Fireworks in Altoona and State College; Kleis and Pevny Debut

Saturday with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…

Altoona Curve� 18,� Harrisburg Senators� 15 (box)

The booming you might have heard was thunder, and it came from the ballpark in Harrisburg.� These two teams combined for 34 hits and 33 runs, and 20 of the hits belonged to the Curve.� Every non-pitcher in the starting line-up had at least two hits, except LF Yung Chi Chen, who had only one hit and one RBI and walked once. Five different Curve batters homered in the game.

It was not a good night for ERA’s.� Starter Bryan Morris gave up 2 runs in the 1st (walk, walk, 2-RBI double) and 2 more in the 3rd (2-run homer).� He gave up a run on a double and a single in the 5th, then loaded the bases with two walks.� Morris was relieved by Dustin Molleken, who immediately threw a wild pitch to bring in the runner from third base (charged to Morris).� Morris was responsible for 6 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 4.2 innings.

Molleken retired the side in order in the 6th.� Mike Dubee came out to pitch the 7th, and he got into trouble quickly.� A single, a stolen base, a double, a walk, a single, another double — 4 runs in, and Molleken out.� Anthony Claggett relieved Dubee, but gave up a single, and the 5th run of the inning scored (charged to Dubee).� Claggett began the 8th with two singles and a double, then an RBI ground out, bringing in two more runs.� After a walk, Ramon Aguero replaced Claggett, but a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base (charged to Claggett).� That made 14 runs for the Senators,� and a 14 – 8 lead.

The Curve batters had been scoring, just not as prolifically as the Senators.� They threatened in the 2nd inning, loading the baes on a single to C Hector Gimenez and walks to RF Miles Durham and Chen, but Morris struck out to end the inning.� Gimenez doubled in the 4th, and scored on Chen’s single, putting the Curve on the scoreboard with a 4-1 score.

In the 5th, the Curve tied the score.� SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, and CF Gorkys Hernandez reached base on a throwing error.� 3B Jordy Mercer brought both d’Arnaud and Hernandez in with a double into right field, and Mercer scored on Gimenez’s RBI single.� The 4-4 tie did not last long, as the Senators scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th.� Then the Curve took the lead in the top of the 7th.� 3B Josh Harrison led off with a single, but was forced out at second when 1B Matt Hague grounded into a force play.� Mercer bounced back to the mound, and the Senators tried to turn a double play, but missed something at second, since Hague was safe but Mercer was out at first.� Gimenez walked, then Durham greeted the new Senators’ reliever with a booming 3-run homer, to give the Curve a 7-6 lead.� That lead didn’t last any longer than the tie did.� Harrisburg scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, to take an 11-7 lead.

LF Anthony Norman, who had entered the game in a double-switch, homered to lead off the 8th inning, but the Senators scored another 3 runs in the bottom of the frame, to push their lead to 14-8.

Then the top of the 9th, and the Curve exploded.� Fifteen batters came to the plate, as the Curve piled on 10 runs.� Mercer walked, and Gimenez homered (runs #1, 2).� Durham walked and pinch-hitter Brandon Jones homered (3, 4).� Norman reached on a fielding error, and d’Arnaud, Hernandez, and Harrison all singled, plating Norman and d’Arnaud (5,6).� Hague homered for 3 runs (7, 8, 9).� It was a controversial call by the umpires, as Hague’s blast down the left field line was ruled fair — even the Curve radio broadcaster, Dan Zangrilli, said that the ball was foul.� Both the Harrisburg pitcher and manager were ejected arguing the call.� Once things settled down, Mercer singled.� Oh, and did I mention that no outs had been recorded yet?� Gimenez made the first out of the inning at that point, on a strikeout.� Durham doubled in Mercer (10), then Jones also struck out.� Norman walked, and then d’Arnaud flied out to (finally) end the inning.

The Senators did score one more run in the bottom of the 9th, as Derek Hankins gave up a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly, but it was way too little, too late.

The Curve set some records — highest scoring game (33 runs) in Curve history, most runs given up in a game (15), longest 9-inning game (4 hours, 33 minutes), most number of runs in one inning (10).� Their 20 hits in the game was one hit short of the team record.

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Five Errors Doom Power

Sunday afternoon and evening action…. the GCL Pirates, as usual, are off today.

Lexington Legends� 3,� West Virginia Power� 2 (box)

Five errors by the Power, all in the infield, had the Power beating themselves this afternoon.� Starter Nate Baker pitched 6 innings for the Power, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4 batters, but an error caused an unearned run to be scored.� Baker worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 1st, after he’d given up a single and two walks.� He also worked his way around two errors by SS Benji Gonzalez (one throwing and one fielding) in the 3rd inning, as one runner was thrown out trying to steal second, and the second was left on base.� The unearned run came in the 5th.� With one out, another fielding error by Gonzalez put a runner on base.� After a strikeout, a triple lined into right field, driving in the unearned run.

