Offense goes cold, Bats open home stand with loss

Brandon Dixon smashed his fourth home run of the season in an 8-2 loss to Norfolk. (Copyright Patrick L. Pfister 2017 All Rights Reserved)

By Shawn Chambers / Louisville Bats | May 8, 2017 10:01 PM ET

LOUSIVILLE, Ky.-The Louisville Bats (11-19) dropped the opener of a seven-game home stand and three-game slate to the Norfolk Tide (13-17), 8-2, Monday evening at Louisville Slugger Field.

After being optioned from the Cincinnati Reds on May 4, left-hander Cody Reed got his first start of the season at the Triple-A level. With a limited pitch count for Reed, the Tides wasted little time jumping on the Bats' starter, scoring three runs in the first two innings.

A Pedro Álverez two-run home run to right field gave Norfolk the early lead in the top of the first inning. Reed allowed a walk to Drew Dosch who advanced to second on a wild pitch. The next batter, Logan Schafer, picked up an infield single that allowed Dosch to come around and score for the third Norfolk run of the game.

Reed was able to retire two-consecutive batters after allowing a leadoff double in the top of the third inning. Due to the pitch count restriction on Reed, left-handed reliever Nick Routt would get the final out of the inning against his first batter faced.

The Tides were back to their scoring ways in the fourth after a lead leadoff single followed by an RBI double by Mike Yastrzemski. A wild pitch later in the inning would plate Yastrzemski, giving Norfolk the 5-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the fourth.

"We pitched ahead for the most part, but we couldn't put guys away tonight," Bats manager Delino DeShields said of the team's struggles on the mound. "There were a lot of 0-2 counts that turned into guys reaching base."

Brandon Dixon would give Louisville their first run of the contest with a home run to center field on the first pitch of the frame. The estimated 409-foot blast was Dixon's fourth of 2017.

"I saw about eight pitches in my first at-bat, so I had a good idea of what he had," Dixon said when describing the one-pitch at-bat. "I went in just looking for a fastball to hit, and I got."

Neither team would record a hit over the next two innings, but the Tides would get back on the board in the ­top of the seventh when lefty Lucas Luetge allowed three-consecutive two-out singles, increasing the Norfolk lead to five after six-and-a-half innings of play.

Chad Wallach reached on a walk in the bottom half of the seventh with one down. A single by Sebastian Elizalde moved Wallach to second base, while a base-knock by Hernan Iribarren allowed Wallach to score the Bats' second run of the game.

With the Tides adding two more runs in the top of the ninth, the Bats threated in the game's final half inning starting with a single by Wallach. An error by Norfolk reliever Stefan Crichton on a fielder's choice put runners at first and second with one out. Crichton would manage to retire the next two batters to end the game and secure an 8-2 Norfolk victory.

"It was a very sloppy game defensively," Deshields added. "There were some plays that should be made that weren't made. Those plays lead to runs for the other team."

Taking the loss for Louisville was Reed after allowing three hits on four runs, falling to 0-1 in his first Triple-A outing of the season. Norfolk's Chris Lee garners the win, improving to 2-1 on the season.

Game two of the three game series is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (0-0, 0.66 ERA) looks to continue his strong start to the season, getting the start for the Bats, while righty Tyler Wilson (0-1, 5.14 ERA) will take the mound for the Tides. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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