The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled off day on Wednesday, but the rest of the minor league organization was going strong, beginning with an early game in West Virginia:
Lexington Legends �5, �West Virginia Power �4 (box)
The Power and the Legends played a late-morning game for the second time in two days. �Today, though, it was the Legends who came out on top, scoring 5 runs on 10 hits, and breaking a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the 8th. �The Power scored their 4 runs on only 5 hits.
2B Elevys Gonzalez recorded 3 hits in the game, and he put the Power onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st inning, with a 2-run homer following a walk by CF Evan Chambers. Lexington tied the score in the top of the 3rd with two runs on a single and two doubles. �Both Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez took the lead back again in the bottom of the inning. �Benji walked and advanced to second base on a balk. �Elevys singled, moving Benji to third base. �Both Gonzalezes executed a double steal, with Benji stealing home to break the tie. �Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases, but the Power could not push another run across.
Power starter Jason Erickson had kept the Legends from scoring in the 4th and 5th innings, but in the 6th, he gave up a solo homer to tie the score. �He walked the next batter after the home run, and was relieved at that point by Gabriel Alvarado. Alvarado gave up back-to-back singles to the first two runners he faced, and the batter Erickson had put on base came around to score, giving the Legends a 4-3 lead.
3B Jesus Brito homered for the second time in two days to lead off the 7th inning and tie the score again, at 4-4. �But in the top of the 8th, with Zach Foster on the mound, two singles and a fielding error by RF David Rubinstein put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out brought the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Power had a chance to tie the score again in the 8th, when Baker walked, then moved to second base on a passed ball. �Cabrera’s single brought Baker racing around third base and heading for the plate, but he was thrown out by the Legends’ left fielder. �Rubinstein got as far as third base in the 9th inning, on a walk, a stolen base, and a ground out, but that inning ended before he could go any further.
Elevys Gonzalez also singled in the 5th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Foster was charged with the loss, his first of the season.
Saturday evening wins for the entire Pirates’ minor league system!
Altoona Curve 8, �Erie SeaWolves 3 � �Game 1 (box)
Altoona had a double-header, making up for a game that had been rained out back in April. �The Curve exploded out of the box with a 4-run 1st inning and never looked back in Game 1. �3B Jordy Mercer led the charge by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, and RF Alex Presley and 1B Matt Hague had 3 hits each.
A throwing error put SS Chase d’Arnaud on base to begin the game, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, Hague, and Mercer, plus a double by Presley and a wild pitch brought in those 4 runs in the top of the 1st. �Erie came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, on three walks and a double off starter Jared Hughes. Hughes made a wild pitch on strike three to put a runner on base in the 2nd inning, and a double and a sacrifice fly brought in another run, to bring Erie within one run, 4-3.
Hague led off the 3rd inning with a walk, then stole second base. �Mercer and C Hector Gimenez followed with singles, and Presley’s second double of the game plus another single by LF Jose De Los Santos added 3 more runs. �Another walk, this one to DH Jim Negrych, began the 4th inning, and he scored on two singles and a fly out with a missed catch error by the Erie third baseman.
Hughes settled down a bit in the 3rd and 4th innings, but began the 5th with a walk and a single. �Mike Dubee finished up the inning with a strikeout and a grounder force out, then allowed only one hit over the next two innings. �Dubee earned the win. �Hughes struck out 7 batters in his 4.1 innings, and Dubee added 5 more strikeouts.
Curve 7, �SeaWolves 3 � �Game 2 (box)
The Curve jumped out to an early lead in this game also, with 3 runs in the top of the 1st. �This time, SS Chase d’Arnaud opened the game with a walk, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Jim Negrych, and 3B Jordy Mercer brought in 3 runs. �Derek Hankins gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, on three singles, a walk, and a triple, tying the game at 3-3.
LF Alex Presley liked the idea of that triple, so he hit one of his own in the 3rd inning, following a single by 2B Josh Harrison, to break the tie. �C Kris Watts gave the Curve an insurance run in the 4th, with a lead-off home run. The Curve bats were quiet for a couple of innings, then woke up again in the top of the 7th. �With one out, Negrych and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back doubles, and Harrison added another single, for 2 more runs.
