Tides Shut down Charlotte after First, Take 3-2 Win
Joey Rickard reached base safely four times and John Means turned in seven strong innings as Norfolk rallied for a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Knights Monday night at Harbor Park.
The Tides trailed the contest 2-0 after an inning of play, but pulled within 2-1 in the third frame on an RBI groundout by Pedro Álvarez. Norfolk knotted the score at 2-2 in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly from DJ Stewart, then took the lead in the eighth inning when Renato Núñez plated Rickard with a one-out single off of Gregory Infante (2-4).
Rickard singled, doubled and walked twice in the contest to raise his on-base percentage to .415 this season. He's now hit safely in five consecutive games, and he's reached base safely in 32 of the 33 games in which he's had a plate appearance with Norfolk this year.
Means turned in another outstanding start, taking a no-decision despite allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings of work. He struck out six while issuing one walk - a four-pitch walk to the first batter of the contest - while throwing 70 of his 106 pitches for strikes. Both runs he yielded came on a first inning single by Seby Zavala - a line drive that shortstop Adrian Marin lost in the setting sun. Means retired 13 consecutive batters at one point in the contest, and he capped his night with consecutive strikeouts to strand runners on second and third. Over his last six starts, the West Virginia University product has now registered 39 strikeouts and just two walks while posting a 2.94 ERA.
Tim Melville (6-6) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief - his first appearance out of the bullpen after 13 consecutive starts. Jhan Mariñez picked up the save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth, snapping Norfolk's four-game losing skid.
Mariñez has now turned in 10 consecutive scoreless appearances, posting five saves in 10.2 shutout innings over that span. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 22 of his last 24 appearances, and his 10 saves this season lead all Orioles minor leaguers.
The Tides will wrap up their longest homestand of the season on Tuesday night, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Jimmy Yacabonis (3-2, 3.14) is set to start for Norfolk against Charlotte right-hander Jordan Stephens (3-2. 3.83). There will be a special postgame Independence Day fireworks show on Tuesday, presented by Geico Military.
Notes: Norfolk did not make a roster move Monday, the first day without a transaction since June 22nd...DJ Stewart went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, snapping an 18-game on-base streak...Garabez Rosa went 0-for-4 to snap a seven-game hitting streak...Cedric Mullins singled and scored a run, giving him a five-game hitting streak over which he's batted .429 (9-21).
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