Baker and Noris Help Welker With An Afternoon Win

As expected, the Pirates have called up righty�Jeff Karstens from Indianapolis to help them with their pitching woes. �Karstens will have to be added to the 40-man roster — he was removed from it back in November. �Over the past few weeks, Karstens had made 4 relief appearances for the Indy Indians, �for a total of 11 innings, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits. �He also made one start, last Thursday, and pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits.

In order to make room, Rule 5 Draft pick OF John Raynor has been designated for assignment. �If Raynor clears waivers, he will have to be offered back to the Marlins. �The Pirates are hoping they can work out a deal to keep him, like they did for Evan Meek a couple of years ago.

One late morning/early afternoon game today:

West Virginia Power 6, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)

The Power won the series over Kannapolis 3 games to one with today’s early-bird win. �Gabriel Alvarado made the start for the Power, and pitched 4 solid innings, allowing one run on 3 hits and 2 walks. �The run he gave up was a lead-off homer to Kannapolis RF Nicholas Ciolli, to begin the 2nd inning. �Alvarado worked around a base runner in each inning, but did not allow any of those batters to score. �He struck out one and erased one of the runners with a double play. �Ciolli had another hit off Alvarado in the 4th, and a third hit off Zach Foster in the 8th, accounting for 3 of Kannapolis’ 4 hits.

The Power answered the run in the bottom of the 2nd with 3 runs on 3 doubles in the top of the 3rd. �CF Evan Chambers walked with one out, and moved to third base when LF David Rubinstein doubled. �3B Jesus Brito brought Chambers in with a sacrifice fly. �Back-to-back doubles by 1B Aaron Baker and DH Rogelios Noris plated two more runs, giving the Power a 3-1 lead.

The Power were quiet over the next four innings, getting only one hit — a single by Aaron Baker, who was then caught stealing second base. �In the 8th, they utilized singles and errors instead of doubles to do their scoring. �With one out, Rubinstein and Brito both singled, and when the Kannapolis centerfielder made a fielding error, Rubinstein was able to make it all the way around to score. �Brito was left on second base, and a wild pitch moved him up to third. �Baker singled next, scoring Brito, and another fielding error, this one in left field, put Baker on third base. �Noris lifted a sacrifice fly, and Baker came in with the third run of the inning. �Power up, 6-1.

Duke Welker relieved Alvarado for the 5th inning. �He walked three and struck out three (S,W,W, S,W,S), but gave up no hits or runs. �In the eyes of the official scorer, that earned him his first win of the season. �Maurice Bankston pitched the next two innings and allowed only a walk. �Zach Foster gave up a walk and Ciolli’s third hit in the 8th, but left both runners on base, then retired the side in order to finish up the 9th.

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Power Show Their Power, Bradenton Pitchers Shine

West Virginia Power 8, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)

The West Virginia Power powered up, recording 17 hits on their way to 8 runs, to beat the Intimidators in Kannapolis on Monday night. �The West Virginia starter Kyle McPherson was also showing his Power, going 7 innings and allowing just one runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. �McPherson, in his best outing of the season, worked around a double in each of the first two innings. �In the 4th inning, he gave up a lead-off single followed by another double, and this double scored a run. �A Kannapolis runner reached base in the 6th on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez, and another reached on a single in the 7th, and was erased by a double play.

Meanwhile, each member of the Power lineup had at least one hit, and C Ramon Cabrera led the charge by going 4-for-5, with a triple and 2 RBI. �1B Kyle Morgan had a single and two triples, and DH Aaron Baker homered and doubled. �They started with 2 runs in the 1st inning. �A walk by 3B Jesus Brito, a double by Baker, and a throwing error by the Kannapolis pitcher brought in two unearned runs.

The 4th inning began with a single by LF Rogelios Noris and Morgan’s first triple, for an RBI. �Morgan scored on Cabrera’s single. �Two more singles, by CF Evan Chambers and 2B Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases, and a walk to Brito forced in the third run of the inning. �Power up 5-0.

The Power put two runners on base in each of the 5th and 6th innings, but did not bring any of them around to score. �The 7th began with Morgan’s single, and he scored on Cabrera’s triple. �Gonzalez plated Cabrera with an RBI single. �Aaron Baker added one more run in the 8th with his solo home run. �Morgan tripled for the second time after the homer, but was left on base

McPherson’s win was his first of the season. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last 2 innings for the Power, allowing just one hit, while striking out two batters.

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Three Hits For Watts; Power Split Doubleheader

Sunday afternoon’s games for the Pirates minor league affiliates:

Erie SeaWolves 10, �Altoona Curve 3 (box)

Six runs in the 3rd inning gave the SeaWolves a huge boost over the Curve in the series finale, and the Curve could not catch up, despite 3 hits from C Kris Watts. Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first three batters he faced, but got into trouble in the 2nd inning. �A walk and a double put runners on second and third bases, then a ground out brought in the first run. �An RBI singled plated the second runner, and Erie had a 2-0 lead. �The Curve tried to come back in the bottom of the inning. �Watts’ first single, plus a walk to RF Miles Durham put two runners on base. �LF Alex Presley singled into left field, but the throw in to the plate was in time to tag out Watts, and a strikeout ended the inning.

