Indians Rained Out; Curve Lose In Extras

The Indianapolis Indians and the Columbus Clippers were rained out in Columbus tonight.  They will try for two on Monday, beginning at 5 pm.  Sunday’s game is scheduled for 4 pm.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was optioned back to the Indians, after just a brief visit to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates’ new shortstop Brandon Wood got himself to Pittsburgh very quickly, so no need for Ciriaco to fill in.  Jose Ascanio, who was hit in the head by a line drive on Thursday, has been diagnosed as having “just” a contusion (a bruise).  He’s doing better today.

Kannapolis Intimidators  8,  West Virginia Power  7   (Game 1) 
(box)

 The Pirates were able to fight back after Kannapolis scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th gave Kannapolis the win.  The Power had  the early lead with one run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. CF Mel Rojas walked, and 1B Matt Curry singled.  LF Rogelios Noris’ fly out moved Rojas to third, and then Rojas scored on RF Justin Howard’s single through the hole into left field.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without any more runs scoring.  With one out in the top of the 2nd, back-to-back doubles by DH Jairo Marquez and SS Drew Maggi brought in one run, then a wild pitch and a fielding error allowed Maggi to score, giving the Power a 3-0 lead.

Starter Colton Cain had retired the Intimidators in order in the 1st, but got in trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, when the first 6 batters who came to the plate reached base safely.  A single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a hit batter forced in the first run.  A double plated two more, and a single added another two.  Another double made it 6 runs in the inning, and the Power were behind 6-3.  

The Power battled right back in the top of the 3rd.  Walks to Howard and 3B Andy Vasquez both walked, and Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Power.  An RBI ground out drove in Howard, then Marquez’s single scored both Vasquez and Emsley-Pai to tie the score at 6-6.  The Power took the lead in the 4th on Curry’s lead-off home run.  

Trent Stevenson relieved Cain to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless innings.  He allowed 3 hits and struck out one.  The Power bats suddenly went quiet after the 4th, with no more hits until the 7th, when Howard tripled.  Emsley-Pai and Marquez both walked, but two ground outs and a strikeout left all three on base.  Jason Townsend pitched the 6th inning for the Power, allowing just one hit.  Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th, and with one out, Sadler gave up three consecutive singles.  The third hit went to Howard in right field, and Howard’s throw back to the plate was right to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  But the next batter doubled to tie the score again, and the fourth single of the inning drove in the winning walk-off run.  

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Curve Blast 6 In the 15th; 3 Doubles For Cunningham

Friday night game action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

The West Virginia Power were rained out in Kannapolis tonight.  The Power and the Intimidators will play two on Saturday beginning at 6:05 pm.
The Power are expecting the Pirates’ first round pick from the 2010 draft, Jameson Taillon, to be joining the team this weekend.  He should be making his pro debut for the Power sometime early next week.  

Altoona Curve  11,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  5
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The Curve broke a 5.5-inning-long 5-5 tie in the top of the 15th, to win this game in dramatic fashion.  They must have all been tired and ready to end it by then.  With one out, 1B Miles Durham singled and moved to second base on a balk.  LF Quincy Latimore also singled, and Durham scored the go-ahead run from second base.  But the Curve were not satisfied yet — 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, and DH Eric Fryer doubled, driving in Latimore.  After a strikeout, 1B Brock Holt walked to load the bases, and CF Starling Marte blasted a triple into right field, clearing the bases for 3 more runs.  The Richmond right fielder made a wild throw in, allowing Marte to score too, and the Curve had a 6-run inning.  All that remained was for Noah Krol to take the mound in the bottom of the inning and finish off the Squirrels with a ground out, a walk, and a double play.  

Richmond had the early lead in the game.  Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first 6 batters he faced, but began the 3rd by giving up 4 singles with only one out, scoring one run.  A walk forced in the second run of the inning, and another single added two more, for a 4-0 lead.  A double and a single gave the Squirrels one more run in the 5th, and that was all for Hughes.  

