NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk Tides crossed the plate five times in the first five frames en route to their season-ending victory over the Gwinnett Braves, 5-1, on Monday afternoon at Harbor Park.
The Atlanta Braves No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Sean Gilmartin was outperformed by Tides starter Jake Arrieta, as the Norfolk righty struck out nine en route to his fifth Class AAA win of the season. With the loss, Gwinnett moves its final regular season record to 62-82, finishing fourth in the International League South Division.
Gilmartin (1-2) allowed back-to-back doubles to Ryan Adams and Bill Hall with the first score of the day for the Tides in the first. Brandon Waring led off the second with a solo home run, boosting the Norfolk lead to 2-0 after two. The G-Braves' left-hander yielded a one-out home run to Hall in the third, his 15th on the year, boosting the Tides advantage to 3-0 after three innings. The fourth and final tally off Gilmartin came consecutively in the fourth when Jamie Hoffmann connected for his 11th home run of the season and the third solo shot of the afternoon, giving Norfolk a commanding 4-0 lead heading to the fifth.
Gilmartin lasted four innings, as he yielded four earned runs on seven hits en route to the loss. The Florida State alum struck out five, while he walked just one, but the damaging blow was surrendering the three solo home runs.
The Tides right-hander was the story of the Labor Day season finale, working five innings of one-run baseball to victory. Arrieta (5-4) struck out nine G-Braves, while walking just one as he surrendered just three hits all day. Gwinnett's lone tally of the game came in the fifth when Felix Pie tripled home Josh Wilson following his single, cutting the deficit to 5-1.
Richard Zagone worked the final four innings of scoreless relief for the Norfolk bullpen, grabbing his first save of the season after allowing no runs on one hit, including four strikeouts and one walk.
Gwinnett reliever Ryan Buchter entered the game in the fifth and promptly surrendered the final run of the day for the Tides, 5-1, when Joe Mahoney scored on a RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Hoffmann. Buchter worked an inning, allowing one run on one hit alongside two walks and a strikeout. Dusty Hughes and Cole McCurry combined to work the final three innings of scoreless relief for Gwinnett, concluding the game and season on Monday.
The G-Braves collected just four hits on Labor Day, as Pie lead the way going 2-for-4 with a triple and a RBI.
Adams (2-for-4, run) and Hall (2-for-4, home run, run, 2 RBIs) led the nine-hit attack for the Tides, registering the only multiple-hit afternoons for Norfolk.