The Norfolk Tides looked sharp in Durham this weekend in their black road unis featuring the "Norfolk" script.
Unfortunately, Jake Arrieta's pitching wasn't as sharp in a 4-2 loss.
Arrieta faced occasional control problems during his four-inning stint against the Bulls. More problematic was his inability to effectively mix his fastball with off-speed offerings to fool Durham's hitters.
Justin Ruggiano certainly wasn't fooled when he struck a long first-inning home run that easily cleared the iconic snorting bull at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on a line. Arrieta's line for the evening: 4 IP, 6H, 3 ER, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks.
Kam Mickolio and Dennis Sarfate contributed three impressive innings in relief of Arrieta. Mickolio struck out four, walked none, and gave up one hit in two innings of work. Sarfate tossed one hitless innning with a strikeout and a walk.
Friday evening's finest pitching performance came from Durham's Jeremy Hellickson. In his first Triple-A start, the 22-year-old pitcher went six innings, struck out six, walked three, gave up five hits and allowed two runs.
There also were Jeff Fiorentino and Jorge Julio sightings (see pictures) at the ballpark.
Each player looked comfortable and effective in his respective role - Fiorentino going 1-for-2 with an RBI double while patrolling center field and Julio watching the action from the dugout rail.
Final random note: Former Oriole (1981) and Cincinnati Red (1983) Dallas Williams, now 50 and serving as the Tides' hitting coach, is jacked. The coach is so muscular that Roch Kubatko might be more impressed with Williams' physique than his own. Okay, that's a stretch. But I'd take Williams in a cage match.