Power Pitchers Dominate In Early Game; Complete One-Hitter For McPherson

The Power had an early game today, while the Curve and the Marauders are scheduled for the evening:

West Virginia Power  3,  Hickory Crawdads  2  
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Three Power pitchers combined to hold Hickory to just 4 hits in the late-morning start.  Colton Cain earned his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs, only one of which was earned.  He gave up 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5 batters.  Two of those 3 hits came in the top of the 1st — a lead-off single, then after two outs moved the runner to second base, another single when the batter beat out the throw on a grounder to third base.  But Power 1B Justin Howard was paying attention, and he was able to throw from first base back to the plate, where C Elias Diaz tagged out the runner who had rounded third and was trying to score.  

Three consecutive hits began the bottom of the 1st for the Power:  singles by SS Drew Maggi and CF Mel Rojas, and an RBI double by RF Dan Grovatt, who drove in Maggi.  DH Cole White brought in Rojas with an RBI ground out, to give the Power an early 2-1 lead.  

Cain retired the side in order in the 2nd, then began the 3rd by giving up a double.  A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to third base.  The next batter was hit by a pitch, giving Hickory runners on the corners.  Then a wild pitch by Cain and a throwing error on Diaz as he tried to retrieve the ball, let both base runners score, to tie the game.  

The Power put runners on base over the next two innings, but base running problems eliminated the runners — picked off and caught stealing, and being caught off base on a fly out for a double play.  2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 5th, and he too was doubled off first base when Maggi flied out.  Rojas walked after Maggi was out, then Grovatt doubled for the second time in the game, and also drove in his second run, as Maggi gave the Power the lead.  

Cain allowed only 2 walks over his last three innings of work.  Vincent Payne made his first appearance for the Power this season, with 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 7th, then gave up a walk in the 8th, but that runner was caught stealing.  Zac Fuesser pitched the 9th.  He gave up a single, but also picked the runner of first base, and was credited with his first Save.  

The Power had only two base runners over the last 3 innings, when 3B Eric Avila walked and was erased in a double play, and a single by Grovatt, for his third hit of the game, in the 8th.  Grovatt stole second base, but was left on base.   

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Promotions For Harrison, Curry, And Brown

IMG_5688In the wake of more injuries, the Pirates have called infielder Josh Harrison up from the Indians.  

Harrison has played both second and third base for the Tribe this season.  In 37 games, Harrison has hit .321 for the Indians, with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, and 11 RBI.  The Cincinnati native has walked 7 times and struck out 17 times.  He has stolen 8 bases in 13 tries.  Harrison began the season with a hot April, hitting .375.  He has dropped to a still-respectable .282 in May, but with more RBI.  

Harrison is needed because Steve Pearce, who has been playing third base for the Pirates in the absence of Pedro Alvarez, is going onto the DL with a calf injury.  It will likely be a short-term promotion for Harrison, just until Alvarez returns…. unless Harrison makes a big splash at the major league level.   

The Pirates have not yet made an official announcement, but it is likely that catcher Ryan Doumit will also be going on the DL.  Tribe catcher Jason Jaramillo is not ready, after being hit by a foul ball earlier in the week.  That’s making it look like Dusty Brown will be added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster and called up to join the Pirates in New York.  Brown was pulled from the Indians’ starting line-up at the last moment last night, and he’s the only other option.  Wyatt Toregas has played only sparingly so far this season and has yet to get a hit.   

UPDATE: Yes, confirmed, Brown has also been added to the 40-man roster and promoted.  Ross Ohlendorf was moved to the 60-day DL to make room.

1B Matt Curry has also been promoted from the A level West Virginia Power to the AA Altoona Curve.  Yes, that is right — skipping right over the A+ Bradenton level.  Curry has been hitting .361 for the Power, with 15 doubles, 3 triples, 9 homers, and 34 RBI.  Curry hit .400 in April and has “dropped” to .325 for May.  The Texas native is 23 years old, a little old for the A level anyway.  

Aaron Baker, the regular first baseman for the Marauders  is currently hitting .275 with 8 doubles, 7 homers, and 38 RBI.

And more update:
Coming up from Altoona to fill the new holes on the Indians’ roster:  INF Shelby Ford, OF/1B Miles Durham, and C Eric Fryer.  Ford has played with the Indians before (2009), but it will the first time at the AAA level for durham and Fryer.

 

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Losses For All The Affiliates

The Pirates and all four of their minor league affiliates lost in Sunday’s play:

Hickory Crawdads  4,  West Virginia Power  3
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Jameson Taillon pitched well in his 5-inning start this afternoon.  He surrendered one run on two hits, with no walks, and he struck out 4 batters.  Taillon zipped through the first two innings, retiring the Crawdads in order.  He gave up the only run in the 3rd inning, when the first Hickory batter of the inning homered.  Taillon set down the next three batters, then gave up a ground-rule double to the first batter in the 4th.  He retired three more batters in the 4th, then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th.  Taillon was on the short end, 1-0 when he left the game.

