Justin Turner had three hits and David Pauley tossed six strong innings as Norfolk knocked off Gwinnett 3-2 in front of 9,722 fans at Harbor Park Friday night.
Turner singled three times and walked in the contest, giving him a team-high 30 multiple hit games this season. He also plated Norfolk's final run of the contest with a fourth inning infield single off of Braves starter Jonny Venters (3-6) that plated Freddy Guzman and gave the Tides a 3-1 lead.
The Tides had fallen behind 1-0 after the first inning, but run-scoring doubles by Rhyne Hughes and Guillermo Rodriguez put Norfolk on top, 2-1.
After the Braves pulled within a run in the eighth inning, Gwinnett shortstop Diory Hernandez led off the ninth with a double to left field off of Tides closer Alberto Castillo. After a strikeout and groundout moved Hernandez to third with two out, Castillo fanned Antonio Perez to lock up the win and register his 13th save of the season.
Tides starter David Pauley (9-10) picked up the win, as he surrendered just three hits and one run in six innings of work. After yielding the first inning run, Pauley faced just two batters over the minimum over his next five frames, helping the Tides earn a split of their four-game series with the division-leading Braves.
The Tides now sit six games back of Gwinnett in the IL South and are three games behind Durham in the IL Wild Card chase.
Norfolk will travel to Rochester Saturday for a four-game series with the Red Wings, Norfolk's last games against a non-divisional opponent. Chris George (1-1, 5.47) will make his second start in a Norfolk uniform against right-hander Kevin Mulvey (5-7, 4.16), with first pitch slated for 7:05.