Cunningham, Noris, and Baker Homer in Power Loss

Some early games today in the lower minors:

Asheville Tourists �11, �West Virginia Power �5 (box)

All of the Power’s scoring was done with home runs today, and even that wasn’t enough to catch up to Asheville. �They did not score at all in the first 6 innings, despite getting a reasonable number of runners on base — 2 walks to CF Evan Chambers and DH Kyle Morgan, one�walk to C Pat Irvine, two doubles by Chambers and one by LF Rogelios Noris, a single by 2B Jarek Cunningham.

The Power were behind 7-0 going into the top of the 8th, when they finally got some runs. �Noris walked, and 1B Aaron Baker blasted his 7th home run of the season to put the Power onto the scoreboard. �They added 3 more runs in the 9th, when SS Benji Gonzalez doubled, then Cunningham and Noris smacked back-to-back home runs. �That was not nearly enough, though.

Nate Baker pitched 5 innings in his start for the Power, and he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and a walk. �A single, a wild pitch, and two ground outs brought in the first Asheville run in the 1st inning. �Two singles, a double, a triple, a wild pitch, and a double steal all contributed to bring in 3 runs in the 2nd. �Another triple plus a sacrifice fly added a run in the 5th, and the Tourists had a 5-0 lead. �Gabriel Alvarado relieved Baker to begin the 6th inning. �He retired the side in order, for the first time in the game, in the 6th, but then gave up 2 more runs in the 7th, on a single, an RBI double, a walk, and two more singles. �Jhonatan Ramos took over on the mound in the 8th, and he got into trouble quickly, as the first four batters reached base safely — double, single, walk, and double. �The double plated 2 runs, and after two outs, another double drove in 2 more runs, and the Marauders were down 11-2. �Not even a 9th inning rally could change their fate.

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Gimenez Homers Twice; Anderson Is Player Of The Week

Two morning games today in the Pirates’ organization. �Pat Irvine was brought up from extended spring training to take the place of catcher Josue Peley, who was traded away a few days ago. �Irvine was the Pirates’ 33rd round pick in the 2009 draft. �He played at State College for the second half of 2009, but he split his time between third base and left field…. now he’s a catcher.

Lexington Legends �6, �West Virginia Power �3 (box)

The Power and the Legends were the first to get started this morning, and the Power bats woke up first. �CF Evan Chambers opened the game with a looping single into right-center field. �2B Jarek Cunningham dropped another single in, right in front of the Legends’ center fielder, then a wild pitch moved both runners up a base. �DH�Aaron Baker grounded out to first base, allowing Chambers to score from third base. �LF Rogelios Noris was hit by a pitch, but a double play ended the inning. �The Power took advantage of an error by the Legends’ second baseman, who bobbled the ball, then threw wide to first base in the 2nd inning, putting 3B Elevys Gonzalez on base. �RF Jose Hernandez drove Gonzalez in with a double lined into the right field corner. �After two innings, the Power were leading 2-0.

Power starter Brandon Holden also got off to a good start, retiring the Legends in order in the 1st inning, and allowing only a walk in the 2nd — then he threw out the runner trying to steal second to end the inning. �The Legends loaded the bases against Holden in the 3rd inning with one out — on a walk, a single, and a fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez. �But Holden induced a double play to end the inning, with a ground out to 2B Cunningham, who stepped on second base, then threw on to 1B Kyle Morgan to end the inning without a run scoring.

The Legends got to Holden in the 4th inning. �A lead-off single was followed by a strikeout, but then a double brought in the first Lexington run. �Another single drove in the second run of the inning, to tie the game. �Lexington added three more runs in the 5th, as they took advantage of mistakes by the Power. �A lead-off double by 2B Jose Altuve and a single by SS Miguel Arrendell put runners on the corners. �When Arrendell tried to steal second base, new Power catcher Pat Irvine�made a throw to second base, but his throw went into center field for an error, allowing Altuve to score and Arrendell to reach third base. �CF Evan Chambers’ throw back to the infield, presumably aiming for third base, went sailing into the stands, and Arrendell also scored. �After another single, Holden was relieved by Jhonatan Ramos. Ramos had trouble too, hitting a batter, and giving up a single, which brought in the third run of the inning (charged to Holden). �A throw in to the plate was on-target but but the runner slid to the outside edge of the plate and eluded Irvine’s tag. �A passed ball put runners on second and third, but the next batter tapped a grounder to first, which 1B Morgan fired back to the plate, and this time Irvine was able to apply the tag to prevent the run from scoring.

After scoring in the 2nd, the Power were able to put runners on base in 4 of the next 5 innings. �Jarek Cunningham and Benji Gonzalez singled, Jose Hernandez singled twice, and Kyle Morgan doubled, but none of them could come around to score. �The Power scored again in the 8th, when Aaron Baker led off with a double down the left field line, barely fair. �He advanced to third on Rogelios Noris’s ground out, and then scored on Morgan’s RBI ground out. �Pat Irvine was up next, and with a count 3-0 on him, the rain that had been going on for some time became much harder, and the game was halted for a rain delay. �The rain didn’t last long, though, and play was resumed, with Irvine getting robbed of what should have been a double down the right field line, thanks to an excellent run and dive by the Legends’ RF JD Martinez.

