Owens Wins #12, Two Homers For Hague As Curve Clinch Title

Tuesday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers….

Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)

The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League’s Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.

Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague’s two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning — he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.

Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie’s only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer’s ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman’s double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).

Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.

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Two Homers By Harrison Aren’t Enough; Maggi Debuts

Early and late action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Portland Sea Dogs� 9,� Altoona Curve� 8 (box)

Two home runs by 3B Josh Harrison and an early lead from a 5-run 2nd inning were washed away by the Sea Dogs’ 6-run 7th inning this afternoon.� Harrison, the second batter of the game, put the Curve onto the scoreboard minutes after the game began with his solo home run over the left field wall.� He added the second home run (his 3rd of the season) in the next inning.� That rally began with back-to-back walks by RF Miles Durham and C Kris Watts. CF Anthony Norman was hit by a pitch to load the bases for LF Jose De Los Santos. A line drive single by De Los Santos brought in Durham, then a wild pitch let Watts score.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud lifted a sacrifice fly, which plated Norman.� That left De Los Santos on base for Harrison, who blasted his second home run, also over the left field wall, for a 2-run homer, giving the Curve a 6-0 lead.

Bryan Morris began his afternoon’s work by allowing only a walk and a single over the first three innings.� In the 4th, he gave up a single just over the head of SS Jordy Mercer and into left field, then a home run on a rising line drive, cutting the Curve’s lead to 6-2.� Those were the only runs Morris allowed, on 3 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts in 5 innings.

Morris was relieved by Tom Boleska to begin the 6th.� Boleska gave up a solo homer, to 1B Anthony Rizzo, inching the Sea Dogs closer, 6-3.� But the real trouble came in the 7th, when Boleska could not retire any of the 4 batters he faced.� The first blasted a solo home run, then the next three all singled.� Derek Hankins replaced Boleska with the bases loaded and no outs.� He got one out on the infield fly rule, then got former Curve Ray Chang to strike out.� That brought Rizzo to the plate again — and he smashed a grand slam over the center field wall, and Portland had a 7-6 lead.� The grand slam was immediately followed by another solo home run, the third homer of the inning, for an 8-6 lead.� Five of those runs were charged to Boleska, and the other two to Hankins.

The Curve put one runner on base in each of the 4th through 7th innings, but could not get any of them around to score.� They rallied again in the 8th, starting with a single by 1B Matt� Hague and a double by Jordy Mercer, moving Hague to third base.� Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly brought in Hague, and Kris Watts’ double scored Mercer.� Norman was hit by a pitch and De Los Santos singled to deep short to load the bases.� But a grounder force out ended the inning with the Curve still one run short.� They went down in order in the 9th, and the Sea Dogs had the come-from-behind win.� Morris did not figure into the decision, but Boleska took the loss.

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Spikes Throw One-Hitter; Wilson K’s 11

Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates…� The West Virginia Power and Lexington Legends were rained out tonight.� They will go for two tomorrow.

State College� 1,� Aberdeen IronBirds� 0 (box)

Pitchers Tyler Waldron, Ryan Beckman, and Brooks Pounders combined to one-hit the IronBirds tonight.� Waldron made the start with 5 nearly-perfect innings.� The first IronBirds batter of the game was the only one to reach base against Waldron, and he got on when C Matthew Skirving dropped strike three, then made a throwing error when he fired the ball down to first base.� Waldron immediately erased that base runner in a double play, then retired all the rest of the batters he faced, including one more strikeout.

Beckman took the 6th inning, and he also retired the side in order.� Pounders pitched the final three innings.� He gave up back to back walks with one out in the 7th, but left both runners stranded.� Pounders also retired the side in order in the 8th.� The no-hitter was lost in the 9th, when the first batter of the inning doubled into right field.� Pounders retired the next three batters in order, leaving the runner on second base.� Waldron earned his 3rd win of the season, and Pounders earned his first save.

The Spikes batters collected 6 hits and 4 walks, but fell victim to double plays and outfield assists, so they scored only one run.� In the 2nd inning, 1B Matt Curry walked, but was erased in a double play, and LF Pat Irvine singled, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.� Curry walked again in the 4th, but was caught stealing.� SS Gift Ngoepe singled in the 9th, but was thrown out trying for two bases. The lone Spikes’ run came in the 6th inning.� With one out, CF Mel Rojas worked a walk, then DH Gerlis Rodriguez drove a triple into center field, scoring Rojas.� Curry walked for the third time in the game in the 9th, and RF Cole White singled, but both were left on base.� White was the only Spikes’ batter to have two hits.� 2B Kelson Brown also singled.

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Farrell Returns To Marauders

Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues…�� The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off.

