Holiday weekend play in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
Tampa Yankees �14, �Bradenton Marauders �5 (box)
The Marauders were boarded and sunk by the Yankees on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton. �Two late-inning rallies kept them from being shut out, but were not nearly enough for the Marauders to catch up.
The Yankees hit starter Hunter Strickland hard, beginning in the 2nd inning, when the first four batters reached base: �two singles, a walk, and a hit batter forcing in a run. �A sacrifice fly brought in a second run, and another single gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
It got worse in the 3rd inning. �With out out, Strickland gave up a ground-rule double, and an RBI single. �When the runner from first base stole second, 2B James Skelton could not keep hold of C Eric Fryer’s throw, and the runner was safe at second base. �A walk and a single loaded the bases, and another single drove in the second run of the inning. �Melkin Laureano relieved Strickland at that point, but Laureano gave up a walk to drive in a run, and then a bases-clearing double for three more runs. � Laureano was responsible for only one of those runs (earned), and only one of the five runs that Strickland allowed in the 3rd inning was earned.
Laureano gave up 3 more runs in the 5th inning, on a double followed by back-to-back home runs. �He struck out the next three batters in a row, but the Yankees were up 12-0. �Tom Boleska was next out of the bullpen for the Marauders. �He retired the Yankees in order in the 6th, but gave up another 2-run homer in the 7th to increase Tampa’s lead to 14-0. �Mike Colla and rehabbing Jimmy Barthmaier each pitched an inning to finish it up for Bradenton, and they were the most effective pitchers — each retired three batters in order.
It might have been easy for the Marauders to give up. �They had managed only a walk and a single by DH Tony Sanchez over the first four innings. �They had put two runners on base in the 5th, on singles by 1B Calvin Anderson and 3B Adenson Chourio. CF Robbie Grossman and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman both singled in the 6th, but none of those runners were able to come around to score.
Finally, in the 8th inning, the Marauders were able to crack the scoreboard. �SS Brock Holt led off with a single, and Grossman reached base on a fielding error. �Norman, who had remained in the game in left field, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. �Eric Fryer brought in Holt with a sacrifice fly, and Anderson’s second single of the game scored Grossman. �14 – 2 is still better than 14 – 0.
The Marauders rallied again in the 9th, this time with two outs. �Holt and Grossman started it again with back-to-back singles. �Norman was hit by a pitch again, to load the bases. �Sanchez doubled, clearing the bases, and the Marauders had climbed to 14 – 5. �Fryer walked and Anderson singled for the third time in the game, loading the bases again, but RF Eric Huber struck out to end the game.
Saturday night in the lower minor leagues:
Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �3 (box)
Four runs in the 4th inning gave the Curve the edge and propelled starter Tim Alderson to his 4th win of the season. �Alderson pitched 6 innings and allowed just one run on 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 5 batters.
The Curve scored a run in the bottom of the 1st, on a lead-off walk by SS Chase d’Arnaud, singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez and 3B Josh Harrison, and a grounder by 1B Matt Hague that became a double play (no RBI for Hague). �The Phillies’ run came in the 2nd inning. �Former Indy Indian 3B Tagg Bozied began the inning with a single, and went to second on a wild pitch. �A walk and a grounder put Bozied on third base, and another single drove Bozied across the plate to tie the score.
The big 4th inning began with a single by LF Alex Presley. A passed ball put Presley on second. �After a walk by RF Miles Durham, Alderson dropped down a sacrifice bunt that went for a fielder’s choice as Presley made it to third base before the throw. �With the bases loaded, Chase d’Arnaud walked, forcing in Presley with the go-ahead run. �Gorkys Hernadez’s sacrifice fly plated Durham, and Josh Harrison’s double into right field scored both Alderson and d’Arnaud.
C Hector Gimenez blasted his third home run in three games with a 2-run shot in the 7th, following a single by Hague.
Alderson allowed 2 hits and 2 walks over the last 4 innings he pitched. �Jack Taschner, with the Curve on a rehab assignment, pitched the 7th inning. �He retired the first two batters, then gave up a single, a walk, and an RBI single for one run. �The inning ended on a pop out.
Mike Dubee pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th. �Danny Moskos pitched the 9th, and allowed a run on two singles, a hit batter, and a sacrifice fly.
Josh Harrison and Alex Presley each had a double and a single for the Curve, and both Harrison and Gimenez contributed 2 RBI.
Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)
Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to earn his third win, and CF Gorkys Hernandez had 3 hits to lead the Curve over the R-Phils on Friday evening.
The Curve jumped out to an early lead with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with his second triple of the season. �He scored on Hernandez’s double. �2B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch and 1B Matt Hague walked to load the bases. �3B Jordy Mercer was also hit by a pitch, forcing in another run. �LF Alex Presley bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Harrison scored (no RBI). �A passed ball allowed Hague to score, and the Curve were ahead 4-0. �The Curve added another run in the 2nd inning, when d’Arnaud beat out an infield single to third base, stole second, then came around to score on Hernandez’s second double of the game.
