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The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled off day on Wednesday, but the rest of the minor league organization was going strong, beginning with an early game in West Virginia:
Lexington Legends �5, �West Virginia Power �4 (box)
The Power and the Legends played a late-morning game for the second time in two days. �Today, though, it was the Legends who came out on top, scoring 5 runs on 10 hits, and breaking a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the 8th. �The Power scored their 4 runs on only 5 hits.
2B Elevys Gonzalez recorded 3 hits in the game, and he put the Power onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st inning, with a 2-run homer following a walk by CF Evan Chambers. Lexington tied the score in the top of the 3rd with two runs on a single and two doubles. �Both Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez took the lead back again in the bottom of the inning. �Benji walked and advanced to second base on a balk. �Elevys singled, moving Benji to third base. �Both Gonzalezes executed a double steal, with Benji stealing home to break the tie. �Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases, but the Power could not push another run across.
Power starter Jason Erickson had kept the Legends from scoring in the 4th and 5th innings, but in the 6th, he gave up a solo homer to tie the score. �He walked the next batter after the home run, and was relieved at that point by Gabriel Alvarado. Alvarado gave up back-to-back singles to the first two runners he faced, and the batter Erickson had put on base came around to score, giving the Legends a 4-3 lead.
3B Jesus Brito homered for the second time in two days to lead off the 7th inning and tie the score again, at 4-4. �But in the top of the 8th, with Zach Foster on the mound, two singles and a fielding error by RF David Rubinstein put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out brought the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Power had a chance to tie the score again in the 8th, when Baker walked, then moved to second base on a passed ball. �Cabrera’s single brought Baker racing around third base and heading for the plate, but he was thrown out by the Legends’ left fielder. �Rubinstein got as far as third base in the 9th inning, on a walk, a stolen base, and a ground out, but that inning ended before he could go any further.
Elevys Gonzalez also singled in the 5th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Foster was charged with the loss, his first of the season.
Altoona Curve �5, �Akron Aeros �3 (box)
Rudy Owens earned his 4th win of the season, as the Curve won their 7th straight game and moved to 4 games ahead of second-place Richmond in the Eastern League’s Western Division.SS Chase d’Arnaud belted 3 hits and four Curve batters had 2 hits each, including a homer by C Hector Gimenez.
After two quiet innings by both teams, LF Alex Presley opened the 3rd inning with an infield single, and Gimenez homered to give the Curve a 2-0 lead. �The Aeros got one run back in the bottom of the inning. �LF John Drennen led off with a triple. �The next batter, 2B Criston Arnal, bounced back to the mound, and in the ensuing run-down, Drennen was tagged out, but he stalled long enough for Arnal to reach second base safely. �A passed ball put Arnal on third base, and a ground out brought him across the plate.
Four singles, by 2B Josh Harrison, DH Matt Hague, RF Miles Durham, and Presley brought in two more Curve runs in the top of the 4th inning. �Akron again came back with one run in the bottom of the frame, on a double, a ground out, and a balk by Owens. �The Curve got that run back in the top of the 5th. �D’Arnaud doubled to begin the inning, and scored on Hague’s second single, to give the Curve a 5-2 lead.
Owens gave up just those two runs over 7 innings of work, on 2 hits and a walk, plus the balk and the passed ball by Gimenez. �He also struck out 2 batters. �Ronald Uviedo pitched the 8th inning, and gave up one run on two walks and a single plus an RBI grounder. �Danny Moskos earned his 11th save, retiring the side in the 9th.
Altoona Curve �11, �Akron Aeros �1 (box)
LF Alex Presley missed hitting for the cycle on Monday night in Akron, because he lacked a single. �He probably doesn’t mind, though, because what he substituted for the missing single was his second home run of the night, as he went 4-for-5 and set a new Curve record with 8 RBI in the game. �Presley, who is having a break-out year for the Curve, is now leading the Eastern League with a .379 average (number two is hitting “only” .341) and 58 hits. �He’s second in the league in total bases with 89, and in OPS with .996.
The Curve jumped out to a big start with 4 runs in the top of the 1st. �CF Gorkys Hernandez singled, moved to second base on a balk, then scored on DH Josh Harrison’s single. �A walk to 1B Matt Hague and a single by RF Miles Durham loaded the bases. �Presley cleared the load with a triple, and the Curve were up 4-0. �Hague doubled and 3B Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch in the 3rd inning, setting up Presley for his first homer of the game, a 3-run blast over the center field wall.
