Norfolk, VA - Ivan De Jesus' eighth inning grand slam highlighted a 15-hit attack as the Tides completed a four-game sweep of Toledo with an 11-4 win Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park.
De Jesus, who had connected on an RBI double in the fourth inning, belted a two-out, opposite field shot off of former Tide Daniel Schlereth for Norfolk's second grand slam of the season. Every batter hit safely and five different players drove in a run for Norfolk, which improved to 18-2 against Toledo over the last three seasons.
The four-game sweep was Norfolk's first of 2014 and was the first for the Tides since they swept a four-game series from the Mud Hens at Harbor Park in April of 2013. The Tides (48-58) have now won four consecutive series to move within 10 games of the .500 mark for the first time since June 8.
Josh Stinson (1-4) picked up his first win of the season after allowing four runs on five hits in 5.1 innings of work. He yielded a solo home run to Tyler Collins in the second inning and a two-run shot to Mike Hessman in the fourth before having an inherited runner come around to score in the sixth. Stinson walked one and struck out four as he threw 50 of his 90 pitches for strikes.
After Clay Rapada got two outs in the sixth, Brock Huntzinger worked two shutout innings to continue his recent hot stretch. Over his last 11 outings, Huntzinger has now gone 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA (2 ER, 21.2 IP) as he's held opposing batters to a .118 average (9-76) with 20 strikeouts over that span.
Christian Walker had three singles in the win, upping his average to .370 through eight games with the Tides. Dariel Alvarez and Xavier Paul each added two hits and two RBI apiece.
The Tides begin an eight-game road trip Friday night as they take on Columbus in the opener of a four-game set. Mike Wright (1-9, 6.42) is slated to take the hill for Norfolk against right-hander Justin Masterson, who is making a Major League rehab stint with the Clippers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15, with Pete Michaud calling all the action on ESPN Radio 94.1
Notes: The start of the game was delayed 63 minutes due to rain…Earlier Thursday, Baltimore acquired IF/OF Jimmy Paredes from Kansas City and optioned him to Norfolk. Paredes hit .305 with five home runs and 36 RBI in 65 games with Triple-A Omaha this season…Thursday's contest was the last of a 14-game home stretch for the Tides…Norfolk is 15-2 over its last 17 games at Harbor Park… Julio Borbon singled and walked twice to extend his hitting streak to seven games, over which he's batted .357 (10-28)…Quintin Berry singled twice and scored two runs to up his average to .285.