The Power put one runner on base in each of the first three innings — singles by CF Mel Rojas in the 1st and 3rd, and  C Elias Diaz in the 2nd.  Each time they were left on base.  2B/CF Andy Vasquez got as far as third base in the 5th inning, with a single, a stolen base, and a throwing error, but he too was left stranded.  

Victor Black pitched a scoreless inning for the Power in the 6th, taking over for Taillon.  It was only his second appearance this season, and his second scoreless and hitless inning.  

Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th.  He walked the first batter he faced, then got two outs.  A single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Hickory.  A ground-rule double brought in two runs, to give Hickory a 3-0 lead.  The Power tied the score in the bottom of the frame.  RF Justin Howard started the rally with a single up the middle.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Diaz lined a single in to right field, scoring both Howard and Emsley-Pai.  3B Eric Avila singled on a liner into left field, then a bunt by Vasquez again moved two runners into scoring position.  SS Drew Maggi singled, driving in Diaz from third base.  The rally ended when Avila was caught trying to steal home and Rojas struck out.  

The tie did not last long.  Sadler struck out the first two batters in the top of the 8th, then gave up a walk and a double, which brought the lead runner racing around from first to score, to give Hickory a 4-3 lead.  Jason Townsend pitched the top of the 9th, giving up two singles, but no runs.  RF Dan Grovatt led off the bottom of the 8th with a single, but he was the only Power batter to reach base in the final two innings.  
 

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Homers For Fryer, Durham, Latimore, Baker, And Anderson

Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  8,  Binghamton Mets  6
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First, the Curve and the Mets had to finish up yesterday’s game, which had been suspended in the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6.  Binghamton had scored 4 runs in the 1st, and one run in both the 4th and 5th.  The Curve had tied the score with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings.  The big hit in the 5th was CF Starling Marte’s triple, and the big hit in the 6th was pinch-hitter Eric Fryer’s triple.   Curve starter Aaron Thompson had allowed all 6 Binghamton hits on 9 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work.  Tim Alderson came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a hit but maintained the tie.  

The top of the 7th began with a single by LF Quincy Latimore, who was replaced at first base by SS Jordy Mercer on a grounder force out at second.  Mercer stole second base, then took third on a wild pitch.  3B Jeremy Farrell walked to put runners on the corners, and that’s when the game was suspended.  When they picked it up again this afternoon with a new relief pitcher, two quick outs left Mercer and Farrell still standing on the corners.  

Anthony Claggett came on in relief of Alderson, and in a double switch, Shelby Ford took over at first base for Miles Durham.  Claggett kept the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the 7th.  Then Ford gave the Curve the lead with a solo homer in the top of the 8th.  The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, when Mercer and Farrell led off with a pair of singles.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, then RF Brad Chalk lined a single into left field.  Mercer scored easily on the play, but Farrell was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.  

Claggett held on to the lead with a scoreless bottom of the 8th, allowing just one hit.  He was credited with his third win of the season.  Noah Krol earned his 10th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th.  He walked the first batter of the inning, then retired the next three batters with two fly outs and a pop out.

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Power Go Long; Curve Cut Short

Friday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  6,  Binghamton Mets  6
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Rain halted the game between the Curve and the Mets in Binghamton, NY in the top of the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6.  Starter Aaron Thompson got into trouble early in the game, when he gave up 4 runs to the B-Mets in the bottom of the 1st.  A single and a hit batter led off the inning, then two fly outs and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Three singles brought in a run each, and a double added the 4th run of the inning.  Thompson gave up a hit in each of the next two innings, but erased one with a double play, and left the other stranded.  A solo homer in the bottom of the 4th gave the Mets a 5-0 lead, then a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave the Mets their 6th run in the 5th. 

The Curve put one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but none of those runners came around to score.  2B Brock Holt walked in the 1st, but was out in a double play.  C Tony Sanchez singled in the 2nd and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  Holt smacked a ground-rule double in the 3rd, and SS Jordy Mercer walked and got as far as third base in the 4th.  

1B Miles Durham got the Curve going with a rally in the top of the 5th, when he was hit by a pitch.  Thompson tried for a sacrifice fly, but it turned into a forcer out of Durham at second base, leaving Thompson on first.  Holt singled, then CF Starling Marte tripled into right field, scoring both Thompson and Holt.  LF Quincy Latimore singled into left field, bringing in Marte, to cut the B-Mets’ lead to 5-3.

The Mets made it 6-3 in the bottom of the 5th, but the Curve came right back with another 3 runs in the top of the 6th to tie the game.  A fielding error at shortstop put 3B Jeremy Farrell on base, and Sanchez’s double let Farrell came around to score from first base.  RF Brad Chalk walked, then pinch-hitter Eric Fryer drove in base runners with the second triple of the game.  

Tim Alderson came on to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and he worked around a single, to maintain the tie.  The top of the 7th began with a single by Latimore, and a grounder force out by Mercer, leaving Mercer on first base.  Mercer stole second and then moved to third base on a wild pitch.  Farrell walked, to give the Curve runners on the corners  — and that’s when the storms halted the game.  

The game will resume on Saturday prior to the regularly scheduled game.  This game will finish as a 9-inning game, but the regularly scheduled game will probably be a 7-inning game.  

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