Jack Cust’s 13th inning home run lifted Scranton/WB to a 5-4 victory over the Tides in a marathon game Monday afternoon at Harbor Park.
Cust’s blast was his second solo shot of extra innings and came off of Tides’ infielder Carlos Rojas (0-1), who was forced to enter the contest due to Norfolk’s depleted bullpen. The winning pitcher in the contest was also a position player, as Scranton’s third-string catcher Ryan Baker (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings in his first career appearance on the mound.
The two clubs played two games and 14 innings Saturday night, followed by two games and 18 innings Sunday. The 13 innings Monday put the total to 45 innings played in 46 hours, causing both bullpens to run out of available pitchers.
Cust gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the 10th inning with a solo shot off of Jon Link, but Norfolk tied the game in the bottom half on an RBI single by Blake Davis. Davis’ single scored Jamie Hoffmann and loaded the bases with nobody out, but Nelson Figueroa worked out of the jam to send the game to the 11th inning.
The Tides nearly won the game again in the 11th, but Lew Ford was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second base on an error by Scranton second baseman Corban Joseph.
Norfolk tied a season-high with 15 men left on base, including two each in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings.
Ford led Norfolk’s offense with three hits, while Hoffmann and Davis each added two hits apiece.
Tides starter Brad Bergesen turned in his fourth straight quality start but did not factor in the decision. Bergesen, who yielded two runs on four hits while striking out five in six innings of work, has now posted a 3.41 ERA (11-ER, 29.0-IP) over his last five starts.
Bergesen left the contest trailing 2-1 but was in position to pick up a victory after Norfolk took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Waring and Davis each had RBI singles in the sixth, but the Yankees tied the score in the seventh on an RBI single by Kevin Russo off of Zach Phillips, denying Bergesen the victory.
Catcher Luis Exposito left the contest in the second inning after suffering a hand injury.
The Tides will begin an eight-game road trip Tuesday night as they start a four-game set against the Rochester Red Wings. Zach Britton is slated to make a rehab start for Norfolk against Rochester left-hander Matt Maloney (0-1, 5.40), with first pitch slated for 7:05.