Power Pitchers Dominate In Early Game; Complete One-Hitter For McPherson

The Power had an early game today, while the Curve and the Marauders are scheduled for the evening:

West Virginia Power  3,  Hickory Crawdads  2  
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Three Power pitchers combined to hold Hickory to just 4 hits in the late-morning start.  Colton Cain earned his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs, only one of which was earned.  He gave up 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5 batters.  Two of those 3 hits came in the top of the 1st — a lead-off single, then after two outs moved the runner to second base, another single when the batter beat out the throw on a grounder to third base.  But Power 1B Justin Howard was paying attention, and he was able to throw from first base back to the plate, where C Elias Diaz tagged out the runner who had rounded third and was trying to score.  

Three consecutive hits began the bottom of the 1st for the Power:  singles by SS Drew Maggi and CF Mel Rojas, and an RBI double by RF Dan Grovatt, who drove in Maggi.  DH Cole White brought in Rojas with an RBI ground out, to give the Power an early 2-1 lead.  

Cain retired the side in order in the 2nd, then began the 3rd by giving up a double.  A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to third base.  The next batter was hit by a pitch, giving Hickory runners on the corners.  Then a wild pitch by Cain and a throwing error on Diaz as he tried to retrieve the ball, let both base runners score, to tie the game.  

The Power put runners on base over the next two innings, but base running problems eliminated the runners — picked off and caught stealing, and being caught off base on a fly out for a double play.  2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 5th, and he too was doubled off first base when Maggi flied out.  Rojas walked after Maggi was out, then Grovatt doubled for the second time in the game, and also drove in his second run, as Maggi gave the Power the lead.  

Cain allowed only 2 walks over his last three innings of work.  Vincent Payne made his first appearance for the Power this season, with 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 7th, then gave up a walk in the 8th, but that runner was caught stealing.  Zac Fuesser pitched the 9th.  He gave up a single, but also picked the runner of first base, and was credited with his first Save.  

The Power had only two base runners over the last 3 innings, when 3B Eric Avila walked and was erased in a double play, and a single by Grovatt, for his third hit of the game, in the 8th.  Grovatt stole second base, but was left on base.   

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Homers For Fryer, Durham, Latimore, Baker, And Anderson

Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  8,  Binghamton Mets  6
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First, the Curve and the Mets had to finish up yesterday’s game, which had been suspended in the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6.  Binghamton had scored 4 runs in the 1st, and one run in both the 4th and 5th.  The Curve had tied the score with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings.  The big hit in the 5th was CF Starling Marte’s triple, and the big hit in the 6th was pinch-hitter Eric Fryer’s triple.   Curve starter Aaron Thompson had allowed all 6 Binghamton hits on 9 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work.  Tim Alderson came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a hit but maintained the tie.  

The top of the 7th began with a single by LF Quincy Latimore, who was replaced at first base by SS Jordy Mercer on a grounder force out at second.  Mercer stole second base, then took third on a wild pitch.  3B Jeremy Farrell walked to put runners on the corners, and that’s when the game was suspended.  When they picked it up again this afternoon with a new relief pitcher, two quick outs left Mercer and Farrell still standing on the corners.  

Anthony Claggett came on in relief of Alderson, and in a double switch, Shelby Ford took over at first base for Miles Durham.  Claggett kept the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the 7th.  Then Ford gave the Curve the lead with a solo homer in the top of the 8th.  The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, when Mercer and Farrell led off with a pair of singles.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, then RF Brad Chalk lined a single into left field.  Mercer scored easily on the play, but Farrell was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.  

Claggett held on to the lead with a scoreless bottom of the 8th, allowing just one hit.  He was credited with his third win of the season.  Noah Krol earned his 10th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th.  He walked the first batter of the inning, then retired the next three batters with two fly outs and a pop out.

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Veal Back In Action, Walk-off Win For Curve

Sunday afternoon action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams:  

Altoona Curve 5,  Akron Aeros  4
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2B Brock Holt singled up the middle in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 1B Miles Durham from second base, for the Curve’s walk-off win.  
Curve starter Aaron Thompson began his outing by facing only the minimum over the first three innings.  He gave up a single in the 2nd, but erased that runner with a double play.  The Aeros scored the first run of the game in the top of the 4th, when they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Thompson could record an out.  A sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third, but Thompson got another double play to get out of the inning.   

The first 11 Curve batters also went down in order, until LF Quincy Latimore singled in the 4th.  He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s grounder.  The Curve got onto the scoreboard and tied the game when 3B Jeremy Farrell blasted a solo homer to lead off the 4th inning.   

Thompson again retired the side in order in the 5th.  The Aeros took the lead again in the top of the 6th with 2 runs off Thompson.  A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners with one out.  A wild pitch moved the runner from first to second, though the runner on third had to stay there.  Two more strikeouts drove in two runs, to give Akron a 3-1 lead.  

