Norfolk plated five runs in the third inning and got a strong start from Daniel McCutchen to cruise past the Columbus Clippers 8-4 Friday night at Harbor Park.
After stranding four runners on base through the first two innings, Norfolk broke through in the third against Clippers starter T.J. House (1-8). Jason Pridie led off the frame with an infield single before Henry Urrutia singled through the left side for his first Triple-A hit. Russ Canzler then walked to load the bases, and one out later L.J. Hoes plated Pridie and Urrutia with a two-run single down the right field line. Yamaico Navarro followed with an RBI double to center, and Brandon Waring capped the scoring with a two-run single to give the Tides a 5-0 advantage.
The early run support made a winner out of Daniel McCutchen (1-1), who earned his first victory in a Tides uniform with five solid innings of work. McCutchen, making his fifth spot start of the season, allowed one run on four hits while striking out three, throwing 44 of his 64 pitches for strikes. The only run the Clippers could muster against him came in the fourth, when Chun Chen lined a solo homer to left field to open the frame.
Chris Jones followed McCutchen with three scoreless innings of relief before Manny Delcarmen yielded a one-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning to centerfielder Matt Carson. Delcarmen rebounded to record the final two outs, helping Norfolk wrap up its first home series victory since May 14-17 vs. Lehigh Valley.
Hoes finished with four hits and three runs batted in to power Norfolk's 17-hit attack. The 23-year-old outfielder has now batted .380 (27-for-71) with 12 RBI over his last 19 games, upping his average to .299. Hoes was one of seven Tides to collect multiple hits in the contest.
The Tides welcome division rival Gwinnett to town Saturday night for the start of a five-game series. Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (1-4, 6.25) will take the hill for Norfolk against Braves right-hander Cody Martin (2-0, 0.64), with first pitch slated for 7:05.
Notes: Brian Roberts went 0-for-3 in his fourth rehab appearance before being replaced by Buck Britton in the sixth inning…Zelous Wheeler led off the seventh inning with a solo home run, extending his hitting streak to nine games… Yamaico Navarro hit safely in his first two plate appearances, giving him hits in five straight at-bats dating back to Thursday night…Brandon Waring singled twice, walked twice and drove in three…Norfolk improved to a league-best 33-7 when scoring first.