For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Rangers 3, Pirates 0 in 5 innings
Starting Pitcher: Jandy Vasquez, RHP (2-5, 5.25) – 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.198) – 1-for-2, 2B
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.203) – 0-for-2
Marcus Beltrez, LHP (1.34) – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Johan De Jesus, SS (.171) – DNP
Game Notes: The Pirates dropped a rain-shortened game to the first place Rangers by a 3-0 score. The game was called after the Pirates batted in the top of the fifth inning. They were able to collect just two hits, with Dennis Hurtarte hitting a double and Rudy Guzman picking up a single in two AB’s. Guzman now has a ten game hitting streak. Jandy Vasquez started the game and gave up three runs over three innings, losing for the fifth time this year. Marcus Beltrez pitched a scoreless fourth inning. Shortstop prospect Johan De Jesus did not play for the second game in a row.
Result: Pirates 4, Nationals 3 in 7 innings
Starting Pitcher: Eduardo Vera, RHP (1-0, 1.79) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Jose Salazar, DH (.191) – 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.322) – 1-for-3, BB
Jhoan Herrera, DH (.242) – 0-for-2, HBP
Remy De Aza, RHP (3.38) – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.177) – 1-for-3
Game Notes: The Pirates were helped out by the weather, having the game called by rain with two outs and the tying run on second base in the top of the seventh inning. Eduardo Vera made his 11th start, plus one relief appearance, and he picked up his first decision of the season. In his last seven starts(33 innings), he has given up just two earned runs. Michael de la Cruz reached base twice and now has a .466 OBP, second in the DSL to teammate Carlos Munoz. De la Cruz leads the league with 49 walks. Yoel Gonzalez went 1-for-3 and is now hitting .289 in his last ten games.
Player Of The Day
In June of 2011, the Pirates signed switch-hitting first baseman Dennis Hurtarte out of Guatemala, the first time they signed a player out of that country. It’s a country that has yet to produce a major league player. Hurtarte made his debut in 2012 and played 47 games, hitting .238, with eight doubles and 18 RBI’s. Hurtarte worked hard during the off-season(see DSL preview link at top) and came into this season hoping for big things. Early on, he hurt his wrist swinging and it kept him out of action for about two weeks. Shortly after returning, Hurtarte got spiked while he was covering first base, needing stitches and that kept him out of games again for two weeks.
When he returned to action, he didn’t hit right away, but things have turned around recently. According to Hurtarte, he stopped over-thinking each AB and went up looking for a good pitch to hit. Prior to the All-Star break, he was batting .138, with a .366 OPS. In 15 games since the All-Star break, he is hitting .271 with an .803 OPS. He is even better in his last ten games, hitting .303 with six doubles and seven walks, giving him a .924 OPS. Since turning things around at the plate, he has been moved to the clean-up spot in the order, showing the potential that the team thinks he has in his bat.