Pirates Fall To Phillies

Phillies  7,   Pirates  4

 3-run rally in the 7th inning was enough to push the Phillies over the Pirates at McKechnie Field this afternoon.  
Starter Kevin Correia had a shaky top of the 1st inning.  The first four batters he faced all singled, bringing in 2 runs.  Then with runners on the corners, Correia buckled down, getting a foul pop out then two strikeouts to end the inning.  The Pirates got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, SS Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field, and 2B Neil Walker moved him to third base with a line drive single into right.  1B Lyle Overbay also lined into right field, to drive in Ciriaco, though Walker was out when he tried to get from first to third.  DH Matt Diaz also singled, but he and Overbay were left on base at the end of the inning.  
Correia worked around a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the side in order in the 3rd inning.  The Pirates also went down in order in both the 2nd and 3rd.  Diaz tied the score in the 4th, with a walk and a stolen base, then a single by 3B Andy Marte.   
Brian Burres pitched the 4th and 5th innings, allowing only a double.   Fernando Nieve took the mound next.  The first batter he faced was Ryan Howard, who blasted a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.  Nieve gave up a walk and a single after the homer, but left them on base.  The bottom of the inning began with a walk by Walker.  Pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Walker to third.  RF Garrett Jones ground out to first, which let Walker score to tie it up again.  Marte hit the next ground rule double, driving in Sanchez with the go-ahead run.  
Nieve came back out for the top of the 7th, and that’s when he got into even more trouble.  Two singles (one to former Pirate Brandon Moss) and a double tied the score again, at 4-4.  Nieve was relieved by Mike Dubee (whose dad is Phillies’ pitching coach Rich Dubee).  Dubee gave up a ground out to second, which allowed Moss to score from third base.  A single brought in the third run of the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout to end the inning.  Bryan Morris pitched the 8th inning, and gave up the final Phillies’ run with a double, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly.  Daniel Moskos pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th to wrap things up.
The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the 7th.  Singles by CF Alex Presley and LF John Bowker and a walk by 2B Corey Wimberly loaded the bases with one out.   All three were left standing there when both 1B Josh Fields and Tony Sanchez struck out.  

C Wyatt Toregas also singled for the Pirates.  SS Chase d’Arnaud, RF Andrew Lambo, and CF Gorkys Hernandez all got into the game as well.   

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Durham And Atkins Both Homer For Pirates

The Pirates played two split-squad spring training games this afternoon (Monday):

Orioles  6,  Pirates  4
The Pirates were held to 5 hits at McKechnie field this afternoon, but one of the big ones was a 2-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th by RF Miles Durham, who was up from minor league camp.  1B Lyle Overbay also singled for the Pirates, scoring the first Pirates’ run of the game in the 5th.  3B Pedro Alvarez knocked in the remaining run for the Pirates, in the 6th inning.  LF Jose Tabata led off the inning with a single, stole second base, then scored on Alvarez’s single    Alvarez also doubled for the Pirates.

LF John Bowker, SS Brian Friday, CF Mel Rojas, 3B Andy Marte,  1B Steve Pearce, 2B Chase d’Arnaud, 2B Jim Negrych, and C Wyatt Toregas all got into the game for the Pirates.   

Paul Maholm took the loss for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the 1st inning on a double and a single, then another on a solo homer in the 2nd.  Jeff Locke allowed a run on two hits in the 6th.  He allowed a single and a walk, then with two outs, an RBI single brought in a run.   Justin Wilson got the first out, then walked the next three batters to load the bases in the 8th.  A double and a sacrifice fly drove in all three of the base runners.  Jeff Karstens pitched 2 scoreless innings, then Tyler Yates, and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless frame.   Cesar Valdez finished up the 8th for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 9th, facing only 4 batters.

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Curve Hold Their Own Against Pettitte, But Lose Game One

Trenton Thunder� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 …���� (box)

Curve starter Rudy Owens faced off against National’s phenom pitcher Stephen Strasbourg at the beginning of the season, and held his own.� Now he winds down the season by facing off against New York Yankees’ rehabbing star Andy Pettitte — and again, Owens held his own.� Owens and Pettitte each pitched 5 innings in tonight’s first game of the Eastern League Championship Series, held in Altoona.� Owens gave up 2 runs; Pettitte gave up 2 runs.� Owens gave up 7 hits and 3 walks; Pettitte gave up 6 hits and 2 walks, and he also threw a wild pitch.� Owens struck out 7; Pettitte struck out 4.

2B Chase d’Arnaud faced Pettitte three times and must not have been very impressed.� He put the first run of the game onto the scoreboard when he led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo home run off Pettitte.� In the 3rd inning, d’Arnaud worked a walk, and in the 5th, he singled off Pettitte.

The Curve took d’Arnaud’s home run lead into the 3rd inning.� Rudy Owens gave up a walk and a single in the 2nd, but induced a double play to end the inning.� In the 3rd, he gave up three singles, including the RBI single that slipped past first base and down the right field line to tie the score at 1-1.

The Curve came right back in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 2-1 lead.� With one out, DH Yung Chi Chen lined a single into right field.� Pettitte’s wild pitch put Chen on second base, and when d’Arnaud walked, ball four got past the Trenton catcher for a passed ball, allowing Chen to advance to third base.� 3B Josh Harrison grounded just out of reach of the Trenton shortstop and into left field for the single that scored Chen.

Owens retired the side in order again in the 4th.� Then he gave up two doubles in the top of the 5th, and Trenton had tied up the game again, at 2-2.