Palm Beach Cardinals� 6,� Bradenton Marauders� 5 (box)

The Marauders wanted to celebrate the return of 3B Jeremy Farrell with a big win, but a 3-run 7th inning by the Cardinals spoiled their plans.� Farrell finished his rehab stint with the GCL Pirates and returned to the Marauders’ line-up for the first time since he injured his knee on a foul ball in mid-June.� Farrell got right back at it, doubling in a run in the 5th, and scoring in the Marauders’ 4th inning rally.

Bradenton was the first to have the lead in the game, when they scored a run in the 2nd.� LF Quincy Latimore was hit by a pitch, moved to second base on Farrell’s groundout, and scored on C Eric Fryer’s RBI single.� The Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd with a solo home run, then followed the homer with back-to-back doubles to take a 2-1 lead.

The Marauders responded with 2 runs in the top of the 4th.� Latimore again got the rally started, this time with a walk.� Farrell grounded to short, but was safe when the Cardinals’ second baseman missed the catch on the flip from his shortstop.� Instead of what might have been a double play, the Marauders had runners on first and second bases with no outs.� A fly out let Latimore tag up and move to third base.� Fryer knocked another RBI single, scoring Latimore, and DH Jordan Newton RBI single brought in Farrell.

RF Robbie Grossman teamed up with Farrell to make it 4-2 in the 5th, when Grossman singled, and scored on Farrell’s double.� The Marauders picked up another run in the 6th, when 2B Adam Davis singled, then advanced to third base on a throwing error.� He scored on another RBI single by Newton.� Palm Beach got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 6th, on two walks and a single.

Nate Baker made the start for the Marauders, going 5 innings and allowing the 2 runs in the 3rd, on a total of 6 hits, no walks, and 3 RBI.� Yerfi Taveras, in his debut with the Marauders, gave up the run on two walks and a single in the 6th, but also struck out a batter and induced an inning-ending double play.

Tyler Cox took over for Taveras to begin the 7th, and he was charged with both the Blown Save and the loss.� He gave up a walk and a single, then a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third.� A fielding error by SS Shelby Ford allowed 2 runs to score (one earned, one not) and a throwing error by Farrell allowed the third run to come in (also unearned).� Duke Welker retired the side in order in the 8th, and the Marauders went down in order in both the 8th and 9th.

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Owens Dominates In 9th Win; Spikes Are One-Hit

A few roster moves:� The Pirates have designated pitcher Steven Jackson for assignment, so that a roster space on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters will be available.� That will make room for reliefer Chris Resop, who the Pirates picked up off waivers from the Braves today.

1B/OF Steve Pearce’s surgery on his knee went fine, and he is expected to be out of commission for at least 4 months.� He has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, which frees up another spot on the 40-man roster.� That will be taken by reliever Chan Ho Park, who the Pirates claimed off waivers from the Yankees today.� The Pirates will still need to open a spot on the 25-man roster, but they will have a couple more days to do that, since Park won’t be joining the team until Friday.

And, today’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization…..� The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled day off today; the West Virginia Power’s game against the Delmarva Shorebirds was rained out, so they’ll try again tomorrow.

Altoona Curve� 5,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)

Starter Rudy Owens pitched another stellar start, going 6 innings and allowing only a solo home run to the second batter he faced in the top of the 1st.� After that homer, Owens retired the next 17 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.� Tom Boleska relieved Owens and earned his second save with the Curve.� He pitched 3 scoreless innings and allowed only a triple and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.� The triple was hit by Jason Kipnis, the first batter Boleska faced.� After a short fly out, Kipnis tried to tag up and score on another short fly out to new Curve LF Andrew Lambo. Lambo’s throw to C Kris Watts was on target and on time, and Kipnis was thrown out at the plate.

The Curve posted 13 hits and gave Owens and Boleska 5 runs worth of support.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud had 3 of the hits, all singles, and four Curve batters, Lambo, Watts, 1B Matt Hague, and RF Miles Durham each had 2 hits.� The first Altoona run scored in the 2nd inning.� Durham singled, CF Anthony Norman walked, and a fielding error allowed Durham to score.� Lambo walked to lead off the 2nd inning rally.� A single by Hague and a double by Watts followed, with Watts picking up the RBI.� A sacrifice fly by Norman brought in Hague with the second run of the inning.

Singles by d’Arnaud and 3B Josh Harrison led off the 4th inning, and a double steal moved both into scoring position.� Hague’s RBI single plated d’Arnaud.� Watts walked to load the bases, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.� The Curve scored their final run of the game in the 7th inning without a hit.� SS Yung Chi Chen and DH Jose De Los Santos worked back-to-back walks, and both advanced a base on d’Arnaud’s sacrifice bunt.� Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought in Chen with the Curve’s 5th run of the game.

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