Homers And Wins For Everyone

Wins for everyone in the Pirates’ minor league system on Saturday… and each of these winners scored 6 runs:

Altoona Curve  6,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve rallied with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, for a come-from-behind win, extending their winning streak to four games.  Starter Mike Colla went 5 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  Colla allowed only one hit over the first three innings.  The top of the 4th began with a single, a walk, and a single to load the bases.  After a strikeout, a single lined into left field drove in one run.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the frame.  CF Starling Marte had singled in the 1st inning, and the Curve had loaded the bases with two outs in the 2nd, on a walk by DH Kris Watts, and singles by 1B Miles Durham and RF Eric Fryer.  All four runners were left on base.  3B Jeremy Farrell started the 4th inning by being hit by a pitch.  C Tony Sanchez doubled into right field, scoring Fryer from first.  Watts’ ground out moved Sanchez to third, then Durham lined a single into left field, bringing in Sanchez.  The Curve had a 2-1 lead.  

Brian Leach took over for Colla for the 6th inning, and retired the side in order.  Anthony Claggett came on for the 7th, which started well, with two outs.  Then a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single tied the game at 2-2.  Claggett remained in the game to begin the 8th inning, but he quickly got into trouble, allowing a pair of doubles and a single, for one run and one out.  Claggett was ejected after the single (no details, sorry), and Michael Dubee took over for him.  Dubee gave up an RBI single and an RBI double, to give Erie a 5-2 lead.

The Curve came charging back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and SS Jordy Mercer brought them both in with a 2-run homer.  Farrell singled after the homer, and Sanchez tied the score when he drove in Farrell with a triple.  Brad Chalk came in to pinch-hit for Sanchez, and he scored on Watts’ RBI single, to give the Curve the lead.  

Noah Krol pitched the final inning.  He gave up a pair of singles, but kept the SeaWolves from scoring to hold on to the win.  Dubee was credited with the win, and Krol earned his 8th Save of the season. 

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Curve Are Two-Hit; Power Scratch Out 1-0 Win

Saturday evening action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Richmond Flying Squirrels  5,  Altoona Curve  0
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Strong pitching by Richmond and one big inning for the Squirrels’ batters combined for another Curve loss.  The Curve were held to just two hits — one each by 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Tony Sanchez.  Five walks did not help either, as the Curve left 7 runners on base.  1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona over the first 3 innings, when he walked in the 3rd.  LF Quincy Latimore walked with one out in the 4th.  He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s ground out.  Mercer reached third base when Farrell slipped a single through the left side of the infield, but both runners were left stranded.  

Farrell walked and Sanchez singled with one out in the 7th, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally.  The Curve’s biggest threat came in the 9th inning, when with two outs, Mercer was hit by a pitch, then Farrell and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks.  A pop up to the catcher in foul territory by Durham ended the game with all three still on base.  

Three errors by the Curve fielders did not help out their pitchers, who gave up a combined 11 hits.  Starter Aaron Thompson worked around a pair of two-out singles in the 1st, then struck out three batters around a walk in the 2nd.  Then things fell apart in the 3rd.  The inning began with three consecutive singles, loading the bass.  The next batter grounded to short, but Mercer’s fielding fumble left everyone safe, and the lead runner scored.  Thompson looked like he had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage when he got the next two batters with a fly out and a strikeout.  But a bases-clearing double into left field made the score 4-0.  The throw in from LF Latimore was relayed from the cutoff man Mercer to Farrell at third, who tagged out the batter at third as he tried to stretch the double into a triple.  

Thompson kept the Squirrels from scoring in the 4th, despite a fielding error by CF Starling Marte and another single.  A lead-off single began the 5th inning, and a throwing error by Sanchez on a steal attempt put the runner on third base.  Thompson struck out two batters, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett, who ended the inning with a ground out, leaving that runner on third.  Claggett pitched a scoreless 6th, but gave up a run in the 7th on a hit batter and an RBI double.  Two walks after the double loaded the bases, but Claggett escaped the inning with a ground out.  Chris Leroux took over for the bottom of the 8th.  He also gave up a double and hit a batter, but did not allow a run.  Thompson took the loss, going 4.2 innings with 4 runs (one earned) on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts.  

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Marte Homers, Three Hits For Grovatt

A few roster moves before we get to the games:
The Pirates have signed 1B Gerlis Rodriguez to a minor league contract.  Rodriguez, a Dominican native, played for State College in 2010.  He played about half of his 48 games at first base, and did some DH’ing.  Rodriguez hit .201, with 8 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 24 RBI.  He walked 11 times and was struck out 34 times.  Rodriguez will probably be back with the Spikes when their season begins next month.

Two minor league pitchers have been released:  RHP Gabriel Alvarado and RHP Maurice Bankston.  Alvarado was with the West Virginia Power for the past two seasons, mostly as a starter in 2009 and then as a reliever in 2010.   Bankston also spent most of the last two years with the Power, and he also started in 2009 then moved to the bullpen in 2010.

 
Richmond Flying Squirrels  5,  Altoona Curve  3
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Jeff Locke gave up 4 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings, but got out of jams with timely double plays in his start for the Curve.   Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up 4 more runs and the Squirrels took the win.  The only run Locke gave up came in the bottom of the 1st.  After a lead-off single, Locke got two fly outs, then gave up a walk and an RBI single.  Another walk followed, before Locke ended the inning.  A double play ended the 2nd inning with two runners left stranded (walk and hit batter), and a second double play eliminated a lead-off single in the 3rd.  Locke also worked around a double and a walk in the 4th, then retired the side in the 5th.  

