Chandler Shepherd continued his torrid stretch with eight sterling innings, pitching the Tides past the Charlotte Knights 2-0 Friday night at Harbor Park.
Shepherd (3-10) turned in his fifth consecutive Quality Start, allowing just two hits over a career-best eight innings of work. He needed only 99 pitches to navigate his outing, facing just four batters over the minimum to pitch the Tides to the win in the opener of the four-game set.
Shepherd struck out three and walked three to continue a late-season surge. Through five starts with Norfolk in August, the 27-year-old right-hander is now 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA (6 ER, 33.1 IP). The University of Kentucky product has held IL opponents to a .181 average this month, walking nine while striking out 30.
The Tides gave Shepherd all the offense he would need in the second frame, when Zach Vincej worked a two-out walk off of Matt Tomshaw (4-2) before scoring on a double to right-center field from Jose Rondon. Norfolk's only other run came in the eighth, when Austin Hays led off the inning with an infield single before eventually scoring on a passed ball.
With the win, Norfolk improved to 17-10 in August, while the Knights dropped their sixth straight decision. Charlotte is now tied with Durham atop the International League Wild Card standings with three games remaining in the regular season.
The two teams will continue their four-game set on Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Bruce Zimmermann is set to start for Norfolk, with the game to be broadcast on 1310 AM.
Saturday is Margaritaville Night at Harbor Park, presented by Norfolk International Airport. The Tides will wear special Margaritaville jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and there will be a postgame fireworks show. The first 4,000 fans will also receive a 2019 team photo, presented by John's Tax Service.
Notes: Leslie David Baker, who played Stanley Hudson on The Office, posed for photos with fans throughout the game on the Harbor Park concourse…Christopher Bostick was the only player to register multiple hits in the contest, as the two clubs combined for 11 total hits - 10 of which were singles…The shutout victory was Norfolk's ninth of the season…Mark Trumbo went 0-for-4 in his fourth rehab game with the Tides.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.