Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 11, Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays) 8
Fans of stellar pitching performances will want to turn away as there isn’t much of that to find here.
Garrett Stallings started for the Tides and immediately gave up a two spot in the first inning, both runs scoring on a one-out single with runners on second and third. The righty would sort things out from there, allowing just one more run, and making it through 5.2 innings. Six of the seven hits he allowed were singles, and he didn’t issue any walks or home runs to keep the damage to a minimum.
There it is, another franchise record broken! @gstallz gets a man looking at strike three for Norfolk's 1,381st strikeout of the year, surpassing the 2022 Tides for most punchouts in a season!#RisingTide pic.twitter.com/4oXsA2nRIa— Norfolk Tides (@NorfolkTides) September 20, 2023
Meanwhile, the Norfolk offense was quite busy themselves. Their first run came on a Kyle Stowers single to score Connor Norby in the third inning to make it 2-1 at the time.
The fourth inning is where they put up their first crooked number of the day. With Shayne Fontana on third and Jackson Holliday at first, Norfolk tied the game at two when a wild pitch allowed Fontana to score. Norby followed with a walk, and then Colton Cowser knocked in Holliday on a base hit to right. After Cowser swiped second on defensive indifferent, Coby Mayo brought both runners home on a knock to left field. Mayo scooted to third on a Stowers single, and then came in to score when Josh Lester poked one through to left field. At the end of the frame, the Tides left 6-2.
Buffalo got one across the plate in the fifth, but then Norfolk scored the next five runs of the game.
In the sixth, it was a solo shot from Cowser that extended the lead to 7-3.
But that was quickly outdone in the seventh by a grand slam off the bat of Norby to make it 11-3. It was the second baseman’s second straight game with a four-run blast, pushing his RBI total on the year to 89.
That was all the offense for the Tides as the bullpen did its best to try and choke it all away. Tyler Wells allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning. Bryan Baker coughed up a four spot and recorded just two outs. At least Nick Vespi had a solid day in relief, working one scoreless frame and striking out two.
Cowser led the offense with three hits, but Holliday, Norby, Stowers, and Fontana all had two each. Norby, Fontana, and Holliday stole one base each. And while the offense impressed with 11 runs on 14 hits, they also struck out 15 times as a group, three of which came from Holliday atop the order.
- Norfolk: at Buffalo, 6:05. SP: Bruce Zimmermann (4-6, 4.17 ERA)