Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 8, Binghamton Mets 6
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.
The West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off on Tuesday…
Bradenton Marauders 9, Lakeland Flying Tigers 0
The Marauders broke a 7-game losing streak by bombarding the Flying Tigers in Lakeland. Bradenton posted 12 hits, led by DH Calvin Anderson, who went 4-for-5 in the game, and missed hitting for the cycle by leaving out the triple. 2B Jarek Cunningham also doubled and homered, while 1B Aaron Baker contributed 2 hits.
The game began with the Marauders blasting off for 5 runs in the top of the 1st. They batted around, beginning with a single by RF Robbie Grossman, a walk to C Ramon Cabrera, and a single by Baker to score Grossman. 3B Elevys Gonzalez doubled to bring in both Cabrera and Baker. Elevys Gonzalez scored on Anderson’s double, and Anderson scored on LF Adalberto Santos‘ RBI single.
The hits and runs kept coming for the Marauders. They did not score in the 2nd inning, though Cunningham doubled. He was out when Cabrera lined out to the Tigers’ shortstop, who stepped on the second base bag to double off Cunningham. Baker led off the 3rd with a ground-rule double. He moved to third on a fly out, then scored on Anderson’s RBI single. Cunningham added 2 more runs in the 4th with a 2-run homer after Grossman had walked. Anderson’s solo homer came in the 5th, and by then the Marauders were leading 9-0.
Brett Lorin was the recpient of all that run support, earning his second win of the season. He pitched 6 shutout innings and struck out 6 batters, while scattering just 2 hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Both the hit batter and the walk came in the 2nd inning, but Lorin got a fly out to end the inning. Lorin allowed a single in the 5th and a double in the 6th.
The Marauders went down in order for the first time in the 6th. They loaded the bases in the 7th on a walk to Baker, and singles by CF Evan Chambers and Anderson, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning with the bases loaded. Grossman was the only Bradenton batter to reach base in the final two innings, when he walked in the 8th.
Eliecer Navarro relieved Lorin to begin the 7th inning. He retired the side in the 7th, and worked around a runner who had reached base on his own missed catch error (on a grounder towards first base) in the 8th. Navarro also retired the first two batters in the bottom of the 9th. Jason Erickson finished the game by grounding out the only batter he faced.
Lakewood BlueClaws 6, West Virginia Power 5
The Power played an early game today, but fell to the BlueClaws in the 10th inning. Starter Jameson Taillon did not factor into the decision, though he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 2 batters. The first two runs Taillon allowed came in the first two innings of the game. In the top of the 1st, a single, a ground out, and another single gave the Claws their first run. Two more singles, a double steal, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the top of the 2nd.
The Power tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd. 1B Matt Curry walked, and DH Justin Howard moved Curry to third with a double lined into left field. C Kawika Emsley-Pai brought in Curry with an RBI single, and LF Rogelios Noris plated Howard with a sacrifice fly.
Taillon walked a batter in the 3rd, and with a stolen base and a missed catch error by 2B Andy Vasquez on the throw to second, the runner reached third base. Taillon escaped without a run scored, though, when the next batter flied out and RF Dan Grovatt made an on-target throw to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the runner at the plate. Taillon worked around a single in the 4th, but got into trouble again in the 5th. A single and two ground outs again put a runner on third base, and an RBI single broke the tie, giving the Claws a 3-2 lead.
The Power tied the score again in the bottom of the 5th. 3B Eric Avila led off with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mort sacrifice bunted Avila to third base, and SS Drew Maggi’s single through the hole into left field let Avila score.
Tyler Waldron relieved Taillon to begin the 6th inning. Waldron gave up a double in both the 6th and 7th innings, but both times left that runner on base for two scoreless innings. Avila was next to break the tie with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 7th. But back-to-back solo homers in the top of the 8th gave the lead right back to the Claws. Noris was the next to homer, tying the score again, 5-5, in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extras.
