Norfolk's attempt at a third straight comeback win fell just short as the Tides were edged by Gwinnett 2-1 Monday night at Harbor Park.
After putting together game-winning rallies in the eighth inning on both Saturday and Sunday, Norfolk nearly accomplished the same feat in the ninth inning Monday against Braves reliever Wirfin Obispo. Trailing 2-0, L.J. Hoes and Yamaico Navarro opened the ninth frame with singles before Obispo retired Brandon Wood and Chris Snyder for the first two outs of the inning. Xavier Avery then lined an RBI single to center to bring the Tides within a run, but Obispo struck out Jason Pridie to end the contest and register his third save of the season.
The loss snapped Norfolk's four-game winning streak and was just the second defeat for the Tides in nine contests against the Braves this season.
Tides starter Freddy Garcia (4-1) took the loss despite tossing five solid innings in his first start with Norfolk since rejoining the club from Baltimore. The 36-year-old veteran struck out three without walking a batter, but yielded solo home runs to Ernesto Mejia in the fourth inning and Matt Pagnozzi in the fifth as he picked up his first defeat in a Norfolk uniform.
Braves starter David Hale (3-3) scattered five hits over seven scoreless frames to pick up the victory, walking one while striking out four.
The Tides put a runner on base in every inning but the seventh, but Norfolk went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 men on base.
The two clubs will continue their five-game series Tuesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.41) will take the mound for Norfolk against right-hander Joe Bisenius (2-0, 3.09).
Notes: L.J. Hoes had two hits and a run scored, the fourth straight game in which he's collected multiple hits. Hoes is now hitting .307 this season...Mike Belfiore and Adam Russell each tossed two shutout innings of relief…Zelous Wheeler walked in the sixth inning to extend his consecutive on-base streak at home to 20 games…The Tides and Braves have now played seven one-run games among their nine contests this season.