Jace Peterson continued a torrid stretch at the plate with a two-run homer, but the Columbus Clippers hit three home runs of their own to sink the Tides 9-2 in the series opener Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
Peterson, who entered play with 10 hits over his last three contests, provided Norfolk's sole offensive highlight with a two-run shot in the seventh inning for his fourth home run of the year. Peterson has hit .579 (11-19) with a home run, four doubles, one triple and eight RBI over his last four games, upping his season average to .286.
Norfolk starter Luis Ortiz (1-5) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over six solid innings of work. He yielded a two-run homer to Bobby Bradley with two out in the first, then allowed another two-run round tripper one inning later off the bat of Eric Haase. He settled in after the rocky start and allowed just three hits over his final four frames, including retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced. Ortiz struck out a season-high seven and walked just one while throwing 69 of his career-high 100 pitches for strikes.
Bradley broke the game open with a grand slam off of Luis Gonzalez in the ninth inning to cap off a three-hit, six-RBI night.
Five different Columbus relievers combined to limit the Tides to four hits in the contest, with Virginia Beach native Neil Ramirez (1-0) earning the win after striking out three in two perfect innings of relief.
The Tides and Clippers will continue their three-game set on Wednesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 6:35. Josh Rogers (2-4, 8.47) will get the start for Norfolk and be opposed by right-hander Michael Peoples (3-1, 3.22).
Notes: Earlier Tuesday, the Orioles recalled outfielder DJ Stewart from Norfolk, while RHP Evan Phillips was activated to the Tides roster after he was optioned from Baltimore…Columbus catcher Tim Federowicz was forced into the game in the first inning due to an injury to third baseman Adam Rosales, and Federowicz spent the contest alternating between third base and second base 14 times depending on whether the Tides had a right-hander or left-hander at bat…Anthony Santander singled to extend his hitting streak to eight consecutive contests.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.