Stolen Bases Hurt Power; Alvarez Continues Rehab

Sunday’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization began with an afternoon game in Charleston.  The GCL Pirates have the day off.

Greensboro Grasshoppers  10,  West Virginia Power  2
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Three late-inning rallies gave the Grasshoppers the advantage over the Power this afternoon.   Power starter Colton Cain pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk.  The first ‘Hoppers’ run came in the 1st inning, on a double and an RBI single.  Cain allowed only one base runner over the next two innings (hit batter), then gave up a 2-run homer in the 4th, to give Greensboro a 3-0 lead. Cain and C Kawika Emsley-Pai had two bases stolen against them in the 1st inning (one runner, two bases), and a double steal in the 4th.  Kevin Decker replaced Cain to begin the 5th, and retired the side in order.  In the 6th, Decker gave up 2 runs on a single, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.  There were three stolen bases in that inning.  Decker was still pitching in the 7th, when 3 more runs scored.  Three more stolen bases contributed to the scoring, which also included two walks, a sacrifice fly, an RBI double and an RBI single.  The Grasshoppers had an 8-0 lead.   

The Power batters went down in order in the first two innings, and had only 3 base runners over the first 6 innings.  Emsley-Pai led off the 3rd with a single lined into left field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base.   1B Chase Lyles singled in the 5th and was left on base.  SS Kevin Mort singled to open the 6th, and was erased in a double play.  2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 7th, and he was also out in a double play, when CF Mel Rojas lined out to first and Vasquez was easily doubled off.  Finally, after that double play, three consecutive hits pushed the first Power run across the plate.  DH Cole White and Lyles hit back-to-back singles, and LF Rogelios Noris drove in White with a line drive double into left.  

Justin Ennis pitched the 8th inning, and gave the ‘Hoppers another 2-run homer, following a single.  The Power got one of the runs back in the 8th.  With two outs, Vasquez was hit by a pitch, and Rojas walked.  White lined a single into center field, and Vasquez came around from second to score.  Jason Townsend pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, and the Power also went down in order in the bottom of the 9th.  

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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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Alvarez Starts With GCL Pirates

The Pirates have optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to AAA Indianapolis.  This opens a roster spot for OF Alex Presley, who will be officially called up on Tuesday (the Pirates have a day off on Monday).  UPDATE:  Presley has officially been called up, and will join the Pirates in Toronto.

Also promoted:  pitcher Rinku Singh has been promoted from the GCL Pirates to State College.   Singh has pitched a total of 15 innings so far this season.  Eleven of those came on 3 appaearances with the DSL team.  He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 7 strikeouts in the Dominican.  In one appearance last week with the GCL Pirates, Singh pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, while striking out 5 batters.  Singh pitched in one game for the Spikes at the end of the 2010 season.  He went 2 innings in that game, and gave up only one hit, with one strikeout.  

Monday’s game action:

GCL Pirates  1,  GCL Phillies  0…. for 1.5 innings
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3B Pedro Alvarez made his first official rehab start this afternoon.  It didn’t last long, though that had nothing to do with him: the game was suspended due to rain after just 1.5 innings.  Alvarez was the Pirates’ lead-off batter.  He got one trip to the plate, in which he grounded out to second base.  CF Willy Garcia was the only batter on either team to reach base, when he blasted a solo homer in the top of the 2nd.  Pirates’ starter Luis Heredia pitched to just 3 batters in the bottom of the first — two strikeouts and a pop out to C Joey Schoenfeld.  

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Tough Night for Morris, Miller; Taillon Strikes Out 8

All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost on Tuesday evening…..

New Britain Rock Cats  10,  Altoona Curve 4
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It was a tough night for Curve starter Bryan Morris, who gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work.  Morris got into trouble in the top of the 1st.  He gave up a lead-off single, then set down the next two batters on fly outs.  Three straight singles and his own throwing error on the final single (a bunt) brought in two runs.  The top of the 2nd was worse — three singles and three walks, with a throwing error by LF Quincy Latimore, and an RBI ground out brought in another 5 runs for New Britain, for a 7-0 lead.  Morris gave up a single in each of the next two innings, but retired those two runners with a pair of double plays.  

The Curve got three of the runs back in the 3rd inning.  DH Jose Hernandez doubled, and scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single.  Chalk came in on 2B Brock Holt’s triple, then SS Jordy Mercer doubled, plating Holt.  That cut the Rock Cats’ lead to 7-4.  

But the Rock Cats added to their lead with 3 runs off reliever Tim Alderson.  A single, a ground out, and a wild pitch put the lead-off batter on third in the 5th, and two more walks and a wild pitch brought him in.  A walk, another wild pitch, an RBI single and an RBI double gave the Rock Cats 2 more runs in the 6th, for a 10-3 lead.  

The Curve put base runners on in most of the remaining innings of the game, but they were left stranded.  Holt singled and CF Starling Marte walked with two outs in the 5th, and the Curve did not put two runners on base again until the 9th. 1B Matt Curry walked to begin the 9th, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled.  Curry went to third on the hit, and he scored on Hernandez’s sacrifce fly.  

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Homers For Mercer And Watts; Three Power All-Stars

Tonight it’s the Bradenton Marauders who have a scheduled night off….

 
Altoona Curve  10,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve posted 13 hits, with CF Starling Marte leading the barrage with 3 of them.  The Curve jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st and 4 more in the 2nd.  2B Brock Holt opened the bottom of the 1st with a double into center field.  Marte’s ground out moved Holt to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s single into left field.  Mercer advanced to second base on a ground out by LF Quincy Latimore, and he scored on 1B Matt Curry’s RBI single.  

The 2nd inning began with a walk by C Tony Sanchez, followed by a ground-rule double by DH Kris Watts.  Both runners held their place on a short fly out and a strike out, then Marte singled, driving in Sanchez.  Marte stole second base, and the Erie pitcher threw a wild pitch, allowing Watts to score.  A 2-run homer by Mercer brought in Marte and gave the Curve the 6-0 lead.  

Erie got two of the runs back in the top of the 3rd off starter Jeff Locke.  A single and a hit batter gave the SeaWolves 2 runners on base with 2 outs.  The lead runner came in on a fielding error by Mercer, then a single plated the second unearned run of the inning.  A double, a fielding error by Latimore, and a sacrifice fly gave Erie a third run in the 4th inning.

The Curve kept adding on.  Watts blasted a solo homer in the 3rd.  In the 5th, Curry doubled, then scored on Sanchez’s line drive single into center field, and the Curve led 8-3.  Sanchez also stole second base and went to third on a throwing error, but was left there when Watts struck out.  

Locke pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, no walks, while striking out 8 batters.  Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 7th, but he got into trouble right away.  With one out, he gave up a single and three consecutive walks, driving in a run.  Michael Dubee replaced Alderson, and he got the next batter to ground out, but that brought in another run, also charged to Alderson.  Dubee ended the inning with a strikeout.  Dubee also pitched a scoreless 8th inning, allowing 2 singles.  Noah Krol pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.

Altoona rallied one more time in the bottom of the 8th.  With one out, Watts was hit by a pitch, and RF Brad Chalk ripped a triple into right field, easily scoring Watts.  Chalk scored on Holt’s RBI single, and Marte also added a single — his third of the game.  

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