Zach Britton tossed seven shutout innings and Norfolk set a season-high with 16 hits as the Tides blanked the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7-0 Thursday night at Harbor Park.
Britton (4-1) was impressive as he scattered four singles while striking out six to help the Tides earn the victory in the opener of the four-game set. The 24-year-old needed just 84 pitches to navigate his seven innings of work, 55 of which went for strikes.
Britton allowed just one baserunner to reach second base in the contest. He also allowed just six balls to be hit into the outfield as he recorded nine ground ball outs.
Seven Tides had multiple hits in the win, with Nate McLouth leading the attack with three hits in five at-bats. McLouth has now hit .412 (14-for-34) with five home runs and 14 RBI over his last nine games.
L.J. Hoes had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 20 games, tying the longest hitting streak in the IL this season. His 20-game stretch is now the 4th-longest in Tides franchise history, just four games shy of matching Gregg Jefferies’ franchise mark of 24 games, set in 1988.
Luis Exposito, who was activated from the disabled list earlier Thursday, had two hits and a walk in his first game action with the Tides since June 4.
Scott Elarton (5-7) took the loss for Lehigh Valley, as he yielded five runs – four earned – on nine hits in five innings.
With the win, the Tides have now won eight of their last ten and 18 of their last 24.
The two clubs will continue their series Friday night, with Tommy Hunter (2-0, 4.50) set to take the hill against left-hander Pat Misch (6-10, 4.73). First pitch from Harbor Park is slated for 7:15.