Nate McLouth’s three hits and two RBI powered Norfolk to a 5-3 win over the Syracuse Chiefs Saturday night at Harbor Park.
McLouth doubled and scored in the first, singled and scored in the third, then doubled in two runs in the fourth to help Norfolk take the opener of the four-game set.
Steve Johnson (3-5) picked up the win, as he was one of five Norfolk relievers to pitch in the contest. Norfolk was forced to use its bullpen for the entire game due to the fact that scheduled starter Miguel Gonzalez was scratched prior to first pitch.
Pat Neshek recorded the final five outs of the contest to earn his eighth save of the season. Neshek has now posted 11 consecutive scoreless outings, over which he has registered six saves and 18 strikeouts over 12.2 innings of work.
Former Tide Mitch Atkins (6-6) took the loss after yielding five runs – three earned – on six hits in 3.1 innings.
The game was called with two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth due to heavy rains and wind.
The two clubs will continue their four-game series on Sunday, with first pitch from Harbor Park slated for 6:15. Zach Britton (2-1, 5.74) will take the hill for the Tides against southpaw John Lannan (6-6, 4.43).