The Curve threatened in the bottom of the 5th.� Chen reached base on a fielding error by the Trenton third baseman.� Back-to-back singles by d’Arnaud and Harrison — a line drive into right field by d’Arnaud and a bunt single by Harrison — loaded the bases for Altoona.� But Pettitte got SS Jordy Mercer to bounce back to the mound, where he fired the ball back to the catcher, forcing out Chen at the plate, then on to first base to complete the double play.� A strikeout ended the inning.

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Curve and Marauders Both Fall To Big Innings

Harrisburg Senators� 10,� Altoona Curve� 5 ….������ (box)

Two 5-run innings gave the Senators the advantage over the Curve in the first game of their Eastern League playoff series.

The Curve jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the 1st.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud led off with a walk, and 3B Josh Harrison followed by blasting a home run over the left-center field wall, to give the Curve a 2-0 lead before they even had recorded an out.� Two outs later, LF Andrew Lambo reached base on a fielding error by the Senators’ 2B Steve Lombardozzi.� C Hector Gimenez worked a walk, and RF Miles Durham singled into left field to bring in Lambo from second base, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.

It didn’t last long, as the Senators sent 10 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs in the top of the 2nd.� Curve starter Rudy Owens had worked around a walk to Lombardozzi in the 1st inning, but got into trouble quickly in the 2nd.� A walk and a single began the inning, then a grounder to the diving 1B Matt Hague produced a force out at second base.� A double into right-center field brought in both base runners, and the Senators had made it a one-run game, 3-2.� A bunt attempt by the Senators’ pitcher, Tom Milone, went right to Owens on the mound, and he turned it into a fielder’s choice out at third, leaving Milone on first base.� But Lombardozzi walked again, then a single loaded the bases.� Owens had two outs with those bases loaded, and he got an 0-2 on the next batter — and another single drove in two more runs, and the Senators had the lead.� That sent Owens to the showers after just 1.2 innings.� Jared Hughes came out of the bullpen, and he loaded the bases again by walking the first batter he faced.� A passed ball by Gimenez allowed the runner in from third base (unearned run, charged to Owens), and when a ground out ended the inning, the Senators had a 5-3 lead.

Milone had the Curve bats under control for the next 6 innings.� D’Arnaud doubled in the 2nd inning, but was left on base when three other Curve batters struck out.� Hughes reached base in the 4th on a fielding error, but was also left stranded. � Durham singled in the 6th, but was also left on base.� Harrisburg’s reliever Hassan Pena pitched the 7th inning, and he also retired the Curve in order.

Hughes did even better than Milone over his next 3 innings — he retired those 9 Harrisburg batters in order.� Bryan Morris was next out of the bullpen.� He retired the side in order in the 6th, and worked his way out of a jam in the 7th.� That inning began with a single, then Lombardozzi reached on fielding error, when his grounder bounced off 3B Harrison’s glove.� With two on and none out (instead of one on and one out), Morris got a strikeout.� Another single loaded the bases, then Morris ended the inning with a three-pitch strikeout and a blazing line drive that went straight to Harrison’s glove.

Mike Dubee took the mound for the Curve to begin the 8th inning, and he found trouble quickly.� Back-to-back singles opened the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout.� An RBI single followed, then Lombardozzi drove a liner down the right field line and into the bullpen, plating the second run of the inning.� An intentional walk loaded the bases, and a grounder to third yielded a force out at third, but Harrison’s throw to first rolled away from 1B Hague, and instead of an inning-ending double play, two more runs scored and the inning continued.� Another single dropped in, in short left field, to drive in the fifth run of the inning.� Craig Hansen relieved Dubee, and he got the pitcher Pena to fly out to end the inning.

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Losses All Around

Losses for all of the Pirates’ affiliates on Friday night:

Reading Phillies� 9,� Altoona Curve� 4 …������� (box)

The R-Phils attacked Curve starter Jared Hughes early, and the Curve bats could not keep up.� Hughes retired the side in order in the 1st inning, but gave up 3 unearned runs on a walk, a single, and two errors in the 2nd inning — the throwing error was by Hughes.� A walk, a double, and a single added 2 more runs in the 3rd inning.� In the 4th inning, Hughes gave up another 3 runs on two singles, a triple, and a double by former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied.� Hughes was done after those 4 innings, having allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, though he struck out 6 batters.

The Curve hitters were hitless in the first 4 innings.� The only batter to get on base was CF Anthony Norman, who reached in the 3rd on Bozied’s fielding error at first.� Two home runs, one by C Kris Watts in the 5th, and one by 2B Chase d’Arnaud in the 6th, got the Indians onto the scoreboard, but they were still trailing 8-2.

Each team scored in the 7th.� Tom Boleska had relieved Hughes to begin the 5th inning, and he retired the first 7 batters he faced in order.� Then in the 7th, he walked Bozied, then gave up a single and a double, allowing Bozied to score.� In the bottom of the frame, 1B Matt Hague led off with a single, then scored on singles by Watts and Norman, to make it 9-3.� The Curve added one more run in the bottom of the 9th, when SS Jordy Mercer, Hague, and RF Miles Durham led off the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases.� Watts’ sacrifice fly plated Mercer, but two ground outs ended the inning without any further scoring.� Bryan Morris pitched two perfect innings to wrap it up for the Curve.

The Curve have won the Eastern League’s Western Division title, and will begin the first round of playoffs on Wednesday.� None of the other playoff slots have been settled yet.� The Bowie Baysox and the Harrisburg Senators are tied for second place in the Western Division.� The Trenton Thunder are in first place in the Eastern Division, with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 2.5 games behind, with 3 games left to play.

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