Durham Routs Tides
An eight-run sixth inning and a strong performance from local product Brandon Lowe helped the Durham Bulls charge to a 12-1 win over the Tides Thursday night at Harbor Park.
Lowe, who attended Nansemond River High School and attended games at Harbor Park as a youngster, belted the first pitch he saw in the first inning for a solo home run to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. In front of a large contingent of friends and family, Lowe, who finished with three hits and two RBI, is now hitting .316 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 19 games since being promoted to Durham from Double-A Montgomery on June 8th.
The Bulls led the contest 4-1 entering the sixth frame, but Durham sent 11 men to the plate in the eight-run inning to blow the game open. The Bulls racked up seven hits in the frame, with catcher Nick Ciuffo leading off the inning with a double before capping the scoring with a three-run home run.
Chih-Wei Hu (3-6) earned the win, allowing a run on nine hits in eight-plus innings of work. He struck out four without walking a batter, throwing 69 of his 100 pitches for strikes. Hu nearly became just the second pitcher in the International League to register a nine-inning complete game this season, but Norfolk hit back-to-back singles off of him to open the ninth inning to spoil his complete game effort.
Tim Melville (5-6) took the loss, allowing six runs on 10 hits over 5.2 innings of work. He struck out six without walking a batter, but dropped his sixth consecutive decision after opening the year with a 5-0 record.
Cedric Mullins had two hits and scored Norfolk's lone run, as he tripled in the third inning before scoring on a groundout by Joey Rickard. Drew Dosch added a pair of singles in the setback, as Norfolk saw its four-game winning streak snapped.
The two clubs will continue their four-game series on Friday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Matt Wotherspoon (2-4, 3.92) is set to start for the Tides and will be opposed by right-hander Ryan Weber (4-3, 2.17). On Friday, the first 3,000 fans 18 and over will receive a Tides pint glass, courtesy of Virginia Eye Consultants. There will also be a postgame fireworks show presented by Navy Mutual.
Notes: Prior to Thursday's game, C Chance Sisco and RHP Yefry Ramirez were recalled to Baltimore, LHP Donnie Hart was optioned to Norfolk from Baltimore, C Austin Wynns was added to Norfolk's roster after being optioned from the Orioles, and RHP Francisco Jiménez was transferred to the Tides from Class-A Frederick...The Tides have made 117 roster moves this season, including 16 since the homestand began on Monday...Francisco Jiménez tossed two shutout innings of relief in his Triple-A debut.
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