A full day of action for the Pirates’ minor league affiliates on Wednesday
Altoona Curve� 1,� Portland Sea Dogs� 0 (box)
Jeff Locke pitched 7 shut-out innings and struck out 8 batters to earn his 2nd win with the Curve.� Locke scattered 3 hits and one walk in those 7 innings.� All three of the hits were doubles.� Two of the runners were left on base, and the other was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple.� Locke never had more than one base runner on at a time.� Mike Dubee completed the shutout with 2 perfect innings in relief, including two strikeouts.
The Curve batters were not hitting a lot either, but they were the ones who put together a series of hits to score a run.� In the 8th, C Hector Gimenez doubled, and DH Yung Chi Chen and CF Anthony Norman followed with back-to-back singles.� Norman’s single drove in Gimenez with the only run of the game.� The only other hits the Curve posted were back-to-back singles by LF Jim Negrych and 1B Matt Hague in the first inning.� Both were left on base.� After those two hits, the next 20 Curve batters were retired in order, until the 3 hits in the 8th.
Not a lot of action for the lower minor league affiliates today.� The West Virginia Power and the GCL Pirates had a scheduled day off, and the Bradenton Marauders were rained out — they will play two games on Monday.
State College Spikes� 7,� Auburn Doubledays� 6 (box)
SS Walker Gourley and LF Pat Irvine led the Spikes with 3 hits each as they came from behind to erase a 6-run lead.� It was the largest deficit overcome for a win in the team’s history.
Zack Dodson pitched 4 innings and gave up 6 runs (5 earned) to give Auburn the early lead.� A triple, a single, and a 3-run homer gave Auburn a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.� Dodson retired the side in order in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but got into trouble again in the 4th.� A double, a throwing error by 3B Andy Vasquez, a single, and a wild pitch brought in one run.� A passed ball and another single added two more runs, and Auburn had a 6-0 lead.
The Spikes had runners on base in 5 of the first 7 innings, but were not able to push any of their base runners around to score.� They had the bases loaded with one out in the 5th, on a single by Vasquez, a walk to CF Mel Rojas, and a single through the hole into right field by Gourley.� A strikeout and a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring.
Then the Spikes got going in the 8th.� RF Adalberto Santos led off with a triple, and 1B Matt Curry walked.� Pat Irvine singled, scoring Santos.� Curry had moved to second base on a wild pitch, then on to third on Irvine’s single, and he and Irvine both scored when DH Chase Lyles smashed the second triple of the inning.� C Matt Skirving doubled, bringing in Lyles, and Andy Vasquez brought in Skirving with a sacrifice fly.� The Spikes had moved to within one run of Auburn, 6-5.
Walker Gourley started the 9th inning rally with a bunt single.� In a strange play, Santos grounded up the middle and was safe at first base, but Gourley, who tried to reach third base on the play, was ruled out because he’d missed touching second base as he was running.� Spikes’ manager Gary Robinson argued, but to no avail, and he was ejected for his efforts.� Santos advanced to second base on a balk, and he scored the tying run when Irvine doubled into center field.
Sandobal Septimo had pitched one scoreless inning, and Trent Stevenson gave the Spikes 3 more scoreless frames.� Jhonatan Ramos came on to pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings.� With one out in the top of the 10th, Vasquez dropped down a bunt and beat it out to first base.� A wild pitch moved him to second base, and both Rojas and Gourley walked, loading the bases.� Santos popped up, and was called out on the infield fly rule, but Matt Curry was the hero, with a single to short that allowed Vasquez to score the go-ahead run.� Ramos kept the Doubledays from scoring in the bottom of the inning, and the Spikes had their come-from-behind win.
Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues… the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.
Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)
RF Miles Durham’s grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.
Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d’Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d’Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d’Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.
Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.
A few roster notes:� RHP Teddy Fallon and LHP Justin Ennis were both promoted from State College to West Virginia.� Fallon was the Pirates’ 43rd pick in the 2009 draft, and Ennis was the 33rd round pick in this year’s draft.� RHP Tom Boleska has been promoted from Bradenton to Altoona.
