Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 3, Durham Bulls (Rays) 2
In their last game of the 2021 season, the Norfolk Tides sent their fans home happy.
Norfolk scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth, then finished things off in the ninth to beat Durham and finish the season at 52-78.
Norfolk’s winning rally started when Mason McCoy singled to right leading off and Adley Rutschman - hopefully he’ll be in Orioles game recaps next year - followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second.
Kyle Stowers then stroked the third straight single with a hit to right, scoring McCoy to even the score at 2. Rutschman went to third, then scored a batter later for the go-ahead run when Rylan Bannon flew to right for a sacrifice fly.
Felix Bautista got the save, allowing one hit before closing the door shut.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead when Brett Cumberland smacked his 10th home run in the fifth, but Durham scored two in the sixth on a David Freitas fielder’s choice and a Garrett Whitley sacrifice fly, setting the stage for the eighth-inning comeback.
Stowers and McCoy both had two hits, while Rutschman went 1-for-3 to finish his Triple-A stint batting .312. Cumberland’s home run was the only other hit.
Ryan Hartman got the start for the Tides, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out four, and Paul Fry (0.1 IP), Diogenes Almengo (1.0 IP) and Nick Vespi (1.0 IP) provided scoreless relief, with Vespi getting the decision.
Meanwhile, up at the top, the Orioles finished the season 52-110, and wrapped up the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. So get ready, because another high-ranking prospect will be joining the farm soon enough.