Every Norfolk batter hit safely and scored a run as the Tides rolled to an 11-4 win over the Rochester Red Wings Monday night at Harbor Park.
Norfolk set a season-high with 17 hits in the contest as they took the opener of the four-game set. The win moved Norfolk (51-46) five games over .500 for the first time this season and pulled them within 3.0 games of Charlotte for first place in the IL South Division.
Nate McLouth homered, tripled and drove in three in the win, as he was one of six Tides batters to collect multiple hits. McLouth now has an IL-leading seven home runs in July, as he’s hit .373 (19-for-51) with seven homers and 19 RBI.
Carlos Rojas had three hits and two RBI, while Luis Exposito and Brandon Waring each added two hits and two runs batted in. Waring belted a solo homer in a five-run fourth, his fifth home run at the Triple-A level.
Jake Arrieta (1-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, as he picked up the victory in his first outing with Norfolk since being optioned from Baltimore on July 6. Arrieta surrendered a two-run homer in the first inning to Wilkin Ramirez, but settled down to yield one more run over the next four frames. In five innings of work, he allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Norfolk has now won 11 of its last 14 and 21 of its last 28. The Tides are also just five wins shy of matching their season win total from 2011, when they finished a franchise-worst 56-87.
The two teams will continue their four-game series on Tuesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:15. Right-hander Jeff Manship (4-1, 2.29) will take the mound for Rochester against Norfolk right-hander Brad Bergesen (4-3, 4.03), who will be making his first start since June 4.