Altoona’s Bryan Morris has skipped a start, which the Pirates are calling just a “breather”.� He has struggled in his last few starts, but has also stacked up the innings so far this season (103) and the Pirates want him to stay below 140 innings this season.
West Virginia Power� 9,� Hagerstown Suns� 1 (box)
Phillip Irwin pitched 7 no-hit innings for the Power tonight, before he had to be relieved due to his increasing pitch count.� Irwin struck out 8 batters in his 7 innings, and he allowed 2 walks.� He got off to a strong start when he struck out the side in the 1st inning, then struck out 2 more in the 2nd.� The first walk came in the 3rd inning, but that runner was immediately erased when the next batter lined right to 1B Aaron Baker, who stepped on first base for a double play.� The next 7 batters went down in order, until the 6th, when that same batter, C Sandy Leon, walked again.� This time Leon was forced out at second on a grounder, and another ground out ended the inning.� Irwin wrapped up his amazing evening with two more strikeouts in the 7th inning.
Ryan Kelly relieved Irwin and pitched the final two innings.� He allowed one hit, but it was a solo home run.� He also walked a batter in the 9th, and struck out 2 batters.
The rest of the team was busy giving Irwin and Kelly plenty of run support.� They piled up 16 hits, with everyone in the lineup reaching base at least one time, and all but SS Benji Gonzalez picking up at least one hit (Gonzalez had a walk).� 3B Elevys Gonzalez, Aaron Baker, and LF Rogelios Noris each had 3 hits.� Baker led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run.� CF David Rubinstein followed the homer with a double, and Noris added a single to put runners on the corners.� C Jairo Marquez lined a single into center field, scoring Rubinstein to give the Power an early 2-0 lead.
They boosted that lead in the 3rd inning, as they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 7 runs.� Six of the first seven batters reached base safely:� 2B Jarek Cunningham and RF Jose Hernandez began with back-to-back singles, and Baker’s double scored Cunningham (#1 run).� Rubinstein’s sacrifice fly brought in Hernandez (#2).� Noris and DH Kyle Morgan goth singled, and Baker scored (#3).� Marquez doubled in Noris and Morgan (#4, 5), and sent the Hagerstown pitcher to the showers.� Benji Gonzalez flied out, but Elevys Gonzalez singled, plating Marquez (#6).� A fielding error on that play moved Elevys G to second base, and a wild pitch put him on third.� Cunningham’s second single in the inning brought in Elevys G (#7), before a line out ended the inning.
The Power put at least one baserunner on in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them were able to come around to score.
Trenton Thunder� 8,� Altoona Curve� 3 (box)
The Curve stretched their losing streak to 5 games tonight while reliever Mike Colla struggled in his AA debut.� Derek Hankins made the start for the Curve, but didn’t get out of the 4th inning.� He gave up a run in the 1st on a hit batter, a stolen base, a ground out, and an RBI single.� A fielding error and a double gave Trenton a second run in the 3rd inning, and a single and a double added run #3 in the 4th.� Colla relieved Hankins and got a strikeout to end that inning, but a solo homer, a double, two singles, and a passed ball gave Trenton 3 more runs in the 5th.� Colla came back out to begin the 6th, but that inning went no better.� A single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases, and a single drove in two runs.
The Curve batters were also getting on base, in every inning but the 6th and 7th, but they were not coming around to score as often as the Thunder were.� They got onto the scoreboard in the 4th, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch.� 2B Jordy Mercer’s single brought Harrison in to score, but Mercer was erased on a double play.� They came up with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th, when RF Miles Durham led off with a single.� SS Chase d’Arnaud walked, and Harrison plated both of them with a double into center field.
Harrison, Mercer, and Durham had 2 hits each, and C Hector Gimenez and LF Anthony Norman each had one hit.� Hankins was charged with the loss, his 2nd of the season.� Reliever Mike Dubee relieved Colla to finish the 6th with a double play.� Dubee gave up a single to lead off the 7th, but the runner was thrown out by Miles Durham when he tried to stretch it into a double.� Dubee had a batter reach on a fielding error by Mercer in the 8th, and he walked a batter in the 9th, but both of those runners were also erased with double plays.