Johnson (1-0) yielded just three hits and a walk while striking out seven in the contest, helping the Tides to their first victory of the 2012 campaign. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 63 of his 88 pitches for strikes before Jon Link and Pat Neshek combined to work a scoreless seventh.
Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Zelous Wheeler belted a two-run double off of Brian Bruney (0-1) to give the Tides their first lead of the season. Two innings later, Hoffmann blasted a two-run shot to extend Norfolk's lead.
In game one, the Knights struck for four runs in the fifth inning en route to a 6-3 victory. Chris Tillman (0-1) suffered the loss, yielding four runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Dontrelle Willis made his Tides debut in game one, allowing two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings.
Josh Bell paced Norfolk's offense with a solo home run, while Scott Beerer added an RBI double.
The two clubs will wrap up their opening four-game set on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch set for 2:15. Dana Eveland will make his Tides debut against left-hander Charlie Leesman.