Norfolk Tides 3, Gwinnett (Braves) 1
The Tides only got six hits in this game, but they made them count, scoring three runs in the eighth inning to stun the Braves. Well, I can't say for a certainty that they were stunned. I wasn't there. But the Braves were winning and then suddenly they were losing. That's never fun. Rey Navarro had a solo home run as part of the scoring, his sixth of the Triple-A season.
Norfolk was kept in the game, as one does, by Terry Doyle, who pitched eight innings of one run ball. Doyle was dominating Double-A for much of the year and he's picked up mostly where he's left off since popping into the Norfolk rotation. The Tides are now two games ahead of these same Braves for the lead in the South division of the International League. Only three games remain in the regular season.
Erie (Tigers) 5, Bowie Baysox 0
Bowie had their chances in the game, recording nine hits, but they were only 1-8 with RISP in the game and that's not the way you're going to win many games. You know, especially if you don't score at all. Catcher Chance Sisco had a 2-4 - he's batting .266 in the 17 games since getting bumped up to this level. At 20, he is young for the level, so great job by him for accomplishing that so far.
Winston-Salem (White Sox) 7, Frederick Keys 4
Speaking of stunned, the Keys gave up four runs in the ninth inning to suddenly lose this game. Oops. Garrett Cortright rode the struggle bus on this night. Being the minors, you never know entirely how much was his fault.
In other innings of the game, Frederick committed four errors. Yikes. There's really nobody on this team, and other than when Sisco was here, there hasn't been anybody all year. Which is probably why they are 63-74.
Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Lakewood (Phillies) 1
Continuing our theme of sudden bursts of runs, the Shorebirds grabbed four runs in the seventh inning and then held on the rest of the way. Credit to starting pitcher Dariel Delgado for seven innings of one run ball, with 2014 seventh rounder Max Schuh holding down the fort for the last two innings.
Aberdeen IronBirds 3, Lowell (Red Sox) 2
This, too, was a stunner, so much so that it might as well have been delivered by Stone Cold Steve Austin. The IronBirds grabbed all three of their runs in the ninth inning to storm ahead for a walkoff win. This is the description of the game-winning play:
Drew Turbin lines into a force out, pitcher Bobby Poyner to second baseman Aneudis Peralta. Steve Laurino scores. Oswill Lartiguez to 3rd. Ryan Mountcastle out at 2nd. Drew Turbin to 1st.
How does one line into a force out and have the game end? My best guess is maybe it was a line drive right at the pitcher that fell to the ground, and he tried futilely to start a double play after the ball hit the ground. I am stumped.
Other than this strange play, the interesting thing in this box score is that 28th rounder Christian Turnipseed continued his scoreless streak in his professional career, preserving a 0.00 ERA over another two innings. Third rounder Garrett Cleavinger pitched the final inning, now sporting a 1.11 ERA in 24.1 innings of relief.
This team is half a game behind their division-leading Staten Island Yankees with three games left to play.
Norfolk: at Durham, 6:35. Starter: Chris Jones
Bowie: at Erie, 5:05. (Doubleheader) Starters: Christopher "I'm Not Saruman" Lee, TBD.
Frederick: vs. Winston Salem, 6:00. Starter: TBD.
Delmarva: at Lakewood, 7:05. Starter: Francisco Jimenez
Aberdeen: at Hudson Valley, 7:05. Starter: TBD.
For complete box scores from Friday's games, which no longer include GCL or DSL scores because those seasons are over, check out here.