With Waldron still on the mound in the top of the 10th, the Claws made two outs, then began a rally with a walk. Waldron struck out the next batter, but strike three was a wild pitch, and the Claws got a second chance with the batter reaching first base safely. They took advantage of the opportunity, with an RBI single to score the runner from second base. Casey Sadler relieved Waldron and struck out the next batter to end the inning. The Power had a chance in the bottom of the 10th, when Curry doubled with two outs. Lakewood also brought in another reliever, who also got a strikeout (of Howard) to end the Power’s threat and the game.
The Curve were making up a rained out game with a double header:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0 (Game 1)
After shutting out the Aeros last night, the Curve pitching staff continued their dominance with another 7 shutout innings in Game 1 of the double header. Tonight it was Aaron Pribanic who earned his 4th win with 7 scoreless innings, for a (shortened) complete game. He gave up 6 hits, no walks, and also worked around two errors by his fielders. Pribanic had at least one base runner on in all but one inning. Akron had a small threat going in the 6th, when Pribanic gave up back-to-back singles with one out, but a foul pop ended that inning. With one out in the 7th, Pribanic gave up a hit, then another batter reached on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s throwing error. Pribanic got a grounder force out and a fly out to end that inning.
The Curve also posted just 6 hits, but they made them count. Farrell singled in the bottom of the 2nd, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. He scored on DH Eric Fryer’s single up the middle. Fryer also advanced to second on another wild pitch, and 1B Miles Durham walked, but they were left on base. CF Starling Marte contributed the Curve’s only other run with a solo home run in the 3rd. Marte also singled in the 1st inning. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 2nd, but was picked off and caught stealing, and singled again in the 6th. C Tony Sanchez walked in the 4th and stole second base.
Aeros 8, Curve 1 (Game 2)
Curve starter Bryan Morris continued the streak with 3 scoreless innings, in which he gave up only a walk, and struck out 3 batters. But the streak ended in the 4th, when Morris started out by giving up a single and a walk. He was relieved by Matt McSwain. The first batter McSwain faced dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. McSwain then walked the next two batters, forcing in a run, before striking out two batters to end the inning. McSwain came back out in the 5th and began with a hit batter and a walk. The lead runner stole third base, then scored on an RBI single. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Akron a 4-0 lead.
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, and two of those were by LF Quincy Latimore. Latimore singled in the 1st but was thrown out trying to steal second base. He singled again in the 4th and was left on base. The only other hit was a solo home run by C Eric Fryer in the 5th inning, for the only Curve run of the game. The last 7 Curve batters were retired in order.
Brian Leach took the mound in relief of McSwain in the 6th and retired the side in order. The Aeros rallied again in the top of the 7th. The inning began with a double, a single, and a walk to load the bases. A triple cleared the bases for 3 runs. After a walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the 4th run of the inning. Leach surrendered another single, then was relieved by Noah Krol, who ended the inning with a grounder force out.
Friday night’s action:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0
Three Curve pitchers combined to throw a 3-hit shutout of the Aeros. Starter Mike Colla had to work around runners on base in 5 of his 6 innings, but he held the Aeros scoreless and earned his second win. He scattered 3 hits, 2 walks, and one hit batter over those innings. The only inning in which Akron had 2 runners on base was the 3rd, when Colla walked two. Anthony Claggett also gave up two walks in the 8th, after a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but he did not allow a hit or a run. Noah Krol picked up his 9th Save with three quick ground outs in the 9th.
The Curve posted 11 hits, but scored only two runs (8 runners left on base). In the bottom of the 1st, with two outs, LF Quincy Latimore looped a single into right field, then scored from first on SS Jordy Mercer’s ringing double into center field. C Tony Sanchez singled and DH Kris Watts doubled in the 2nd inning, but Sanchez was out at the plate on the throw in from left field. The Curve added an unearned run in the 3rd. 2B Brock Holt led off the inning with a strikeout, but he reached first when strike three was a wild pitch. Holt stole second base, then scored when the Akron center fielder made an error on Mercer’s ball.
The Curve put runners on base in each inning after that, but could not bring any of them around to score. Sanchez and 1B Miles Durham both singled in the 4th inning, and that was the only inning after the 3rd when the Curve had two runners on base. CF Starling Marte singled twice, Watts singled, and Mercer doubled again.