Friday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
West Virginia Power 6, Lakewood BlueClaws 1 (completion of suspended game)
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This game was halted by rain last night in the top of the 5th. The Power had scored one run in the 3rd when C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked, stole second, went to third on an error, and crossed the plate on a ground out. They rallied again in the 5th, beginning with a single by SS Drew Maggi. A throwing error on a pick-off attempt put Maggi on third base, and 2B Andy Vasquez brought in Maggi with an RBI single. Vasquez stole second, and later scored on 1B Justin Howard’s single. DH Chase Lyles walked just before the game was stopped. When play resumed today, CF Mel Rojas reached base on an error at second base, which also allowed Howard to score. That gave the Power a 4-0 lead.
Jameson Taillon’s start was unfortunately cut short by the suspension. He had pitched 4 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and hitting one batter, both in the 2nd inning. Brooks Pounders took the mound on the restart, and he gave up Lakewood’s only run in the 6th. A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners. The next batter bounced into a double play, but the runner from third scored. Pounders gave up a double in the 7th, but did not let that runner score. He also struck out 3 batters.
The Power added more insurance in the top of the 7th. RF Dan Grovatt led off with a walk, and two wild pitches put him on third base. Lyles’ RBI single brought Grovatt across the plate. Rojas also singled, but was caught in a run-down between first and second bases. Another run scored in the top of the 9th, when Lyles reached on a fielding error, advanced to second on Rojas’ second single, then scored on the second error of the inning.
Victor Black pitched the final two innings for the Power. He gave up a single in the 8th, but erased the runner on a double play, then gave up another single in the 9th, but kept Lakewood from scoring. Pounders earned his 5th win of the season.
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.
Saturday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.
Portland Sea Dogs 4, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 6 base runners — 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score. SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings. He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.
Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd. He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning. In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th. Portland’s third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th. Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.
The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out. But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning. Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play. Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.
Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla. He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded. Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.
The Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off on Memorial Day, while the Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power have afternoon games.
Altoona Curve 8, Binghamton Mets 0
Mile Colla pitched 6 scoreless innings for the Curve, to earn his fourth win of the season. Colla was a man on a mission, keeping the game zipping right along — the game was done in less than 2.5 hours. He gave up 4 runs, and no walks, while striking out 2 batters. Colla retired the first 6 batters he faced. He gave up back-to-back singles to open the 3rd inning, then left them in place, as he set down the next three to end the inning. He worked around a lead-off batter in the 4th, putting down the next three batters in that inning, and three in a row in the 5th also. The last hit Colla allowed was a 2-out double in the 6th, which ended with a fly out.
The Curve bats were slow to get going too. They went down in order for the first four innings, then got to the Mets’ starter Bradley Holt in the 5th. SS Jordy Mercer led off the 5th with a walk, and with one out, 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, then C Kris Watts homered, giving the Curve a 3-0 lead. The inning continued with RF Brad Chalk reaching second base on a throwing error by the Mets’ shortstop, then moving to third base on Colla’s sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch allowed Chalk to score, for a 4-1 lead.
The Curve came right back in the 6th inning, scoring 4 more runs off the Binghamton relief pitcher. LF Quincy Latimore began with a solo home run. Mercer followed the homer with a single into left field, then the newest Curve just up from West Virginia, 1B Matt Curry, also singled. Farrell made it three singles in a row, bringing in Mercer. Watts walked to load the bases, and Chalk singled into right field, driving in both Farrell and Watts.
Bryan Morris took over for Colla to begin the 7th inning. Morris pitched 3 scoreless and hitless innings, retiring all 9 batters he faced in order. Morris also contributed a hit in the 8th inning, when he lined a single into right field. He earned his second save of the season.
The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, and the Curve played a morning game. The Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 7, Bowie Baysox 1
After allowing a run in the top of the 1st, the Curve pitchers held Bowie scoreless for the rest of this morning’s game. The Curve posted a total of 14 hits, double the number they allowed the Baysox, and every hitter in the Curve lineup but one had at least one hit.
Starter Mike Colla began the game by giving up a double into center field to the Bowie lead-off hitter. A ground out moved the runner to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him in with the first run of the game. The Curve managed only a single by CF Starling Marte in the bottom of the 1st, but they got things going in the bottom of the 2nd. 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Eric Fryer led off with back-to-back singles. DH Kris Watts dropped down a bunt, but a quick move by the Bowie catcher forced out Farrell at third and left Fryer on second and Watts on first. After a pop out by 1B Miles Durham, RF Brad Chalk lined a single into right field, scoring Fryer. Watts advanced to third base and Chalk moved up to second base on the throw. 2B Brock Holt brought in both Watts and Chalk with a triple into right field, giving the Curve a 3-1 lead.
Four consecutive singles began the bottom of the 3rd for the Curve. LF Quincy Latimore, SS Jordy Mercer, Farrell, and Fryer all singled, adding 2 more runs as Latimore and Mercer scored. A ground out by Watts moved both Farrell and Fryer into scoring position, and after another out, Chalk singled to first base, plating Farrell and chasing the Bowie starter to the showers. The Curve had a 6-1 lead.
Colla worked around at least one runner on base in each of his 5 innings. The biggest threat he faced after the 1st inning came in the 4th, when he gave up a ground-rule double and a single, to put runners on the corners with one out. Colla got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to end the inning. Colla pitched 5 innings, throwing 76 pitches (53 strikes). He gave up the one run on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters, to earn his 3rd win of the season. Tim Alderson took over for Colla for the 6th inning. Alderson pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. Bryan Morris came on for the last 3 innings. He earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and a single in the 8th.
The Curve added their final run in the 7th. Marte led off with a double, moved to third on Latimore’s ground out, then scored on Mercer’s sacrifice fly. Marte, Holt, Farrell, and Chalk each had 2 hits in the game, and Fryer went 3-for-4.
The Curve play another morning game on Thursday.