It’s a rainy night for half of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:
The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain. Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected. The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.
Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.
The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona. They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.
Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week. He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.
Jupiter Hammerheads 1, Bradenton Marauders 0
The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today. Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts. Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st. The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base. An RBI ground out brought in the run. A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.
Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score. He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th. After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.
Unfortunately, the Hammerheads’ pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders’ batters. Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera’s single. The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base. With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked. But a ground out ended the threat and the game.
The Curve played an early game on Wednesday…
Akron Aeros 3, Altoona Curve 2
Down 3-1 going into the top of the 9th, the Curve rallied, beginning with 3B Jeremy Farrell reaching base on a fielding error by the Akron shortstop. A passed ball put Farrell on second base. Strikeouts by LF Shelby Ford and RF Brad Chalk made the Curve’s situation even more desperate. 2B Brock Holt hit his third single of the day, and CF Starling Marte also singled, loading the bases with two outs. But the Curve’s hopes ended when SS Jordy Mercer also struck out.
Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve, and he was charged with the loss. Locke worked his way out of a jam with runners on the corners in the 1st inning, and worked around a lead-off single in the 2nd. Another single led off the 3rd inning, and back-to-back doubles, one zipping just out of reach of Farrell’s backhand dive, drove in 2 runs. After a single, a walk, and two strikeouts in the 5th, Locke was relieved by Anthony Claggett. Claggett finished up the 5th with a ground out, leaving two runners on base. He also pitched the 6th and 7th innings, and surrendered a solo home run to lead off the 6th. Tom Boleska pitched the 8th inning, and kept the Aeros from scoring again, despite a single and a walk.
The Curve scored their first run in the 4th. 1B Miles Durham and C Kris Watts worked back-to-back walks, and when Farrell lifted a soft single into right field, Durham scored from second base. Farrell and Holt each walked once, and Farrell also singled in the 6th inning. Holt singled to open the game, then again in the 5th.
The Curve will have their home opener tomorrow.
All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost their season openers on Thursday night:
Erie SeaWolves 3, Altoona Curve 2
One run in the bottom of the 9th made the difference, as the Curve lost in Erie, PA. The SeaWolves were first onto the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the 5th inning. Curve starter Bryan Morris had already escaped from two jams in the early innings. In the 2nd, RF Brad Chalk threw out a runner who was trying to stretch a double into a triple, then Chalk ended the inning when he threw to C Tony Sanchez to nail a runner who was trying to score from second base on a single. Morris loaded the bases in the 4th with a single and two walks, but a timely double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell to 2B Brock Holt, to 1B Miles Durham, ended that inning without a run scoring. Morris’ luck ran out in the 5th, though, when a walk and a 2-run homer gave Erie a 2-0 lead.
The Curve missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the 2nd, when Sanchez singled into left field, and LF Quincy Latimore lined a double just out of the reach of the Erie left fielder. But with runners on second and third, Erie starter Jacob Turner struck out both Farrell and DH Eric Fryer to end the inning. Turner allowed only two base runners for the next 4 innings — he walked Holt, and he hit Sanchez with a pitch. (Sanchez has got to stop being a magnet for opposing pitchers’ pitches.) After Turner left the game, the Curve were able to put men on base again. Farrell singled and Fryer walked in the 7th, though they didn’t score. The 8th inning began with back-to-back walks to Holt and CF Starling Marte. SS Jordy Mercer bunted them over to second and third, then another walk to Sanchez loaded the bases. Latimore came through again, with another double off the left field wall, missing a grand slam by inches, to plate both Holt and Marte and tie the game at 2-2.
Reliever Anthony Claggett finished the 5th inning for Morris with a strikeout and a pickoff of one of the runners Morris had put on base. Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes each pitched a perfect inning, with one strikeout for Pribanic and two for Hughes. Michael Dubee struck out the side in the 8th inning to preserve the tie. The Curve batters could not get anything going in the top of the 9th, though, and Dubee came back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th. With one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position, and a ground out moved him to third base. Then a sinking line drive, just inches away from the diving Latimore’s glove, fell in for a hit, scoring the runner from third base for the walk-off win.
