NORFOLK, VA-The Tides plated four eighth inning runs, then hold off a late Charlotte rally in a 4-2 win over the Knights Friday night at Harbor Park. Trailing 1-0, Norfolk sent eight men to the plate in the eighth frame, as Norfolk singled five times against reliever Mitchell Boggs (0-1). The Tides knotted the score at 1-1 on a fielding error by left fielder Jared Mitchell before taking the lead on a sacrifice fly by Chris Marrero. Norfolk doubled its lead to 4-2 two batters later as Caleb Joseph lined a two-run single to left field, scoring Henry Urrutia and Brett Wallace.
Charlotte rallied in the ninth inning against the Tides bullpen, as Brad Brach (1-0) sandwiched two strikeouts around a single and a walk before giving way to Kelvin De La Cruz. De La Cruz issued consecutive walks to force in a run, but he struck out Carlos Sanchez with the bases loaded to wrap up the win and earn his first save of the season.
The game was scoreless until the seventh inning, as Dan Black broke the deadlock with a one-out solo homer off of Brock Huntzinger. It was the first Triple-A home run for Black, who hit 17 home runs with Double-A Birmingham last season.
Norfolk starter Kevin Gausman was impressive in his season debut, as the 23-year-old yielded three hits and two walks in 4.2 innings of work. Gausman, the #2 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, struck out six while throwing 44 of his 71 pitches for strikes. He registered at least one strikeout in each inning, and he’s now tossed 13.2 consecutive scoreless at the Triple-A level dating back to last season.