Triple Play For Marauders In Loss; Curve Can’t Catch Up

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.  

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Veal Moves Up To Altoona, But Curve Bombarded

Sunday action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers:

Portland Sea Dogs  12,  Altoona Curve 4
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The Sea Dogs posted 17 hits on their way to 12 runs, scoring in three big innings.  They began with 3 runs in the top of the 1st off Curve starter Aaron Pribanic, who suffered the loss.  A walk, two singles, and two doubles brought in the runs in the 1st.  Portland added a run in the 2nd on a single, two stolen bases, a fielding error, and an RBI ground out.  Pribanic retired the side in order in the next two innings, but gave up one more run in the 5th on three singles.  Pribanic gave up the 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.  He threw 90 pitches with 61 strikes.  

The Curve were held to 6 hits, and three of them belonged to C Kris Watts, including a solo homer.  SS Jordy Mercer had 2 hits, both solo home runs.  CF Starling Marte’s double was the other run.  Watts singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell was hit by a pitch in th 2nd inning, but both were left on base.  Mercer put the Curve onto the scoreboard with his first home run in the 4th, and Watts also singled after the homer.  

Aaron Thompson pitched a scoreless 6th inning for the Curve, then Donnie Veal, who was just promoted from the Marauders, pitched the 7th.  Veal gave up a solo homer to lead off the 7th, then gave up a single and a 2-run homer, giving Portland an 8-1 lead.  Things got even worse in the 8th, with Diego Moreno on the mound.  a single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a grand slam raised Portland’s lead to 12-1.  

Mercer’s second home run came in the bottom of the 8th, after Marte’s double.  Watts picked up his third hit in the bottom of the 9th, a solo home run, but that was all the Curve could get.   

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Curve Held To 3 Hits; Marauders Held To 2 Hits

Saturday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.

Don’t forget to vote for the All-Star Teams:
Pirates/MLB:  vote here
Indianapolis Indians/International League:  vote here
Altoona Curve/Eastern League:  vote here

Portland Sea Dogs  4,  Altoona Curve  0
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The Curve were held to just 6 base runners — 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score.  SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings.  He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.  

Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd.  He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning.  In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th.  Portland’s third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th.  Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts.  He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.  

The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out.  But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning.  Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play.  Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.  

Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla.  He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded.  Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.   

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Taillon Wins #2; Four Hits For Santos

West Virginia Power  5,  Lexington Legends  4
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Jameson Taillon surrendered 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings, but he still pulled out his second win of the season.  The 4 runs all came in the bottom of the 6th inning.  The Legends started the inning with back-to-back doubles, driving in one run.  A single and a fielding error by LF Rogelios Noris added a second run, then a 2-run homer made the score 4-0.  

The Power tied the score in the top of the 4th.  RF Dan Grovatt started the rally with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  DH Kawika Emsley-Pai and C Elias Diaz also walked, loading the bases.  With two outs, 2B Andy Vazquez lined a single into center field, bringing in Grovatt and Emsley-Pai, and leaving runners on the corners.  Another walk, to 3B Eric Avila, loaded the bases again.  Then SS Drew Maggi lined another 2-RBI single into right field, plating Diaz and Vasquez to tie the game at 4-4.  

Grovatt began another rally in the 5th, with a single.  A passed ball advanced Grovatt to second base, and he moved up to third base on 1B Justin Howard’s ground out.  Emsley-Pai drove Grovatt in with a single up the middle, and Grovatt came in with the go-ahead run.  

Taillon worked around at least one runner on base in 4 of his 5 innings.  He had a batter reach on a throwing error by Avila in the 1st, and he also gave up a single in the bottom of the 1st.  Taillon allowed a single and a double in the 3rd, but a double play helped him out of that jam.  He also gave up a lead-off single in the 5th, but retired the next three batters on three ground outs.  

Casey Sadler relieved Taillon to begin the 6th.  Sadler pitched 3 scoreless innings and allowed just one single in the 6th, and a walk in the 8th.  He struck out 3 Legends’ batters.  Jason Townsend earned his 5th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th, allowing a single.  

After taking the lead in the 5th, the Power put at least one runner on base in every inning for the rest of the game.  Maggi tripled in the 6th, and Howard singled in the 7th.  Noris reached base on a fielding error in the 8th.  Both Grovatt and Howard walked in the 9th inning.  None of them could push around to score.  

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Locke Strikes Out 8; Veal Makes A Start

Thursday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers…

Altoona Curve  5,  Trenton Thunder  1
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Starter Jeff Locke struck out 8 Trenton batters in his 5.1 innings of work, while getting plenty of run support — 3 home runs from his offense.  The only run Locke surrendered came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Trenton loadd the bases on a walk, a hit batter, and a single.  Another walk by Locke forced in the run, then a strikeout and a double play got him out of the inning.  Locke allowed only a walk and a double over the next three innings.  He began the 6th with a pair of walks and a strikeout before being relieved by Diego Moreno.  

Meanwhile, the Curve were pounding out the hits — a total of 15, including 3 by 2B Brock Holt.  Each Curve batter had at least one hit.  1B Matt Curry, who had two hits in the game, began the Curve scoring with a solo home run to lead off the top of the 2nd.  Holt led off the 3rd with a line drive single to short, then moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s walk, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s RBI single.  

Back-to-back solo homers by Latimore and Mercer added another 2 runs in the 5th inning.  The Curve loaded the bases on three consecutive singles in the 6th — by RF Jose Hernandez, Holt, and CF Brad Chalk, but Latimore struck out to end the inning and leave all three runners on base.  The final Curve run scored in the 8th.  The inning began with back-to-back singles by DH Travis Scott and 3B Greg Picart.  Picart was picked off first and caught stealing, but Scott advanced to third, and he was plated by Hernandez’s sacrifice fly.  Holt also tripled in that inning.  

Moreno finished the 6th inning for Locke with a strikeout and a pop out.  Then he struck out the side in the 7th inning.  Michael Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings to end the game.  He loaded the bases with a double, a single, and a walk in the 8th, but got out of that jam with a strikeout and a force out.  Then he worked around a single for a scoreless 9th.  

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