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VandenHurk out-pitches Delgado

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Randall Delgado didn't allow a run in his first two games for Gwinnett after being promoted from Class AA and was even better in a spot start for Atlanta, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against San Francisco on Aug. 16.

The 21-year-old right-hander was rocked by Charlotte, however, in his return to the G-Braves last Sunday, duplicating the up-and-down way he had pitched at times for Mississippi.

On Friday night against Norfolk, Delgado was neither real good nor real bad. Instead, it was Norfolk's Rick VandenHurk who turned in an impressive performance at Coolray Field in a 4-1 victory before 7,865.

VandenHurk, the reigning International League pitcher of the week, retired the last nine batters he faced during a seven-inning outing in which he allowed five hits and a run. The native of the Netherlands struck out five and walked one as he improved to 9-13 with his third straight victory.

Delgado, meanwhile, needed 102 pitches to make it through five innings, throwing 50 balls. The native of Panama allowed five hits and two runs while striking out five and walking two.

Having beaten Atlanta's No. 2 prospect, Norfolk will be up against the No. 1 tonight. Julio Teheran, just 20, leads the International League with a 14-2 record and 2.19 ERA. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in two starts against the Tides this season.

Josh Bell, who was 3-for-5, had the big hit against Delgado (2-2), smashing a long home run in the third inning. But it was a bunt that started things off badly.

Kyle Hudson laid down the game's first pitch and reached when Delgado slipped fielding the ball and threw low to first base. Bell's one-out single moved Hudson to third base, where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Snyder.

After Delgado worked out of two-out trouble in the second, Bell put the Tides ahead 2-0 with his 17th homer in the third. The switch-hitting third baseman connected with an off-speed 3-and-2 pitch and hit a no-doubter to right-center field.

The G-Braves got the run back in the bottom of the inning as Mauro Gomez followed Ruben Gotay's two-out double with an RBI single. But VandenHurk stranded two runners in scoring position when Bell made a nice play behind third to throw out Wes Helms.

Norfolk manager Gary Allenson was ejected in the fifth inning after arguing that G-Braves catcher Wil Nieves had missed first base on a leadoff double. But Nieves was stranded at third base when Gomez struck out to end the inning.

The Tides made it 3-1 with an unearned run in the seventh inning thanks to two errors on the same two-out play by G-Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro and then a passed ball.

Norfolk tacked on another run in the eighth inning against Cory Gearrin on a bases-loaded walk and the Tides' Mark Worrell stranded two runners in scoring position in the ninth after a bad-hop single and a walk to record his 20th save.