Ramos pitched two more scoreless innings, giving up three more singles. �Zach Foster came on to pitch the bottom of the 8th. �He gave up a solo homer to Altuve, to keep the Legends three runs ahead. �The Power could not respond in the top of the 9th, and the Legends had the win. �Brandon Holden was charged with the loss, his fourth of the season. �Hernandez went 3-for-4 for the Power, and Cunningham had 2 hits.

The Curve also had a morning game…. �”Read More”

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Triple Play For Curve; Barthmaier’s Season Debut

Akron Aeros �5, �Altoona Curve �2 (box)

The Curve turned the second double play in their history today, in an early game in Akron. �In the 6th inning, with reliever Derek Hankins on the mound,�Akron’s LF Cristo Arnal led off with a single, and former Curve and Indy Indian C Miguel Perez was hit by a pitch. �CF John Drennen lined right to SS Chase d’Arnaud, who made the catch, quickly stepped on second base, and fired to Matt Hague at�first base for the third out. �(The first triple play by the Curve came on May 3, 2001 at home in Altoona, against the Harrisburg Senators. �It was a 2-6-3 play: �C JR House to SS Shaun Skrehot to 1B Chris Peterson.)

Unfortunately, the triple play could not make up for a lack of offense, as the Curve batters managed only 4 hits and 2 runs in the game, ending their 8-game winning streak. �After going down in order over the first two innings, the Curve scored both of their runs in the 3rd inning, with the help of three Akron errors. �C Kris Watts led off with a double. �DH Miles Durham singled into center field, moving Watts to third, and Durham moved up to second base when the Aeros’ first baseman missed the catch on the throw in from the outfield for an error. �The second error occurred on d’Arnaud’s ball to second base, and it let both Watts and Durham score, as d’Arnaud was safe on first. �2B Josh Harrison also reached base on an error, advancing d’Arnaud to third base, but they did not advance further before the inning ended.

After two more 1-2-3 innings, the Curve put two runners on base in the 6th, on CF Gorkys Hernandez’s single, and Hague being hit by a pitch. �They were also both left on base. �Altoona loaded the bases in the 7th on walks to Watts and Durham, and d’Arnaud being hit by a pitch, but two strikeouts ended that threat. �The last Curve hit was by LF�Jose De Los Santos in the 9th, who was also left stranded.

Jared Hughes made the start for the Curve. �He gave up one run in the bottom of the 1st inning, on a lead-off double, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly. �He gave up singles in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but erased both runners with a double plays, one started by d’Arnaud (6-4-3) and one started by Hague at first base (3-6-1).

Hughes could not get out of a jam in the 4th inning, though. �A walk, a wild pitch, and two singles led off the inning and brought in one run. �Hughes got two outs, but then gave up back-to-back doubles, bringing in three more runs. �Hughes exited having allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and a walk over 3.2 innings. �Derek Hankins finished the 4th inning, then pitched 4 more scoreless innings, scattering 3 hits, 2 walks, and the hit batter.

["Read more" for the Marauders' and the Power games]

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Curve Take Two From Erie

Saturday evening wins for the entire Pirates’ minor league system!

Altoona Curve 8, �Erie SeaWolves 3 � �Game 1 (box)

Altoona had a double-header, making up for a game that had been rained out back in April. �The Curve exploded out of the box with a 4-run 1st inning and never looked back in Game 1. �3B Jordy Mercer led the charge by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, and RF Alex Presley and 1B Matt Hague had 3 hits each.

A throwing error put SS Chase d’Arnaud on base to begin the game, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, Hague, and Mercer, plus a double by Presley and a wild pitch brought in those 4 runs in the top of the 1st. �Erie came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, on three walks and a double off starter Jared Hughes. Hughes made a wild pitch on strike three to put a runner on base in the 2nd inning, and a double and a sacrifice fly brought in another run, to bring Erie within one run, 4-3.

Hague led off the 3rd inning with a walk, then stole second base. �Mercer and C Hector Gimenez followed with singles, and Presley’s second double of the game plus another single by LF Jose De Los Santos added 3 more runs. �Another walk, this one to DH Jim Negrych, began the 4th inning, and he scored on two singles and a fly out with a missed catch error by the Erie third baseman.

Hughes settled down a bit in the 3rd and 4th innings, but began the 5th with a walk and a single. �Mike Dubee finished up the inning with a strikeout and a grounder force out, then allowed only one hit over the next two innings. �Dubee earned the win. �Hughes struck out 7 batters in his 4.1 innings, and Dubee added 5 more strikeouts.

