Stolen Bases Hurt Power; Alvarez Continues Rehab

Sunday’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization began with an afternoon game in Charleston.  The GCL Pirates have the day off.

Greensboro Grasshoppers  10,  West Virginia Power  2
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Three late-inning rallies gave the Grasshoppers the advantage over the Power this afternoon.   Power starter Colton Cain pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk.  The first ‘Hoppers’ run came in the 1st inning, on a double and an RBI single.  Cain allowed only one base runner over the next two innings (hit batter), then gave up a 2-run homer in the 4th, to give Greensboro a 3-0 lead. Cain and C Kawika Emsley-Pai had two bases stolen against them in the 1st inning (one runner, two bases), and a double steal in the 4th.  Kevin Decker replaced Cain to begin the 5th, and retired the side in order.  In the 6th, Decker gave up 2 runs on a single, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.  There were three stolen bases in that inning.  Decker was still pitching in the 7th, when 3 more runs scored.  Three more stolen bases contributed to the scoring, which also included two walks, a sacrifice fly, an RBI double and an RBI single.  The Grasshoppers had an 8-0 lead.   

The Power batters went down in order in the first two innings, and had only 3 base runners over the first 6 innings.  Emsley-Pai led off the 3rd with a single lined into left field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base.   1B Chase Lyles singled in the 5th and was left on base.  SS Kevin Mort singled to open the 6th, and was erased in a double play.  2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 7th, and he was also out in a double play, when CF Mel Rojas lined out to first and Vasquez was easily doubled off.  Finally, after that double play, three consecutive hits pushed the first Power run across the plate.  DH Cole White and Lyles hit back-to-back singles, and LF Rogelios Noris drove in White with a line drive double into left.  

Justin Ennis pitched the 8th inning, and gave the ‘Hoppers another 2-run homer, following a single.  The Power got one of the runs back in the 8th.  With two outs, Vasquez was hit by a pitch, and Rojas walked.  White lined a single into center field, and Vasquez came around from second to score.  Jason Townsend pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, and the Power also went down in order in the bottom of the 9th.  

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Alvarez Joins Marauders; Harrison Back to Pirates

Tuesdays’ action… and again the player moves are as interesting as the games.

3B Pedro Alvarez was moved from the GCL Pirates to the Marauders to continue his rehab work.  
With OF Jose Tabata being placed onto the Disabled List, the Pirates were no longer forced to wait 10 days before recalling INF Josh Harrison.  Harrison joined Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley as the new kids on the block in Pittsburgh.  Backfilling, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.  INF Josh Rodriguez was sent down to Altoona.

Bradenton Marauders  8,  St. Lucie Mets  1
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A 5-run 4th inning gave the Marauders a big boost, as they bombarded the Mets in Bradenton.  Pedro Alvarez started the game at third base for the Marauders.  He grounded out in the 1st inning, then singled to lead off the 4th, and was hit by a pitch in the 5th. It was not a particularly busy day at third base for Alvarez, but he successfully fielded 3 grounders that came his way.  Elevys Gonzalez took over for Alvarez at the beginning of the 6th.   

Brett Lorin allowed only one run in his start, and earned his 3rd win of the season (3-4 record).  The lone run scored in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a ground out, and a ground-rule double.  Lorin scattered 3 more hits, no walks, over the rest of his 6 innings.  He hit another batter and he struck out 5.  

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard when they batted around in the 4th.  Alvarez’s single got the fun started, then 1B Aaron Baker lined a double into left field, moving Alvarez to third.  DH Adalberto Santos walked to load the bases.  CF Evan Chambers brought in Alvarez with an RBI single, and C Carlos Paulino’s double into center field plated both Baker and Santos.  LF David Rubinstein walked to load the bases again.  After a pitching change, SS Kelson Brown’s RBI ground out scored Chambers, and RF Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly brought in Paulino, to give the Marauders a 5-1 lead.  

Tyler Cox replaced Lorin to begin the 7th inning.  Cox walked the first batter he faced, then retired the next 6, including two strikeouts in each inning.   Duke Welker pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with one strikeout.  

The Marauders also did some late-inning scoring.  Brown and Grossman led off the 7th with back-to-back singles, and 2B Jarek Cunningham drove both of them in with his double into right field.  Chambers started the 9th with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  He tagged up and advanced to third on Rubinstein’s fly out, then scored on a wild pitch, to give the Marauders their 8 run total.  

