Norfolk got a strong start from Chris Jones and a three-hit game from Sharlon Schoop but dropped a 2-1 decision to the Durham Bulls in front of 12,516 fans Saturday night at Harbor Park.
Jones (6-5) turned in his fourth straight Quality Start but took the loss after allowing two runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings of work. Jones yielded single runs in the first and second innings before settling down, as he faced just three batters over the minimum over his next five frames. He set a season-high and tied his career-high with eight strikeouts in the outing, which was the 20th consecutive start in which he's allowed three earned runs or less. The 26-year-old southpaw now owns a 2.78 ERA this season, 6th-best in the International League.
Schoop singled twice and doubled to lead Norfolk's 10-hit attack, as the Tides saw their five-game winning streak snapped. The only run the Tides pushed across came in the third inning, when Henry Urrutia's sacrifice fly scored Audry Perez.
Norfolk nearly tied the game in the ninth inning against Bulls closer Kirby Yates, as Sean Halton, Perez and Schoop all singled to load the bases with one out. Yates responded by striking out Urrutia for the second out of the inning before getting Rey Navarro to ground out to second base, ending the contest and moving the Bulls (51-50) over the .500 mark.
Dylan Floro (9-9) earned the win for Durham, while Yates combined with Enny Romero to toss four shutout innings of relief.
The two clubs wrap up their series Sunday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 6:10. Mike Wright (7-0, 2.66) gets the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by left-hander Drew Smyly, who is making a rehab start with the Bulls.
On Sunday, the first 4,000 fans will receive a collectible photo of Tides reliever Oliver Drake, courtesy of Johnny Rockets and Hot 100.5. Sunday's game will be also televised on the American Sports Network, which will be carried in the Hampton Roads area on MYTVZ.
Notes: Jorge Rondon worked 2.1 shutout innings of relief, his seventh consecutive scoreless relief outing…Rey Navarro singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, over which he's hit .413 (19-46)…Dariel Alvarez registered his team-leading ninth outfield assist…Christian Walker went 0-for-4, snapping his eight-game hitting streak…The 2-1 setback was Norfolk's league-leading 44th one-run game of the season…The crowd of 12,516 was a season-high.