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Right-hander Zach Davies shines in first Triple-A start; other Norfolk arms struggle in 2015 debuts

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
A tough first trip through the Norfolk Tides rotation was buoyed by Zach Davies' performance Sunday.

For a team that hoards Quad-A talent at the Triple-A level, there’s an unusual amount of interesting arms in the Triple-A Norfolk starting rotation.

From 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Tyler Wilson and hard-throwing right-hander Mike Wright, plus 40-man left-hander T.J. McFarland, the Tides should get a quality start every day.

The first time through the rotation, however, was saved by right-hander Zach Davies, an interesting prospect in his own right. Davies struck out eight batters in five scoreless innings, Sunday, allowing two hits in the process.

Wilson and McFarland both picked up losses in their first starts, allowing four earned runs in four innings and 3 1/1 innings, respectively. Wright allowed three earned runs on five hits in 3. 2/3 innings on Friday. (Monday’s starting pitcher is still to be determined).

I doubt any of those rough statistical first outings are much cause for concern, but they were buoyed by an experienced bullpen.

Steve Johnson has 10 strikeouts in 4 1/3 inning over two relief appearances. Oliver Drake, Chris Jones, Chaz Roe, and Pedro Beato all have scoreless outings to their names so far in the young season.

Walker, Alvarez start slowly

The two premier offensive prospects on the Tides, first baseman Christian Walker and right fielder Dariel Alvarez, have two hits apiece through the first four games, but they have combined for five RBIs. Another name of note, outfielder Henry Urrutia, has six hits in 13 at-bats, including a home run.

Catcher Steve Clevenger, shortstop Garabez Rosa, and infielder Chris Parmelee also homered in the opening series against Charlotte.

Roster move roundup:

Thursday: Final Roster set.

Friday: Pitcher Pedro Beato added from Aberdeen.

Saturday: Pitcher Eddie Gamboa called up to Orioles.

Sunday: Pitcher Cesar Cabral added from Bowie.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jonmeoli

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Correction

An earlier version of this article did not describe Zach Davies as a right-handed pitcher.

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