Tsuyoshi Wada surrendered seven runs on a season-high 13 hits as the Norfolk Tides fell to the Gwinnett Braves 10-4 in front of 5,158 fans at Coolray Field Thursday afternoon.
The Braves wasted little time jumping on Wada (2-5) as Ernesto Mejia launched a two-run home run in the bottom first giving Gwinnett a 2-0 lead through one inning.
Norfolk cut the deficit in the half in the top of the second off of Braves starter Kameron Loe (4-2) as Buck Britton reached on a fielding error to score Yamaico Navarro and the Tides trailed 2-1, a score that would remain until the fourth.
Gwinnett extended their lead in that fourth inning on Sean Kazmar's two-run double and after he came around to score on a Jose Constanza RBI single one batter later, the Braves held a 5-1 advantage after four frames.
The Tides would benefit from yet another unearned run in the fifth as Xavier Avery reached on a force attempt error to score Britton and after Henry Urrutia extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single, Norfolk trailed 5-3. Mejia quickly answered for Gwinnett, belting a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, his second of the game and 24th of the season, made the score 6-3 Braves.
Wada pitched to Kazmar to begin the sixth and allowed a double before exiting in favor of Mark Hendrickson. The left-hander allowed seven runs on 13 hits, including two home runs, and one walk with three strikeouts in five innings.
Zelous Wheeler hit a solo home run of his own in the top of the sixth as the Tides tried to claw their way back. Loe exited after the sixth, allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits with one walk with three strikeouts in six innings. The Braves scored four runs between the sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by a Stefan Gartrell home run, to cap the scoring at 10-4.
Gwinnett pounded out 17 hits including three home runs, in the victory. Buck Britton extended his road on-base streak to 22 games in the loss with a single in the fifth inning.
Norfolk wraps up the pre All-Star game schedule as they host the Charlotte Knights for three games this weekend at Harbor Park. Friday's game is a repeat of Sunday's pitching matchup as the Tides send right-hander Freddy Garcia (4-2, 3.40) opposite right-hander Andre Rienzo (6-6, 4.47, who tossed a complete game Sunday. First pitch Friday is set for 7:05 p.m.