The Curve answered with one run in the bottom of the 7th.  Mercer and Ferrell led off the inning with singles, and C Tony Sanchez walked to load the bases.  After a pitching change, RF Eric Fryer bounced into a double play, which let Mercer score from third base, though Fryer did not get credit for an RBI.  The Curve added two more in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Brad Chalk.  Holt sacrificed bunted Chalk to second.  CF Starling Marte beat out an infield single, moving Chalk to third, and Marte stole second base to put two Curve runners in scoring position.  Latimore drove in Chalk with a sacrifice fly, an Mercer brought in Marte with an RBI single.  Curve ahead, 4-3.

Mike Dubee relieved Thompson and pitched 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 6th, then gave up just a walk in the 8th.  Noah Krol took over for Dubee for the 9th.  He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up a solo home run to tie the score.  Then he was credited with the win because he was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the 9th.  The bottom of the frame began with a fly out, then Fryer singled and Durham reached on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Fryer to third.  Chalk bounced to short, giving the Akron shortstop the opportunity to fire back to the plate, and Fryer was tagged out at home.  With Durham on second and Chalk on first, Holt singled into center field, and had the walk-off win when Durham raced around third base to score on the single.  

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Hit-Fest In Bradenton; Curve Pitchers Throw A Shutout

Friday night’s action:

Altoona Curve 2,  Akron Aeros  0
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Three Curve pitchers combined to throw a 3-hit shutout of the Aeros.  Starter Mike Colla had to work around runners on base in 5 of his 6 innings, but he held the Aeros scoreless and earned his second win.  He scattered 3 hits, 2 walks, and one hit batter over those innings.  The only inning in which Akron had 2 runners on base was the 3rd, when Colla walked two.  Anthony Claggett also gave up two walks in the 8th, after a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but he did not allow a hit or a run.  Noah Krol picked up his 9th Save with three quick ground outs in the 9th.

The Curve posted 11 hits, but scored only two runs (8 runners left on base).  In the bottom of the 1st, with two outs, LF Quincy Latimore looped a single into right field, then scored from first on SS Jordy Mercer’s ringing double into center field.  C Tony Sanchez singled and DH Kris Watts doubled in the 2nd inning, but Sanchez was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.  The Curve added an unearned run in the 3rd.  2B Brock Holt led off the inning with a strikeout, but he reached first when strike three was a wild pitch.  Holt stole second base, then scored when the Akron center fielder made an error on Mercer’s ball.

The Curve put runners on base in each inning after that, but could not bring any of them around to score.  Sanchez and 1B Miles Durham both singled in the 4th inning, and that was the only inning after the 3rd when the Curve had two runners on base.  CF Starling Marte singled twice, Watts singled, and Mercer doubled again.

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Santos Homers In Bradenton Loss

A rainy Tuesday night in the Pirates’ minor league organization.  The Indianapolis Indians played their entire game in the rain.  The Altoona Curve’s game against the Akron Aeros (in Akron) was postponed due to rain.  It will be made up as part of a double-header on Thursday.  The West Virginia Power and the Lexington Legends were also rained out in Lexington.  They’ll try for two tomorrow, beginning at 10 am.   The Marauders might have wished it was raining in Bradenton.

Clearwater Threshers  3,  Bradenton Marauders  2 
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LF Adalberto Santos hit his first homer of the season and contributed to the Marauders’ 9th inning rally, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Threshers.  Quinton Miller made the start for Bradenton.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, though had to work around runners on base in each of them:  
– two singles in the 1st
– a hit batter, a single, and a walk in the 2nd
– a single in the 3rd (erased by a double play)
– a triple in the 4th (out at the plate on a fielder’s choice)
– a fielding error in the 5th.

But Miller’s luck ran out in the 6th, when the inning began with a double and a single to put two runners into scoring position.  A suicide bunt scored the lead runner, and with two outs, a single loaded the bases.  Miller was relieved by Jason Erickson, who threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to score.  Erickson gave up an unearned run in the 8th, which would prove to be the winning run.  With two outs, a fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham put a runner on second, and an RBI double brought that runner around to score.  Duke Welker pitched the top of the 9th, and retired the Threshers in order — the only 1-2-3 inning for the Marauders’ pitchers.

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning, with Santos’ solo blast over the right field wall.  They put two runners on base in the 4th, when C Ramon Cabrera walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, but a double play ended that inning.   Santos reached base again in the 5th on a walk, then stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball, but that was as far as he got.  

The second Marauders’ run came in a rally in the 9th.  With one out, CF Evan Chambers walked, and Santos singled, moving Chambers to second base.  DH Cole White grounded to third, and the Threshers’ third baseman went for the fielders’ choice, but didn’t get it — leaving the bases full of Marauders.  An RBI ground out by SS Benji Gonzalez let Chambers score from third.  Another ground out ended the inning and the game.  

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