The Durham Bulls edged Norfolk 1-0 in 10 innings Monday, denying the Tides their first playoff berth since 2005.
The loss, combined with Rochester's 13-3 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, eliminated the Tides from postseason contention. Norfolk and Rochester finished with identical 77-67 records, but the Red Wings won the Wild Card tiebreaker due to their 6-2 season series victory over the Tides.
The Bulls plated the only run of the contest thanks to three consecutive tenth inning singles off of Chris Jones (4-4). With one out, Kevin Kiermaier singled to right field before Leslie Anderson grounded a single through the right side to put runners on first and third. With the infield in, Jason Bourgeois then grounded a single just past shortstop Alex Liddi into left field to give the Bulls the only run they would need.
Norfolk starter Mike Wright was extremely impressive in his Triple-A debut. The 23-year-old right-hander, who was promoted to Norfolk from Double-A Bowie earlier Monday, allowed six hits and struck out two over 6.2 shutout innings. Wright, who was 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 26 starts for the Baysox, threw 65 of his 96 pitches for strikes and did not issue a walk.
Durham starter Enny Romero was equally impressive in his Triple-A debut. Romero held the Tides to just four hits over eight shutout innings as he issued two walks while striking out a pair. C.J. Riefenhauser (2-1) earned the victory by throwing a scoreless inning of relief, while Kirby Yates earned his 20th save by striking out the side after yielding a leadoff single in the 10th.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Tides over the Bulls, who led the IL with an 87-57 record. Norfolk and Durham split their 22 games this season.
Notes: Ron Johnson is the first Tides manager to lead the club to back-to-back winning seasons since Steve Swisher skippered the Tidewater Tides to winning records in both 1990 (79-67) and 1991 (77-65)… 61 different players appeared on Norfolk's active roster in 2013…Jairo Asencio led the league with 28 saves, becoming the first pitcher in IL history to lead the league in saves in three separate seasons… In the opening round of the IL playoffs, Durham will take on Indianapolis while Rochester will square off with Pawtucket.