Friday’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
The Lynchburg Hillcats and the Winston-Salem Dash were postponed. �They will try for two on Saturday night.
In the afternoon:
GCL Tigers 3, �GCL Bradenton Pirates 0
The Pirates had at least one base runner on in all but the first two innings, but could not get any of them around to score. �They had two runners on in the 3rd, when RF Melvin De La Cruz �singled and 2B Gift Ngoepe walked. �De La Cruz reached base again in the 5th inning on a throwing error, and he advanced to third base when Ngoepe singled. �When the Tigers made a pickoff attempt on Ngoepe, De La Cruz was caught trying to steal home. �In the 6th inning, the Pirates had back-to-back singles from 1B Gerlis Rodriguez and�DH Jairo Marquez,�and a wild pitch moved them up to second and third bases, but a strikeout ended the inning with both still on the bases. �
The Pirates’ pitchers allowed a total of 12 hits. �Starter Trent Stevenson pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, with 3 strikeouts. �One run scored in the 4th inning on a double and an RBI single. �A solo homer added another run in the 5th inning. �Eliecer Navarro pitched the next two innings, and he also allowed a run, on three singles in the 6th inning. �Andres Santos pitched the last inning, and gave up only one hit.
And in the evening:
Altoona Curve 9, �Erie SeaWolves 6
SS Brian Friday and RF Jonel Pacheco had 3 hits each, and Friday contributed 3 RBI as the Curve posted a total of 13 hits and scattered their runs throughout the game. �The Curve took the early lead with one run in the 1st inning on 3B Pedro Alvarez’s double and singles by Jonel Pacheco and DH Jason Delaney. �They added three more runs in the 2nd inning. �2B Shelby Ford led off with a single into left field. �LF Jeff Corsaletti walked, and Brian Friday doubled in Ford, while Corsaletti moved to third base. �CF Gorkys Hernandez singled to short, but a throwing error by the Erie shortstop let both Corsaletti and Friday score. �
Starter Mike Crotta faced the minimum number of batters over the first 3 innings, allowing one walk, though that batter was thrown out trying to steal second. �He got into trouble in the bottom of the 4th, giving up a walk, an RBI double, and an RBI single. �Michael Dubee relieved Crotta. �He first threw a wild pitch, then had a batter reach on a fielding error, as an unearned run scored (charged to Crotta). �An RBI double brought in the 4th run of the inning, also unearned, and the score was tied. �Dubee gave up two more runs in the 5th, on back-to-back solo home runs.
The Curve kept scoring, though. �Jonel Pacheco was hit by a pitch to lead off the 5th inning, and he worked his way around the diamond on a single by Jason Delaney, a ground out by Shelby Ford, and walks to C Steve Lerud and Jeff Corsaletti. �They went into the top of the 6th behind by one run, 6-5. �That inning began with a walk to Gorkys Hernandez and singles by Pedro Alvarez and Jonel Pacheco to load the bases. �Jason Delaney was walked, forcing in Hernandez to tie the score. �1B Miles Durham grounded to third, resulting in a force out of Alvarez at the plate, but Shelby Ford lined a single into center, bringing in Pacheco, and the Curve had the lead. �
Two insurance runs scored in the 8th inning. �Miles Durham walked and stole second base. �Shelby Ford and Jeff Corsaletti also walked, loading the bases for Brian Friday. �Friday singled into left field, bringing in Durham and Ford to give the Curve a 9-6 lead. �
Derek Hankins pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. �Hankins gave up a triple to lead off the 7th inning, then retired the next 3 batters, leaving the runner still on third base. �In the 9th inning, Hankins got two line outs, both to Pedro Alvarez at third base, then gave up a walk. �Scott Nestor earned his 10th save by relieving Hankins and striking out the final batter of the game. �Michael Dubee earned his third win. �
