Sunday’s games in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues were partially hampered by rain…. The GCL Pirates again had today off.
The State College Spikes and the Aberdeen IronBirds fell victim to rain.� That game will not be made up, as the Spikes are not scheduled to play Aberdeen again this season.� Tomorrow is an off day for the Spikes, then on Tuesday, Matt Curry, Adalberto Santos, and Jhonatan Ramos will be participating in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
West Virginia Power 3,� Lexington Legends 3 — suspended (box)
The Power and the Legends were supposed to play 2 games today, making up for last night’s rainout.� They got started on Game 1, but got only into the third inning (of a 7-inning game) before the rain returned.� That game was suspended and the second game was postponed.
The game began with a scoreless first inning for both teams.� In the top of the 2nd, LF Rogelios Noris and C Ramon Cabrera both singled, then with two outs, 1B Kyle Morgan blasted a 3-run homer.� The Legends responded with 3 runs in the bottom of the frame on four singles.� With one out in the top of the 3rd, the game was suspended.� They will try to finish this one, then play a second game tomorrow.
New Hampshire FisherCats� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 (box)
More extra innings for the Curve and the FisherCats, but this one went New Hampshire’s way.�� The Curve threatened in the 2nd inning, when both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Jordy Mercer led off with back-to-back singles.� DH Jim Negrych’s grounder forced out Hague at third, and C Kris Watts walked to load the bases.� Another ground out ended the inning, though.�� A triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud and a sacrifice fly by 3B Josh Harrison in the 3rd inning did put the Curve onto the scoreboard with a 1-0 lead.� They scored again in the 5th on an exciting play.� CF Jose De Los Santos began with a single.� D’Arnaud grounded to short, for what should have been a double play, but the New Hampshire second baseman missed the catch, and both runners were safe.� De Los Santos tagged up and advanced to third on a fly out, then stole home in a double steal.
Rudy Owens pitched 5 scoreless innings in his start for the Curve, striking out 6 batters.� He scattered 5 hits, no walks, and only had more than one runner on base at a time in the 3rd, but got out of it with a strikeout and a ground out.� Jared Hughes relieved Owens to start the 6th.� Hughes walked a batter then erased him with a double play in the 6th.� In the 7th, Hughes hit the first batter, CF Callix Crabbe with a pitch.� Crabbe stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on an RBI single.� That batter was thrown out at second base by RF Miles Durham when he tried to stretch his single into a double.� Moments later, a solo home run tied the game at 2-2.� Hughes also pitched the 8th, and again gave up a walk and erased the runner with a double play.
The tie continued as the Curve went down in order in the 7th.� D’Arnaud was hit with a pitch in the 8th, was bunted to second by Harrison, then stole third base, but was left stranded.� Daniel Moskos worked around a lead-off single to keep the tie going in the top of the 9th.� Jim Negrych singled in the bottom of the inning, but was erased in a double play.� Derek Hankins retired the FisherCats in order in the top of the 10th.� Kris Watts singled in the bottom of that inning, and was replaced by pinch-runner Anthony Norman, who was also left on base.
Hankins came out again for the 11th.� With two outs, he gave up a single, then an RBI double to Crabbe, and the FisherCats had the 3-2 lead.� Matt Hague walked with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but a grounder off the bat of Negrych forced out Hague at second base to end the game.
Friday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers… The GCL Pirates and the GCL Tigers barely got started this afternoon before their game had to be suspended.� Starter Bryton Trepagnier pitched 2 innings and allowed a run on one hit in the 1st.� The Pirates had had 6 batters go down in order when play was halted.
Only a few more days left until the deadline for signing draftees… take a look HERE to see which draft picks the Pirates have signed.� The newest signee is OF Dan Grovatt, the 11th round pick, from University of Virginia.
Reliever Daniel Moskos has been returned to Altoona from the Indy Indians.� He’d been struggling with the Indians, with a 0-5 record, one save, and a 10.38 ERA in 19 appearances.� In his last appearance, on Monday, Moskos walked the bases loaded in his one inning of work, though a line drive out got him out of trouble.
