Tom Eshelman worked seven strong innings and Jace Peterson hit a three-run home run as the Tides topped the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 4-3 Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park.
Making his first start in a Norfolk uniform since he was acquired in a trade from Philadelphia on Monday, Eshelman (2-1) turned in a solid effort in his organizational debut. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits - all of which were singles - while throwing 63 of his 101 pitches for strikes. He walked three and struck out two as he lowered his ERA to 2.45 through five International League appearances this season.
Scranton plated two runs in the fourth inning to take an early lead, but Peterson hit a three-run homer to straightaway center field in the bottom half of the inning to give Norfolk a 3-2 advantage. Peterson also doubled earlier in the contest, giving him four consecutive multi-hit games. Over that stretch, he's hit .563 (9-16) with a home run, three doubles and four runs batted in.
Scranton threatened to tie the contest in the seventh inning, as Mike Ford hit a two-out single to right field with Breyvic Valera on second base. Mason Williams threw out Valera trying to score, however, allowing the Tides to hold their one-run advantage.
Austin Hays provided a valuable insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth inning that gave the Tides a 4-2 lead headed to the ninth, but the RailRiders responded with a run of their own in the ninth inning to pull back within a run. Jimmy Yacabonis allowed an RBI single in relief of Keegan Akin that pulled Scranton within 4-3, but he got Ford to pop out before striking out Billy Burns with runners at the corners to wrap up the win and earn his second save of the season.
The win snapped a five-game losing skid for Norfolk and ended Scranton's five-game winning streak.
The Tides will continue their homestand on Friday night, with first pitch against Toledo set for 7:05. Luis Ortiz (2-6, 7.01) will get the start for Norfolk and be opposed by right-hander Drew VerHagen (1-2, 3.43).
Notes: Jace Peterson's home run was Norfolk's 39th at Harbor Park this season, matching their season total from the entire 2018 campaign…Cedric Mullins reached on a catcher's interference call for the second consecutive contest…Tom Eshelman was the 12th different starting pitcher Norfolk has used this season…Keegan Akin's relief appearance was the first of his professional career.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.