Tides Tidbits: April 29

Photo courtesy: Norfolk Tides

The Norfolk Tides flocked home Saturday to play a 4 game series against the Detroit Tigers AAA affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. The Tides considered the road trip successful collecting 7 wins over an 11 game span.

Tides skipper Ron Johnson shared his thoughts on the successful road trip stating, "Anytime you go above .500 on the road, it’s a good trip. Three cities…it’s early. You take wins anyway you can get them."

Before the Saturday (4-27-13) contest against the Mud Hens, the Tides held steady in the I.L. South with a winning percentage of .591 after winning their last two.

Danny Valencia started the weekend with a team high batting average of .329 and hit his second home run Friday night concluding Norfolk’s 11 game road trip.

"He can swing the bat well. He came into the game tonight hitting about .330. Drives in runs is what he does. This guy, a couple of years ago, was third in the league in Rookie of the Year voting. He’s got some skill. He’s got big power and can swing the bat pretty well," added Johnson about Valencia.

Another key to the Tides success was speedy outfielder L. J. Hoes who knocked in two runs in Friday night’s series finale against the the Knights. The Washington, D.C. native could be nicknamed Mr. Clutch during the road trip collecting 11 hits in 20 games.

In addition, Yamaico Navarro leads all International League players in the sacrifice category with 6. Navarro has hit safely 8 times in his last 9 games. The San Pedro de Macoris native has a .254 batting average.

Right-handed hurler Jair Jurrjens began the Saturday night tilt on the hill for the Tides. Jurrjens started the night with a 3.00 ERA and 24 innings pitched. Prior to signing with Baltimore, he spent five seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization.

Norfolk’s skipper commented on Jurrjens quality start, "He was really good. Anytime you come back off a road trip and you have travel, you want someone to go out and establish momentum. We went out and scored a run on an error, but there was a tempo to the game. It was a well moving game and all of a sudden guys were making plays behind him."

Jurrjens and company walked off with 2-1 victory.

Freddy Garcia was tabbed for the start Sunday afternoon. The Venezuela native began the day with a perfect 3-0 record. Garcia hurled 8 innings before closer Jairo Asencio took the hill earning his 8th save of the year.

Tides catcher Chris Robinson chatted about Garcia’s performance Sunday afternoon, "He was good. I’ve seen him better. He kind of dealt with the cards he was given. He pitched well enough. I think he got the big outs when he needed them. The first five or so innings he was rolling, keeping his pitch count down which enabled him to go late in the game."

Winners of their last four, the Tides hold down the second position in the I.L. South sitting a game behind the Durham Bulls as of April 28, 2013.

Follow Ted on Twitter @bauerhockeydude

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