The Curve scored without Presley’s help in the 4th inning. on a single by SS Chase d’Arnaud, a double by Hernandez, and an RBI grounder by Harrison, to give the Curve an 8-0 lead. �All 8 runs were charged to Akron starter Scott Barnes — nice revenge after Barnes pitched 5.1 no-hit innings against the Curve last week, on his way to being named the Eastern League’s pitcher of the week.
Presley homered again in the 5th inning, driving in Durham, who had singled again. �After the homer, C Kris Watts singled, d’Arnaud walked, and a fielding error on a ball off the bat of Hernandez let Watts score the Curve’s 11th run.
Not to be lost in the offensive outpouring was some excellent pitching by Curve starter Tim Alderson. Alderson won his 3rd game of the season with 7 shut-out innings. �He scattered 4 hits, no walks, and one hit batter over those 7 innings. �There was only one inning, the 5th, when Alderson had to deal with 2 runners on base at once (after 2 singles), and he got out of that inning with a double play.
Diego Moreno made his AA debut with the Curve in the 8th. �He gave up a lead-off single, then got a fly out, and struck out the next two batters to end the inning. �Corey Hamman pitched the 9th for the Curve. �He gave up a double, a single, and an RBI ground out for the only Akron run of the game.
Two games, each with one team collecting only 3 hits… which can be good or bad
Bradenton Marauders �2, �Clearwater Threshers �0 (box)
In this game, “only 3 hits” was good, because it was the Marauders’ pitching staff who held the Threshers to just 3 hits. �Nate Adcock made the start and pitched 6 shutout one-hit innings, with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. �He worked around a walk in the 1st and worked around a hit batter in the 2nd. �The single and another walk came in the 4th, with the lead runner reaching 3rd base on a throwing error by C Eric Fryer. That was the only time in the game that the Threshers had a runner get as far as third base. �Adcock retired the next 7 batters, to finish his day’s work.
Mike Colla relieved Adcock to begin the 7th inning, and he also gave up just one hit, but left that batter on first base. �Colla retired the side in order in the 8th, and began the 9th with a line out and a walk. �Tyler Cox replaced Colla on the mound, and he gave up a single to the first batter he faced, then got a double play to end the threat and the game.
The Marauders themselves put up just 6 hits, but they put their hits to good use. �In the top of the 7th, LF Quincy Latimore singled with two outs, and then scored on DH Tony Sanchez’s RBI double. �In the 8th, 1B Calvin Anderson blasted a solo home run to give the Marauders some insurance. �It was Anderson’s second homer in two days. �2B James Skelton also doubled in that same inning, but was left on base. �The other two Bradenton hits were a single by SS Brock Holt to open the game, and a lead-off single by Sanchez in the 2nd inning.
Lakewood Blue Claws �3, �West Virginia Power �0 (box)
This was the game where “only 3 hits” was not good — those three were all the Power could muster up. �RF David Rubinstein and 3B Jose Brito each had a single, and C Ramon Cabrera hit a triple. �1B Aaron Baker and SS Benji Gonzalez each walked, but 4 of those base runners were left on base, and the other was erased in a double play. �CF Evan Chambers reached base on a throwing error, and got as far as second, but he too was left on.
Brandon Holden made his second start (7th appearance overall) for the Power. �He pitched 5 innings, allowing one run on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. �That run came on back-to-back doubles by Lakewood in the bottom of the 1st inning. �Holden had to work around runners on base in each of his remaining innings, but did not let the Blue Claws score again. �Gabriel Alvarado pitched the last 3 innings of the game. �He gave up 2 more runs, on a walk followed by back-to-back doubles, in the bottom of the 8th inning. �Alvarado also struck out 4 batters.
Saturday evening wins for the entire Pirates’ minor league system!
Altoona Curve 8, �Erie SeaWolves 3 � �Game 1 (box)
Altoona had a double-header, making up for a game that had been rained out back in April. �The Curve exploded out of the box with a 4-run 1st inning and never looked back in Game 1. �3B Jordy Mercer led the charge by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, and RF Alex Presley and 1B Matt Hague had 3 hits each.
A throwing error put SS Chase d’Arnaud on base to begin the game, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, Hague, and Mercer, plus a double by Presley and a wild pitch brought in those 4 runs in the top of the 1st. �Erie came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, on three walks and a double off starter Jared Hughes. Hughes made a wild pitch on strike three to put a runner on base in the 2nd inning, and a double and a sacrifice fly brought in another run, to bring Erie within one run, 4-3.