Pitcher Travis Chick, who had been assigned to Altoona last week, was traded to the Texas Rangers;� they assigned him to AA Frisco.
Altoona Curve� 4,� New Hampshire Fisher Cats� 3�� (19 innings — yes, 19) (box)
The Curve and the Fisher Cats played for 19 innings, and 5 hours and 49 minutes, finally finishing up at 12:50 am, when RF Miles Durham blasted a home run to break a 13.5 inning tie.
It all started innocently.� New Hampshire scored first on a single, an RBI double, and a controversial 2-run homer in the 3rd.� The ball sailed over the left field wall… or did it?� It was ruled a homer, and the Curve protested, but the ruling stood.� Much later in the game, the word came in from some fans who were out there — the ball had indeed cleared the left field wall by about 8 inches, then hit a secondary wall behind the first one.
The Curve got two runs back in the 4th.� 2B Jordy Mercer led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, then on to third when� Miles Durham singled.� A fielder’s choice by SS Yung Chi Chen brought in Mercer, and a single by DH Jim Negrych brought in Durham.� Mercer picked up the RBI in the 5th to tie the score.� LF Andrew Lambo walked, 1B Matt Hague singled, and they advanced to second and third bases on a missed catch error.� Mercer’s ground out brought Lambo in from third.
That 3-3 tie lasted…. until Saturday.� Bryan Morris pitched the first 4 innings and allowed the 3 runs in the 3rd, on a total of 4 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts.� Mike Colla pitched 2 scoreless innings, with 3 hits.� Derek Hankins threw 3 innings, allowing only a walk.� Mike Dubee contributed 3 more scoreless innings, with one hit.� Anthony Claggett also took 3 innings, and gave up 2 walks.� Tom Boleska pitched 4 innings, because by then, only Daniel Moskos was left, and someone had to be saved for Saturday’s (evening) game.� Boleska managed to keep going, even when he was smacked with a come-backer.� He gave up 2 hits, but struck out 3 batters, and still didn’t allow a run.� Boleska got the win, since he was the pitcher of record when Durham homered.
The Curve batters had more hits in all those innings, but they still were putting up donuts.� The Curve had two runners on base in the 14th — single by 3B Josh Harrison and an intentional walk to Hague.� They loaded the bases in the 16th, when Harrison walked, Lambo singled, and Hague was intentionally walked again, but Mercer struck out, and it kept going.� Harrison singled in the 18th, and stole second base, then Lambo walked again, but they still couldn’t get a run across.� Finally in the top of the 19th, after C Hector Gimenez flied out, Durham sent everyone home with his homer over the left-center field wall.� The Curve had to cancel the schedule fireworks show, because county regulations forbid fireworks after midnight.� They did not cancel the opportunity for the kids to run the bases … at 1 am, there were kids, up way beyond their bedtime, running the bases at Blair County Ballpark.
Minor League action with the Pirates’ affiliates on Thursday… lots of good pitching
Altoona Curve� 5,� Trenton Thunder� 3 (box)
The Curve came from behind to take this game from Trenton, despite being out-hit 8-7.� Starter Jeff Locke had trouble in the 1st inning, when 3 runs scored on a double, three singles, a wild pitch, and a throwing error by C Hector Gimenez on a stolen base play.� After that inning, Locke settled in, scattering four hits over the next 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters.
The Curve batters had only 2 hits over the first 3 innings, but they got going in the 4th to put one run on the board.� LF Andrew Lambo walked, and 1B Matt Hague singled.� A ground out to second by Gimenez moved both runners into scoring position, and 2B Jim Negrych picked up an RBI when his groundout scored Lambo.� DH Yung Chi Chen got the 5th inning off to a good start with a triple into left field.� He scored on CF Anthony Norman’s sacrifice fly.� A fielding error in left field put Norman on first base, but he was caught stealing moments later.� SS Chase d’Arnaud kept the rally going with a walk, and he was successful in stealing second.� 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, and a wild pitch moved d’Arnaud to third and Harrison to second.� Lambo’s grounder to second brought in d’Arnaud from third, and the score was tied at 3-3.
