NORFOLK, Va.-The Louisville Bats (27-41) failed to complete a comeback over the Norfolk Tides (29-40) Sunday afternoon being defeated in walk-off fashion at Harbor Park. The loss marks the second-consecutive series loss for the Bats.
Through the opening three frames, righty Jackson Stephens was dealing while not allowing a Norfolk base runner. The Tides managed to scrape a run across on three singles in the bottom of the fourth, while Norfolk added a second run an inning later to take a 2-0 lead after five inning.
Offensively, the Bats picked-up four hits through the first five innings, highlighted by consecutive hits in the second by Sebastian Elizalde and Phillip Ervin. The inning would end, however, when Elizalde was thrown out advancing to third on the Ervin single.
Brandon Dixon helped get Louisville on the board in the sixth inning after a leadoff single. Chad Wallach advanced Dixon to second on a ground out, while Hernan Iribarren started his at-bat looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt. After Dixon stole third base, Iribarren grounded out to the right side allowing Dixon to cross home plate for the first Bats' run of the contest.
Louisville threatened again in the seventh with Jesse Winker reaching on a leadoff walk. With two outs, Elizalde singled to advance Winker to second base. For the second time in the contest, an inning ended on an Ervin single with Winker trying to score from second and being thrown out at the plate.
After Norfolk added to their lead in the bottom of the seventh, Dixon got the Bats' offense going again in the eighth with Louisville trailing, 3-1. Dixon's second hit of the ball game to leadoff the inning was the first of three hits in the frame. Iribarren moved Dixon to second with a single later in the inning, en route to his 18th multi-hit contest of the season. Darnell Sweeney walked to lead the bases, while Winker doubled to center field plating two runs, tying the ballgame at three runs apiece.
Unable to secure a lead in the top of the ninth, Stephens was replaced by righty Domingo Tapia in the bottom of the ninth. Stephens had his longest outing of 2017 after eight innings of work, allowing nine hits and three runs.
Tapia retired his first batter faced before allowing the next three to reach. After a hit batter, Tapia gave up consecutive singles to Logan Schafer and Mike Yastrrzemksi, allowing the game-winning run to cross home plate securing a 4-3 Norfolk victory.
The Bats return to the friendly surroundings of Louisville Slugger Field Monday for a three-game slate with the Columbus Clippers (??-??). Making his third minor league rehab start, right-hander Homer Bailey will take the mound for Louisville in the series opener. In two rehab outings in 2017, Bailey has not allowed a run in 11 innings of work, while allowing just four hits and six total base runners. First pitch between the Bats and Clippers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.