Hague led off the 3rd inning with a walk, then stole second base. �Mercer and C Hector Gimenez followed with singles, and Presley’s second double of the game plus another single by LF Jose De Los Santos added 3 more runs. �Another walk, this one to DH Jim Negrych, began the 4th inning, and he scored on two singles and a fly out with a missed catch error by the Erie third baseman.
Hughes settled down a bit in the 3rd and 4th innings, but began the 5th with a walk and a single. �Mike Dubee finished up the inning with a strikeout and a grounder force out, then allowed only one hit over the next two innings. �Dubee earned the win. �Hughes struck out 7 batters in his 4.1 innings, and Dubee added 5 more strikeouts.
Curve 7, �SeaWolves 3 � �Game 2 (box)
The Curve jumped out to an early lead in this game also, with 3 runs in the top of the 1st. �This time, SS Chase d’Arnaud opened the game with a walk, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Jim Negrych, and 3B Jordy Mercer brought in 3 runs. �Derek Hankins gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, on three singles, a walk, and a triple, tying the game at 3-3.
LF Alex Presley liked the idea of that triple, so he hit one of his own in the 3rd inning, following a single by 2B Josh Harrison, to break the tie. �C Kris Watts gave the Curve an insurance run in the 4th, with a lead-off home run. The Curve bats were quiet for a couple of innings, then woke up again in the top of the 7th. �With one out, Negrych and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back doubles, and Harrison added another single, for 2 more runs.
Hankins retired 10 Erie batters in order after the runs scored in the 2nd inning. �He got a strikeout but gave up two walks to begin the 6th inning, and was relieved by Corey Hamman. Hamman finished the inning with two quick outs. �Danny Moskos pitched a perfect inning in the 7th, including 2 strikeouts, to finish the game. �Hankins earned his 4th win of the season.
The Curve recorded a total of 23 hits over the two games.
Another day with one afternoon game and two evening games in the lower part of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve �2, �Akron Aeros �1 (box)
The Curve and the Aeros could have skipped all the other innings and just played the 7th �– that was the only one that turned out to matter. �After 6 scoreless innings from starter Rudy Owens, reliever Dustin Molleken took the mound for the 7th. � He got the first out, then gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second bases. �One more out, then another single to drive in the run for Akron.
Altoona returned fire with a pair of one-out back-to-back singles in the 7th, by LF Alex Presley and RF Miles Durham. C Kris Watts loaded the bases with a walk. �SS Chase d’Arnaud drove in both Presley and Durham with a double into right field. �CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases again by beating out an infield single to third base, but an inning-ending double play cut the rally short.
Owens worked around 4 hits and two batters reaching on errors over his 6 innings. �He struck out 3 Akron batters. �Molleken pitched only that 7th inning. �Danny Moskos pitched the final two innings to earn his 9th save of the season. �He had a batter reach on an error by 3B Jordy Mercer in the 8th, but promptly picked the runner off first base. �Moskos walked a batter in the 9th, but erased him in a double play.
The Curve posted 10 hits, including 2 each by Chase d’Arnaud, 1B Matt Hague, and Alex Presley, with both d’Arnaud and Presley collecting a double each. �DH Jim Negrych walked twice and stole second base in the 1st inning. �The Curve came close to scoring in the 2nd inning, when Hague led off with a single, and Presley doubled, but Hague was thrown out at the plate. �They also had the bases loaded with one out in the 3rd — back-to-back singles by Watts and Presley, then a walk to Negrych. �That time a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning without a run scoring.
Akron Aeros �2, �Altoona Curve �0 (box)
CF Gorkys Hernandez had the Curve’s only hit on Tuesday night as three Akron pitchers combined for the one-hit shut out. �Aeros’ Scott Barnes earned the win with 5.1 hitless and scoreless innings, then Steven Wright followed with 1.2 more hitless and scoreless innings. �Omar Aguilar pitched the final two innings, and he also kept the Curve scoreless, but Hernandez led off the 8th with his hit. �Hernandez got as far as third base on two ground outs, but he was left there 90 feet away from scoring. �The catch for the Aero pitchers was that they allowed a total of 8 walks. �The Curve had at least one base runner on in 6 of their 9 innings because of all the walks. �They even loaded the bases on three walks in the 6th, but could not push a run across the plate.
