Wilson Loves Strikeouts
By Mike Franz
On Monday, the Norfolk Tides were hoping to bounce back after the 14-2 blowout loss that came on Sunday. Bounce back they did.
Fans in attendance at Harbor Park on Monday were treated to a pitcher’s duel. For Toledo, Jose Ortega was on the mound. And for Norfolk, Tyler Wilson got the start.
Wilson was coming off back-to-back-to-back quality starts for the Tides since being brought up from Bowie in late June.
In those three starts for Norfolk, Wilson went six innings, seven innings, and seven innings respectively. Also in those games, he struck out 13 batters and allowed just five runs in 20 total innings pitched.
Tonight was more of the same for the right-hander. After a leadoff single, stolen base and a long fly ball which advanced the runner to third base, Wilson had to pitch out of a jam in the first inning. Unfortunately, the Toledo base runner scored off a sacrifice fly to center field. However, that is where Wilson turned it up a notch and struck out the next batter swinging to end the inning.
He proceeded to retire the next seven batters he faced. With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Toledo recorded their second hit of the night in a single to center field. This would be the last hit Wilson would give up in his outing. After walking his first batter of the evening,with two outs he got the Toledo batter to pop the ball up to center field where Julio Borbon recorded the final out of the inning.
Wilson struck out his fourth Toledo player of the evening to end the top of the fifth inning. He ended his night retiring the final six batters he faced, striking out four of them.
Norfolk went to the bullpen with the score tied in the top of the eighth inning. And in the bottom half of the inning with bases loaded and one out, Xavier Paul was hit by a pitch to bring a run across the plate which would ultimately prove to be the decider.
Even though Wilson did not earn his third win with the Tides, it was his pitching gem on Monday that was the difference maker. The 24-year-old now has a 2.25 ERA in 27 innings pitched and 13 strikeouts. This youngster may find himself a job in the Orioles bullpen as the hunt for October draws ever-closer.