scored their two runs in the first inning on a walk, two singles and a sacrifice fly.  The Tides had chances to score during the game. They left Matt Angle at third base with no outs in the bottom of the first and Paco Figueroa died at home when trying to score on a one out ground ball by Robert Andino and Andino was left stranded second and Jeff Salazar at first when Michael Aubrey flied out. In the 9th both Nolan Reimold and Rhyne Hughes hit deep fly balls that died at the warning track both of which appeared would go out of the park before the wind knocked them down.  In the 7th inning the Tides got their one run when Rhyne Hughes doubled and was driven home by a Blake Davis single.

Paco Figueroa is tagged out at home in the 8th inning

Charlotte starter Jeff Marquez (7-4 4.02 ERA) went 7 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 run striking out 4 and waling 1 in picking up the win while Greg Aquino picked up his 9th save despite giving the Knights a scare with the two deep fly balls in the 9th.  Tides starter Zack Clark (0-3 3.06 ERA) picked up the loss but had an impressive performance as did relievers Mike Hinckley, Cla Meredith and Jim Miller. Miller was particularly impressive in the 9th sending the Knights down in order striking out two.

The Knights had 2 runs on 6 hits and committed two errors leaving 7 men on base.  The Tides 1 run on 5 hits with no errors stranding six runners.  Tonight the teams wrap up this part of their series before taking it back to Charlotte with Matt Zeleski (5-5 3.46 ERA) of the Knights going up against Tim Bascom (2-2 4.37 ERA) a game that will feature post-game fireworks in honor of the founding of the United States.

See you there,

Peace

Padre Steve

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