Keegan Akin worked into the seventh inning and Chance Sisco continued his torrid stretch at the plate with a solo homer as the Tides knocked off the Buffalo Bisons 4-1 Friday night at Harbor Park.
Akin (1-1) was tremendous in picking up his first Triple-A victory, allowing one run on four hits over 6.2 innings of work. He walked one and struck out six, needing just 89 pitches to navigate his outing - his longest start of the season. The only threat Buffalo managed against him came in the seventh frame, when Anthony Alford reached on a one-out double before eventually coming around to score on a two-out single by Reese McGuire that chased Akin from the contest.
Akin, the #6 prospect in the Orioles system according to MLB.com. now owns a 4.24 ERA through seven starts this season. He's registered six more strikeouts (36) than hits allowed (30) while limiting International League batters to a .229 average.
Jay Flaa followed Akin's efforts with 2.1 shutout innings of relief to earn his second save of the season and give the Tides the win in the opener of the three-game set.
The Tides gave Akin all the run support he would need in the fifth frame, when Anthony Santander broke open the scoreless contest with a two-out, two-run double off of Sean Reid-Foley (0-2). Ryan Mountcastle followed an RBI double of his own, giving the Tides a 3-0 cushion.
One inning later, Sisco opened up the frame with a solo homer to right field to put the Tides up 4-0. It was the sixth homer over the last eight games for Sisco, the reigning International League Batter of the Week. The 24-year-old backstop has now hit .459 (17-37) with six home runs and 19 RBI in 10 games since April 28th.
The two clubs will continue their series on Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Luis Ortiz (1-2, 4.87) gets the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by left-hander Taylor Saucedo (2-0, 0.00). Saturday night is Armed Forces Night at Harbor Park, and there will be a postgame fireworks show presented by Navy Mutual.
Notes: The game was played in two hours and 13 minutes, the second-fastest nine-inning game the Tides have played this season…Norfolk, which entered the game batting a league-leading .322 with runners in scoring position, went 2-for-3 with RISP Friday…Anthony Santander has reached base safely in 11 straight games, batting .333 (17-51) with three home runs and 10 RBI over that stretch…Norfolk has won nine of its last 13 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.