Michael Almanzar plated Audry Pérez with a one-out single in the bottom of the 13th inning, lifting Norfolk to a 3-2 walk-off win over the Rochester Red Wings Wednesday night at Harbor Park.
With the score knotted at 2-2, Pérez opened the 13th inning with a single off of Jake Reed (0-1). One out later, L.J. Hoes was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, and Almanzar followed by slicing a liner down the right field line to plate Pérez and give Norfolk its seventh walk-off win of the season.
L.J. Hoes (1-0) earned the win in the contest, becoming the first Tides position player to record a decision in a game since Carlos Rojas suffered a loss on the mound in 2012. Hoes recorded a scoreless inning of relief, registering one walk, a caught stealing and two fly ball outs.
Norfolk starter Tyler Wilson turned in a solid effort, as he allowed two runs on three hits over five innings of work. Wilson, who was making his first appearance with the Tides since being optioned from Baltimore on August 20, walked one and struck out four while throwing 42 of his 64 pitches for strikes. The only runs he allowed came on a two-run homer by Byron Buxton in the third inning.
Odrisamer Despaigne followed Wilson’s effort with four hitless innings of relief, walking one and striking out five. Michael Zouzalik then worked three shutout innings of his own before making way for Hoes’ heroics on the mound. The three relievers combined to allow just one hit over eight shutout innings of relief.
Pérez finished with three hits and two runs scored to lead Norfolk, which saw its three-game losing skid come to an end. Almanzar, Caleb Joseph, Dariel Álvarez and Christian Walker each added two hits in the win, with Walker extending his hitting streak to 10 games with a single and a double.
With the win, the Tides remained 3.0 games back of Charlotte for first place in the IL South division with 12 games to play.
The two teams wrap up their three-game set on Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 12:05. Joe Gunkel (8-9, 3.56) is scheduled to start for Norfolk and will be opposed by right-hander Omar Bencomo (1-1, 5.73).