Latimore and Anderson Keep Hitting; Holden Stumbles

The Altoona Curve have a scheduled day off today. �The State College Spikes are having a mini-camp this week, with the players in town and preparing to begin their season on Friday (June 18th). �Their tentative lineup is posted on the Rosters page.

St. Lucie Mets �6, �Bradenton Marauders �5 (box)

A 7th-inning run by the Mets broke a 5-5 tie to give St. Lucie the win tonight. �With Mike Colla on the mound for Bradenton and one out, a single and a stolen base, then two more singles drove in the go-ahead run. �The Marauders put a runner on base in each of the 8th and 9th innings, with a single by SS Greg Picart and a walk to LF Quincy Latimore, but could not get either of them across to score.

The Marauders scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning to get things started. �Singles by Latimore and 1B Calvin Anderson plus a walk to CF Austin McClune loaded the bases with no outs. �All three had to stay put when DH Andrew Walker struck out and 2B Adenson Chourio flied out to short left field. �Then Picart grounded to short, and instead of ending the inning, a throwing error left Picart safe on first, and allowed Latimore and Anderson to score. �Picart and McClune pulled off a double steal, with McClune stealing home. �Picart reached third base when the Mets’ catcher made a missed catch error, but he was left there.

St. Lucie took the lead with 2 runs in the 4th and 3 more in the 5th. �Aaron Pribanic worked around a missed catch error by 1B Anderson in the 1st, and singles in the 2nd and 3rd innings. �In the 4th, he gave up a double, a wild pitch, an RBI ground out, and another double and an RBI single to give the Mets 2 runs. �They went ahead in the 5th, when Pribanic gave up a double, two walks, and a single. �Mike Colla came on in relief and gave up another single, which brought in one more run (charged to Pribanic), though RF Robbie Grossman’s throw in from right field to third base got the runner out to end the inning.

The Marauders came back to tie the game in the 6th. �Latimore worked a walk, and went to third on Anderson’s single. �McClune’s sacrifice fly brought in Latimore. �Walker also walked, and Chourio singled, driving in Anderson. �A fielding error put Picart on to load the bases, but a grounder force out ended the inning.

Tyler Cox struck out the side in the bottom of the 8th for the Marauders. �The Marauders posted 8 hits, all singles. �Latimore had 2 of the hits and Anderson had 3 hits.

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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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Late-Inning Rallies Sting Curve; Power Explode in Late Innings

New Hampshire Fisher Cats �5, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)

The Curve took the early lead with a 3-run 2nd inning, but two late-inning 2-run rallies gave the Fisher Cats the win on Saturday. �Curve batters took advantage of walks in the 2nd inning. �They loaded the bases with no outs on a double by 1B Matt Hague, 2B Jordy Mercer being hit by a pitch, and a walk to DH Jim Negrych. LF Alex Presley singled up the middle, scoring both Hague and Mercer. �Walks to C Kris Watts and SS Chase d’Arnaud forced in the third run of the inning.

Unfortunately, that was all the scoring the Curve would do. �They put runners on base in several other innings, but could not push any of them around to score. �They came closest in the 8th, when Hague and Mercer both singled in the 8th, and a throwing error got Hague as far as third base, but he got no further. �Presley singled to lead off the 4th, but could not advance. �Mercer walked in the 3rd, but was erased in the double play, and Hague walked in the 5th. �In their final chance, Watts walked with two outs in the 9th, but a strikeout by d’Arnaud ended the game.

Starter Bryan Morris pitched 6 dominating innings, but was not involved in the decision. �He allowed only two hits in those 6 innings, a single in the 2nd inning, and a solo homer to 3B Shawn Bowman in the 4th. �Morris also allowed a walk in the 6th, and he struck out 4 batters.

Jeff Sues took over for Morris to begin the 7th, and that’s when the Fisher cats were able to make their move. �After a strikeout, Sues gave up a ground-rule double, a wild pitch, and two walks, loading the bases. �He was relieved by Mike Dubee. The first batter Dubee faced grounded right up the middle, and though Dubee tried to get it, the ball was deflected off his glove as it zoomed into center field, scoring two runners to tie the score at 3-3. �Dubee got out of the inning with a strikeout and a ground out. �But the Fisher Cats came right back at Dubee in the 8th. �Four consecutive singles led off the inning, driving in two more runs and New Hampshire took the lead. �The Curve could not answer in the 9th, and the Fisher Cats had the win.

