Grossman’s Lead-Off Homer; Power Are Two-Hit

Altoona Curve  8,  Erie SeaWolves  6
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Two big innings gave the Curve enough runs to withstand a late-inning rally by the SeaWolves and take the win to open this series.  The Curve got started with a two-out rally which scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  After a line out and a ground out, C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts both walked.  1B Miles Durham and RF Brad Chalk then hit back-to-back doubles, with Durham driving in one run and Watts adding two.  2B Brock Holt reached base on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Chalk to third base.  Chalk scored on a balk, giving the Curve a 4-0 lead.  They added 3 more runs in the 5th, beginning with Holt’s lead-off single through the hole into right field.  CF Starling Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt to moved Holt to second base. Three consecutive singles, by LF Quincy Latimore, Mercer, and 3B Jeremy Farrell brought in one run (Mercer’s RBI).  After a pitching change, Sanchez made it four straight singles with a liner into center field, scoring Latimore and Mercer.  The Curve added one more insurance run in the 7t, on a single by Latimore and an RBI double by Mercer.  

Aaron Pribanic
made the start for the Curve and earned his second win of the season.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and a walk.  Two of the hits, a single and a double, came in the 3rd inning, and were followed by a bouncer back to the mound, which Pribanic returned to Sanchez, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  Two more singles came in the 4th, and both of those runners were left on base.  Brian Leach pitched the 6th and 7th innings and gave up a run in each.  A walk and a triple plated the run in the 6th, and a walk, a single, and two ground outs brought in the run in the 7th.  Tom Boleska began the 8th inning, and got into trouble right away.  Two walks and a double loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly scored one run.  After another walk, Boleska was relieved by Noah Krol.  The first batter Krol faced doubled into left field for 2 runs, and a hit batter and an RBI ground out gave Erie the fourth run of the inning.  Krol ended the rally with a strikeout, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 9th to earn his 6th Save of the season.  

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Marauders Pound Mets With 10-Run Inning

Bradenton Marauders  12,  St. Lucie Mets  6
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For the second time in three days, the Marauders put up a big first inning — and this one was even bigger than the 6-run inning two games ago.  Bradenton sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st, scoring 10 runs.  The fun began with back-to-back singles by RF Robbie Grossman and 2B Jarek Cunningham.  CF Evan Chambers loaded the bases with a walk, and 1B Aaron Baker brought in Grossman with a sacrifice fly (1).  After a strikeout by DH Adalberto Santos, C Ramon Cabrera walked to load the bases again, then LF David Rubinstein lined a single into left field, bringing in Cunningham and Chambers (2,3).  3B Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez lined back-to-back doubles into center field, with Elevys driving in Cabrera and Rubinstein (4,5), and Benji plating Elevys (6).  That brought Grossman up again.  He walked, then Cunningham drove in Benji and Grossman with a 3-run homer (7,8,9).  Chambers walked again, and Baker lined a single into right field, and with the help of a throwing error that sent the ball into the stands, Chamber came in with the 10th run of the inning.  Santos’ second strikeout of the inning ended the rally

The Mets tried to come back, but fell far short.  Starter Nate Baker scattered 6 hits over 5.2 innings, and the only run he allowed came in the 5th, on a double and an RBI single.  Baker walked one and struck out 2.  With one on and two out in the top of the 6th, Duke Welker relieved Baker, finishing that inning with a strikeout.  Welker gave up 2 runs in the 7th, on two lead-off walks, a balk, and an RBI ground out, then an RBI single.  He also walked a batter in the 8th, and had a batter reach base on a fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez, but a timely double play got Welker out of that jam.  Jhonathan Ramos pitched the 9th inning, and he gave up back-to-back doubles and a 2-run homer, but even that was not enough for the Mets to catch up.

The Marauders added another run in the 4th inning on a pair of doubles by Rubinstein and Elevys Gonzalez.  Cunningham hit his second homer of the game (6th of the season) in the 7th inning to give the Marauders their final run.  

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Grand Slam By Baker Fires Up Marauders

Happy Easter!

The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power have scheduled days off today.

Bradenton Marauders  6, Palm Beach Cardinals  3
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1B Aaron Baker gave the Marauders a boost with his grand slam in the 1st inning, and Jason Erickson won his first game of the season.  
 
Starter Quinton Miller began the game with two outs, then gave up a double and a single, to give the Cardinals one run.  The Marauders thundered back with 6 runs in the bottom of the frame, as the first 6 batters reached base before an out was recorded.  RF Robbie Grossman led off with a walk, then went to third when 2B Adalberto Santos doubled.  CF Evan Chambers walked to load the bases and set up Baker, who blasted a grand slam over the right field wall.  DH Calvin Anderson followed the home run with a single, then he advanced to third on C Ramon Cabrera’s double.  After a ground out and a strikeout, SS Benji Gonzalez sent the Palm Beach starter to the showers with a 2-RBI single.  Grossman singled also, but a pop out ended the inning with the Marauders ahead 6-1. 

