Norfolk Knocks Off Indians 4-1

VandenHurk Tosses Seven Strong Innings To Win Tides’ Debut

NORFOLK, Va. — Starting pitcher Rick VandenHurk held the Indianapolis Indians’ offense to one run on four hits in seven innings of work and Norfolk plated a pair of runs in both the second and fourth innings as the Tides took down the Tribe 4-1 on Monday night at Harbor Park.

The loss drops the Indians’ record to 56-55 on the season, while the victory improves the Tides’ mark to 53-58 on the year. The Indians have now lost four consecutive games and have also fallen four games behind the Louisville Bats in the Wild Card race.

In his first start in a Tides’ uniform since being acquired by the Baltimore Orioles’ organization on July 31, VandenHurk (7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) allowed only one Tribe baserunner to reach third base and successfully retired all eight Indians’ batters that stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position to earn his first victory of the season for Norfolk.

In support of VandenHurk’s seven inning effort, Norfolk jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the home half of the second inning. With runners standing at the corners and two outs in the frame, C Craig Tatum lined the second offering of his at-bat to the gap in left-center field for a two-run triple and a quick 2-0 Tides’ lead.

Indianapolis responded with a run of its own one inning later when LF Kevin Melillo lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to cut the Tribe’s deficit to 2-1 in the third. Luke Carlin led off the frame with a double to right field, and, after moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by SS Brian Friday, the Indians’ catcher trotted home on Melillo’s fly ball out.

Norfolk later upped its advantage to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run home run by 1B Brandon Snyder. The blast, which was the first baseman’s seventh of the season, plated LF Nolan Reimold, who had singled with one out in the frame.

Still trailing by three runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Tribe put runners at first and third with one out in the frame, but Tides’ closer Dennis Sarfate (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) struck out the next two Indians’ batters in succession to preserve Norfolk’s 4-1 victory.

Not to be overshadowed by VandenHurk’s dominant outing was the seven inning effort of Indians’ starter Mike Crotta (7.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO). Although the Tribe right-hander dropped to 5-6 on the season with the loss, Crotta limited the Tides to four runs on four hits in seven innings of work while striking out a season-high tying six batters.

Tribe RF Brandon Moss (2-for-4) was the only batter for either side to record more than one base knock in the contest, while Snyder (1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and Tatum (1-for-3, 1 3B, 2 RBI) each collected two RBI on the evening for the Tides.

The Indians conclude their four-game series against the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday, August 3 at 12:15 p.m. RHP Jeremy Powell is the anticipated starter for the Tribe, while RHP Chris Tillman is the probable starter for the Tides.

The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The pre-game show begins at 11:55 a.m.

Post-game quotes — OF Kevin Melillo

(on Tides’ RHP Rick VandenHurk’s outing)
“You can’t take anything away from (Tides’ RHP Rick VandenHurk) tonight. He went out, threw strikes and got outs. He worked quickly and as a hitter it’s tough to break his rhythm.”

(on the team’s four-game losing streak)
“As a team, we are not on the same page. When we’ve had good pitching like tonight, we are not hitting. When the hitting is there, the pitching is not. It’s August and this is the worst time to not be playing good baseball. We are falling out of the playoff race and need to get on the same page before it’s too late.”

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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