The Norfolk Tides came into their series against the Charlotte Knights needing to get things back on track and regain their form that would make them one of the most exciting teams in the minors.
Entering their series against the Knights, the Tides had lost 15 of their last 20 games and were in desperate need to turn things around. They would leave Charlotte winning five of six to place them two games under .500 on the year (20-22).
Of course, the turn-around starts at the dish, where International League Player of the Week, Kyle Stowers, the Orioles No. 8 prospect, had a coming-out party against the Knights.
Currently on an eight-game hitting streak, Stowers would go 12-for-25 (.480) with five long balls, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored, raising his average .056 points to .254 on the season.
Stowers’ best game came to close out the series, as he would homer in three straight at-bats and collect five RBIs on the day. He finished 3-for-5 and garnered enough offense that would of personally beaten the Knights in the Tides’ 14-3 victory Sunday.
Stowers now has nine home runs and 23 RBIs on the season to go with his .926 OPS. He has scored 21 runs and walked 17 times this year.
Robert Neustrom had a stand-out series, batting .308 (8-of-26) across six games. He would hit three homers for the series, score seven runs and tally 11 RBIs. He saw his season average climb .017 points across the series as well.
Neustrom might not of reached the power numbers in Sunday’s game that Stowers would, but he would go 4-for-4 at the plate with a homer, a double and a walk, scoring three times and knocking in as many.
The young outfielder has now hit eight home runs on the season, driving in 27. He has five stolen bases that compliment his .320 OBP and has 40 hits across 39 games this season.
We’re not going to lie. We love some Bobby Neustrom.
Newly minted MLB No. 3 overall prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, returned to his dominant self this week, appearing in two games for the Tides.
Rodriguez would pitch a combined 11.1 innings against the Knights, allowing seven hits and just two earned runs. He combined for 20 strikeouts across the two games, picking up the victory in both.
Grayson’s strongest game, smirking as I write this, would be a 4-1 Tides victory Tuesday. In that game, Rodriguez would pitch 5.1 innings, surrending three hits and three walks. He would give up no runs and strike out 11 batters. Of his 87 pitches, 59 would go for strikes in leading his club to victory.
The tide is rising in Norfolk, as familiar stars showed up this week to make some noise and their presence felt. They were big in helping decide games, the series as a whole and improving their stock on the season, as Norfolk charges ahead.
The Tides head back home to welcome the Gwinnett Stripers starting Tuesday. Though they will be without Adley Rutschman, they will have Nick Vespi, Tyler Nevin and Mike Baumann to help try to secure another series victory.
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