Curve 7, �SeaWolves 3 � �Game 2 (box)

The Curve jumped out to an early lead in this game also, with 3 runs in the top of the 1st. �This time, SS Chase d’Arnaud opened the game with a walk, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Jim Negrych, and 3B Jordy Mercer brought in 3 runs. �Derek Hankins gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, on three singles, a walk, and a triple, tying the game at 3-3.

LF Alex Presley liked the idea of that triple, so he hit one of his own in the 3rd inning, following a single by 2B Josh Harrison, to break the tie. �C Kris Watts gave the Curve an insurance run in the 4th, with a lead-off home run. The Curve bats were quiet for a couple of innings, then woke up again in the top of the 7th. �With one out, Negrych and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back doubles, and Harrison added another single, for 2 more runs.

Hankins retired 10 Erie batters in order after the runs scored in the 2nd inning. �He got a strikeout but gave up two walks to begin the 6th inning, and was relieved by Corey Hamman. Hamman finished the inning with two quick outs. �Danny Moskos pitched a perfect inning in the 7th, including 2 strikeouts, to finish the game. �Hankins earned his 4th win of the season.

The Curve recorded a total of 23 hits over the two games.

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Marte To Have Hand Surgery; Hughes Is Pitcher Of The Week

The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday. �The West Virginia Power were rained out. �They will play two against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Tuesday, beginning at 6:05 pm.

That leaves just the Bradenton Marauders playing on Monday evening. �First, a few updates:

OF Starling Marte’s visit to the hand surgeon in Pittsburgh got him a diagnosis — broken left hamate bone — an a date with a hand surgeon for Tuesday. �The hamate bone is the wrist bone that is closest to the bones of the little finger. �The “hook” of the hamate (a tail piece of the bone) will be removed in surgery. �The estimated recovery time after this procedure is 8 – 10 weeks… that would have Marte returning to action in August or so. �This is the same surgery that Pedro Alvarez had after he broke his hamate bone in 2008. �Marte has a .283 average with the Marauders in 26 games this season, with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI, and 9 stolen bases.

Hunter Strickland has been promoted from the West Virginia Power to the Marauders, filling the roster spot just vacated when Bryan Morris moved up to Altoona. �Strickland has an 0-4 record in 8 starts. �He has pitched a total of 43 innings, allowing 58 hits and 28 earned runs, for a 5.86 ERA. �He has walked 8 and struck out 15. �Strickland’s longest start so far this season came on May 5th, when he went 7 innings.

Altoona’s Jared Hughes was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the week ending yesterday. �Hughes won both of his starts last week, and was the first pitcher in all of the minors to collect 7 wins this season. �He pitched a total of 14 innings in those two starts, and allowed just one earned run (plus 2 unearned runs), on 9 hits and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts.

Daniel McCutchen has been placed on the Indy Indians’ Disabled List with arm fatigue. �He might miss one or two starts.

Dunedin Blue Jays � 11, � Bradenton Marauders �3 (box)

A 6-run 6th inning sank the Marauders on Monday night in Dunedin. �Aaron Pribanic made the start for the Marauders. �He gave up a run on a pair of singles in the 1st, and two more runs on a throwing error by SS Brock Holt and two more singles in the 2nd inning. �Pribanic continued handing out the singles — one in the 3rd, two in the 4th — but kept the Blue Jays from scoring for those innings. �Three more singles and a throwing error by Pribanic added another run in the 5th.

The bottom of the 6th began with a solo homer, then a walk, a single, and a throwing error by C Tony Sanchez on a pickoff attempt put runners on second and third bases. �Pribanic got a ground out, and at that point he was relieved by Tyler Cox. The first batter Cox faced singled into right field, and when RF Erik Huber had trouble picking up the ball for another error, two runs scored. �A double plated the fourth run of the inning, and the second homer of the inning brought in two more runs. �Dunedin 10, �Bradenton 3.

The Marauders had threatened in the 2nd inning, when 1B Calvin Anderson singled and Huber doubled with two outs. �But the inning ended with them still on base. �The Marauders were able to take advantage of a Dunedin error in the 3rd inning, and scored two runs on a single by Holt, a double by CF Robbie Grossman, complicated by a throwing error (Holt scores), then an RBI ground out by Sanchez. �DH Eric Fryer led off the 4th inning with a solo homer, to give the Marauders their third run.

Pribanic suffered the loss, as he surrendered a total of 12 hits and 7 runs (5 earned) in his 5.1 innings. �Tyler Cox was responsible for 3 hits and 3 runs in the 6th inning, then he retired the side in order in the 7th. �Mike Felix pitched the 8th inning for the Marauders, and he gave up a solo homer for the final Dunedin run.

LF Quincy Latimore singled twice in the game. �Calvin Anderson and Erik Huber both had a single and a double. �Each member of the Marauders’ line-up had at least one hit except for Sanchez, who still contributed an RBI. �But just getting on base is not enough. �The Marauders could not push the runners across the plate — they left 10 runners on base.

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