NORFOLK, Va. (Norfolk Tides Media Relations) - Joey Rickard continued his hot hitting with a clutch double and three runs batted in, helping Norfolk rally for a 7-5 win over the Durham Bulls Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
Rickard, playing in his first game back with the Tides after he was optioned from Baltimore on Sunday, drove in a run with a groundout in the first frame before he knotted the score with a two-run double in the fifth. Rickard has now reached base safely in all 16 games he’s appeared in with the Tides, batting .339 with six doubles, a triple and 13 runs batted in.
Norfolk trailed the contest 4-1 after two innings of play, but rallied with four runs in the fifth to take the lead. A bases loaded wild pitch from Austin Pruitt pulled Norfolk within 4-2, and Rickard followed with a two-out, two-run double to knot the score at 4-4. Michael Saunders then gave Norfolk the lead with a run-scoring single.
Durham tied the score at 5-5 in the sixth inning, but the Tides answered right back on a two-run single by Ruben Tejada off of Cody Hall (1-2).
Josh Edgin then worked two shutout innings out of the bullpen before giving way to Donnie Hart, who struck out two in a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Norfolk starter Tim Melville (3-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, with the right-hander picking up the win after six innings of work. Melville surrendered four runs on two homers through the first seven batters he faced, but salvaged his outing by yielding just three hits and a run over his final four innings of work. He struck out seven and walked three in his outing, yielding five runs on six hits while throwing 57 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
With the win, Norfolk (12-10) snapped Durham’s four-game winning streak and moved a half-game ahead of the Bulls (12-11) in the IL South division.
The two clubs will wrap up their three-game set on Wednesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 6:35. Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0, 3.38) gets the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by Bulls left-hander Anthony Blanda (3-2, 4.38).