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Doubleheader sweep starts Norfolk Tides’ longest homestand of season

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DJ Stewart, Norfolk Tides

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Tides swept a doubleheader from the Gwinnett Stripers Monday, winning game one 4-1 before holding off a late rally in a 7-4 victory in game two.

In game one, Asher Wojciechowski worked five solid innings and Steve Wilkerson drove in a pair as Norfolk knocked off Gwinnett 4-1.

Wojciechowski (4-4) scattered seven hits and three walks over his outing to help lift the Tides to a win in the homestand opener. He walked three and struck out four, lowering his ERA to 3.84 through 16 games (nine starts) with the Tides this season. He matched his season-high with 101 pitches and snapped a personal three-game losing skid with the victory.

The Tides did not have a run-scoring hit in the contest, as Norfolk scored its runs on an error, a bases loaded walk and two sacrifice flies – both of which came off the bat of Wilkerson.

Jhan Mariñez earned the save with a scoreless seventh frame, escaping a bases loaded threat by getting a game-ending double play grounder. He’s now turned in seven consecutive scoreless appearances, and he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 19 of his last 21 outings.

Norfolk Tides

In the nightcap, the Tides jumped out to an early lead before holding off a late surge in a 7-4 victory.

Norfolk plated three runs off of Andres Santiago (2-3) in the first frame, as Cedric Mullins singled and scored on a passed ball before Drew Dosch plated a pair of runs with a two-out, two-run double. The Tides plated a run in the second on another sacrifice fly by Wilkerson, then extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning thanks to a solo homer from DJ Stewart.

The first inning double extended Dosch’s hitting streak to eight games, matching his season-high. He’s now hit safely in eight straight games, 11 of his last 12 and 15 of his last 17, upping his average to .305 this season – 8th in the International League. His 22 RBI in June lead the IL, and he’s now registered eight different multi-RBI games this month.

Matt Wotherspoon, making just his third spot start of the season, cruised through his outing as he limited the Stripers to one hit over four scoreless frames. He struck out seven and walked a pair, and now owns a 0.64 ERA (1 ER, 14.0 IP) with 19 strikeouts and six walks over six games (two starts) this month.

Norfolk Tides

Gwinnett made things interesting with four runs off of Andrew Faulkner (4-0) and Paul Fry in the sixth, but the Tides got an RBI single from Pedro Álvarez and an RBI double from Chance Sisco in the last of the sixth to extend the lead to 7-4. D.J Snelten then pitched a perfect seventh to earn his first save of the season.

The doubleheader sweep was Norfolk’s second of the season and pulled the Tides (39-35) to within two games of the Durham Bulls for first place in the IL South division.

The two clubs will continue their series on Tuesday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Jimmy Yacabonis (3-2, 3.14) is set to start for Norfolk and be opposed by left-hander Kolby Allard (5-2, 2.44).

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