MEMPHIS, Tn. — The Norfolk Tides (65-68) defeated the Memphis Redbirds (65-68), 6-5, Friday night at AutoZone Park. The Tides have won four games in a row and have won 11 of their last 14 games. The season-high winning streak by the Tides is five games from April 12 – 17 when they won the first five games in the series at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Tides have clinched the seven-game series and can tie the season series at 9-9 if they win out the series.
Brett Phillips knocked in the first runs of the game with a two-run triple. He reached third when left fielder Clint Coulter threw the ball to second base with no one covering. Phillips attempted an inside-the-park home run but was out by a mile when catcher Ivan Herrera went to get the ball and threw it home to Redbirds starting pitcher, Garrett Williams.
Williams ended up earning the loss for Memphis due to those two runs allow. Norfolk got to the Redbirds bullpen by putting up four runs in the fourth. Jordan Westburg knocked an RBI single and then scored in part of a three-run homer by Joey Ortiz.
The Redbirds cut the Tides’ lead in half by scoring a run in the fourth, then two more in the sixth. This all came from Herrera, who broke the shutout with a solo homer in the fourth, then a two-run shot in the sixth to make it 6-3.
Memphis made it a close game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth but Cole Uvila was able to hold on and lock it down for his 12th save of the season in the, 6-5, win. That capped a win for Tides follower Chris Vallimont, who earned his his fifth win of the season. Alex Wells opened the game on rehab, retiring six of seven batters face and threw an astounding 81.1% of his pitches for strikes (22 pitches, 18 strikes).
Game six of the series will be played tomorrow with first pitch at 4:05 p.m. The Tides will throw RHP Mike Baumann (2-6, 4.20), while Memphis will have LHP Matthew Liberatore (5-7, 5.42) start for them.
YOUNGSTER JOEY: Getting his second-straight three-hit game tonight was Joey Ortiz, who went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer…it was his second home run of the season, with the other happening on September 3 vs. Lehigh Valley…it was his sixth multi-hit effort with the Tides in just his 11th game, including his third three-hit game in Triple-A…the home run was his 53rd extra-base hit in total this season, which ranks in the Orioles farm system.