Tides sweep Bulls in first series of 2023

The Norfolk Tides are under a microscope. Comprised of talent that could be sprinkled across many big league clubs, Norfolk has a mix of top prospect talent and veterans hungry to work their way back up to the big leagues.

The Tides started the season by rising to the occasion with a clean sweep of the Durham Bulls, showcasing why they could be a top team at the Triple-A level.

Game one saw major league hopeful Grayson Rodriguez take the mound. After struggling to end the spring, Rodriguez was sent to Triple-A to refine himself and get him ready to join the big league club down the line.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez, his struggles from spring continued in his first start of the regular season. Throwing 75 pitches (48 strikes) across four innings of work, Rodriguez would be tagged for three runs (two earned), surrendering four hits and walking four batters.

Fortunately for the Tides, they scored all their runs before Rodriguez left and cruised to 6-4 victory.

Each starting pitcher struggled in the series, though the bullpen was strong, as the Tides would win the final two games 13-4 and 7-4, respectively.

On the pitching side, Nick Vespi had a strong series as he returned from hernia surgery. He’s one to watch with the Orioles’ current bullpen struggles.

Vespi pitched two innings across two games, allowing one hit, striking out four and collecting a save to secure the sweep.

Josh Lester played a major role in the series for the Tides. The former 13th-round draft pick had a coming out party to open the season.

For the series, Lester went 5-for-13 (.385), as the big lefty hit four home runs, collected eight RBIs and compiled an OPS of 1.808. In Thursday’s 13-4 victory, Lester went 3-for-5 with four runs, five RBIs, a walk and three home runs to lead his team to victory.

Conor Nordy also had a strong series, as he went 4-for-13 (.308), hitting in each game and collecting six RBIs in the series. In Sunday’s game, Norby would go 2-for-4 with three runs scored, a home run (his second of series), a walk and two RBIs in the victory.

The Tides will have their first home series starting Tuesday. There is a magnet schedule giveaway and $2 beer and popcorn at Harbor Park. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. EST, so be sure to be there to cheer the Tides on to victory.

Who stood out to you this series? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

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