Hernandez did not get a hit in the 5th, but instead he led off the inning with a walk. �Back-to-back singles by Harrison and Hague loaded the bases with no outs. �Mercer grounded to third, where former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied made the play to force out Hernandez at the plate, leaving the bases still loaded. �Another pair of back-to-back singles, by Presley and RF Miles Durham brought in a run each.
Hernandez picked up his third hit, a single, in the 8th inning, but was out in a force play. �Presley also doubled in the 7th inning.
Justin Wilson gave up just 2 hits and a walk in his 5 innings. �Tagg Bozied singled to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play. �Wilson gave up the other single and the walk in the 3rd inning, but two strikeouts left those runners stranded. �Wilson retired the last 8 batters he faced.
Dustin Molleken relieved Wilson to begin the 6th inning. �He allowed a double in the 6th but did not let the runner score. �He loaded the bases with three singles (another to Bozied) in the 7th, but two strikeouts and a fly out got Molleken out of the inning without a run scoring. �Ronald Uviedo pitched 2 innings, and allowed the R-Phils’ only run in the 8th, on a walk and two singles.
Reliever Diego Moreno, who was recently promoted to Altoona from Bradenton, has been placed on the DL with right rotator cuff strain. � The Pirates are sending reliever Jack Taschner, who has been on the DL with left hamstring issues, is going to be joining the Curve for a rehab assignment.
The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled off day on Wednesday, but the rest of the minor league organization was going strong, beginning with an early game in West Virginia:
Lexington Legends �5, �West Virginia Power �4 (box)
The Power and the Legends played a late-morning game for the second time in two days. �Today, though, it was the Legends who came out on top, scoring 5 runs on 10 hits, and breaking a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the 8th. �The Power scored their 4 runs on only 5 hits.
2B Elevys Gonzalez recorded 3 hits in the game, and he put the Power onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st inning, with a 2-run homer following a walk by CF Evan Chambers. Lexington tied the score in the top of the 3rd with two runs on a single and two doubles. �Both Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez took the lead back again in the bottom of the inning. �Benji walked and advanced to second base on a balk. �Elevys singled, moving Benji to third base. �Both Gonzalezes executed a double steal, with Benji stealing home to break the tie. �Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases, but the Power could not push another run across.
Power starter Jason Erickson had kept the Legends from scoring in the 4th and 5th innings, but in the 6th, he gave up a solo homer to tie the score. �He walked the next batter after the home run, and was relieved at that point by Gabriel Alvarado. Alvarado gave up back-to-back singles to the first two runners he faced, and the batter Erickson had put on base came around to score, giving the Legends a 4-3 lead.
3B Jesus Brito homered for the second time in two days to lead off the 7th inning and tie the score again, at 4-4. �But in the top of the 8th, with Zach Foster on the mound, two singles and a fielding error by RF David Rubinstein put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out brought the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Power had a chance to tie the score again in the 8th, when Baker walked, then moved to second base on a passed ball. �Cabrera’s single brought Baker racing around third base and heading for the plate, but he was thrown out by the Legends’ left fielder. �Rubinstein got as far as third base in the 9th inning, on a walk, a stolen base, and a ground out, but that inning ended before he could go any further.
Elevys Gonzalez also singled in the 5th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Foster was charged with the loss, his first of the season.
West Virginia Power �5, �Lexington Legends �0 (box)
Power starter Kyle McPherson pitched 7 no-hit innings this morning in front of a stadium full of school kids (most of whom probably had no idea about the significance of what they were seeing). �McPherson faced just one batter over the minimum, when Lexington’s 1B Kody Hinze reached base on a fielding error by McPherson himself in the 5th inning. �McPherson walked the lead-off batter DH Miguel Arrendell in the third inning, but doubled him off base moments later on a line out.
The Legends did get one hit in the game, but only after McPherson was relieved by Ryan Kelly. Arrendell singled with two outs in the 8th to break up the no-hitter. �Kelly struck out 5 of the remaining 6 batters he faced.
And of course, the pitchers needed some run support. �The Power threatened in the 4th inning, when a walk by 1B Aaron Baker, a hit batter (3B Jesus Brito), a stolen base and a balk put runners on second and third, but a strikeout ended that inning. �A walk to RF David Rubinstein and singles by C Ramon Cabrera and Brito loaded the bases in the 6th, but two strikeouts got the Legends out of that jam unscathed.
It was two home runs in the 7th inning that gave the Power their runs. �After back-to-back walks by CF Evan Chambers and 2B Elevys Gonzalez, Baker blasted a 3-run homer over the right field wall. �Rubinstein followed the home run with a double, and after a pitching change, Brito sent a long fly ball over the left field wall for a 2-run homer.
Read about he Altoona Curve vs Akron Aeros �and the Ft. Meyers Miracle vs. Bradenton Marauders games,�played in the evening.