Alvarez Starts With GCL Pirates

Reading Phillies   3,  Altoona Curve  1
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The Curve continue to be run-production-challenged.  They scored one run tonight, increasing their total over the past 6 games to a whopping 2.  They put up 9 hits, and had 2 batters reach base on walks, but could only push one runner across the plate.  

The lone run scored in the bottom of the 3rd.  LF Quincy Latimore slipped a single into left field, and starting pitcher Mike Colla dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Latimore to second.  2B Brock Holt plated Latimore with an RBI single to right field.  The Curve had a runner reach third base in the bottom of the 5th, when Colla singled and CF Starling Marte lined a double into left field.  A walk to SS Jordy Mercer loaded the bases, but with two outs, C Tony Sanchez popped out to end the inning.  Holt and Mercer hit back-to-back singles in the 7th, but both were left on base and the Curve went down in order in the last two innings.  

Colla began his evening by allowing only 2 hits over his first 4 innings.  The hit that led off the 2nd inning, though, was a solo home run.  Colla allowed a walk and a single in the 5th, and an RBI single drove in the lead runner to break the 1-1 tie.  The 7th inning bgan with a single and two outs.  Colla struck out the next batter, but Sanchez first dropped strike three , then made a wild throw to first base for an error.  THe batter raced all the way to third on the error, and the runner had been on base already scored.  Colla hit the next batter with a pitch, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett.  Claggett pitched to 7 batters, and retired them all in order.  

St. Lucie Mets  5,  Bradenton Marauders  2
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1B Aaron Baker posted 3 hits of the Marauders’ 9 hits, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Marauders from losing to the Mets.  Starter Brett Sinkbeil suffered his first loss with the Marauders, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits, and 4 walks in 4.2 innings.  The Mets scored one run in the bottom of the 1st on a walk, a stolen base, a fielder’s choice, and an RBI single.  LF Adalberto Santos tied the score in the top of the 2nd with his second home run of the season.  But the Mets came right back in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.  A walk, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out brought in that run.

The Marauders threatened in the 3rd.  C Ramon Cabrera doubled into left field, and tried to score on Baker’s single up the middle.  But the throw in from center field came to the plate in time, and Cabrera was out at home.  Sinkbeil allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the 5th.  The lead-off batter reached on a fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez, then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch.  An RBI single brought in the run.  The inning continued with a single, then a fly-out/double-off double play.  Jhonathan Ramos relieved Sinkbeil to finish the 5th inning.  Ramos surrendered a solo homer in the 6th, and gave up another run in the 7th, on a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  Ryan Beckman pitched a scoreless 9th inning, hitting one batter.  

After the 3rd inning, the Marauders’ put only 2 batters on base over the next 5 innings.  Baker had a 2-out single into right field in the 6th, and RF Robbie Grossman singled in the 8th, but was erased in a double play.  Bradenton’s final run scored in a 9th inning rally.  C Carlos Paulino was hit by a pitch to begin the inning.  Baker hit his 3rd single into right field, and pinch-hitter David Rubinstein singled into center field, scoring Paulino from second.  A passed ball put the two runners into scoring position, and a walk to C Evan Chambers loaded the bases with no outs.  But the rally was snuffed with a strikeout, a fly out, and a pop out, leaving all three runners stranded to end the game.  

West Virginia Power  2,  Lexington Legends  1
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This pitching duel lasted 10 innings and ended with a walk-off run for the Power, but it involved some heated tempers — and it was only the first game of the series.  2B Andy Vasquez scored West Virginia’s first run in the bottom of the 1st, when he singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a throwing error by the Lexington catcher.  Vasquez scored on 1B Justin Howard’s RBI ground out.  After the 1st, the Power were hitless for the next 4 innings.  The only base runner in those 4 innings was Vasquez, who walked in the 3rd.  SS Drew Maggi led off the 6th with a single, and Howard walked, but both were left on base.  LF Cole White also singled in the 7th.  

Meanwhile, starter Zac Fuesser pitched 5 scoreless innings.  He hit a batter in the 1st, then gave up only one single, which came in the 4th.  Brooks Pounders took over to begin the 6th.  He added 2 scoreless innings, allowing a double in the 6th, and a pair of singles and a hit batter in the 7th.  The batter who hit the first single was out at second when he tried to stretch it into a double.  

Jason Townsend took the mound for the Power to begin the 8th, which opened with two singles and a sacrifice bunt, to put two runners into scoring position.  A walk to Lexington’s RF Adam Bailey loaded the bases.  The next batter grounded to third, where 3B Kevin Mort took a quick step to touch third base, for the force out, then fired across to first for the inning-ending double play — only the batter was ruled safe at first, enabling the runner from third to score.  Power manager Gary Robinson took exception and argued the call at first, and was ejected.  That left runners on first and second with two outs.  A single into right field was scooped by White, and he threw in to the plate, where C Elias Diaz made the catch and blocked the plate as Bailey came in from third.  Bailey did not slide, but tried bulldozing Diaz in an attempt to knock the ball from him.  Diaz held on to the ball for the final out of the inning, but the Power were not pleased with Bailey’s attempt to slam Diaz without sliding.  Words were exchanged, and the benches cleared.  When the dust settled, the umpires had ejected Diaz and Pounders (who was already out of the game), and Bailey and the Lexington pitcher Brian Streilein.  

The Power went down in order in the 8th and 9th innings.  Townsend retired the side in order in the top of the 9th.  Kevin Decker relieved Townsend for the top of the 10th.  Back-to-back singles led off the inning, and a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position.  A fielder’s choice let the Power tag out the lead runner at the plate, to preserve the tie.  A ground out ended the inning, and it was the Power’s turn.

Cole White took care of it — he blasted the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the 10th over t
he left field wall to give the Power the walk-off win.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers  2,  State College Spikes  1
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Nick Kingham made the start and pitched 5 scoreless innings, but did not figure into the decision.   Kingham allowed 4 hits and 4 walks, and had to work his way out of small jams in 4 of his 5 innings, but he did not allow a run to score.  
The Spikes posted 6 hits, with 2 singles by C Samuel Gonzalez and 2 doubles by 1B Matt Skirving.  RF Carlos Mesa singled to begin the 2nd, but was caught stealing.  3B Wes Freeman smacked a ground-rule double in the same inning but was left on base.  The only Spikes’ run came in the 5th, when Skirving led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Kirk Singer, and scored on a throwing error. The Spikes loaded the bases in the 7th, when Skirving led off with his second double.  SS Brian Sharp was hit by a pitch, and CF Taylor Lewis walked, but with two outs, a strikeout ended the threat.  They loaded the bases again in the 8th, on one of Gonzalez’s singles, and walks to Skirving and Singer, but a ground out ended that inning without a run scoring.  

Kevin Kleis relieved Kingman and pitched 2 scoreless innings.  Kleis worked around a walk and a single in the 6th, and two singles in the 7th.  Fraylin Campos took over for the 8th, and he gave up a run to tie the game at 1-1.  A double and a single brought in the run.  Campos came out again in the bottom of the 9th.  He took the loss, when he hit the first batter, then gave up a walk, a single, and a walk to force in the winning run.   

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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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