The Curve had only one hit over the first 5 innings, and that was a double by Fryer to lead off the 3rd.  They also had two walks (Holt and Latimore) and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch in those innings, though none of them came around to score.  They got two runs back in the top of the 6th.  Marte led off with a walk, and after two outs, Durham’s single brought in Marte.  Latimore doubled, plating Durham, and the Curve had cut the lead to 5-2.  

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Thompson Is POW; Ngoepe Homers In Wild Power Game

It’s a rainy night for half of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:

The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain.  Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected.  The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.

Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.  

The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona.  They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.

Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week.  He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.  

Jupiter Hammerheads  1,  Bradenton Marauders  0
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The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today.  Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts.  Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st.   The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base.  An RBI ground out brought in the run.  A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.

Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score.  He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th.  After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.  

Unfortunately, the Hammerheads’ pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders’ batters.  Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera’s single.  The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base.  With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked.  But a ground out ended the threat and the game.  

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Cain Throws Six Scoreless Innings

Sunday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

West Virginia Power  7,  Augusta Green Jackets  0
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Three Power pitchers powered up to shut out the Green Jackets.  Colton Cain made the start and earned his first win of the season.  He allowed just one hit and one walk in 6 innings.  Cain retired the first 9 Augusta batters in order, then gave up both the hit (a double) and a walk to begin the bottom of the 4th.  A double play and a pop out got Cain out of that little jam, then he retired 6 more batters to end his outing.  Kevin Decker allowed a single in each of his two innings, but maintained the shutout.  Ryan Beckman gave up two singles in the 9th, but left both on base to end the game.  

The Power began their scoring with an unearned run in the top of the 2nd.  C Elias Diaz reached on a fielding error in right field, then advanced to third base on RF Dan Grovatt’s single.  2B Kevin Mort brought Diaz in with a sacrifice fly.  Grovatt led off the 5th with a walk.  He was forced out at second on Mort’s grounder, though Mort avoided the double play and was safe at first.  LF Andy Vasquez plated Mort with a triple into right field.

The 6th was the big inning for the Power.  CF Mel Rojas and 1B Matt Curry started the frame with back-to-back singles, and after two outs, Diaz walked to load the bases.  Another walk to Grovatt forced in Rojas, then Mort drove in Curry and Diaz with a line drive single into center field.  The Power tacked on another run in the 7th, when SS Gift Ngoepe doubled, Rojas singled (his third hit of the game), and a fielder’s choice on Curry’s ball let Ngoepe score.  It was Curry’s turn to double in the 9th, and he scored on Avila’s RBI single.  

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Curve’s Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short

The Curve played an early game on Wednesday…

Akron Aeros  3,  Altoona Curve  2
(box score)

Down 3-1 going into the top of the 9th, the Curve rallied, beginning with 3B Jeremy Farrell reaching base on a fielding error by the Akron shortstop.  A passed ball put Farrell on second base.  Strikeouts by LF Shelby Ford and RF Brad Chalk made the Curve’s situation even more desperate.  2B Brock Holt hit his third single of the day, and CF Starling Marte also singled, loading the bases with two outs.  But the Curve’s hopes ended when SS Jordy Mercer also struck out.  

Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve, and he was charged with the loss.  Locke worked his way out of a jam with runners on the corners in the 1st inning, and worked around a lead-off single in the 2nd.  Another single led off the 3rd inning, and back-to-back doubles, one zipping just out of reach of Farrell’s backhand dive, drove in 2 runs.  After a single, a walk, and two strikeouts in the 5th, Locke was relieved by Anthony Claggett.  Claggett finished up the 5th with a ground out, leaving two runners on base.  He also pitched the 6th and 7th innings, and surrendered a solo home run to lead off the 6th.  Tom Boleska pitched the 8th inning, and kept the Aeros from scoring again, despite a single and a walk.

The Curve scored their first run in the 4th.  1B Miles Durham and C Kris Watts worked back-to-back walks, and when Farrell lifted a soft single into right field, Durham scored from second base.  Farrell and Holt each walked once, and Farrell also singled in the 6th inning.  Holt singled to open the game, then again in the 5th.  

The Curve will have their home opener tomorrow.

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