Curve All-Stars Named; Alvarez Homers

Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team.  RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte.  Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division’s team :  manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino.  The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).  

Friday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates …. the GCL Pirates’ game was postponed.   

Bradenton Marauders  3,  Palm Beach Cardinals  2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight.  The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game.  Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out.  He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks.  Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.  

The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez.  2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score.  All of the Marauders’ runs came in the bottom of the 5th.  Marquez led off with a double lined into center field.  SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base.  Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third.  Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.  
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th.  He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.  Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.  

The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th.  It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.  

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Homers By Marte, Rodriguez, Cunningham, And Rojas

Catching up with the action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates for Thursday….  several home runs

Trenton Thunder 8 ,   Altoona Curve  6
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A 3-run homer by CF Starling Marte and a solo blast by SS Josh Rodriguez were not enough to get past the Thunder. 

The Curve got the game started with a run in the top of the 1st on singles by RF Andrew Lambo and C Tony Sanchez, plus a fielding error by the Trenton center fielder, allowing Lambo to score.  Trenton came back with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning, on a walk, two singles, and two doubles, for a 4-1 lead.  The Curve took the lead back in the top of the 2nd, when 1B Matt Curry and 3B Greg Picart both singled, and Marte drove them in with his 5th home run of the season.  That tied the game, but the tie did not last long.  Five singles in the bottom of the 2nd brought in 3 runs for the Thunder, who were back on top, 7-4.  

Starter Aaron Pribanic gave up a single in the 3rd, then gave up an unearned run in the 4th on a fielding error by Picart, a single, scoring on a double play. That made Pribanic responsible for 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work.  Matt McSwain took over to begin the 6th.  He gave up a single in the 6th, but erased that runner with a double play, and then gave up a double and a walk in the 7th, but left those runners on base.  Anthony Claggett pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a single.  That runner moved up to second base on a throwing error by Rodriguez, but was out in a fielder’s choice run-down between second and third.  

Rodriguez led off the Curve part of the 6th with his solo homer.  LF Quincy Latimore followed the homer with a walk, and Curry singled, moving Latimore to third.  Curry was thrown out trying to steal second base, but Picart’s single drove in Latimore to give the Curve their final run.  

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Marte In Futures Game; Marauders Win In The 14th

Two Pirates’ minor leaguers have been chosen to play in the MLB Futures game, which is held during the All-Star festivities.  OF Starling Marte will be on the World team, and INF Chase d’Arnaud was named to the USA team — though that might change if d’Arnaud is indeed called up to Pittsburgh.  

The State College Spikes’ game against the Jamestown Jammers was postponed due to rain.  They will go for two on Friday night, beginning at 6:05 pm.  

New Hampshire Fisher Cats  2,  Altoona Curve  0      
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This shortened game was a pitching duel, with the two teams combining for just 7 hits.  Kyle McPherson pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.  Two of those hits were solo homers, both coming in the 4th inning, and that accounted for all of the Fisher Cats’ scoring.  The only other ‘Cats’ hit was a single to lead off the 1st inning, and that runner was picked off base.  McPherson walked two batters, one in the 1st, and former Indy Indian Craig Stansberry in the 5th.  Stansberry was caught stealing second base.  Anthony Claggett pitched the bottom of the 6th, walking one and hitting one batter with a pitch.  

The Curve batters collected 4 hits.  CF Starling Marte led off the top of the 1st with a double, the only extra-base hit for the Curve.  SS Jordy Mercer singled, and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.  But new Curve player RF Andrew Lambo lined right to the ‘Cats’ first baseman, who doubled off Sanchez for a double play.  The other 2 hits happened in the 4th.  Sanchez led off with a single up the middle, but he was caught stealing.  3B Jeremy Farrell also singled, but was left on base.  There were only 2 more base runners for the Curve for the rest of the game — Sanchez walked in the 6th and 1B Matt Curry walked in the 7th, and both were left on base.  

This was scheduled to be Game 1 of a double-header, and so was scheduled for 7 innings.  But this game was also interrupted by rain, and the second game was washed out.  The Curve move on to Harrisburg to begin a series tomorrow.  They will play New Hampshire again in mid-August, and will have to do the make-up then.  