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Marauders Sunk, West Virginia Power-less

Holiday weekend play in the Pirates’ minor league organization:

Tampa Yankees �14, �Bradenton Marauders �5 (box)

The Marauders were boarded and sunk by the Yankees on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton. �Two late-inning rallies kept them from being shut out, but were not nearly enough for the Marauders to catch up.

The Yankees hit starter Hunter Strickland hard, beginning in the 2nd inning, when the first four batters reached base: �two singles, a walk, and a hit batter forcing in a run. �A sacrifice fly brought in a second run, and another single gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

It got worse in the 3rd inning. �With out out, Strickland gave up a ground-rule double, and an RBI single. �When the runner from first base stole second, 2B James Skelton could not keep hold of C Eric Fryer’s throw, and the runner was safe at second base. �A walk and a single loaded the bases, and another single drove in the second run of the inning. �Melkin Laureano relieved Strickland at that point, but Laureano gave up a walk to drive in a run, and then a bases-clearing double for three more runs. � Laureano was responsible for only one of those runs (earned), and only one of the five runs that Strickland allowed in the 3rd inning was earned.

Laureano gave up 3 more runs in the 5th inning, on a double followed by back-to-back home runs. �He struck out the next three batters in a row, but the Yankees were up 12-0. �Tom Boleska was next out of the bullpen for the Marauders. �He retired the Yankees in order in the 6th, but gave up another 2-run homer in the 7th to increase Tampa’s lead to 14-0. �Mike Colla and rehabbing Jimmy Barthmaier each pitched an inning to finish it up for Bradenton, and they were the most effective pitchers — each retired three batters in order.

It might have been easy for the Marauders to give up. �They had managed only a walk and a single by DH Tony Sanchez over the first four innings. �They had put two runners on base in the 5th, on singles by 1B Calvin Anderson and 3B Adenson Chourio. CF Robbie Grossman and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman both singled in the 6th, but none of those runners were able to come around to score.

Finally, in the 8th inning, the Marauders were able to crack the scoreboard. �SS Brock Holt led off with a single, and Grossman reached base on a fielding error. �Norman, who had remained in the game in left field, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. �Eric Fryer brought in Holt with a sacrifice fly, and Anderson’s second single of the game scored Grossman. �14 – 2 is still better than 14 – 0.

The Marauders rallied again in the 9th, this time with two outs. �Holt and Grossman started it again with back-to-back singles. �Norman was hit by a pitch again, to load the bases. �Sanchez doubled, clearing the bases, and the Marauders had climbed to 14 – 5. �Fryer walked and Anderson singled for the third time in the game, loading the bases again, but RF Eric Huber struck out to end the game.

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3 Hits For Hernandez and Sanchez

Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)

Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to earn his third win, and CF Gorkys Hernandez had 3 hits to lead the Curve over the R-Phils on Friday evening.

The Curve jumped out to an early lead with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with his second triple of the season. �He scored on Hernandez’s double. �2B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch and 1B Matt Hague walked to load the bases. �3B Jordy Mercer was also hit by a pitch, forcing in another run. �LF Alex Presley bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Harrison scored (no RBI). �A passed ball allowed Hague to score, and the Curve were ahead 4-0. �The Curve added another run in the 2nd inning, when d’Arnaud beat out an infield single to third base, stole second, then came around to score on Hernandez’s second double of the game.

Hernandez did not get a hit in the 5th, but instead he led off the inning with a walk. �Back-to-back singles by Harrison and Hague loaded the bases with no outs. �Mercer grounded to third, where former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied made the play to force out Hernandez at the plate, leaving the bases still loaded. �Another pair of back-to-back singles, by Presley and RF Miles Durham brought in a run each.

Hernandez picked up his third hit, a single, in the 8th inning, but was out in a force play. �Presley also doubled in the 7th inning.

Justin Wilson gave up just 2 hits and a walk in his 5 innings. �Tagg Bozied singled to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play. �Wilson gave up the other single and the walk in the 3rd inning, but two strikeouts left those runners stranded. �Wilson retired the last 8 batters he faced.

Dustin Molleken relieved Wilson to begin the 6th inning. �He allowed a double in the 6th but did not let the runner score. �He loaded the bases with three singles (another to Bozied) in the 7th, but two strikeouts and a fly out got Molleken out of the inning without a run scoring. �Ronald Uviedo pitched 2 innings, and allowed the R-Phils’ only run in the 8th, on a walk and two singles.

Reliever Diego Moreno, who was recently promoted to Altoona from Bradenton, has been placed on the DL with right rotator cuff strain. � The Pirates are sending reliever Jack Taschner, who has been on the DL with left hamstring issues, is going to be joining the Curve for a rehab assignment.

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