Wins All Around For the Minor Affiliates, Including Taillon’s First
Altoona Curve 7, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2
CF Starling Marte and SS Jordy Mercer collected 3 hits each as the Curve also avoided a sweep of the three-game series with the Flying Squirrels. Richmond scored first, off starter Jared Hughes, with a walk, a stolen base, a ground out, and an RBI single in the 2nd inning. Hughes went on to give up only one single and hit a batter over the next 4 innings. He had a little more trouble in the 7th, when a single and a double put two runners into scoring position, and an RBI ground out added another run for the Squirrels. Hughes pitched a season-high 7 innings, and allowed those two runs on 4 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts, to earn his first win of the season.
Mercer had the only Curve hit over the first three innings. He singled into left field to begin the 2nd inning, but was erased by a double play. The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the 4th inning, with back-to-back singles by 2B Brock Holt and Marte. Marte’s hit into left field let Holt advance to third base, and LF Quincy Latimore brought Holt in with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1. They took the lead in the 5th, when they loaded the bases with a single by C Eric Fryer, a double into center field by 1B Miles Durham, and an intentional walk to RF Brad Chalk. Hughes bounced into a double play, so he did not get credit for an RBI when Fryer scored.
A big 6th inning, which included 4 doubles, gave Altoona a definitive lead. Marte began the rally with a single up the middle, then Latimore and Mercer hit back-to-back doubles, scoring first Marte then Latimore. 3B Jeremy Farrell sacrifice bunted Mercer to third base, but Fryer bounced to short, and the Richmond SS threw back to the plate, where Mercer was tagged out. That left Fryer on first base, but not for long — Durham hit the 3rd double of the inning to plate Fryer. After a pitching change, Chalk hit the fourth double into left field, bringing in Durham. The Curve led 6-1.
After the Squirrels made it 6-2 in the bottom of the 7th, the Curve got the run back in the top of the 8th. Mercer singled into right field to lead off. After a line out, Fryer walked. A grounder to short put Mercer out at third, but left runners on first and second bases. Chalk singled into right, and Fryer came around from second base to score. Marte doubled in the 9th inning for his third hit, but was left on base.
Michael Dubee relieved Hughes for the 8th inning. He gave up two singles, but erased one of the runners with a double play. Then he retired the side in order in the 9th to end the game.
West Virginia Power 12, Augusta GreenJackets 6
Jameson Taillon earned his first pro win, as the Power posted a pair of 4-run innings to earn a split of this 4-game series. Taillon pitched 5 innings, and allowed one run on 3 hits, no walks, with 5 strikeouts. That was also his longest outing so far. Taillon zipped through the first inning, then came back out in the 2nd with a 1-run lead — the Power had scored when RF Dan Grovatt was hit by a pitch, moved to second and then to third on two ground outs, then an RBI single by LF Rogelios Noris. Taillon gave up a run in the bottom of the 2nd, with a single, a hit batter, and an RBI single, to tie the game.
The Power came right back to regain the lead in the top of the 3rd on DH Matt Curry’s solo home run (his 5th of the season). Then they handed Taillon 4 more runs to work with in the 4th inning. CF Mel Rojas led off with a single and scored on C Kawika Emsley-Pai’s line drive double into left field. A passed ball put Emsley-Pai on third base, and he scored on Noris’ RBI single. 3B Andy Vasquez also singled, and SS Drew Maggi’s ground out moved both runners into scoring position. 2B Kevin Mort brought in Noris with an RBI single and Curry brought in Vasquez with a sacrifice fly.
Taillon faced 10 more batters after the 2nd inning and retired all but one — a two-out single in the 5th. The Power struck again in the top of the 6th. They attacked the new Augusta relief pitcher with two doubles and three walks to score 4 more runs. They added 2 more runs in the 8th with more walks and two more hits.
Augusta tried for a comeback, after Taillon was done for the afternoon. Trent Stevenson gave up a run in the 6th and a solo home run in the 7th. The GreenJackets scored 2 runs in the 8th, with a 2-run homer off Casey Sadler. Sadler also gave up a run in the 9th, for 3 runs on 7 hits in 2 errors, but Augusta was still far from catching up.
Emsley-Pai led the Power with 3 hits, and all of the Power batters had at least one hit, except for Grovatt, who was hit by the pitch, walked twice, and scored twice.