Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle both homered to help pace an 11-hit attack as the Tides outslugged the Syracuse Mets 8-6 Saturday night at Harbor Park.
Hays - the #6 prospect in the Orioles system - and Mountcastle - the #4 prospect in the organization - connected on back-to-back solo shots to open up the fifth inning and knot the score at 6-6. The Tides later added an unearned run in the fifth frame off of Brooks Pounders (2-3) before an RBI single by Jack Reinheimer in the seventh gave Norfolk an 8-6 advantage.
Mountcastle, who entered play leading the International League with 135 hits, added three more hits to his total as he upped his average to .314 this season. The 22-year-old has a career-best 20 home runs this season, the third-highest total by a Tides player as an Orioles affiliate behind Michael Aubrey (22 in 2012) and Pedro Álvarez (26 in 2017). He's also on pace to register 164 hits this season, a mark that would be the most by any Norfolk player since the Tides aligned with Baltimore in 2007.
Hays' blast was his seventh homer in 38 games with Norfolk this season, and his second round tripper in as many nights. The 24-year-old now has 18 extra-base hits since the All-Star break, tied for the third-most in the International League.
David Hess (2-1) earned the win in relief, allowing one hit over 2.1 innings of relief. He struck out three without walking a batter, but did allow a pair of runs to score in the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run single by Arismendy Alcantara.
Hunter Harvey followed Hess with two scoreless innings of relief, striking out three while allowing one hit. It was the third straight scoreless outing for Harvey, who has held International League opponents to a .214 average with 16 strikeouts in 14.2 innings this season.
Tanner Scott wrapped up the win by striking out two in a scoreless ninth to earn his team-leading sixth save of the season.
The two clubs will square off in the series rubber match on Sunday at Harbor Park, with first pitch set for 4:05. Keegan Akin (4-5, 4.65) is slated to start for Norfolk, while the Mets are scheduled to counter with RHP Walker Lockett (2-2, 3.83).
Notes: On Saturday, RHP David Hess was activated after being optioned from Baltimore, while RHP Matt Wotherspoon was placed on Norfolk's Injured List…The announced crowd of 9,130 was a season-high… Mason Williams singled twice and has now hit safely in 21 consecutive contests at Harbor Park…Norfolk's 6-2 record in August is the best in the International League.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.