Then came the 3rd inning. �The SeaWolves sent 10 batters to the plate on their way to 6 runs. �Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases to begin the inning. �A ground out scored one run, and a double into center field brought in two more. �A grounder to third base let 3B Jordy Mercer make an out at third, but left a runner at first base. �Two more singles scored two more runs, and a double brought in the 6th run of the inning. �That was enough to send Hughes to the showers; Tony Watson came on in relief and got a ground out to end the miserable inning. �A solo home run off Watson in the 4th inning gave Erie a 9-0 lead.

The Curve made a little headway in the 4th. �1B Matt Hague led off with a walk, then a double error (fielding, then throwing) by the Erie third baseman put Mercer on base and sent Hague to third base. �Watts singled up the middle, and when the Erie center fielder made a fielding error, both Hague and Mercer scored. �That was all the Curve would get, though. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off the 5th inning with a single, but the next 13 Curve batters went down in order. �With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Watts singled for his third hit of the game. �Durham doubled, bringing Watts around to score the last Altoona run.

Jared Hughes was charged with his first loss of the season. �Tony Watson allowed the home run in the 4th, and another solo homer in the 6th inning. �He pitched a total of 3.1 innings, and those were the only two hits he allowed. �Michael Dubee pitched the final 3 innings, allowing just one hit. �CF Gorkys Hernandez also had a hit, going 1-for-4 at the plate.

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Three Minor League Wins

Altoona Curve 4, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 1 (box)

The Giants have moved their AA level team from Connecticut, where they were the Defenders, to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now the… Flying Squirrels? �Richmond had been the home of the Atlanta Braves’ AAA team for just about forever, until last season when the Braves moved their affiliate to Gwinnett County, just outside Atlanta. �Now Richmond has a team again.

The Curve curtailed the Squirrels’ flying by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, SS Chase d’Arnaud and 3B Jordy Mercer worked back-to-back walks. �A ground out to the right side of the infield moved both runners up one base, and a single by C Hector Gomez on a line drive into center field brought both runs in.

Altoona’s starter Justin Wilson zipped through the first two innings. �He gave up a double and a walk in the 3rd, but a fly out kept any runs from scoring. �Another double, a ground out, and an RBI single by the Squirrels cut the Curve lead to one run in the top of the 4th. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the frame, when RF Miles Durham led off with a double, went to third on Gimenez’s sacrifice bunt, and score on 2B Josh Harrison’s grounder to short. �They added one more run in the 5th. �Two walks got the Squirrels in trouble again, this time by pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez. Jordy Mercer supplied the RBI single that brought in Negrych with the insurance run. �The Curve had only 4 hits in the game, to 5 by the Squirrels. �1B Matt Hague had the other Curve hit, which was a single in the top of the 9th.

Justin Wilson pitched 5 innings and allowed the one run on 5 hits and a walk, and he struck out 4 batters in his first win of the season. �Tony Watson also struck out 4 batters in his 3 innings of work. �Watson walked 2 batters but did not allow any hits. �Jeff Sues earned his first Save with a perfect 9th inning.

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Marauders Start With A Rampage; Crotta Shines For Curve

Bradenton Marauders 18, �Fort Myers Miracle 3 (box)

The Marauders began their inaugural season in the Florida State League with a hit-a-thon, as they posted 16 hits on their was to 18 runs. �Two 7-run innings took care of most of the scoring and sent the Ft. Myers’ pitching staff scrambling. �Each member of the Bradenton lineup except one had at least one hit, and most had two hits. �1B Calvin Anderson did not have a hit, but he walked twice and came around to score. �LF Quincy Latimore went 3-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI singles. �RF Robbie Grossman had a 3-run homer, and 3B Jeremy Farrell contributed 7 RBI with a 3-run homer in the 7th inning and a grand slam in the 4th. �CF Starling Marte singled and doubled, walked, and scored 4 times. �C Tony Sanchez had two RBI singles.

The scoring started with Latimore’s homer in the bottom of the 2nd. �Singles by Latimore and Grossman, plus an error by the Miracle and a passed ball added two more runs in the 3rd. �The 7-run 4th inning followed, as the Marauders sent 11 batters to the plate. �Grossman’s homer and Farrell’s grand slam, plus a wild pitch with the bases loaded accounted for those 7 runs. �Marte’s double and an RBI single from Sanchez tacked on a run in the 5th. �The 7th was the second 7-run inning, as the Marauders sank the Miracle with two walks, four singles, a wild pitch that allowed a run to score, and Farrell’s 3-run shot.

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