The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off today (Wednesday). A few bits of news for an off-day:
P Jose Ascanio and C Wyatt Toregas have cleared waivers and both will be assigned to the Indians. Anthony Claggett was returned to the Altoona Curve.
The Pirates have signed four of their recent draft picks:
SS Brian Sharp (24th round) from California Baptist University
SS Kirk Singer (29th round) from Long Beach State
RHP Matt Benedict (30th round) from Western Carolina University
C Derek Trent (31st round) from East Tennessee State
Here’s the list of all the draft picks, which will be updated with the signings as they occur.
Sharp, Singer, and Trent are listed on the State College roster. The State College Spikes begin their season on Friday.
The Pirates also signed LHP Robbie Kilcrease, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech. The redshirt junior made 12 starts this year for Texas Tech. He had a total of 63.1 innings, with a 5.97 ERA.
On to Wednesday evening’s action:
West Virginia Power 3, Greensboro Grasshoppers 0
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The Power did all the scoring they needed in their first at-bats, as three Power pitchers combined for a shutout. With one out in the top of the 1st, 2B Andy Vasquez lined a single into center field, then stole second base. He scored on RF Dan Grovatt’s double lined into right field. Grovatt stole third base, and he scored on 1B Justin Howard’s RBI ground out. CF Mel Rojas added one more insurance run for the Power in the 4th inning with a solo home run.
After the homer, the Power lost some of their power. They managed only 3 hits over the rest of the game — a single by Rojas in the 6th, a double by DH Jairo Marquez in the 7th, and a single by 3B Eric Avila in the 9th.
Brandon Cumpton worked around a walk and a single in the bottom of the 1st, then gave up two more singles in the 3rd, but got out of that jam too, partly due to a double play. Cumpton also gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, but still did not let the runners come around to score. He began the 6th with a walk and a double play, then loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk. Kevin Decker came on in relief of Cumpton, and Decker ended the inning with a fly out, still not letting a run score.
Decker pitched 2 more scoreless innings, though he gave up a walk and two singles in the 7th, and another single in the 8th. Jason Townsend pitched the 9th, also giving up a walk and erasing the runner with a double play. Cumpton earned his 7th win of the season, and Townsend earned his 6th Save.
All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost on Tuesday evening…..
New Britain Rock Cats 10, Altoona Curve 4
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It was a tough night for Curve starter Bryan Morris, who gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work. Morris got into trouble in the top of the 1st. He gave up a lead-off single, then set down the next two batters on fly outs. Three straight singles and his own throwing error on the final single (a bunt) brought in two runs. The top of the 2nd was worse — three singles and three walks, with a throwing error by LF Quincy Latimore, and an RBI ground out brought in another 5 runs for New Britain, for a 7-0 lead. Morris gave up a single in each of the next two innings, but retired those two runners with a pair of double plays.
The Curve got three of the runs back in the 3rd inning. DH Jose Hernandez doubled, and scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single. Chalk came in on 2B Brock Holt’s triple, then SS Jordy Mercer doubled, plating Holt. That cut the Rock Cats’ lead to 7-4.
But the Rock Cats added to their lead with 3 runs off reliever Tim Alderson. A single, a ground out, and a wild pitch put the lead-off batter on third in the 5th, and two more walks and a wild pitch brought him in. A walk, another wild pitch, an RBI single and an RBI double gave the Rock Cats 2 more runs in the 6th, for a 10-3 lead.
The Curve put base runners on in most of the remaining innings of the game, but they were left stranded. Holt singled and CF Starling Marte walked with two outs in the 5th, and the Curve did not put two runners on base again until the 9th. 1B Matt Curry walked to begin the 9th, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled. Curry went to third on the hit, and he scored on Hernandez’s sacrifce fly.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….
Greensboro Grasshoppers 5, West Virginia Power 0
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The Power were held to just one hit — a single by CF Mel Rojas, which came in the 5th inning. The only other Power base runner was SS Drew Maggi, who walked to lead off the 4th, but was quickly picked off first base. After Rojas’ two-out single in the 5th, the remaining 13 batters were retired in order. It took three Grasshopper pitchers to do it, and their starter, Kyle Winters, pitched 7 one-hit innings, with 7 strikeouts, including striking out the side in his final inning.
Greensboro did all the damage they needed in the bottom of the 1st. A pair of doubles started the inning, and after a fly out, a 2-run homer gave the ‘Hoppers a 3-0 lead. Tyler Waldron had only one batter reach base in the next two innings, and that was on a fielding error by LF Rogelios Noris in the 3rd. That runner was erased with an inning-ending double play. Waldron gave up 2 more runs in the 4th. Two singles and a wild pitch put two runners into scoring position. A sacrifice fly and an RBI single drove in the two runs.
Victor Black relieved Waldron and ptiched a scoreless inning, with two walks and two strikeouts. Then 19-year old Orlando Castro made his US debut with 3 scoreless innings of work. The Honduras native gave up a 2-out single in the 6th, and a lead-off single and a walk in the 7th. The lead-off runner was eliminated in a double play. Then he retired the side in the bottom of the 8th.
