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Marauders Clinch Playoff Spot

Altoona Curve� 11,� Reading Phillies� 2 …��� (box)

Two 5-run innings gave the Curve the boost they needed tonight.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud led the charge with 4 hits, including a double and 2 triples, and 1B Matt Hague had 3 singles and 3 RBI.

The first big rally came in the 3rd, when the Curve sent 10 batters to the plate.� LF Yung Chi Chen led off with a double, and went to third on a ground out.� Pitcher Justin Wilson struck out, and the rest of the rally went on with two outs.� D’Arnaud doubled, plating Chen.� 3B Jim Negrych was hit by a pitch, and SS Jordy Mercer walked to load the bases.� Hague singled, bringing in both d’Arnaud and Negrych, and C Hector Gimenez singled, scoring Mercer.� The R-Phils brought in a new pitcher, and RF Miles Durham greeted him with a double, which brought in Hague.� Chen struck out to end the inning, with the Curve ahead, 5-1.

The second rally took only 8 batters.� The 7th inning began with a triple by d’Arnaud.� Negrych was hit by a pitch for the second time.� Mercer’s double scored d’Arnaud, and Hague’s second RBI single brought in both Negrych and Mercer.� Hague went to third base on a throwing error, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Gimenez.� Durham tripled, and he scored on an RBI ground out by Chen.

Both teams scored in the 8th inning.� The R-Phils had a run come in on a solo home run.� The Curve scored on d’Arnaud’s second triple and Negrych’s RBI single.

Justin Wilson pitched 5 innings for his win, allowing one run in the top of the 3rd on a walk, two stolen bases, and an RBI single.� He allowed just two more hits, but walked 4 more batters.� Two of the walked batters were erased with double plays.� Mike Dubee earned his 5th save with 4 innings of relief work.� He gave up the solo homer in the 8th, but only one other hit.

Ramon Aguero, who is on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, has a sore elbow, and will have it examined this week.

West Virginia Power� 7,� Hagerstown Suns� 0 …��� (box)

The Power also had two big innings, while three Power pitchers combined to shut out the Suns.� Jason Erickson pitched 5 scoreless innings and allowed 6 hits and a walk, and also worked around three errors behind him.� He had at least two runners on base in four of the five innings, and even had the bases loaded against him in the 5th.� Timely double plays, a caught stealing, and key strikeouts got him out of the jams.� Gabriel Alvarado pitched 3 scoreless innings, without allowing a hit.� He gave up a walk, then erased that runner with a double play.� Marc Baca worked around another error to keep the Suns from scoring in the 9th.

The first 14 Power batters went down in order, taking them to the 5th inning with two outs before they broke through.� Then three singles — by C Ramon Cabrera, who had 3 hits, RF David Rubinstein, and LF Andy Vasquez, who had 3 RBI– brought in one run.� Rubinstein scored on a balk, and Vasquez scored on a fielding error on a ball off the bat of SS Benji Gonzalez, and the Power had a 3-0 lead.

They got back at it in the next inning.� 2B Jarek Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers both walked to lead off the inning, then after a strikeout, DH Jose Hernandez and Cabrera hit back-to-back singles, as Cunningham scored.� Rubinstein’s grounded to short and the Power could have been out of the inning if the Suns had been able to turn a double play.� But Rubinstein beat out the throw to first and Chambers scored.� LF Andy Vasquez took advantage of the opportunity he was given, blasting a triple into center field to score both Hernandez and Rubinstein and give the Power a 7-0 lead and the win.

Williamsport Crosscutters� 2,� State College Spikes� 1 ..��� (box)

The Spikes came out on the short side of this pitching duel.� Brandon Cumpton pitched 3 scoreless innings, and allowed 2 singles and 2 walks.� He also had to work around a fielding error, but got a double play and left the rest of the runners stranded.� Rinku Singh, in his first game above the Rookie level, pitched 2 innings and allowed just one hit, with one strikeout.� Trent Stevenson pitched a scoreless 6th inning, then gave up the first run of the game in the bottom of the 7th, on a double and a single.

The Spikes put at least one runner on base in all but one of the first 6 innings, including doubles by 1B Gerlis Rodriguez and C Miguel Mendez, a single by Mendez, and RF Cole White being hit by a pitch.� They also had 2 runners on base in the 8th inning, when CF Mel Rojas reached on a throwing error and White walked.� The Spikes tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the 9th.� 2B Kevin Mort and pinch-hitter Matt Curry led off with two singles, and Mendez moved them both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.� Mort scored on DH Pat Irvine’s RBI ground out.� But the first batter in the bottom of the 9th smacked a solo home run for the walk-off win.

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Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

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