Despite a strong outing from Chris Tillman, Norfolk dropped a 5-1 decision to the Durham Bulls in front of 9,124 fans at Harbor Park Saturday night.
Norfolk outhit Durham 9-7, but the Tides stranded 10 men on base. Each of Norfolk’s nine hits were singles, the second-consecutive game in which the Tides did not collect an extra-base hit.
Tillman (3-7) was solid, but he was once again the victim of a lack of run support. The 24-year-old allowed two runs on five hits in six innings of work, walking three and striking out six. Three of the five hits off Tillman were third inning singles, the last of which was a two-out grounder to center field by Leslie Anderson that gave Durham a 2-0 lead.
The Tides have now scored just 19 total runs over Tillman’s nine starts this season, including two runs over his last four outings.
Lew Ford led Norfolk’s offense with two hits, including an RBI single in the sixth inning. Ford, who is now hitting .371 with Norfolk, now has five multi-hit games since joining the club on May 18.
Matt Torra (4-5) earned the win, as he scattered six hits over five shutout innings.
The two clubs will wrap up their four-game home-and-home set on Sunday, with first pitch from Harbor Park set for 1:15. Jason Berken (0-1, 2.50) will take the hill for Norfolk against right-hander Lance Pendleton (1-1, 3.58).