Norfolk Tides Press Release
Durham, NC - Mike Wright nearly turned in the third no-hitter in franchise history, losing his historic bid with two outs in the ninth inning in Norfolk's 5-2 win at Durham Thursday.
Wright (5-11) was outstanding as he set career-highs with 8.2 innings pitched and 11 strikeouts. The #7 prospect in the Orioles system retired 13 straight batters at one point and threw 78 of his career-high 121 pitches for strikes.
After issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth frame, Wright rebounded to retire the next two batters before Cole Figueroa hit a slow ground ball to shortstop Alexi Casilla that looked like it would end the contest. Casilla's throw to first was low and off line for a throwing error, however, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Wright quickly got two strikes on Mikie Mahtook, but Mahtook lined a 1-2 pitch over the head of Dariel Alvarez off the wall in right field for an RBI double, denying Wright his chance at history.
Wright was attempting to throw the first no-hitter for the Tides since Chris Tillman tossed a nine-inning no-hitter at Gwinnett on April 28, 2010. Prior to Tillman's gem, the only other nine-inning no-hitter in franchise history was turned in by Dave Telgheder vs. Pawtucket on May 15, 1992.
Over his last six starts, Wright has now gone 4-2 with a 1.11 ERA (5 ER, 40.2 IP), 30 strikeouts and five walks.
Julio Borbon preserved Wright's no-hit bid with a diving catch to deny Figueroa a hit leading off the seventh inning. Christian Walker also made a fine leaping catch to spear a line drive hit by Vince Belnome in the eighth.
The Tides jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Dariel Alvarez belted a three-run homer in the first inning - his first Triple-A home run. It was the first home run for Norfolk since August 7, snapping a streak of 462 plate appearances without a homer.
With the win, Norfolk pulled within 7.0 games of the Bulls in the IL South division with 12 games left in the season. Durham's magic number to clinch the division is six.
The Tides head to Charlotte Friday to start a four-game series with the Knights. Tyler Wilson (3-1, 2.96) takes the mound for Norfolk, with first pitch slated for 7:05.