Tides starter Dave Hernandez struck out 14 batters, helping Norfolk knock off Rochester 4-3 Friday night at Harbor Park.
Hernandez retired the first seven batters he faced via strikeout en route to posting the highest single game total for a Tides pitcher since Octavio Dotel registered a franchise record 17 punchouts on May 27, 1999. Dotel shares the franchise mark with Sid Fernandez, who struck out 17 in a game for the Tidewater Tides in both the 1984 and 1985 seasons.
The 24-year-old right-hander was dominant and efficient, as he threw 84 of his 114 pitches for strikes. He allowed just three hits and three unearned runs without walking a batter in the contest, lowering his ERA for the season to 2.91.
The Tides took a first inning lead off of Rochester starter Reid Santos, when Matt Wieters doubled off the right field wall and scored on a single by Jolbert Cabrera. Norfolk extended its lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning, as Robby Hammock connected for a solo homer and Wieters drove home Joey Gathright with an RBI single.
Norfolk held the 3-0 advantage to the eighth inning, but the Red Wings rallied to knot the score and deny Hernandez the victory. Dustin Martin led off the inning by reaching on an error, and a single by Jose Morales put runners at first and third with nobody out. After Hernandez retired David Winfree on a flyout, Matt Macri singled to left field to plate Martin and chase Hernandez from the game.
Bob McCrory was summoned from the bullpen, but he walked Drew Butera to load the bases before striking out Jason Pridie for the second out of the inning. After McCrory walked Watkins to force in the second run of the frame, closer Jim Miller (1-1) came on to face Luke Hughes, but Hughes worked a 12-pitch walk to force home Macri and tie the game at 3-3.
Norfolk would retake the lead in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of two base hits and an error. Hammock lined a one-out single off of Juan Morillo (2-1) and moved to third on a hit-and-run single off the bat of Melvin Dorta to start the rally. Pinch-hitter Jeff Fiorentino then followed by grounding what appeared to be an inning ending double play ball to second base, but Dorta's slide into second caused Macri to make a low throw from shortstop that skipped past first base, allowing Hammock to score the go-ahead run.
Miller then retired the Red Wings in order in the ninth inning to wrap up Norfolk's ninth win in their last ten games.
The Tides and Red Wings will square off again on Saturday, with first pitch from Harbor Park slated for 7:15. Chris Tillman (5-0, 2.25) is slated to take the hill for Norfolk against right-hander Philip Humber (1-1, 5.85).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.