West Virginia Power 6, �Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
1B Kyle Morgan and SS Adenson Chourio led the Power with 2 hits each, and Morgan’s 2-run homer put the Power ahead to stay. �
After getting only one runner on base in the first 3 innings (Chourio’s first single), the Power broke out in the 4th. �DH Robbie Grossman walked, C Tony Sanchez tripled to bring in Grossman, and Morgan blasted his 8th home run to give the Power a 3-run lead. �They added another run in the 6th inning when Grossman walked and stole second base (his 33rd of the season). �He scored on Morgan’s RBI double. �
Aaron Pribanic pitched 6 innings in his start, and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk. �The run came in the 4th inning, on a single, a walk, two stolen bases, and an RBI single. �Pribanic earned his 3rd win. �Gabriel Alvarado pitched the final 3 innings, and he also allowed one run, which came in the 9th, on a double, a single, and an RBI ground out. �
e Power picked up two more insurance runs in
the 9th, when LF Quincy Latimore singled and 3B Bobby Spain brought him in with an RBI double. �
State College Spikes 5, �Williamsport Crosscutters 2
Pitchers ruled for the first 5.5 innings of this game, which was delayed for more than 90 minutes due to rain. �The Spikes put two base runners on in the bottom of the 1st, when SS Brock Holt walked and 1B Aaron Baker singled, moving Brock to third base. �A double play ended the inning without a run scoring. �The next 13 Spikes’ batters went down in order, until the 6th inning. �LF Kyle Saukko singled with one out, and advanced to second base on a throwing error. �He scored on Holt’s RBI single. �CF Evan Chambers grounded to second, where Holt was out on the force, and Chambers was safe at first. �Aaron Baker tripled, scoring Chambers, and the Spikes had a 2-0 lead. �
Kyle McPherson gave up only one single over the first 3 innings of his start. �He gave up another single and a walk in the 4th inning, and a single in the 5th, but no runs in his 6 innings of work. �Mike Williams relieved McPherson, and he retired the side in order in the 7th. �The Crosscutters scored 2 runs in the 8th, on a double and a single, a throwing error, and a grounder for a double play, which also brought in a run. �That tied the score at 2-2.
The Spikes came back in the bottom of the 8th, to take the lead and the win. �C Craig Parry led off with a single, and Kyle Saukko sacrifice bunted him to second base. �Brock Holt singled, moving Parry to third base. �Evan Chambers walked to load the bases. �Aaron Baker brought Parry in with a sacrifice fly, and DH Justin Byler and 3B Pat Irvine both singled, scoring Holt and Chambers, to give the Spikes the 5-2 lead. �
Mike Williams was charged with the Blown Save, but then credited with the win. �Marc Baca earned his 6th save with a scoreless 9th.
The Pirates’ minor leaguers were busy on Thursday….
Altoona Curve 9, Harrisburg Senators 4
The Curve scored 6 runs in their final two at-bats, posting 15 hits in this come-from-behind win. Three Curve batters, 3B Pedro Alvarez, RF Jonel Pacheco, and LF Jeff Corsaletti, all had 3 hits in the win. �Alvarez hit home runs #11 and #12 with the Curve, for 3 RBI, and Pacheco’s three hits were all doubles. �
Donnie Veal made another start for the Curve, pitching 2 innings. �He hit the first batter he faced with a pitch, then gave up an RBI double, scoring the runner from first base. �He also gave up a walk in the 1st inning and a single in the 2nd inning, but then struck out 4 batters.
Yoslan Herrera took over after Veal was finished, and he too had trouble with the first two batters he faced. �He gave up a double, then a 2-run homer, and the Senators had 3 runs.