Curve starter Justin Wilson pitched 5.2 innings and allowed both of the Aeros’ runs on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 6 batters. �Wilson worked around two singles and a throwing error by C Hector Gimenez in the 1st inning, then got a strikeout to slide out of a jam with runners on the corners in the 2nd. �He retired the next 11 batters in order before giving up a walk and a 2-run homer in the 6th. �Tony Watson came on in relief of Wilson after the homer. �Watson finished the 6th with a fly out, then gave up a lone single in each of the next two innings. �Ronald Uviedo pitched the 9th inning and also gave up a lone single.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday. �The West Virginia Power were rained out. �They will play two against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Tuesday, beginning at 6:05 pm.
That leaves just the Bradenton Marauders playing on Monday evening. �First, a few updates:
OF Starling Marte’s visit to the hand surgeon in Pittsburgh got him a diagnosis — broken left hamate bone — an a date with a hand surgeon for Tuesday. �The hamate bone is the wrist bone that is closest to the bones of the little finger. �The “hook” of the hamate (a tail piece of the bone) will be removed in surgery. �The estimated recovery time after this procedure is 8 – 10 weeks… that would have Marte returning to action in August or so. �This is the same surgery that Pedro Alvarez had after he broke his hamate bone in 2008. �Marte has a .283 average with the Marauders in 26 games this season, with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI, and 9 stolen bases.
Hunter Strickland has been promoted from the West Virginia Power to the Marauders, filling the roster spot just vacated when Bryan Morris moved up to Altoona. �Strickland has an 0-4 record in 8 starts. �He has pitched a total of 43 innings, allowing 58 hits and 28 earned runs, for a 5.86 ERA. �He has walked 8 and struck out 15. �Strickland’s longest start so far this season came on May 5th, when he went 7 innings.
Altoona’s Jared Hughes was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the week ending yesterday. �Hughes won both of his starts last week, and was the first pitcher in all of the minors to collect 7 wins this season. �He pitched a total of 14 innings in those two starts, and allowed just one earned run (plus 2 unearned runs), on 9 hits and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts.
Daniel McCutchen has been placed on the Indy Indians’ Disabled List with arm fatigue. �He might miss one or two starts.
Dunedin Blue Jays � 11, � Bradenton Marauders �3 (box)
A 6-run 6th inning sank the Marauders on Monday night in Dunedin. �Aaron Pribanic made the start for the Marauders. �He gave up a run on a pair of singles in the 1st, and two more runs on a throwing error by SS Brock Holt and two more singles in the 2nd inning. �Pribanic continued handing out the singles — one in the 3rd, two in the 4th — but kept the Blue Jays from scoring for those innings. �Three more singles and a throwing error by Pribanic added another run in the 5th.
The bottom of the 6th began with a solo homer, then a walk, a single, and a throwing error by C Tony Sanchez on a pickoff attempt put runners on second and third bases. �Pribanic got a ground out, and at that point he was relieved by Tyler Cox. The first batter Cox faced singled into right field, and when RF Erik Huber had trouble picking up the ball for another error, two runs scored. �A double plated the fourth run of the inning, and the second homer of the inning brought in two more runs. �Dunedin 10, �Bradenton 3.
The Marauders had threatened in the 2nd inning, when 1B Calvin Anderson singled and Huber doubled with two outs. �But the inning ended with them still on base. �The Marauders were able to take advantage of a Dunedin error in the 3rd inning, and scored two runs on a single by Holt, a double by CF Robbie Grossman, complicated by a throwing error (Holt scores), then an RBI ground out by Sanchez. �DH Eric Fryer led off the 4th inning with a solo homer, to give the Marauders their third run.
Pribanic suffered the loss, as he surrendered a total of 12 hits and 7 runs (5 earned) in his 5.1 innings. �Tyler Cox was responsible for 3 hits and 3 runs in the 6th inning, then he retired the side in order in the 7th. �Mike Felix pitched the 8th inning for the Marauders, and he gave up a solo homer for the final Dunedin run.
LF Quincy Latimore singled twice in the game. �Calvin Anderson and Erik Huber both had a single and a double. �Each member of the Marauders’ line-up had at least one hit except for Sanchez, who still contributed an RBI. �But just getting on base is not enough. �The Marauders could not push the runners across the plate — they left 10 runners on base.
