Rough Nights For Miller, Pounders

Trenton Thunder  4,  Altoona Curve  3
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A 2-run rally in the bottom of the 9th gave the Thunder a walk-off win.  Trenton took the early lead with some help
 from the rehabbing Derek Jeter, who singled to lead off the bottom of the 1st.  Jeter moved to third on a double, and scored on a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.  Altoona starter Mike Colla gave up two singles and an RBI ground out in the 2nd inning, giving the Thunder a 2-0 lead.  Colla settled in after that inning, allowing only two walks over the next 4 innings.  

The Curve had some scoring chances in the first 6 innings, but could not capitalize on any of them.  RF Andrew Lambo singled and 1B Matt Curry doubled in the 1st inning, but a double play erased Lambo, and Curry was left on base.  LF Quincy Latimore doubled and DH Brad Chalk walked in the 5th, and they were also left on base.  SS Brock Holt and 2B Josh Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles in the 6th, but they could not score either.  

Curry began the 7th inning rally that put the Curve onto the scoreboard.  Curry singled into left field and advanced to second base on a ground out.  Chalk’s liner into right field moved Curry to third, and a fielder’s choice by 3B Greg Picart drove in the run.  CF Starling Marte singled, then Holt’s sacrifice fly brought in Chalk, but the rally was halted when Picart was thrown out trying to tag up and reach third on the same fly out, to tie the game at 2-2.  After Bryan Morris pitched a scoreless bottom of the 7th, allowing a pair of singles, the Curve broke the tie with a run in the 8th.  Rodriguez and C Tony Sanchez both singled, putting Rodriguez on third base.  Curry’s sacrifice fly plated Rodriguez with that go-ahead run, 3-2.

Morris pitched another scoreless inning in the bottom of the 8th, and the Curve went down in order in the top of the 9th.  The Curve were still clinging to that one-run lead when Aaron Thompson took over for Morris in the bottom of the 9th.  The first two batters Thompson faced doubled and tripled, tying the score again.  Thompson struck out the next batter, then intentionally walked one to put runners on the corners.  A grounder to second could have been an inning-ending/game-ending double play — Rodriguez tossed to Holt for the force out at second, but the batter beat out the relay to first, allowing the winning run to score from third base.  

St. Lucie Mets  4,  Bradenton Marauders  1  
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This game was cut short by rain in the middle of the 6th inning.  The Mets got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning with a run off starter Quinton Miller, on a hit batter and two singles.  A walk and a 2-run homer gave the Mets a 3-0 lead in the 4th inning.  Miller was relieved by Brett Sinkbeil after the homer, having allowed the 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk.  

The Marauders tried to rally in the bottom of the 3rd.  SS Kelson Brown led off with a single, but was doubled off first base when RF Robbie Grossman popped into a double play in foul territory behind the plate.  2B Jarek Cunningham was hit by a pitch, then advanced to second base when rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez singled into left.  A grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring.  Bradenton’s only run scored in the bottom of the 4th, when CF Evan Chambers walked, and both SS Benji Gonzalez and Brown singled, bringing in Chambers.  

The Mets added an unearned run in the top of the 5th, on a double, a ground out, and a fielding error by Alvarez at third.  Cunningham walked but got no further than first base in the bottom of that inning.  Sinkbeil retired the Mets in order in the top of the 6th, and by then the rain had arrived.  Play was halted and was not resumed, giving St. Lucie the win.  

Greensboro Grasshoppers  10,  West Virginia Power  7
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The Power had the early lead, but could not respond when the Grasshoppers scored 10 runs in the final 4 innings.  RF Dan Grovatt opened the scoring with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the 1st — his second home run of the season and of the week.  2B Andy Vasquez followed the home run with a walk, then stole second base.  He scored on 1B Justin Howard’s RBI double into left field, for a 2-0 lead.  The Power added 4 more runs in the 4th.  SS Kevin Mort led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  LF Rogelios Noris singled to drive in Mort.  3B Eric Avila lined a double into center field, bringing in Noris, and Vasquez tripled to score Avila.  CF Mel Rojas walked, then an RBI ground out by pinch-hitter Chase Lyles brought Vasquez across the plate, for a 6-0 lead.  One more run scored in the 6th when Avila reached on a fielding error, and scored on Grovatt’s RBI double, 7-0.

Zac Fuesser began his start with 5 scoreless innings.  He scattered 3 singles, a double, and a walk over those 5 innings, but got out of the innings with 7 strikeouts and a timely double play.  Fuesser gave up a lead-off homer in the 6th inning.  He gave up a single and a walk, but erased one runner with a double play.  Fuesser walked the first batter of the 7th inning, then was relieved by Brooks Pounders.  Pounders got a grounder force out, leaving a runner on first.  A stolen base, a single, and a sacrifice fly brought in a run, then a 2-run homer, bringing the score to 7-4.  With two outs in the 8th, the ‘Hoppers started another rally.  Three consecutive singles and a missed catch error by Vasquez drove in one run, then a 3-run homer gave the ‘Hoppers the lead, 8-7.  A double and a 2-run homer off reliever Justin Ennis in the top of the 9th gave the ‘Hoppers their final runs of the game.  

State College Spikes  8,  Auburn Doubledays  6
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The Spikes won two games in a row for the first time this season, in a game where the lead bounced back and forth between the Spikes and the Doubledays.  The Spikes started with a solo home run by SS Brian Sharp in the bottom of the first.  Auburn took the lead with 2 runs on three doubles off starter Nick Kingham in the top of the 2nd.  Three singles, a stolen base, and an RBI ground out added 2 more runs for Auburn in the 3rd inning, giving the Doubledays a 4-1 lead.  

1B Chris Lashmet made it 4-2 in the bottom of the 3rd with a solo home run.  The Spikes got a little closer in the 4th.  CF Taylor Lewis was hit by a pitch to begin the inning.  He stole second base, then advanced to third when the Auburn second baseman was charged with interference on the play.  2B Kirk
RBI single drove in Lewis, and the score was 4-3.  

The Spikes took the lead in the 5th, with a 2-out rally.  DH Carlos Mesa and C Samuel Gonzalez both singled,  and with a stolen base, both runners were in scoring position.  Lewis tripled, driving in both runners, for a 5-4 lead.    

Kevin Kleis replaced Kingham for the 5th, keeping Auburn scoreless for two innings.  Kleis began the 7th with a single and a double, then a sacrifice fly to tie the score.  Michael Jefferson relieved Kleis, but gave up an RBI single to the first batter he faced (run charged to Kleis), giving Auburn a 6-5 lead.  

Jefferson was the pitcher of record when the Spikes answered in the bottom of the 7th.  With one out, Mesa doubled and Gonzalez reached on a throwing error.  Lewis’ single plated Mesa (Lewis’ 3rd RBI) to tie the score yet again.  Lewis stole second base, and when the Auburn catcher’s throw to second base went wild, Lewis moved up to third base, and Gonzalez scored.  The Spikes had a 7-6 lead.  3B Walker Gourley’s sacrifice fly plated Lewis from third, giving the Spikes an insurance run.  Jefferson allowed only one base runner over the last two innings, a hit batter.  

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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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