Dubee was charged with the loss. Morris got a no-decision, with 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, plus 3 strikeouts, in 4.1 innings. The Curve had just 4 hits, two of them doubles by Latimore.
Continuing our visit with some of the pitchers in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
Trent Stevenson — Bats L / Throws R, 6′ 6″, 175 lb
The Pirates chose Stevenson in the 7th round of the 2009 draft. The Scottsdale, AZ native reported to the GCL Pirates to begin his pro career, and made 5 appearances (4 starts) there, allowing just 2 runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA). He began the 2010 season again with the GCL Pirates, but after one game, in which he allowed 2 run on two hits (one was a home run) with 3 strikeouts, Stevenson was promoted to State College. Stevenson pitched entirely out of the bullpen for the Spikes, with 15 appearances for 40.2 total innings, usually going 2 -3 innings at a time. He pitched 20 innings over 7 appearances in the end of June and through July, with a 4.50 ERA, allowing 22 hits and 10 runs, with 8 walks and 9 strikeouts. The second half of the season was much the same, with 8 appearances for 20.2 innings and a 4.36 ERA. In August and into September, he allowed 10 runs on 22 hits, with 7 walks and 14 strikeouts. At age 20, Stevenson is still developing, and the Pirates are hoping to see more velocity from him, to keep his fastball consistently in the 90’s. He also has a slider and a changeup, which will need more work. He should be ready for West Virginia in 2011, though if the Power bullpen is too crowded, he could spend a little more time at State College.
Brandon Cumpton – R/R, 6′ 2″, 198 lb
Cumpton was the Pirates’ 9th round pick in the 2010 draft. He signed in July and got in 4 appearances with the GCL Pirates before the end of the season. He pitched a total of 8 scoreless innings in his first, second, and fourth appearances, allowing one hit in the second and two hits in the fourth. He also struck out 5 batters over the 3 innings of the second appearance. The third appearance was a struggle, as he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2.2 innings, with 2 walks. That gave him an overall 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings, and 6 total strikeouts. Cumpton is still working on fastball command. The 22-year-old will likely remain a reliever, and is also in the mix for a bullpen spot in West Virginia, though he too could go to State College.
On Friday night, all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost.� On Saturday night, all but State College won….
Bradenton Marauders� 4,� Charlotte Stone Crabs� 2 …���� (box)
The Marauders assured themselves at least a spot in the playoffs with this win tonight.� Nate Adcock won his 11th game of the season with 2 runs allowed in 5.2 innings of work.� He gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st, with a 2-out walk, a wild pitch, and two singles.� He surrendered another run on a walk and a double to lead off the 3rd inning.� He scattered 4 more hits, but left two stranded and erased two with double plays.� In the top of the 6th, Adcock got two outs and gave up a single, then that runner stole both second and third base.� He was relieved by Kyle McPherson, who finished that inning with a strikeout, then gave up just one hit over the next 2 innings, including 3 more strikeouts.� Noah Krol earned his league-leading 34th save of the season with a scoreless 9th inning, working around a missed catch error.
Bradenton picked up one run in the 2nd inning, when C Eric Fryer singled, then moved to second base on a groundout.� 3B Adam Davis’ RBI single brought in Fryer.� The Marauders were on the receiving end of several walks over the next few innings — one in the 3rd to SS Shelby Ford, one in the 4th to Fryer, three in the 5th to DH Jordan Newton, 2B James Skelton, and RF Robbie Grossman to load the bases — but all were left on base.� They did score again in the 6th, when LF Quincy Latimore led off with a single.� He was forced out at second on Fryer’s grounder, leaving Fryer at first.� Davis singled again, advancing Fryer to third bse, then Newton doubled in both Fryer and Davis, to take a 3-2 lead.� They added an insurance run in the 4th.� Grossman singled with one out, then scored on CF Starling Marte’s double.� The Marauders threatened again in the 8th, as Davis was hit by a pitch and Newton walked, then Skelton bunted them both into scoring position.� A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning, but it turned out to not matter, and the Marauders season is going to continue beyond the weekend.