Norfolk 5, Gwinnett 4
Johnny Giavotella's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth capped a four-RBI day and gave Norfolk a 5-4 win over the Gwinnett Braves Wednesday afternoon at Harbor Park.
With the score knotted at 4-4 in the final frame, Drew Dosch ignited the game-winning rally with his third hit of the contest, a leadoff double off of Mauricio Cabrera (1-1). Logan Schafer followed with a grounder to second to move Dosch to third before Henry Urrutia worked a walk to put runners at the corners for Giavotella. Giavotella then lined a 3-0 pitch to the base of the wall down the right field line, easily scoring Dosch to give Norfolk its third walk-off win of the season.
Giavotella's two-hit game upped his average to .307 on the season, placing him 7th in the International League. He's now hit safely in seven of his last eight games, over which he's hit .406 (13-32) with five multi-hit games and six runs batted in.
Norfolk had led the contest 4-0 entering the eighth, with Giavotella collecting a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and a two-run single in the seventh. The Braves rallied against Norfolk's bullpen, however, scoring three runs against Andrew Faulkner in the eighth before tying the game in the ninth on two hits, an error and a walk with Jimmy Yacabonis on the mound.
Making his first career appearance at Harbor Park, Norfolk starter Jordan Kipper turned in an outstanding, efficient effort. The 24-year-old right-hander, recently acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade for RHP Damien Magnfico, yielded just four hits and one walk while striking out one over seven shutout innings of work. The TCU product needed just 79 pitches to navigate his start and consistently induced ground balls, as just two of the 21 outs he recorded came on fly balls to the outfield.
Vidal Nuño (1-1) earned the win in relief, as he stranded two runners on base in the ninth by striking out the only batter he faced.
The Tides will welcome the Charlotte Knights to town on Thursday night for the start of a four-game set. Jayson Aquino (1-3, 5.23) is slated to get the start for the Tides and will be opposed by right-hander Lucas Giolito (1-5, 6.55), with first pitch set for 6:35.
Notes: Earlier Wednesday, LHP Vidal Nuño was activated to Norfolk's roster after being optioned from Baltimore, while RHP Logan Verrett was placed on the Temporarily Inactive List...Johnny Giavotella had seven assists at second base...Henry Urrutia reached base safely four times and also registered an outfield assist...Armando Araiza doubled and scored in the seventh inning, extending his hitting streak to four games.
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International League Stories from May 18, 2017
- Chiefs Drop Finale in Buffalo - Syracuse Chiefs
- RailRiders Rally Late for 9-8 Win - Pawtucket Red Sox
- Norfolk 5, Gwinnett 4 - Norfolk Tides
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