The big news on Sunday afternoon in the Pirates’ minor league organization is that the team has promoted righty starter Bryan Morris from Bradenton to AA Altoona. �Morris won his 3rd victory for the Marauders yesterday, and has been mowing ‘em down in the Florida State League. �In 44.2 innings, Morris has allowed 37 hits but just 8 runs, and only 3 of those runs are earned. �He has allowed just 7 walks, while striking out 40 batters. �He has also not allowed a home run. �He leads the FSL with an ERA of 0.60, and his WHIP is 0.99. �The Florida State League has hit .220 against him. �He is first in the FSL with those 44.2 innings pitched, and his WHIP is 4th highest in the league.
West Virginia Power �8, �Delmarva Shorebirds �4 (box)
The Power turned on their power in the 4th inning, scoring 5 runs on their way to a 14-hit afternoon. �Righty starter Victor Black made his 2010 debut with a 4-inning start, and struck out 7 batters.
The Power got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st. �2B Jarek Cunningham got started with a solo home run. �DH Aaron Baker followed the homer with a walk, and LF Rogelios Noris and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases with back-to-back singles. �After a fly out, 1B Kyle Morgan brought in Baker with another single.
Victor Black gave up only two walks over the first three innings, while striking out 5 batters. �He gave up his first single in the 4th, then hit the next batter with a pitch. �The third batter of the inning smacked a 3-run homer, giving Delmarva a 3-2 lead. �Black finished the inning with a ground out and two more strikeouts, to end his afternoon.
In the bottom of the frame, the Power sent 8 batters to the plate. �3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, and went to second on SS Adenson Chourio’s sacrifice bunt. �Gonzalez stole third base, and after CF Evan Chambers walked, a wild pitch moved him to second base. �Another wild pitch on strike three to Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases. �Aaron Baker brought in Gonzalez and Chambers with a single into right field. �Then Rogelios Noris made it 7-3 with a 3-run homer over the left field wall.
Marc Baca pitched a scoreless 5th inning for the Power. �Jason Erickson took the mound for the next three innings. �He gave up a solo homer in the 6th, but the Power got the run back in the 7th. �RF David Rubinstein led off with a single, and went to second on a passed ball. �He scored on Kyle Morgan’s second RBI single of the game.
Erickson retired the side in the 7th. �He gave up a lead-off single in the 8th, but erased that runner with a double play. �Duke Welker pitched the 9th and worked around a throwing error at second base by Cunningham, striking out the final two batters of the game for a scoreless inning.
Rogelios Noris went 3-for-5 with a 3-run homer, while Jarek Cunningham, David Rubinstein, and Kyle Morgan each had two hits.
Altoona Curve �9, � Richmond Flying Squirrels �2 (box)
Jared Hughes earned his 7th win, the most of any pitcher in the Eastern League, as the Curve beat the Flying Squirrels in Richmond on Saturday evening. �Hughes allowed two runs (one earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4 batters. �He breezed through the first two innings, then gave up the earned run in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a single up the middle, and an RBI ground out. �Hughes then retired 9 more Squirrels in order, before giving up a double in the 6th. �A ground out moved the runner to third base, and a throwing error by 3B Josh Harrison let the runner score. �Hughes allowed two singles and a walk in the 7th inning, but a double play got him out of that jam.
1B Shelby Ford provided the big part of the Curve’s offensive attack. �He went 3-for-5 for the night, with a single and two home runs, accounting for 5 RBI. �Ford homered from both sides of the plate — from the right side in the 4th and from the left side in the 7th. �Ford also singled in the 2nd inning, but was left stranded. �He put the Curve onto the scoreboard for the first time in the 4th inning, when he homered over the left field wall after a walk by RF Miles Durham. C Hector Gimenez also knocked a 2-run homer in the 5th inning, following 2B Jim Negrych’s single.
The Curve went into the 7th inning with a 4-2 lead, and that was when they exploded for 5 more runs. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with a walk, and moved to third base when CF Alex Presley singled up the middle. �Negrych plated d’Arnaud with a ground out to first base. �Gimenez singled to put runners on the corners, and Harrison’s ground out brought in Presley. �Durham was hit by a pitch, then Ford blasted his second home run, also bringing in Gimenez and Durham.
Relievers Mike Dubee and Danny Moskos each pitched a scoreless inning to finish the game for the Curve. �Gimenez and Durham each had two hits for the Curve. �D’Arnaud and Presley both singled and walked twice, with a stolen base for d’Arnaud.
Who was the last Curve batter to have 5 RBI in one game? �It was Ford, on August 8th of last season.