Jared Hughes took over for Locke for the final three innings.� He held the Thunder to just a walk in the 7th, retiring the other 9 batters he faced, with the help of some outstanding outfield work, particularly by Norman, and an infield gem by Negrych.� The Curve threatened in the 6th, when RF Miles Durham singled and Chen walked with 2 outs, but both were left on base.� Harrison began the 7th inning with a walk, and with two outs, he stole second base.� That put him into scoring position, so that when Hague took a 3-0 pitch into left field for a double, Harrison was able to score the go-ahead run.� Gimenez was intentionally walked to get to Negrych, who obligingly grounded to second base for what should have been the final out of the inning.� But the Trenton second baseman made a fielding error — Negrych was safe at first, and Hague scored an insurance run.
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.
Two early games on Wednesday, plus a few more in the evening:
Altoona Curve� 6,� Erie SeaWolves� 3 (box)
The Curve and the SeaWolves played early and scored early this afternoon.� All the scoring was done by the middle of the 3rd inning.� The Curve began the game with 4 runs in the top of the 1st.� SS Chase d’Arnaud went 3-for-4 in the game, and he opened the game by beating out an infield single to short.� He then stole his 19th and 20th bases of the season, then scored from third on 2B Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.�� 1B Matt Hague followed with a solo home run over the left-center field wall.� C Hector Gimenez, who had missed a few games due to illness, walked after the homer, and he scored when RF Miles Durham hit the second home run of the inning over the left field wall.
Erie came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring 2 runs after 2 outs had been recorded.� After a hit batter and a walk, a grounder to third should have been the end of the inning, but a throwing error by 3B Jose De Los Santos resulted in two runs scoring.
Erie did more 2-out scoring in the 2nd inning, and it was even more costly for the Curve.� OF Gorkys Hernandez is already out for the rest of the season with a broken right ring finger, and now another key player, 2B Jordy Mercer, had to be removed from the game after being injured on a play.� With two outs in the 2nd, a pop up into short left field was “deflected” by Mercer, and fell in for a double as Mercer had to leave the game.� Much defensive shuffling ensued — De Los Santos moved to second base, Josh Harrison came in to play third base, Brandon Jones moved from DH to right field, Miles Durham moved to center field, Anthony Norman came out of the game, and pitcher Justin Wilson had to move into the batting order with no more DH.� After all the rearranging, Erie got two back-to-back singles, scoring a run.
The Curve were still up by one run, but they added some insurance in the top of the 3rd.� Matt Hague doubled and Hector Gimenez singled then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.� Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly plated Hague, then Brandon Jones doubled, bringing in Durham.
That was all the scoring.� The Curve collected only two more hits in the rest of the game — Chase d’Arnaud singled to begin the 4th and moved to second base on a wild pitch, but was left there; LF Yung Chi Chen singled in the 8th, but was forced out at second.� The 8th inning was the closest the Curve came to scoring again.� After Chen was forced out on Jose De Los Santos’ grounder, walks to d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison loaded the bases, but relief pitcher Tom Boleska, in what was probably his first pro at-bat, struck out to end the inning.
Starter Justin Wilson pitched 6 innings and allowed the 3 runs, only one of which was earned.� He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.� After the 2nd inning, he gave up only a walk and two hits in the rest of his outing.� Tom Boleska had much better luck on the mound than he did at the plate.� He pitched 3 scoreless and hitless innings, striking out 3 batters.� He allowed only a walk, and immediately erased that runner with a double play to end the game.
Altoona’s RHP Derek Hankins has been promoted to AAA Indianapolis today.� He will join the Indians in Syracuse.� Hankins has made 6 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Curve this season and has earned a 5-3 record with 5 saves, and a 1.82 ERA.� Opposing batters have been hitting .215 against Hankins, who has allowed 58 hits in 79 innings of work, with 27 walks and 48 strikeouts.� To make room for Hankins, reliever Brian Bass will be assigned to Altoona, though this might be on paper only.