Norfolk 9, Gwinnett 4
Norfolk used home runs from Luis Sardinas and J.J. Hardy coupled with a strong start from Tyler Wilson to knock off the Gwinnett Braves 9-4 Monday night at Harbor Park.
Both Sardinas and Hardy homered as part of multi-hit nights to help the Tides win the opener of the four-game set. Sardinas' blast was a three-run line drive in the third inning that gave the Tides a 6-1 lead, while Hardy's homer was an opposite-field solo shot in the seventh inning to put Norfolk on top 9-4.
The homer was Hardy's first since he joined the Tides on a Major League rehab assignment on August 21st, and capped a night that saw him add an RBI single and three runs scored. The big league veteran has reached base safely in all seven games he's played with Norfolk, batting .263 (5-19) with six walks, three RBI and a .440 on-base percentage.
The early offense helped Wilson (7-8) pick up his seventh victory of the season, tying Stefan Crichton for the team lead. Wilson yielded four runs on nine hits over 7.1 innings of work, walking one and striking out five. The UVA product threw 71 of his 103 pitches for strikes as he picked up his fifth win in eight starts since July 21st.
Vidal Nuno followed Wilson's effort by recording the final two outs of the eighth inning before giving way to Richard Rodriguez, who capped the win with a perfect ninth. Rodriguez has not allowed a run over his last 10 appearances, over which he's held opponents to a .135 average (5-37).
Mike Yastrzemski had a two-run single in the win, while Chris Johnson and Drew Dosch added RBI hits. Dosch also walked twice in the contest as Gwinnett starter Kris Medlen (2-7) and three relievers combined to issue seven free passes.
The two teams are slated to continue their four-game series on Tuesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch set for 7:05. Alec Asher (3-2, 3.51) will get the start for Norfolk and be opposed by left-hander Max Fried (0-0, 0.00).
Notes: Earlier Monday, the Orioles recalled LHP Donnie Hart to Baltimore and optioned RHP Mike Wright back to the Tides...The Tides will need to win their final three home games to finish their 2017 campaign with a winning home record...Pedro Álvarez collected his 30th double of the year and he's appeared in all 135 games the Tides have played this season...Norfolk finished the contest 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
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