 The Squirrels’ starter retired the first 10 Curve batters in order.  The first hit he gave up was a big one — a solo home run over the left field wall by CF Starling Marte.  The Curve took a 2-1 lead in the 5th inning, on a line drive double by 3B Jeremy Farrell, a passed ball, and an RBI single lined into center field by C Tony Sanchez.  

The lead lasted only one inning.  Tom Boleska relieved Locke to begin the bottom of the 6th  He allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base — two walks and a single back to the mound.  Boleska struck out the next batter, then a grounder force out at second (but not the double play) let the tying run score.  An RBI single gave Richmond a 3-2 lead.  Boleska pitched a scoreless 7th inning, then Matt McSwain took over for the 8th.  The first two batters McSwain faced both smacked solo home runs, and Richmond was up 5-2.

The Curve scratched out one more run in the top of the 9th.  With two outs, LF Quincy Latimore worked a walk, then SS Jordy Mercer and Farrell hit back-to-back singles, plating Latimore.  But that was all they were able to get, as Sanchez’s line out ended the game.  

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Pribanic Earns Win #3, Krol Earns Save #7

The Curve played another mid-day game today, with the stadium full of school kids

Altoona Curve  4,  Akron Aeros  3
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The Curve hung on for the win, despite being out-hit 12-6 by the Aeros.  Aaron Pribanic earned his third win of the season, and Noah Krol earned his 7th Save.   

SS Jordy Mercer got things going for the Curve in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  He beat out an infield single to third, then stole second base.  A grounder by DH Tony Sanchez moved him to third base, and Mercer scored from there on a wild pitch.  C Eric Fryer singled and 1B Miles Durham walked after Mercer scored, but both were left on base.  

Akron took the lead in the top of the 4th.  Pribanic had allowed 3 singles over the first two innings, but left those batters on base.  He hit a batter with a pitch to open the 4th inning, then gave up a 2-run homer, giving the Aeros a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order in both the 3rd and 4th innings, but they got to the Akron starter again in the bottom of the 5th.  Fryer led off with a walk, and with one out, RF Jose Hernandez drove a triple into center field, scoring Fryer.  2B Brock Holt’s RBI ground out brought in Hernandez, and the Curve had the lead back, 3-2.  They tacked on another run in the 6th.  LF Quincy Latimore began the inning with a line drive into center field for a single, and when the Akron center fielder made a fielding error, Latimore moved to second base.  Mercer followed with another line drive into center, putting runners on the corners.  Sanchez bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Latimore was able to score from third base for a 4-2 lead.   

Pribanic allowed 6 hits with those 2 runs in the 4th, going a total of 5 innings.  He did not walk a batter and struck out 3 Aeros’ batters.  Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 6th, and retired the side in order.  He gave up an unearned run in the 7th, when Fryer made a fielding error to put a runner on base.  A force out at second traded runners at first, and an RBI double brought the run in.   Michael Dubee loaded the bases on three singles in the 8th, but wiggled out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out.  Krol earned his save by getting out of another bases-loaded jam in the top of the 9th (two singles and a walk) with a timely double play.

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Bowker Goes To Indy; Marauders’ Rally With 5 Runs

The Indianapolis Indians and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off today.  

Roster moves:
OF John Bowker, who was DFA’ed last week, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Indianapolis Indians.
LHP Dan Meyer has been activated off the Indians’ disabled list.
RHP Chris Leroux was moved to the Altoona Curve to make room for Meyer on the Indians’ roster.   

Akron Aeros  6,  Altoona Curve  3
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Chris Leroux was sent down to Altoona, then was charged with the loss in his first game for the Curve.  The game began with Akron scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  Mike Colla, making his second start of the season, gave up a walk, a single, and a walk to load the bases.  The next batter grounded to third, but a fielding error by 3B Jeremy Farrell let the lead runner score and left the bases still loaded.  A single and a sacrifice fly each added another run, for a 3-0 lead.  

The Curve got one run back in the 3rd inning.  DH Kris Watts led off with a double, and 1B Miles Durham’s single put Watts on third base.  Two pop-outs later, Durham stole second base, then RF Eric Fryer walked to load the bases.  Just like the Aeros in the 1st inning, a grounder to third and an error by the third baseman let a run score.  But that was all the Curve could get, as they left the bases loaded.  The Curve loaded the bases again in the 4th inning, with back-to-back singles by 3B Shelby Ford (who took over for Farrell) and C Tony Sanchez, a balk, and a walk to Watts.  Durham’s sacrifice fly drove in Ford, before a double play ended that inning.  Fryer tied the score at 3-3 in the 5th with a solo home run.  

Colla pitched 4 more innings after the 1st, and allowed just one batter to reach base — a single in the 4th.  Then Sanchez threw that runner out trying to steal second base.  Matt McSwain pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Curve in the 6th.  Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th.  The first batter he faced smacked a solo home run.  The next batter reached base on a missed catch error by Durham at first, and a double put two runners into scoring position.  A fielder’s choice play was not fast enough, so let the runner from third score, and a sacrifice fly brought in the third run of the inning, for a 6-3 score.  Only one of the runs was earned.  

Anthony Claggett relieved Leroux to begin the 8th.  He gave up a walk, and that runner reached second base on a balk, and third base on a passed ball, but Claggett did not let him score.  Then he worked around a walk and a single in the 9th.  

SS Jordy Mercer and Ford both singled in the 5th inning after Fryer’s homer, but both were left stranded.  Only one Curve batter reached base after the 5th.  Watts singled to lead off the 6th, but was erased in a double play.  

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