The Power had put one runner on base in four of the first five innings, but couldn’t capitalize on any of those opportunities.� They took their chance in the bottom of the 6th. 1B Aaron Baker doubled, LF Rogelios Noris singled, and C Ramon Cabrera doubled, with Cabrera scoring Baker.� 3B Jesus Brito brought in Noris with a sacrifice fly, and the Power led 2-1.� The Power had two runners on base in the 7th, on a walk to CF David Rubinstein and Aaron Baker being hit by a pitch.� Walks also put RF Jose Hernandez on in the 8th and Benji Gonzalez on in the 9th, but none of them could come around to score, and the Power did not record a hit after the 6th.

Lexington tied the score in the 7th, again taking advantage of Power errors.� The first batter of the inning reached base on a throwing error by reliever Mike Williams, and then Williams made a second throwing error when he made a pick-off attempt, moving the runner to second base.� After a tag up on a fly out, an RBI single drove in the tying run.� Williams gave up a solo home run to the lead off batter in the top of the 9th, and the Legends had the lead.� Gabriel Alvarado finished the 8th inning with two quick outs, then retired the side in order in the 9th, but the damage had already been done, and the Power could not catch up.

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Duke Pitches Well In 2nd Rehab Start; 3 Rehab Hits For Friday

Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve� 2,� Richmond Flying Squirrels� 1 (box)

Zach Duke pitched 4 rehab innings, allowing only one run on two hits and a walk.� Double plays got Duke out of the 1st inning, when a runner reached on Duke’s fielding error, and out of the 2nd, when he walked a batter.� He retired the side in order in the 3rd, then with two outs in the 4th gave up a solo home run followed by a single before ending the inning.� Duke did not strike out any batters.

The Curve gave Duke 2 runs worth of support in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a single, and two outs later, 1B Matt Hague blasted his 8th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.� Three innings later, the Squirrels homered off Duke, and that was all the scoring in the game.� The Curve had only two other hits in the game — a single by 2B Jordy Mercer immediately following Hague’s homer, and a double by Hague to lead off the 4th.� After Hague’s double, the next 15 Curve batters went down in order.

Not that the Squirrels were doing much better.� After the homer and the single in the 4th, Richmond posted only two more hits.� Those came back-to-back to open the 8th inning off reliever Anthony Claggett. Claggett struck out the next two batters and got a line out to end the inning without a run scoring.� Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk, and he was credited with the win.� Ramon Aguero earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning.

Don’t forget to watch Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Morris in the Futures Game on Sunday at 6pm (Eastern) on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.� Hernandez will be the starting center fielder for the World Team.� Tony Sanchez was invited too, but he’s still on the DL due to jaw surgery.

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Friday Begins Rehab; D’Arnaud Added To All-Star Squad

Losses for all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates today.

GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)

Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.

The Pirates cut the Tigers’ lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.

Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.

Indy Indians’�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.

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GCL Season Opens; Spikes Find First Win

The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off on Monday. �The Power are starting their 3-day All-Star break, with the South Atlantic League’s All-Star Game scheduled for Tuesday.

GCL Yankees 10, �GCL Pirates 8 (box)

The Pirates posted a 4-run 5th inning and scored their 8 runs on only 5 hits, taking advantage of 5 errors by the Yankees. �But the Yanks made up for their errors with two 4-run innings to take the win.

CF Junior Sosa began the game with a walk and a stolen base for the Pirates. �He moved to third on a ground out, and scored the Pirates’ first run on a wild pitch — no hits involved. �The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, as their first batter homered off rehabbing Pirates’ starter Brett Lorin. �Lorin then retired the next 6 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.

Joely Rodriguez took the mound to begin the 3rd for the Pirates. �He gave up a single, two walks, and a grand slam, then another single, to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. �Yomar Pacheco rescued Rodriguez, to finish that inning, then pitch 3 more. �He gave up a run in the 4th on another lead-off homer, along with 2 more hits and 2 walks, but struck out 3 batters.

The Pirates came charging back in the 5th. �LF Exicardo Cayonez led off with a double, and went to third on a ground out. �DH Daan Cornelissen walked, and Sosa loaded the bases when he reached on a fielding error. �SS Kevin Mort singled, driving in Cayonez, and 1B Michaelangel Trinidad cleared the bases with a double into right field. �Trinidad injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. �Yankees 6, Pirates 5.

The Pirates took the lead with 2 runs in the 7th. �Sosa walked, and moved to second base when Mort reached on a throwing error. �A double steal put both into scoring position, and they both crossed the plate on another Yankee error. �Cayonez was hit by a pitch to begin the 8th inning, and after a ground out, he scored on Sosa’s RBI double, to give the Pirates an insurance run, 8-6.

It was not enough insurance, though, as the Yankees scored 4 again in the bottom of the 8th. �After a scoreless 7th inning by reliever Yeyber Sanchez, Oscar Verdugo took the mound for the 8th. �With one out, he gave up a single, hit a batter, and gave up a walk and another single, bringing in one run. �A runner was out at the plate on what appears to have been an attempt to score on a wild pitch, but that was all for Verdugo. �Sheng-Cin Hong relieved Verdugo, but he gave up a double and a single, scoring 3 more runs (3 charged to Verdugo and one to Hong). �Verdugo was charged with the loss, and Hong with the Blown Save.

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