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Rodriguez Goes 3-For-3 In Debut; Owens Injured

Indianapolis Indians 10,  Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs  5
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The newest Indian, Josh Rodriguez, went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI as the Indianapolis Indians overcame a 4-0 deficit to beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight.  The Indians posted 15 hits, while the Iron Pigs put up 14 hits; the Tribe also worked 8 walks.  SS Brian Friday also had 3 hits for the Indians, as all but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit.  The Tribe pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Iron Pigs’ batters.

Once again, several former Indy Indians were on the field for Lehigh Valley:  CF Rich Thompson (2005-06), LF Brandon Moss (2010), 1B Tagg Bozied (2009).

IMG_5565Starter Rudy Owens (photo), who has been having trouble getting through the first inning in many of his starts this season, had problems again tonight.   Rich Thompson led off with a line drive off 1B Matt Hague’s glove and into short right field for a single.  As usual for the speedy Thompson, he stole second base.  SS Pete Orr moved Thompson to third base with a single tapped back to the mound and deflected by Owens.  RF John Mayberry brought in both Thompson and Orr with a 3-run homer.  Owens got Brandon Moss to pop out, but Tagg Bozied blasted a no-doubt-about-it homer over the left field wall and well past the bullpen, for a 4-0 lead.  Owens also gave up a double to 2B Josh Barfield after the homer, but a fly out and a strike out ended the inning.  

The Tribe put runners on base in each of the first three innings, though none of them came around to score.  Chase d’Arnaud, who was on third base again tonight, led off the top of the 1st for the Indians by reaching first when SS Orr made a high throw to first base, bouncing it off the screen in front of the Indians’ bullpen.  Friday singled, moving d’Arnaud to second, and a fly out by LF Alex Presley moved d’Arnaud to third.  But RF John Bowker bounced into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning, keeping d’Arnaud from scoring.  


The Indians threatened again in the 2nd inning, when Hague lined a ball off the Iron Pigs’ 3B Cody Overbeck’s glove and into left field.  With one out, new Indian 2B Josh Rodriguez grounded to short, where SS Orr made the scoop then fumbled the ball a bit, and Rodriguez was credited with his first Indians’ hit.  A grounder by CF Gorkys Hernandez forced out Rodriguez at second, but left runners on the corners with two outs.  They got no further that time either, as Owens struck out to end the inning.  Presley singled in the 3rd inning, but was left on base.

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Indians Split The Split Double Header

Indianapolis Indians  7,  Rochester Red Wings  5   (Game 1)
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A 4-run 6th inning gave the Indians the edge this afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, despite being out-hit 13-9.  SS Chase d’Arnaud led the Tribe with 3 hits and 2 RBI, and LF Alex Presley and 3B Andy Marte had 2 hits apiece.

Both teams got their scoring started early with 2 runs in the 1st inning.  With former Indy Indian (2009) Eric Hacker making the start for Rochester, d’Arnaud began with a strikeout, then 2B Corey Wimberly was hit by a pitch.  Presley walked, and when Hacker pick-off attempt went wild, both runners moved into scoring position on the error.  RF John Bowker’s grounder let the Rochester third baseman fire back to the plate, where Wimberly was tagged out.  With Bowker still on first base, Marte lined a double into left field, scoring both Presley and Bowker for the early 2-0 lead. 

The Red Wings came right back in the bottom of the inning.  The first batter Brian Burres faced, CF Dustin Martin, doubled into right field, and the next batter, SS Trevor Plouffe, smacked a 2-run homer to tie the score.  

Marte doubled again in to lead off the top of the 4th, and when the Wings’ right fielder misplayed the ball, Marte advanced to third.  A sacrifice fly by 1B Matt Hague plated Marte, to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.  

Burres had a tough second inning to work through.  The lead off batter, 3B Chase Lambin, led off with a single, but was picked off first and caught stealing.  After a ground out, a walk, a single by Martin, and another walk loaded the bases.  Burres got out of the jam with a ground out, leaving the bases full.  Burres also got lucky in the 4th, when another single by Lambin and a double by C Steve Holm had Lambin rounding third and heading for the plate.  Presley made the play on the double in left field, then his throw in was relayed by d’Arnaud, who fired on to C Wyatt Toregas for the tag out of Lambin at the plate.   

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