Norfolk Tides 6, Columbus Clippers 5
The Tides rallied in the ninth to overcome an early deficit and knot their series with Columbus at two.
Chris Jones was something of a revelation in the regular season, but his start tonight was less than stellar. Jones was touched up for six hits (including a homer), a walk and four runs in 2.1 innings. Perhaps on another night, Tides skipper Ron Johnson would have been more patient with Jones, but this is the playoffs! Jones yielded to Andy Oliver.
Going into the ninth, the Tides were down 5-4. Henry Urrutia singled and Navarro completed his perfect inning with another single to move pinch runner Julio Borbon to third. The plate was set for Christian Walker, but Walker lost an extended battled with one time major league closer Carlo Marmol. If you've watched the Orioles this year, you might expect an inning ending double play in this situation, but recent acquisition Andy Wilkins had other plans. The Orioles claimed Wilkins off waivers from the Dodgers last week and he celebrated his 27th birthday today in style. Wilkins hit a base clearing double that would put the Tides ahead just like they drew it up. The run scoring single Wilkins hit earlier in the game, incidentally, was his first hit of the series
Oliver Drake closed things out with a perfect bottom half of the inning. While Wilkins was responsible for the late inning heroics, he probably wouldn't have had a chance to strut his stuff if it weren't for the great performance of Rey Navarro. Navarro's been hot this series, but on this day was scalding. The 25 year old shortstop homered, hit three singles, walked, stole a base and scored three runs. Not too shabby.
The Tides travel to Columbus for the final game of the series at 6:35 Monday. Terry Doyle will take the ball for the Tides.