Cord Phelps lined a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Tides to a 3-2 walk-off win over the Rochester Red Wings Friday night at Harbor Park.
Norfolk entered the final frame trailing 2-1, but Dariel Alvarez ignited the rally with a single to center off of Ryan Pressly (1-4). After a wild pitch and a single by Buck Britton put runners on second and third, Rochester elected to intentionally walk Francisco Peguero to load the bases for Phelps. After the Red Wings summoned Aaron Thompson from the bullpen, Phelps followed by lining a 1-0 pitch into right-center field, plating Alvarez and pinch-runner Jemile Weeks to give the Tides the 3-2 win.
Phelps also accounted for Norfolk's first run of the contest, when he belted a fifth inning home run off of Rochester starter Alex Meyer. He finished with three hits in the game and is now batting .410 (16-39) with 15 RBI and a .540 on-base percentage over 12 games in July.
The walk-off hit was Norfolk's fifth walk-off victory of July, with each of the last three coming by way of a game-winning hit off the bat of Phelps. Phelps had a two-run double that gave Norfolk a 12-11 win on July 11, then followed that up with a two-run single on July 12 that lifted the Tides to a 9-8 win over Gwinnett.
Meyer, the #3 prospect in the Minnesota system according to Baseball America, limited the Tides to three hits and four walks while striking out four in six innings of work. The 24-year-old right-hander, who was making his first appearance since pitching for the U.S. Team in the Futures Game, threw 51 of his 88 pitches for strikes and was in line for the victory before Norfolk's comeback.
Josh Stinson did not factor in the decision after allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits in six innings of work. Stinson yielded a two-out RBI double to Josmil Pinto in the first frame before surrendering an unearned run on a throwing error in the fourth frame. He walked two and struck out two, and he now has a 2.70 ERA over his last two starts (3 ER, 10.0 IP).
The win was Norfolk's fifth straight and seventh in its last eight games. It was also the 10th win for the Tides over the last 11 home games, with Norfolk going 6-0 in one-run games over that 11-game home stretch.
The two clubs will continue their series Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05 pm. Suk-min Yoon (3-7, 5.76) is slated to come off the disabled list and make the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by Red Wings right-hander Trevor May (8-4, 2.94).
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