Mercer and Curry Homer; Boyer And Sinkbeil Sign

Kannapolis Intimidators 6,  West Virginia Power  5

Another error in the 7th inning made the difference, but in this game, it was the Power who committed the error and Kannapolis who took the win.  2B Kevin Mort went 3-for-4 for the Power, and both CF Mel Rojas and 1B Matt Curry had two hits, with a homer by Curry.  

Zack Dodson made the start for the Power.  He gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st on a double, a single, and a double.  Then he gave up 3 more in the 3rd, after two outs had been recorded, on a single, and back-to-back doubles.  

The Power put a runner on base in each of the first 5 innings, though they left all five of them on base.  Rojas doubled in the 1st, RF Dan Grovatt walked in the 2nd, Mort singled in the 3rd and again in the 5th, and Curry doubled in the 4th.  They finally got one runner across the plate in the 6th, when SS Drew Maggi walked, moved to second base on Rojas’ single, on to third on an error, then scored on 3B Eric Avila’s sacrifice fly.  They really got going in the 7th, when Grovatt led off with his second walk.  A passed ball advanced him to second, and he went on to third on a ground out.  Back-to-back singles by LF Andy Vasquez and Maggi brought in Grovatt and left two runners on base for Curry.  Curry brought both in with his 3-run homer, tying the score at 5-5.  
Kevin Decker relieved Dodson to begin the 5th, and he retired the side in order in that inning.  He gave up a walk and a double in the 6th, but the throw in from left field by Vasquez and an excellent relay by Maggi had the ball right to C Elias Diaz, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  With the score tied in the bottom of the 7th, Decker got one out, then gave up a single.  A ground out allowed the runner to move to second base, then the next batter grounded to third for what should have been the third out of the inning.  But Avila made a fielding error, and Kannapolis had runners on the corners.  A single lined into right field brought in the unearned run, and gave the Intimidators the lead.  

The Power went down in order in the top of the 8th, and reliever Jason Townsend did the same to Kannapolis in the bottom of the frame.  Mort began the top of the 9th with a single, and Vasquez’s sacrifice bunt moved him to second base.  He remained there, though, as a pop out and a fly out ended the game.  

Fort Meyers Miracle  9,  Bradenton Marauders  5

A walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th broke a 5-5 tie and gave the win to the Miracle. 
The Marauders got started with an unearned run in the top of the 1st.  RF Robbie Grossman reached base on a fielding error, and back-to-back walks to 2B Jarek Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers loaded the bases.  1B Aaron Baker’s sacrifice fly plated Grossman, but a double play ended the inning.  C Ramon Cabrera walked to open the 2nd inning, and DH Calvin Anderson’s double put both runners into scoring position.  3B Elevys Gonzalez’s ground out brought in Cabrera, and SS Benji Gonzalez’s bunt let Anderson score.  

Starter Brett Lorin also allowed a run in the 1st inning, on a walk, a stolen base, and a double.  He worked around a lead-off single in the 2nd, then gave up another run in the 3rd.  He loaded the bases with two walks and a single, then a sacrifice fly.  

Bradenton made it a 4-2 lead with another run in the top of the 5th.  Chambers doubled, and advanced to third base on Baker’s ground out.  LF David Rubinstein’s infield single brought in Chambers from third.  But the Miracle fought back in the bottom of the inning.  After a lead-off single, Lorin was relieved by Eliecer Navarro.  Two walks loaded the bases, then a triple cleared them, giving the Miracle a 5-4 lead (one run was charged to Lorin).  Navarro pitched 2 more scoreless innings.  He gave up a hit, but erased the runner with a double play.  

In the top of the 8th, the Marauders tied the game.  Back-to-back singles by Cabrera and Anderson, plus a throwing error gave the Marauders runners on the corners, and Elevys Gonzalez brought in Cabrera with a sacrifice fly.  Another single by Benji Gonzalez and a walk to Grossman loaded the bases again, but a pop out ended the threat with the score still tied.  

Porfirio Lopez took over for Navarro and retired the Miracle in order in the 8th.  The Marauders threatened in the top of the 9th inning, when Baker and Rubinstein both singled, but a double play cut the rally short.  The Miracle also singled twice in the bottom of the 9th.  A wild pitch by Lopez moved both runners into scoring position, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.  Diego Moreno replaced Lopez, but the first batter he faced, 1B Nathan Hanson, ended the game with a walk-off grand slam.

Boyer and Sinkbeil

The Pirates signed two righty pitchers to minor league contracts today.
Blaine Boyer, a 29-year-old, was originally drafted by the Braves in the 3rd round in 2000.  After 9.5 seasons in the Braves’ organization, including 4 at the major league level, he went to the Cardinals.  He made 15 relief appearanced for the Cardinals in 2009, with a 4.41 ERA in 16.1 innings.  The Diamondbacks picked up Boyer off waivers and he split the 2010 season mostly in Phoenix.  He made 54 relief appearances, for a 4.26 ERA and a 3-2 record, pitching 57 innings.  He gave up 59 hits and 29 walks, with 29 strikeouts.  Boyer was signed as a free agent by the Mets for this season, but after 5 appearances and 13 runs in 6.2 innings, with 13 hits, one walk, and one strikeout, the Mets wanted to send him to AAA.  Boyer declined the assignment and elected free agency earlier this month.  

Brett Sinkbeil is 26 years old.  He was the Marlin’s 1st round pick in the 2006 draft.  He had worked his way up through their organization, pitching for AAA New Orleans for all of 2009 and most of 2010.  In 2009, Sinkbeil made 8 starts and 39 relief appearances, which was his first time working out of the bullpen.  He pitched 83 innings and allowed 106 hits and 56 earned runs (6.07 ERA) for a 2-8 record.  He also walked 44 batters and struck out 52.  Sinkbeil pitched entirely out of the bullpen in 2010, making 58 appearances for New Orleans.  He earned a 3-3 record and a 5.71 ERA.  In 63 innings, he allowed 76 hits and 31 walks, with 56 strikeouts.  After a September call up, Sinkbeil made his major league debut on September 15th.  He pitched a total of 2 innings in 3 relief appearances for the Marlins, but allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks, with one strikeout.  The Marlins released Sinkbeil in March.  
Both of these pitchers should be able to step in at the AAA level, though the Pirates have not yet specified where they will be assigned or which other pitchers will
be moved.  

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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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