Norfolk Tides roll over the Clippers 7-2
Columbus- The Norfolk Tides defeated the Columbus Clippers Monday night, 7-2. The Tides offense took advantage of an off inning by starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, while the Orioles young prospect kept the Clippers’ bats silent.
After two quiet innings the away team made it on the board first. With two outs in the third Matsuzaka let up his third hit of the night, a high fly to left field that bounced off the Wendy’s Hamburger Balcony for a homerun. Matsuzaka struckout his sixth batter of the night to end the inning with the Clippers down by one.
With the Tides offense warming up Matsuzaka imploded in the fourth inning. Norfolk led off with a single followed by a walk. With one out and runners in the corners Chris Snyder singled on a line drive down the third base line, sending a runner home to score.
Another single by the Tides loaded the bases on Matsuzaka with only one out. After a visit to the mound Matsuzaka gave up his fourth hit of the inning, a single that brought two runs in.
Norfolk Centerfielder Jason Pridie stepped up to the plate with one out and came up with a ground ball to right field, bringing in the Tides’ final run of the inning. A double player ended the inning, after an injury delay for Matsuzaka.
Manager Chris Tremie spoke of the injury, “I think he’s fine, we just wanted to make sure he was alright. He had kind of a long inning and it looked like he was stretching a little bit. He indicated to us that he felt fine and that he was alright.”
Bryan Price replaced Matsuzaka early in fifth. Price held off the Tides for two innings, pitching through the sixth.
The Clippers bats remained cold through the first five innings thanks to the Baltimore Orioles number one pitching prospect Kevin Gausman. The twenty-two year old fanned seven of Columbus’ batters in his five innings pitched and only allowed two hits by the withering offense. Gausman was pulled after the fifth due to being on the Danny Salazar plan.
“He’s got good stuff. He’s a good looking young kid,” Tremie noted about Norfolk’s starter. “He threw the ball pretty good tonight.”
Columbus was finally able to gain ground in the seventh inning when Gausman’s replacement Chris Jones walkedJeremy Hermida followed by Chun-Hsiu Chen. Shortstop Juan Diaz came up to the plate doubling to center field, rolling in Hermida to score the Clippers only run.
Norfolk’s offense once again took control in the eighth inning, furthering their lead with Vinnie Pestano in from the pen. Pestano started the inning giving up a double out to left field. A following single put runners on first and third. A sacrifice fly scored the Tides’ sixth run of the game. Pestano walked the next batter, loading the bases with one out.
Pestano got his second out, but Norfolk followed it with another single scoring their final run of the game.
Blake Wood took over the mound in the ninth, holding Norfolk to their six run lead against the Clippers. Wood struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth.
The Clippers attempted to make a run at the daunting six point lead the Tides had on them late in the ninth. Chen drew a walk to lead off the inning, proceeding to second on a wild pitch. Chen made the run for third on Diaz’s ground out. A sacrifice fly out to centerfield by third baseman Ryan Rohlinger brought Chen safely into home to cut the Tides lead. A strikeout ended the inning with the Clippers trailing the Tides 7-2.
Columbus will send Paolo Espino to the mound Tuesday where they will have a chance to tie up the series with Norfolk.
“We’re due tomorrow,” said Tremie.