Norfolk, VA - Norfolk used an early five-run outburst and a strong outing from Mike Wright to roll past the Gwinnett Braves 5-0 in front of 7,351 fans Friday night at Harbor Park.
Wright (4-11) was tremendous as he allowed just five hits over a career-high 7.1 innings of work. He retired each of the first 11 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until Christian Bethancourt's leadoff single in the fifth frame as he picked up his first career victory at Harbor Park. The 24-year-old, who is rated as the #8 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, struck out six without walking a batter as he threw 65 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
Over his last five starts, Wright has now gone 3-2 with a 1.40 ERA (5 ER, 32.0 IP). Over that span, he's struck out 19 while issuing just two walks.
The Tides gave Wright all the run support he would need in the second inning, as they batted around against Terry Doyle (2-3) en route to plating five runs in the frame. Alexi Casilla had a two-run single to open the scoring, and Julio Borbon followed with an RBI single to put the Tides up 3-0. One batter later, Steve Lombardozzi belted a two-run double to give the Tides a 5-0 advantage.
Robert Coello relieved Wright with 1.2 scoreless innings, striking out two. Coello now has a 0.56 ERA (1 ER, 16.0 IP) in 14 relief outings with the Tides.
The two clubs will continue their three-game series Saturday night from Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Tyler Wilson (2-1, 3.40) will take the mound for Norfolk against Braves right-hander Zach Stewart (5-3, 5.11).
Saturday will feature a postgame fireworks show, as well as an appearance by the Zooperstars. Fans will also receive coupons from McDonald's, and several costumed heroes will be on hand at Harbor Park as part of Superhero Saturday.
Notes: Prior to Friday's game, RHP Miguel Gonzalez was transferred from Norfolk's roster to Double-A Bowie…The Tides wore gnome-themed jerseys in collaboration with a commemorative gnome giveaway of Norfolk manager Ron Johnson…Norfolk did not homer in the contest, extending its homerless streak to nine games…Julio Borbon had two hits and an RBI to raise his season average to .291…The two hour and 32 minute time of game was Norfolk's fastest since June 30.