Norfolk used a strong pitching performance in game one of a doubleheader and six extra-base hits in the nightcap to sweep the Charlotte Knights 2-0 and 5-3 Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park.
In the opener, Gabriel Ynoa and Richard Rodriguez combined on a three-hit shutout to help the Tides blank the Knights 2-0.
Ynoa (5-9) continued his sterling second half of the season, as he limited Charlotte to two singles and two walks over six innings of work. He struck out five and threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes, facing just four batters over the minimum to help the Tides to their seventh shutout victory of the season. In eight starts since the All-Star break, Ynoa has now gone 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA (15 ER, 47.1 IP), six walks and 39 strikeouts.
Rodriguez followed Ynoa's efforts with a scoreless seventh inning, giving him nine saves this season. The 27-year-old right-hander has now turned in nine consecutive scoreless outings, lowering his ERA to 1.79 in 39 relief appearances this season. Rodriguez has held opposing batters to a .138 average (4-29) in August.
Norfolk got all the offense they would need in the second frame, when J.J. Hardy opened the inning with a double off of Tyler Danish (4-13) and scored on a single from Chance Sisco. Sisco would score later in the frame on a two-out bunt single from Logan Schafer.
In game two, the Tides used five doubles and a home run as part of an eight-hit attack to top the Knights 5-3.
Chris Johnson got the Tides on the board early in the nightcap when he connected on a solo home run in the first frame off of David Holmberg (3-1). After the Knights took the lead 2-1 in the second, Norfolk answered back with an RBI double from Mike Yastrzemski. One inning later, the Tides took the lead for good on back-to-back RBI doubles from Francisco Pena and Pedro Alvarez and a sacrifice fly from Drew Dosch that made the score 5-2.
Pena finished with three hits in the contest to lead the offensive attack, while Luis Sardinas added two doubles and a run scored.
Making his first spot start of the season, Logan Verrett worked four solid innings, yielding two runs on three hits while striking out two. Verrett, whose last start came with the New York Mets last season, surrendered a two-run homer to Casey Gillaspie in the second frame but rebounded to give the Tides four innings of work after scheduled starter Mike Wright was a late scratch.
Stefan Crichton (7-1) earned the win after allowing a run over two innings of relief, while Jimmy Yacabonis worked a perfect seventh inning to earn his 11th save of the season.
The doubleheader sweep was Norfolk's first of the season and helped the Tides wrap up their season-long homestand with a 5-5 record.
The Tides will head to Durham on Friday for their penultimate road trip of the season, with first pitch at the DBAP set for 7:05. Jason Wheeler (1-1, 3.04) is set to start for Norfolk and be opposed by right-hander Brent Honeywell (11-7, 3.66).
Notes: Through three rehab games with Norfolk, J.J. Hardy has hit .286 (2-7) with a double, three walks and two runs scored… Jimmy Yacabonis has not allowed a run in 34 of his 40 appearances with the Tides…Stefan Crichton's seven victories leads the team…Norfolk's bullpen finished the 10-game homestand with a 1.27 ERA (5 ER, 35.1 IP)…Norfolk's final homestand of the season begins Monday with a four-game set against Gwinnett.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.