Hankins retired 10 Erie batters in order after the runs scored in the 2nd inning. �He got a strikeout but gave up two walks to begin the 6th inning, and was relieved by Corey Hamman. Hamman finished the inning with two quick outs. �Danny Moskos pitched a perfect inning in the 7th, including 2 strikeouts, to finish the game. �Hankins earned his 4th win of the season.
The Curve recorded a total of 23 hits over the two games.
Harrisburg Senators 7, �Altoona Curve 0 (box)
It was a tough afternoon in Altoona on Wednesday, as the Curve were held to just 3 hits in this shutout. �1B Matt Hague, RF Miles Durham, and LF Alex Presley were the only Curve batters to get hits, and all three were singles. �SS Chase d’Arnaud and Hague also reached base on walks. �The singles came in the 2nd (Durham), 4th (Hague), and 5th (Presley) innings, and all three runners were left on base when the innings ended. �D’Arnaud walked to lead off the 6th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Hague walked in the 7th, and he was also eliminated in a double play. �The Curve never had a base runner reach second base, nor did they ever have more than one runner on base in any one inning.
Curve starter Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to begin his outing. �He allowed only one batter over the minimum in the first three innings (a walk). �Another batter who walked to open the 4th inning was picked off base. �Wilson gave up two singles in the 4th, but left them stranded. �The Senators finally scored against Wilson in the 6th inning, on a hit batter, a stolen base, and an RBI double. �Wilson went 6 innings total, allowing that one run on 3 hits, with 6 strikeouts, but without run support, his strong outing turned into a loss.
Things fell apart for reliever Corey Hamman, who took over to begin the 7th inning. �It began with a walk and a 2-run homer. �Hamman got the next two batters to strike out, but a wild pitch on strike three put the second of those on base. �After another walk, a 3-run homer gave Harrisburg a 6-0 lead. �Mike Dubee relieved Hamman to finish the inning, then pitched a scoreless 8th. �Danny Moskos pitched the 9th inning, and gave up one more run on a double and a single. �A hit batter and another single had a Harrisburg batter rounding third and heading for the plate, but RF Durham and 2B Josh Harrison got the ball right on target to C Hector Gimenez, who�tagged the runner out at the plate.
The Bradenton Marauders were rained out on Sunday afternoon in St. Lucie.
Asheville Tourists �6, �West Virginia Power �3 (box)
Hunter Strickland got into trouble in the first two innings, and the Power could not catch up to the Tourists this afternoon in Charleston, West Virginia. �Strickland opened the game by giving up a walk, a single, and a 3-run home run before he could recored an out. �In the 2nd inning, he gave up a double, a single, and RBI grounder and an RBI double, and the Tourists were leading 5-0. �Strickland also gave up two singles in the 3rd, and one more in the 4th, though that runner was erased in a double play. �Strickland finally had a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th. �He finished his 5 innings having allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.
The Power managed only two hits and a walk over the first five innings, but did not ever really threaten to score. �In the 6th, SS Benji Gonzalez singled, then moved to second on a ground out. �He got as far as third base on a wild pitch, but got no further before the inning ended. �3B Jesus Brito also got to third after a double and a ground out in the 7th, but didn’t score. �Finally, in the 8th inning, when Asheville starter Wes Musick finally sat down, C Ramon Cabrera led off with a single, 2B Adenson Chourio walked, and Gonzalez singled to load the bases. �CF Evan Chambers singled, driving in Cabrera and Chourio with the Power’s first runs of the game. �1B Kyle Morgan was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, with one out. �Brito’s sacrifice fly scored Gonzalez, to make the score 5-3.
Maurice Bankston pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Power, allowing one walk and striking out one batter. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last two innings. �He worked out of a first-and-third jam in the 8th inning (double and hit batter), but gave up a solo home run in the 9th inning. �Strickland was charged with the loss, his second of the season.
Gonzalez was the only Power batter to have two hits in the game, and Brito’s double was the only Power extra-base hit of the game. �Morgan and Chourio also had singles.
Erie SeaWolves �8, �Altoona Curve �2 (box)
The Curve posted only 6 hits in the game, and the SeaWolves doubled up their hits and made better use of the hits they made.
DH Jim Negrych got the Curve started in the top of the 1st, with a one-out single. �3B Jordy Mercer walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners up. �RF�Miles Durham brought in Negrych with a sacrifice fly to give the Curve an early 1-0 lead.
