Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer and five Norfolk pitchers combined to hold Durham to two hits as the Tides topped the Bulls 3-2 Saturday night at Harbor Park.
Ruiz gave the Tides a lead they would not relinquish just two batters into the game, as he lined a two-run homer over the right field party deck off of Bulls opener Peter Fairbanks (0-1). The Tides later extended their lead to 3-0 in the first frame when Austin Wynns drove home Ryan Mountcastle with a sacrifice fly.
Norfolk starter Luis Ysla allowed one run without yielding a hit over 3.2 innings but was pulled after scuffling with his control. The 27-year-old southpaw issued six walks, threw a wild pitch and committed a balk during his outing, striking out three while throwing 36 of his 77 pitches for strikes.
The Tides carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but Nate Lowe opened up the inning with a double off of Matt Wotherspoon (4-2) to break up the bid. Jason Coats followed with a run-scoring single down the right field line, but Austin Hays threw out Coats at second base to extinguish further damage.
Durham did not register a hit the rest of the ballgame, as Wotherspoon, Hunter Harvey, Josh Lucas and Tayler Scott combined to retire 11 of the final 13 batters they faced. Scott worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the season, and he's now fired 13.0 shutout innings with the Tides this year.
Mason Williams singled three times to pace the offense, as the Tides won for the third straight contest. Williams has hit safely in 17 consecutive home contests, and he's now batting .305 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI this season.
The two teams will conclude their season series on Sunday, with first pitch from Harbor Park set for 4:05. Jay Flaa (2-3, 4.78) is set to start for Norfolk and be opposed by right-hander Jose De Leon (1-1, 3.43). The Tides will be wearing their Pajaritos de Norfolk uniforms on Sunday as part of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversion initiative.
Notes: Earlier Saturday, the Orioles recalled RHP Branden Kline from Norfolk, while LHP Brian Gonzalez was transferred to the Tides from Double-A Bowie…Brian Gonzalez is the 61st player to appear on Norfolk's roster this season…Saturday was Norfolk catcher Martin Cervenka's 27th birthday…Christopher Bostick has hit safely in five of his last six contests, batting .476 (10-21) over that span…Norfolk leads the season series between the two clubs, 11-10…Rio Ruiz's home run snapped a five-game homerless skid for the Tides.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.