The Norfolk Tides were able to finish off the Louisville Bats in a 7-2 win and clinch the 3-game series Wednesday with the help of a hot start by the Tides and a near cycle for Johnny Giavotella.
Norfolk opened the game with back-to-back doubles, starting with Logan Schafer who then switched places with Giavotella to score the first run of the game. After Pedro Alvarez hit a single up the middle to make it first and third with no outs, Robert Andino hit a line drive to center to score Giavotella. David Washington fed the fire by lacing a ball off the bottom of the right field wall for a single to score Alvarez and put Andino on third, making it 3-0 Tides. Drew Dosch was then walked to load the bases to bring up Henry Urrutia, who reached first base safely after Andino was forced out at home on a groundout to 3rd. With one out, Armando Araiza hit a hard ground ball to the third base side that was stopped on a dive by Brandon Dixon, but he couldn't make the throw to second, scoring Washington on the RBI single to make it 4-0. Paul Janish then hit a sacrifice fly to score Dosch to make it 5-0. Bringing it back to the top of the lineup, Schafer hit his second hit of the inning, a single to score Urrutia to make it 6-0. Giavotella then singled for his second hit of the inning as well to load the bases, ending the day for Louisville starting pitcher Jackson Stephens. Kyle McMyne replaced Stephens and was able to retire Alvarez for the 3rd out in the inning.
This offensive explosion was the most runs scored (6) and most hits recorded (8) in one inning for the Tides this season. This comes six days after they recorded 6 hits in the 1st inning at Charlotte (5/4) and then scored 5 in the 6th inning later that game, which were both season-highs.
Louisville was able to answer in the bottom of the second with a 2-run home run by Tony Renda which also scored Rob Brantly to cut the Tides lead to 6-2.
In the top of the sixth, Janish doubled to center with one-out. After Schafer flew out, Giavotella hit a two-out RBI triple after centerfielder Jesse Winker missed a diving catch attempt, putting him a home run shy of the cycle. Neither team scored after the 6th inning, giving the Tides a 7-2 win.
Giavotella had an opportunity to complete the cycle in the 8th, but he was plunked on the first pitch of his at bat by Alejandro Chacin. The last Tides player to hit for the cycle was Timo Pérez on June 9th, 2000 versus Columbus.
Mike Wright earned his second win of the season, throwing 5.2 innings and allowed eight hits and a walk along with two runs while striking out three.
Wright was relieved in the 6th by Richard Bleier, who pitched 1.2 shutout innings. Edwin Jackson made his first relief appearance for the Tides this season after throwing 48 pitches in 3.0 IP against Durham May 7th in a start. Bleier and Jackson combined for 3.1 innings, one hit, one walk, no runs and three strikeouts.
It was the second time in the series Norfolk beat Louisville by five runs or more and outscored the Bats 17-7 in the three-game series. The Tides have won 2 of 3 series in May (5-4).
Norfolk will travel to Indianapolis to complete the roadtrip with a 4-game series against the Indians before they return to Harbor Park May 15th to host the Gwinnett Braves.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.