Then it started raining…. and the game was delayed for more than 2 hours.  When they did get back to business, Erickson took over on the mound for Miller.  Erickson pitched 4 innings, and had trouble in only one, the 4th.  He gave up a single, a double, a single, and a double, to give the Cardinals 2 runs.  With two runners in scoring position, Erickson maintained his composure to strike out the next two batters and get out of the inning.  Diego Moreno pitched the next two innings for Bradenton, allowing a walk and a wild pitch.  He also had a runner reach base due to a throwing error by Gonzalez, but erased that runner with a double play.  Ryan Beckman took the final two innings, and earned his 2nd save of the season, as he retired all 6 batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts.

Baker did not stop hitting after the 1st inning, though the Marauders did not score again in the game.  He singled in the 2nd, and Anderson doubled behind him, but Baker was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice play.  LF David Rubinstein reached on a fielding error at short, loading the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without a run scoring.  Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice in the 3rd inning, after a walk, a stolen base, and a fly out.  The Marauders had two runners on base due to a single and a walk in both the 4th and 5th innings.  In the 4th, Rubinstein walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled; in the 5th, Santos singled and Chambers walked.  Baker’s third hit came in the 8th, when Chambers drove a ball off the glove of the Palm Beach right fielder.  Chambers rounded second and headed for third, but the center fielder was able to pick up the ball and fire it in to third, where Chambers was tagged out.  Baker singled after Chambers’ hit, but was left on base.  

The Marauders posted a total of 12 hits.  Each member of the lineup reached base at least once, and Rubinstein was the only one without at least one hit.  

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Curve Blast 6 In the 15th; 3 Doubles For Cunningham

Friday night game action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

The West Virginia Power were rained out in Kannapolis tonight.  The Power and the Intimidators will play two on Saturday beginning at 6:05 pm.
The Power are expecting the Pirates’ first round pick from the 2010 draft, Jameson Taillon, to be joining the team this weekend.  He should be making his pro debut for the Power sometime early next week.  

Altoona Curve  11,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  5
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The Curve broke a 5.5-inning-long 5-5 tie in the top of the 15th, to win this game in dramatic fashion.  They must have all been tired and ready to end it by then.  With one out, 1B Miles Durham singled and moved to second base on a balk.  LF Quincy Latimore also singled, and Durham scored the go-ahead run from second base.  But the Curve were not satisfied yet — 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, and DH Eric Fryer doubled, driving in Latimore.  After a strikeout, 1B Brock Holt walked to load the bases, and CF Starling Marte blasted a triple into right field, clearing the bases for 3 more runs.  The Richmond right fielder made a wild throw in, allowing Marte to score too, and the Curve had a 6-run inning.  All that remained was for Noah Krol to take the mound in the bottom of the inning and finish off the Squirrels with a ground out, a walk, and a double play.  

Richmond had the early lead in the game.  Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first 6 batters he faced, but began the 3rd by giving up 4 singles with only one out, scoring one run.  A walk forced in the second run of the inning, and another single added two more, for a 4-0 lead.  A double and a single gave the Squirrels one more run in the 5th, and that was all for Hughes.  

The Curve had only one hit over the first 5 innings, and that was a double by Fryer to lead off the 3rd.  They also had two walks (Holt and Latimore) and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch in those innings, though none of them came around to score.  They got two runs back in the top of the 6th.  Marte led off with a walk, and after two outs, Durham’s single brought in Marte.  Latimore doubled, plating Durham, and the Curve had cut the lead to 5-2.  

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Curve Win Home Opener; Four RBI For Baker

Altoona Curve 2,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  0
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The Altoona Curve put on a pitching demonstration in their home opener, as four pitchers combined for a shut-out and held the Squirrels to just 3 hits.  Aaron Thompson made the start, and he dominated Richmond.  Thompson retired the first 10 batters he faced.  He gave up a walk in the 4th inning, but left that runner on base.  He gave up a triple to lead off the 5th, but a grounder to third let 3B Jeremy Farrell fire the ball back to C Tony Sanchez, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Thompson had to work around a single and a fielding error in the 6th, but after a sacrifice bunt, two timely strikeouts got him out of that jam.   Thompson also struck out 5 batters in his second win of the season.  

The Curve posted 8 hits, and 3 of those were singles by RF Brad Chalk, who had been off to a slow start for the season (1-for-16).  He singled in the 3rd, the 6th, and the 8th, though he didn’t score.  Altoona scored their first run in the 4th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then scored all the way from first base on 1B Miles Durham’s double into center field.  SS Jordy Mercer belted a home run over the left field wall in the 5th inning for the Curve’s second run.  That was all the offense that was needed.  The Curve put two runners on base in the 6th, when Chalk singled and pinch-hitter Kris Watts was hit by a pitch, but both were left on base.  They threatened in the 7th, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single into right field and stole second base.  He moved to third on a ground out, and tried for home when Sanchez grounded to third, but was thrown out at the plate on a play similar to what the Curve did to the Squirrels in the 5th.  Sanchez and LF Quincy Latimore also had singles in the game.  

Mike Colla, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Curve.  Krol allowed one hit in the 9th, but left that base runner on, and earned his 3rd Save.

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