The Gwinnett Stripers used two big innings to sink the Tides 8-2 Wednesday night at Harbor Park.
Norfolk starter Chandler Shepherd (0-7) limited the Stripers offense to a run on two hits over the first five innings of work, but the 26-year-old right-hander ran into trouble in the sixth frame. Shepherd did not allow a hit over a 17-batter stretch from the first through fifth innings, but the first three Gwinnett batters reached base safely to open the decisive sixth inning, with Adam Duvall's three-run homer chasing Shepherd from the contest and giving the Stripers a 4-0 lead. The homer was Duvall's league-leading 25th of the season.
Shepherd allowed four hits and two walks while striking out six, throwing 58 of his 89 pitches for strikes. He now owns a 4.74 ERA through six games (four starts) since joining the Tides on May 31st.
Norfolk pulled within 4-2 in the seventh inning, as the Tides singled four times in the frame off of reliever Jonathan Aro. Engelb Vielma got Norfolk on the board with a run-scoring single up the middle, and Christopher Bostick plated Ademar Rifaela with an RBI fielder's choice that brought the Tides within two runs.
The score stayed 4-2 until the ninth, but the Stripers blew open the game with four runs off of Jay Flaa. Alex Jackson gave the Stripers a cushion with a two-run double, and Pedro Florimon capped the scoring with a two-run homer to center field.
Kyle Wright (6-4) earned the win, as the 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight over six shutout innings. He allowed five hits without walking a batter.
Rifaela paced Norfolk's 11-hit attack with three singles, while Anderson Feliz singled twice in the setback. The Tides out-hit the Stripers 11-7, but five of Gwinnett's hits went for extra bases.
With the win, Gwinnett took the rubber match of the three-game set and won for the fifth time in six games. The Stripers also improved to 9-4 against the Tides this season.
The Tides will open up their last series before the All-Star break on Thursday night in Charlotte, with first pitch from BB&T Ballpark set for 6:05. Dan Straily (1-0, 0.00) is set to make his second start in a Tides uniform and will be opposed by left-hander Justin Nicolino (6-3, 4.65).
Notes: The Tides wore camouflage uniforms and red, white and blue caps as part of Independence Day celebrations…David Hess struck out three over two shutout innings of relief, giving him four straight scoreless appearances spanning 11.0 innings…Mason Williams singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to eight consecutive games…Gwinnett has out-homered Norfolk 24-8 in the season set.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.