Miguel Gonzalez worked six strong innings and Xavier Paul belted a three-run home run as the Tides topped the Rochester Red Wings 7-4 Thursday night at Harbor Park.
Gonzalez (1-0), who was 4-5 with a 4.04 ERA in 16 appearances with Baltimore this season, yielded three runs on five hits in six solid innings of work to help lift the Tides to the series-opening win. He yielded a solo home run to James Beresford in the first inning before allowing two runs in the third on an RBI double by Deibinson Romero and a run-scoring wild pitch. Gonzalez, who walked two and struck out one, then settled down to retire each of the final eight batters he faced in what was his first appearance with the Tides since the 2012 season.
Paul gave the Tides an early advantage with a three-run shot off of Yohan Pino (9-2) in the first inning. It was the team-leading 12th home run for Paul, who now has 11 runs batted in over his last six games.
The game was knotted at 3-3 entering the sixth, but Norfolk plated two runs in the frame on a bases-loaded walk by Cord Phelps and a run-scoring double play off the bat of Brian Ward. The Tides managed just one hit in the frame as they took advantage of three walks - part of the 11 walks Rochester pitching issued in the contest.
After the Wings pulled within 5-4 in the seventh inning, Norfolk added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI double by Dariel Alvarez. It was the first Triple-A hit and RBI for Alvarez, who was promoted to Norfolk from Double-A Bowie earlier Thursday.
Evan Meek worked a perfect ninth inning to register his fifth save of the season.
With the win, Norfolk is now 9-1 over its last ten home contests, with each of those games being decided by three runs or less.
The two clubs will continue their series Friday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05 pm. Norfolk will send Josh Stinson (0-4, 7.54) to the hill against right-hander Alex Meyer (5-4, 3.43).
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