The Curve had it tied up by the bottom of the 3rd though. �Jonel Pacheco led off the 2nd inning with a double, and he scored on DH Jason Delaney’s 5th triple of the season. �2B Ray Chang doubled in the 3rd inning, and Pedro Alvarez countered the Senators’ homer with his own 2-run homer, and the game was tied.�
The Senators took the lead again in the top of the 6th, on a two-out walk and a double into right field, combined with a fielding error by Pacheco. �Yoslan Herrera pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (the run in the 6th was unearned) on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. �That earned him his 11th win of the season. �Ramon Aguero pitched 2 perfect innings to finish the game and earn his 4th save. �
After the Senators scored in the 6th, it was all Altoona for the rest of the game. �The Curve retook the load in the 7th. �With one out, Alvarez homered again, another blast over the right field wall. �Pacheco followed the homer with a double, and SS Brian Friday reached on a fielder’s choice that also sent Pacheco to third base. �Jason Delaney loaded the bases with a walk. �C Steve Lerud singled, scoring both Pacheco and Friday, and Jeff Corsaletti’s single brought in Delaney, to give the Curve a 7-4 lead. �
The Curve added two more insurance runs in the 9th. �Ray Chang led off with a walk, and went to third on Pedro Alvarez’ single. �Jonel Pacheco brought Chang in with a sacrifice fly. �After a pitching change, Jason Delaney lined a single into left field. �Alvarez scored, but Delaney was out at second base on the throw in from left. �
Pedro Alvarez will be leaving the Curve on Monday, to join Team USA in their camp in North Carolina. �Joining Alvarez on Team USA will be Indy Indians’ Daniel McCutchen, who Team USA has assured the Pirates will be only used as a starting pitcher. �Former Indy Indian Jason Childers (now with the Durham Bulls in the Rays’ organization) will be in Team USA’s bullpen. �There will be 7 other AA-level players besides Alvarez on the roster, and the rest at all AAA-level players. �OF Ike Davis (Binghamton Mets) and RHP BJ Rosenberg (Reading Phillies) are the other AA players from the Eastern League. �Familiar AAA names include OF Josh Kroeger (Charlotte Knights/White Sox), SS Trevor Plouffe (Rochester Red Wings/Twins), RHP Todd Redmond (Gwinnett Braves), IF Terry Tiffee (Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs/Phillies), and RHP Ehren Wasserman (Charlotte Knights/White Sox).
And why is Daniel McCutchen going to Team USA instead of being promoted to the major leagues? �Couldn’t he help the Pirates down the stretch? �
Well, the Pirates’ official answer is that this is going to be best for his development, a “great bridge between the minors and majors for him” � (see Dejan Kovacevic’s Pirates’ Notebook in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
��That’s all nice, but it also means that McCutchen won’t begin his major league service time, and the Pirates won’t have to find a way to add him to the 40-man roster.
West Virginia Power 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 0
Power starter Brian Leach pitched 8.2 shutout innings against the Hot Rods, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks and one hit batter, while striking out 7 batters. �He was relieved with one out to go in the 9th only because he had reached the pitch count limit. �Leach gave up a double and a walk in the 1st inning, but got a double play to get out of the jam. �He loaded the bases in the 2nd with a walk, a single, and the hit batter, but another timely double play got him out of that mess too. �Then Leach retired 13 batters in a row, before a Hot Rods’ runner got on base with a throwing error by 3B Bobby Spain to begin the 7th inning. �A line-out/doubled off first double play ended that inning, and Leach went on to retire the next 5 batters before giving up the third hit in the 9th inning. �Rafael De Los Santos (not to be confused with Frank De Los Santos, who was the BG starting pitcher) took over for Leach. �He walked a batter, and then got a strikeout to end the game. �
Meanwhile Frank De Los Santos pitched 5 hitless scoreless innings against the Power. �He also took advantage of double plays — one erased 2B Danny Bomback, who had walked in the top of the 1st. �In the 2nd inning, the Power loaded the bases when DH Calvin Anderson was hit by a pitch, RF Austin McClune walked, and Bobby Spain reached on a throwing error. �A double play got BG out of that jam too. �Frank De Los Santos also picked off two Power base runners: �LF Quincy Latimore in the 4th, and Austin McClune in the 5th. �The double play luck was transferred to De Los Santos’ relief, Shane Dyer, when he took over to begin the 6th: �a double play erased SS Adenson Chourio after his single. �
Finally, the Power ended the dou
ble play jinx in the top of the 7th. �Two hit batters, Latimore and McClune, and a single by 1B Kyle Morgan loaded the bases. Bobby Spain’s single scored both Latimore and Morgan, and Adenson Chourio’s double scored McClune and Spain. �That was all the firepower the team would need for the win. �
Wilmington Blue Rocks 7, Lynchburg Hillcats 2
The Hillcats were held to just one hit over the first 8 innings of this game. �Blue Rocks starter Alex Caldera scattered 3 walks over his 8 innings of work and did not allow a hit until RF Jamie Romak doubled in the 7th inning. �A passed ball put Romak on third base, but that was as far as he got. �The Hillcats picked up 2 hits and their only runs in the 9th, when 3B Jordy Mercer singled and moments later 1B Matt Hague blasted a 2-run homer. �
Justin Wilson suffered his 8th loss for the Hillcats, lasting 4 innings and allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. �He faced the minimum over the first two innings, but gave up 3 runs in the 3rd with two outs, on three singles and a walk. �A walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out gave the Blue Rocks a 4-0 lead in the 3rd inning. �Mike Colla relieved Wilson in the 5th and pitched 2 innings. �He gave up 3 more runs on two singles and two doubles. � Harrison Bishop finished the game for the ‘Cats with 3 excellent innings, allowing only a walk. �
Jamestown Jammers 4, �State College Spikes 2
The Jammers swept a double-header from the Spikes, as they made up for Wednesday’s rain out. �In game one, Nathan Baker got his first professional start and pitched 4 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits. �He was relieved by Mike Williams, who took the loss, allowing 4 runs (one earned) on 2 hits in the 5th. �A single and a throwing error on a pick-off attempt put the first batter of the inning on third base. �A double, a sacrifice bunt, and another double brought in two runs. �Then a walk, and a fielding error added a third run and chased Williams from the game. �Brandon Holden came on, but he walked the bases full and then walked in the fourth run of the inning. �
The Spikes could not get much going until the 6th inning, when three straight singles by LF Kyle Saukko, CF Evan Chambers, and SS Ty Summerlin scored one run, and a grounder brought in a second run. � The Spikes managed only one other hit in the game, another single by Summerlin in the 4th.
Jammers 3, Spikes 2 �(11 innings)
These double-header games are supposed to be only 7 innings each, so an 11-inning second game makes for a very very long evening. �The Jammers got onto the scoreboard first in Game 2, with a single, a double, and an RBI single in the 3rd inning. �The Spikes came back with one run in the 5th, when 3B Pat Irvine was hit by a pitch, moved to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by SS Elevys Gonzalez (just promoted from the Bradenton Pirates) and a throwing error. �They scored again in the 6th inning on 2B Brock Holt’s single and DH Justin Byler’s double. �
With the score tied at 2-2, the Jammers and the Spikes battled through 5 scoreless innings, going into extras. �Jason Erickson started for the Spikes and pitched 4 innings, allowing those 2 runs on 4 hits, no walks, and 4 strikeouts. �Zach Foster�pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and 3 walks. �Alan Knotts relieved Foster and finished the 7th inning, then allowed only a single over the next 3 scoreless innings. �But the first batter in the bottom of the 11th hit a solo home run to (finally) give the Jammers the win.
GCL Bradenton Pirates 3, GCL Tigers 2
A 2-RBI double in the 4th inning by SS Gift Ngoepe made the difference for the Pirates. �The Tigers scored one run in the 1st inning on two doubles and a wild pitch off starter Zachary Fuesser, who went on to pitch 2 more scoreless innings. �The Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd. �Singles by RF Wesley Freeman and CF Edwin Roman opened the inning. �Ngoepe’s sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by the Tigers’ pitcher brought in Freeman. and left Roman on third and Ngoepe on second base. �Three strikeouts ended the inning without any more runs scoring.�
Rafael Quintero took the mound for the next 2 innings. �He gave up a run in the 4th on a double and an RBI single. �The Pirates came back in the bottom of the inning with singles by LF Rogelio Noris and walks to pinch-hitter Gemmy Gonzalez and�Edwin Roman. �Ngoepe dou
bled into left field to score both Noris a
nd Gonzalez, giving the Pirates the lead. �
Brooks Pounders pitched one scoreless inning and Papiro Juan earned his first save of the season with 3 more scoreless innings to finish the game for the Pirates.