NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk used a five-run first inning and a strong outing from Jair Jurrjens to cruise past the Syracuse Chiefs 8-2 Friday night at Harbor Park.
The Tides batted around in the first against Syracuse starter Danny Rosenbaum (2-1), who entered the contest ranked second in the IL with a 1.14 ERA. Danny Valencia opened the scoring with a three-run homer to right, and Travis Ishikawa later added a two-run single in the frame to give the Tides an early 5-0 cushion.
Lew Ford added to Norfolk's offensive outburst with two solo home runs, the second straight night in which a Tides batter has belted multiple homers. Ford led off the third and seventh frames with opposite field blasts, his first two homers with the Tides this season.
The early run support was more than enough for Jurrjens (3-1), who retired each of the first 13 batters he faced en route to picking up his third consecutive victory. The 27-year-old right-hander surrendered two runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out six, and he needed just 92 pitches to navigate his eight innings of work.
Jurrjens carried a shutout into the eighth inning before the Chiefs plated two runs on four hits.
The win was Norfolk's eighth straight and 10th straight at home, breaking the franchise record for consecutive home wins at Harbor Park, previously set during the park's inaugural season in 1993. After starting the season 0-3 at home, Norfolk has gone 11-1 over its last 12 contests at Harbor Park.
The win also moved Norfolk into sole possession of first place in the IL South division, as Durham dropped a 4-1 decision at Pawtucket. The Tides are alone in first place for the first time since being 54-43 on July 23, 2009.
The two clubs will continue their four-game series Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch set for 7:05. Zach Britton (1-0, 1.98) will take the mound against Syracuse right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (2-3, 5.46).
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.