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Marte In Futures Game; Marauders Win In The 14th

Two Pirates’ minor leaguers have been chosen to play in the MLB Futures game, which is held during the All-Star festivities.  OF Starling Marte will be on the World team, and INF Chase d’Arnaud was named to the USA team — though that might change if d’Arnaud is indeed called up to Pittsburgh.  

The State College Spikes’ game against the Jamestown Jammers was postponed due to rain.  They will go for two on Friday night, beginning at 6:05 pm.  

New Hampshire Fisher Cats  2,  Altoona Curve  0      
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This shortened game was a pitching duel, with the two teams combining for just 7 hits.  Kyle McPherson pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.  Two of those hits were solo homers, both coming in the 4th inning, and that accounted for all of the Fisher Cats’ scoring.  The only other ‘Cats’ hit was a single to lead off the 1st inning, and that runner was picked off base.  McPherson walked two batters, one in the 1st, and former Indy Indian Craig Stansberry in the 5th.  Stansberry was caught stealing second base.  Anthony Claggett pitched the bottom of the 6th, walking one and hitting one batter with a pitch.  

The Curve batters collected 4 hits.  CF Starling Marte led off the top of the 1st with a double, the only extra-base hit for the Curve.  SS Jordy Mercer singled, and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.  But new Curve player RF Andrew Lambo lined right to the ‘Cats’ first baseman, who doubled off Sanchez for a double play.  The other 2 hits happened in the 4th.  Sanchez led off with a single up the middle, but he was caught stealing.  3B Jeremy Farrell also singled, but was left on base.  There were only 2 more base runners for the Curve for the rest of the game — Sanchez walked in the 6th and 1B Matt Curry walked in the 7th, and both were left on base.  

This was scheduled to be Game 1 of a double-header, and so was scheduled for 7 innings.  But this game was also interrupted by rain, and the second game was washed out.  The Curve move on to Harrisburg to begin a series tomorrow.  They will play New Hampshire again in mid-August, and will have to do the make-up then.  

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State College Season Begins; Von Rosenberg Wins #3

Friday’s action with the Pirate’s lower minor league teams — the brief version, as we’re on the road:

The Bradenton Marauders are off for the Florida State League’s All-Star weekend.  The 50th FSL All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, in Clearwater, FL.  Representing the Marauders:  C Ramon Cabrera and INF Aaron Baker and Jarek Cunningham.  Kyle McPherson and Brett Lorin were also named to the team but won’t be participating because McPherson was promoted to AA, and Lorin is injured.  

The Pirates have signed Jon Schwind (41st round pick), and he will report to the GCL Pirates.  Schwind was listed as a catcher when drafted, but he also plays some infield and out field.   

Williamsport Crosscutters  7,  State College Spikes  0
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Not the way the Spikes wanted to start the season.  Starter Nick Kingham had two good innings, allowing only a single, but things fell apart in the 3rd.  That inning began with a lead-off homer, then after one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner on second.  After the second out, an RBI single drove in the second run of the inning.  A walk and a 3-run homer made it 5-0.  Joely Rodriguez took over for Kingman in the 4th, and gave up an unearned run on a double, a wild pitch, and a passed ball.  Rodriguez also loaded the bases in the 5th, but got out of the jam with a fly out.  Vince Payne pitched the next two innings, allowing only two singles.  Joan Montero took the bottom of the 8th, and gave up the final Williamsport run on a hit batter, a walk, and an RBI double.  

The Spikes collected 6 hits.   C Samuel Gonzalez singled and doubled, and RF Carlos Mesa singled twice, while two newly signed draft picks,  CF Taylor Lewis and DH Derek Trent, each singled.  The Spikes threatened in the 3rd inning, when 3B Walker Gourley was hit by a pitch, then Trent reached base on a fielding error by the Williamsport left fielder.  Gourley came around from first and tried to score on the play, but was tagged out at the plate.  They had another chance in the 4th, when LF Exicardo Cayonez was hit by a pitch and Gonzalez doubled, moving Cayonez to third, but both were left on base.  

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McPherson’s AA Debut; Power Win Two

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.   

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