Saturday evening action for the Pirates’ minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 11, Reading Phillies 1 (Suspended)
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After rain delayed the start of this game, the Curve must have decided that they needed to score a lot and quickly, in case the rain cut the game short. The rain did come again, but too early for a complete game. Instead, it was suspended in the 3rd inning, with the Curve leading by 10 runs. R-Phils starter Juan Ramirez could not get through the 1st inning. The first four Curve batters reached base safely: a lead-off triple by RF Anthony Norman, a double by CF Starling Marte (one run), a walk by SS Jordy Mercer, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore to load the bases. After a fly out, 3B Jeremy Farrell drove in both Marte and Mercer with an RBI single (runs 2,3). C Travis Scott singled, loading the bases again. 2B Greg Picart grounded to first, and the R-Phils’ first baseman returned the ball to the plate, forcing out Latimore for the second out. Pitcher Aaron Pribanic singled into right field, bringing in Farrell (run 4), and a walk by Norman forced in Scott with the 5th run of the inning. That was the end for Ramirez, and the new reliever, Tyson Brummett, struck out Marte to end the inning.
But the Curve came right back at Brummett in the 2nd. With one out, Latimore singled, and 1B Matt Curry doubled him in. A walk by Scott and a single by Picart brought in Curry, and the Curve extended their lead to 7-0.
Pribanic retired the R-Phils in order in the bottom of the 1st. He gave up one run in the 2nd, on two singles and two ground outs. Then the Curve came roaring right back in the top of the 3rd. Norman led off with a walk, and a fielding error put Marte on first and Norman on second. Mercer singled, plating Norman. After one out, Brummet threw two wild pitches, scoring Marte and leaving Mercer on third base. Curry walked, then Farrell doubled, driving in Mercer. Curry went to third base, and he scored on Scott’s sacrifice fly. A ground out ended the top of the inning, and at that point, the game was halted, with the Curve ahead 11-1. The game will resume at 1:30 pm on Sunday, and the regularly scheduled game will follow, but that game will be only 7 innings long. Hope the Curve didn’t use up all their hits in those first three innings.
The West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off on Tuesday, but the Marauders and the Curve are in action:
Jupiter Hammerheads 4, Bradenton Marauders 3
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The Marauders had the luck to pull off a rare triple play, but Jupiter broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th to take the win.
Each team scored one run in the 1st inning. RF Robbie Grossman opened the game with a walk, then went to third on 2B Kelson Brown’s single up the middle. Grossman scored on 1B Aaron Baker’s sacrifice fly. 3B Elevys Gonzalez also singled, sending Brown around from second, but he was thrown out at the plate. In the bottom of the frame, with Nate Baker on the mound for the Marauders, two lead-off walks and a grounder force out at second put Jupiter runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly brought in the lead runner, and Nate Baker and Aaron Baker combined to pick off and catch stealing the second runner.
Nate Baker retired the side in the 2nd inning, but gave up another run in the bottom of the 3rd, on a single and an RBI double. The double would have been a triple, but an on-target throw from LF David Rubinstein to Elevys Gonzalez at third let Gonzalez tag him out.
The Marauders loaded the bases in the top of the 2nd, when CF Evan Chambers reached on a fielding error, and both DH Calvin Anderson and Grossman walked. But with two outs, a pop out by Brown ended the threat. Both C Ramon Cabrera and Elevys Gonzalez singled in the 3rd, but both were left on base. In the top of the 4th, the Marauders scored twice, courtesy of two wild pitches. Anderson and SS Benji Gonzalez both walked to lead off the inning, and Grossman loaded the bases with a grounder through the hole into left field. A wild pitch let Anderson score from third base, while the other two runners both moved up a base. After two outs, another wild pitch allowed Benji Gonzalez to come across the plate, and the Marauders had a 3-2 lead.
Two strikeouts and a ground out gave Nate Baker a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 4th. He got into trouble again in the 5th, though, with a lead-off double and a hit batter. A sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by Elevys Gonzalez loaded the bases, and an RBI single pushed the lead runner in to tie the score again. With the bases still loaded, the Marauders had a rare triple play: Jupiter’s CF Jose Duarte lined right to Brown, who fired to first, where Aaron Baker doubled off the runner and fired back to Brown, who doubled off the runner at second base. Nate Baker also retired the Hammerheads in order in the 6th. He finished with 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, with 2 strikeouts, but left the game with the score tied, so did not figure into the decision.
The Marauders had 3 batters reach base over the 5th and 6th innings, all on walks. Elevys Gonzalez worked a walk to lead off the 5th, and stole second base. Grossman and Brown both walked with one out in the 6th. None of them came around to score, though. The only other Marauder to reach base was Aaron Baker, who singled with two outs in the top of the 9th. Adalberto Santos came in to pinch-run for Baker, but he did not have a chance to do anything, as a ground out ended the inning.
Brian Leach relieved Nate Baker to begin the 7th inning, and he retired the side on three fly outs. Jhonathan Ramos came on for the 8th inning, and he was charged with the loss when he gave up the winning run. A single and a sacrifice bunt began the inning, then a passed ball put the runner on third base. After an intentional walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third, to give Jupiter a 4-3 lead. The Marauders could not respond, and Jupiter had the win.