Curve Blast 6 In the 15th; 3 Doubles For Cunningham

Friday night game action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

The West Virginia Power were rained out in Kannapolis tonight.  The Power and the Intimidators will play two on Saturday beginning at 6:05 pm.
The Power are expecting the Pirates’ first round pick from the 2010 draft, Jameson Taillon, to be joining the team this weekend.  He should be making his pro debut for the Power sometime early next week.  

Altoona Curve  11,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  5
(box)

The Curve broke a 5.5-inning-long 5-5 tie in the top of the 15th, to win this game in dramatic fashion.  They must have all been tired and ready to end it by then.  With one out, 1B Miles Durham singled and moved to second base on a balk.  LF Quincy Latimore also singled, and Durham scored the go-ahead run from second base.  But the Curve were not satisfied yet — 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, and DH Eric Fryer doubled, driving in Latimore.  After a strikeout, 1B Brock Holt walked to load the bases, and CF Starling Marte blasted a triple into right field, clearing the bases for 3 more runs.  The Richmond right fielder made a wild throw in, allowing Marte to score too, and the Curve had a 6-run inning.  All that remained was for Noah Krol to take the mound in the bottom of the inning and finish off the Squirrels with a ground out, a walk, and a double play.  

Richmond had the early lead in the game.  Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first 6 batters he faced, but began the 3rd by giving up 4 singles with only one out, scoring one run.  A walk forced in the second run of the inning, and another single added two more, for a 4-0 lead.  A double and a single gave the Squirrels one more run in the 5th, and that was all for Hughes.  

The Curve had only one hit over the first 5 innings, and that was a double by Fryer to lead off the 3rd.  They also had two walks (Holt and Latimore) and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch in those innings, though none of them came around to score.  They got two runs back in the top of the 6th.  Marte led off with a walk, and after two outs, Durham’s single brought in Marte.  Latimore doubled, plating Durham, and the Curve had cut the lead to 5-2.  

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Cunningham Homers Twice; Power Hold On For The Win

Monday evening’s games in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
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The Curve were able to put runners on base but not push them across the plate tonight.  Starter Bryan Morris worked around a double in the 1st and a pair of walks in the 3rd to keep the Senators scoreless in the first three innings.  He got into trouble in the 4th, with a lead-off triple, followed by a walk and an RBI double.  A single drove in 2 more runs for a 3-0 Harrisburg lead.  The Curve had left CF Starling Marte stranded on third base in the 1st, after his single, stolen base, and a throwing error.  2B Brock Holt also singled in the 3rd and was left on base.  SS Jordy Mercer answered the Senators’ 3-run inning with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but LF Quincy Latimore singled in that inning, and he was also left stranded.  

Tim Alderson took over for Morris to begin the 5th inning, and he pitched 2 scoreless frames.  He loaded the bases in the 6th with a single and two hit batters, but ended the inning with a ground out.  Mike Colla allowed a triple in his scoreless 7th.  Then Noah Krol came on for the 8th, and gave up 3 more runs on a single, an RBI double, an RBI triple, and a wild pitch.  

The Curve put two runners on base in the 7th, when 1B Miles Durham singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell walked, but both were left on base.  Marte singled again in the 8th, and again could not come around to score.  The final Curve run scored in the 9th, when Durham tripled, then scored on Latimore’s sacrifice fly.  

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Almost-Last-Minute Roster Adjustments

The Pirates announced two roster moves this afternoon:
RHP Mike Crotta had been not-entirely-officially told that he’d make the major league team.  Now it’s official:  Crotta and reliever Garrett Olson are on the Pirates’ Opening Day roster. 
That means that reliever Chris Leroux will be assigned to Indianapolis.  Olson, a lefty, will be the only lefty in the bullpen, at least until Scott Olsen is healthy again.  Olson also pitched more effectively in last night’s pre-season game against the Phillies.  It was not a good night for Leroux to surrender runs.  

Also, the Pirates have traded INF Jim Negrych to the Marlins, in exchange for minor league catcher Carlos Paulino.  Negrych had asked to be traded if he was not going to be assigned to AAA Indianapolis.  
 
Paulino is a 21-year-old Dominican native, who made his US debut with the Marlins’ GCL team in 2008.  He moved up to the short-season A Jamestown team in 2009, and hit well there, though without much power:  .291 average, 11 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 14 RBI in 42 games.  In 2010, Paulino caught 60 games for A level Greensboro, but did not hit well, and still showed no power:  .184 with 10 doubles and 10 RBI.  He made 9 errors and 2 passed balls, and he threw out 33 of 81 batters trying to steal.  He was moved up to A+ Jupiter for 3 games, where he hit an RBI double in 8 at-bats.  Paulino’s small size makes it easy to see why he doesn’t have a lot of power.  He appears to have been the back-up catcher for his team in the past two seasons, and he’s likely to do that again for the Pirates.  The Pirates have a lot of catchers already vying for a spot on the West Virginia and Bradenton teams, so it’s not clear where Paulino will be assigned.  

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