Starter Justin Wilson worked around two singles in the 1st inning and put the side down in order in the 2nd, but had some trouble in the 3rd. �A single and a double put runners on the corners, and an RBI ground out tied the game. �Wilson’s wild pitch brought in the second runner to give Erie a lead they would not give up. �Wilson got through the 4th, picking a runner off second base. �In the 5th, two walks and a fielding error by Wilson on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases. �A ground out brought in one run, and a single plated the second run. �When the runner from first went to steal second base, the runner from third scored on the throw down to second base. �That chased Wilson from the game, and he was eventually charged with the loss, going 4.2 innings and allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks. �He also struck out 4 batters.
Derek Hankins relieved Wilson and ended the 5th inning. �But Hankins gave up a double and a 2-run homer in the 6th inning, to make the score 7-1. �A single and a double added another run in the 7th inning.
After the 1st inning, the Curve threatened in the 2nd inning, when C Hector Gimenez led off with a double and 1B Matt Hague single, moving Gimenez to third base. �That’s as far as he got, though. �Two outs ended that inning, and the next 10 Curve batters after that also were retired in order. �Jordy Mercer walked in the 6th, but was left stranded. �Three Curve went down in order in the 7th, too. �Finally in the 8th, the Curve scored again. �LF Alex Presley led off with a single, and CF Gorkys Hernandez was hit by a pitch. �Jim Negrych grounded to short, and Hernandez was forced out at second, but Negrych made it to first base safely. �Mercer doubled, scoring Presley, but the Curve still left two runners on base.
Michael Dubee pitched the 8th inning for the Curve. �He gave up a single, but that runner was erased when a line drive right to Hague at first base let Hague make an unassisted double play.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 4, �Indianapolis Indians 1
The Indians and the Yankees took a 1-1 tie into the top of the 8th in this afternoon’s game in Bradenton, Florida. �But that was when the Yankees got to reliever Jean Machi, who gave up two singles, including one for an RBI, to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. �Back-to-back singles and a 2-RBI double added two more runs in the 9th. �The Indians scored in the 1st inning, on a double by 1B Brian Myrow and an RBI single by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Machi suffered the loss, with 3 innings of work, including one walk and one strikeout. �Octavio Dotel started the game for the Indians and pitched “one inning”, with 3 strikeouts, though in order to get in a little more work, he actually got to face 5 batters and make 5 outs. �He threw 21 pitches.
Astros 6, �Pirates 4 � (box)
Starter Zach Duke pitched 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts, to get the Pirates off to a good start in their afternoon Grapefruit League game in Kissimmee, Florida. �Duke had been scheduled to throw either 6 innings or 80 pitches, and after going back out to begin the 7th inning, he finished at right around 80 pitches. �He also contributed 2 of the Pirates’ 8 hits, both doubles, one into each outfield corner, though he did not come around to score either time. �The Pirates got onto the scoreboard first, with one run in the 4th inning off the Astros’ Roy Oswalt. �LF Lastings Milledge doubled to lead off the inning, then advanced to third base on a ground out, and scored on an RBI single by Jeff Clement. Clement scored in the top of the 7th, when he doubled, went to third base on SS Bobby Crosby’s single, and then scrambled home when 3B Ramon Vasquez bounced into a double play.
Duke took it into the 7th inning, but when he gave up a 2-out single (only the second hit he’d allowed), he was relieved by Javier Lopez. Lopez finished that inning, but gave up a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt plus a fielding error by 3B Josh Harrison, who was up from minor league camp. �A triple off Jack Taschner, and the Astros had a 4-2 lead.
Led by the minor leaguers, the Pirates came back to tie it up in the top of the 9th. �LF Brandon Moss walked, and CF Robbie Grossman singled. �A wild pitch brought Moss across the plate, then SS Benji Gonzalez singled to score Grossman. �Tie score, 4-4. �Unfortunately, the Astros rallied in the bottom of the frame. �With reliever Jeremy Powell on the mound, a double and a walk-off 2-run homer gave Houston the win, with Powell charged for the loss.
Also in the game: �2B Shelby Ford, 1B Steve Pearce, PH Erik Kratz, and C Luke Carlin.