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Today¿s game previews -- Aug. 31

The Norfolk Tides will play the Richmond Braves on the road. The Bowie Baysox take on the Harrisburg Senators and the Frederick Keys look to rebound from last night's loss to the Winston-Salem Warthogs. The Delmarva Shorebirds and Aberdeen IronBirds will each continue their final homestand tonight.

The Keys have increased their attendance for the fourth consecutive season, the team announced in a news release today. With two home games remaining, Frederick has averaged 4,456 fans per game. The current total of 285,184 fans is the highest amount since 2002.

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Norfolk Tides (AAA)

Opponent

Richmond Braves

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Probable pitchers

Norfolk: Gary Knotts (2-6, 5.23 ERA)

Richmond: Anthony Lerew (0-4, 4.80 ERA)

Notes

* Relief pitcher Kam Mickolio had not allowed an earned run in 14 of his 16 games with Norfolk before last night. However, he allowed one run and two hits in an inning of work against Richmond in the 8-6 loss.

* Fredy Deza has 15 strikeouts in seven innings since being promoted from Frederick on Aug. 15. The 25-year-old relief pitcher is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in five appearances with Norfolk.

* Norfolk only has seven home runs as a team in August. This total is 10 home runs less than any other team. The Tides only have 65 home runs this season, which is the fewest in the International League.

Bowie Baysox (AA)

Opponent

Harrisburg Senators

Probable pitchers

Bowie: Chris Tillman (10-4, 3.17 ERA)

Harrisburg: Bobby Brownlie (8-3, 3.75 ERA)

Notes

* Tillman has pitched six innings in each of his past five starts. During that stretch, the 20-year-old starting pitcher is 3-1 with 44 strikeouts in 30 innings. He's only allowed five runs and 19 hits in those five games.

* Right fielder Nolan Reimold is hitting .403 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in 20 games against Harrisburg this season. He also has five doubles and 11 runs scored against the Senators in 2008.

* Akron Aeros third baseman Wes Hodges has six RBIs in his past two games. This is significant because it tied him with former Baysox outfielder Lou Montanez at 97 RBIs. Montanez still leads the Eastern League in home runs (26) and batting average (.335) with two games to go in the regular season.

Frederick Keys (A)

Opponent

Winston-Salem Warthogs

Probable pitchers

Frederick: Kyle Schmidt (4-4, 3.51 ERA)

Winston-Salem: Jacob Rasner (5-7, 3.55 ERA)

Notes

* Schmidt pitched seven no-hit innings in his last start against the Salem Avalanche on Aug. 24. He had six strikeouts and walked four in the game. Schmidt is 2-0 in August and he has only given up four earned runs in 30 innings this month.

* Center fielder Chris Amador is hitting .325 with two home runs, nine RBIs and seven runs scored in his past 10 games. The 25-year-old outfielder has a .240 batting average in 110 games this season, but he's hitting .273 in August.

* Chris Vinyard is only hitting .234 in 121 games for the Keys this season, but he's had a lot of success at Harry Grove Stadium. The 22-year-old first baseman is batting .314 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs in 55 games at home this season. He has a .168 batting average with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 66 games on the road.

Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

Opponent

Lakewood BlueClaws

Probable pitchers

Delmarva: Luis Noel (10-8, 3.96 ERA)

Lakewood: Julian Sampson (10-4, 4.72 ERA)

Notes

* Noel is 10-8 with a 3.88 ERA in 26 starts for the Shorebirds this season. However, the 20-year-old right-hander is only 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA in his past 10 starts. He allowed one earned run and two hits in five innings during his last start against Lakewood on Aug. 26.

* Second baseman Ryan Adams broke the record for most errors in a single season in the history of the South Atlantic League with two defensive miscues last night. The 21-year-old infielder's 52 errors haven't affected his hitting. He is hitting .309 with 26 doubles, 11 home runs, 57 RBIs and 68 runs scored in 118 games for the Shorebirds.

* Wally Crancer is hitting .351 with one home run and 10 RBIs in his past 10 games. The 24-year-old outfielder is hitting .288 with six home runs and 39 RBIs in 81 games for Delmarva in 2008.

Aberdeen IronBirds (A)

Opponent

Staten Island Yankees

Probable pitchers

Aberdeen: Rick Zagone (6-1, 3.27 ERA)

Staten Island: Casey Erickson (3-0, 3.10 ERA)

Notes

* Zagone allowed two earned runs and seven hits in five innings during his last start against the Oneonta Tigers on Aug. 26. He had eight strikeouts in the game. In 52 1/3 innings for the IronBirds this season, Zagone has 65 strikeouts.

* Outfielder Kraig Binick is hitting .280 with 19 RBIs and 20 runs scored in 33 games for the IronBirds in 2008. He is hitting .333 with 14 runs scored in 17 games at Ripken Stadium, but only .220 with six runs scored on the road.

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