Power Go Long; Curve Cut Short

Friday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  6,  Binghamton Mets  6
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Rain halted the game between the Curve and the Mets in Binghamton, NY in the top of the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6.  Starter Aaron Thompson got into trouble early in the game, when he gave up 4 runs to the B-Mets in the bottom of the 1st.  A single and a hit batter led off the inning, then two fly outs and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Three singles brought in a run each, and a double added the 4th run of the inning.  Thompson gave up a hit in each of the next two innings, but erased one with a double play, and left the other stranded.  A solo homer in the bottom of the 4th gave the Mets a 5-0 lead, then a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave the Mets their 6th run in the 5th. 

The Curve put one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but none of those runners came around to score.  2B Brock Holt walked in the 1st, but was out in a double play.  C Tony Sanchez singled in the 2nd and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  Holt smacked a ground-rule double in the 3rd, and SS Jordy Mercer walked and got as far as third base in the 4th.  

1B Miles Durham got the Curve going with a rally in the top of the 5th, when he was hit by a pitch.  Thompson tried for a sacrifice fly, but it turned into a forcer out of Durham at second base, leaving Thompson on first.  Holt singled, then CF Starling Marte tripled into right field, scoring both Thompson and Holt.  LF Quincy Latimore singled into left field, bringing in Marte, to cut the B-Mets’ lead to 5-3.

The Mets made it 6-3 in the bottom of the 5th, but the Curve came right back with another 3 runs in the top of the 6th to tie the game.  A fielding error at shortstop put 3B Jeremy Farrell on base, and Sanchez’s double let Farrell came around to score from first base.  RF Brad Chalk walked, then pinch-hitter Eric Fryer drove in base runners with the second triple of the game.  

Tim Alderson came on to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and he worked around a single, to maintain the tie.  The top of the 7th began with a single by Latimore, and a grounder force out by Mercer, leaving Mercer on first base.  Mercer stole second and then moved to third base on a wild pitch.  Farrell walked, to give the Curve runners on the corners  – and that’s when the storms halted the game.  

The game will resume on Saturday prior to the regularly scheduled game.  This game will finish as a 9-inning game, but the regularly scheduled game will probably be a 7-inning game.  

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Curve Socked By Bowie; Black Is Back; Irwin Strikes Out 10

The Curve had another morning game today.  The Marauders and the Power play on Thursday evening.

Bowie Baysox  4,  Altoona Curve  2
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Starter Aaron Pribanic struggled in this morning’s game, allowing 4 runs on 10 hits and a walk, with only one strikeout in 5 innings.  He suffered his second loss of the season as the Curve lost the series with Bowie, 3 games to 1.

Pribanic had trouble right from the start, when the first Baysox batter of the game tripled into right field.  He scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Curve got the run back in the bottom of the 2nd inning on C Tony Sanchez’s solo home run. 

The Baysox struck again in the top of the 3rd, opening the inning with back-to-back singles.  A grounder to first erased the second runner and left Baysox on the corners.  The runner on first stole second, and when Sanchez’s throw sailed into center field, the runner on third scored on the error.  A walk to former Pirate farmhand C Steve Lerud and a single loaded the bases.  Pribanic then gave up an RBI single to bring in the lead runner.  A double play ended the rally, and Bowie had a 3-1 lead.  

Pribanic gave up a single in the 4th, but left that runner on base.  The 5th inning began with a double into right field.  Lerud followed with an RBI single, to boost Bowie’s lead to 4-1.  Another double play helped Pribanic get out of the 5th.  

After that, the Curve bullpen shut down the Baysox.  Matt McSwain pitched 3 scoreless innings of relief, working around a single in the 6th and another in the 7th.  He retired the side in order in the 8th.  Noah Krol pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.  

Unfortunately, after scoring in the 2nd inning, the Curve batters were also shut down for most of the rest of the game.  2B Brock Holt had singled and stole second base in the 1st inning, then moved to third base on a throwing error by Lerud.  Holt was left standing there on third base when the inning ended.  SS Shelby Ford singled in the 5th but was erased in a double play.  RF Jose Hernandez also singled in the 5th.  CF Starling Marte led off the 6th with a double, and he also doubled in the 8th inning, but both times he was left stranded.   

The Curve rallied again in the bottom of the 9th.  DH Eric Fryer led off with a walk, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled.  A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Fryer scored on a sacrifice fly.  The game ended with a strikeout, before the rally could gain any more momentum. 

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Avila And Noris Homer In Power Loss; Baker Strikes Out 8

Lakewood BlueClaws  6,  West Virginia Power  5
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The Power played an early game today, but fell to the BlueClaws in the 10th inning.  Starter Jameson Taillon did not factor into the decision, though he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 2 batters.  The first two runs Taillon allowed came in the first two innings of the game.  In the top of the 1st, a single, a ground out, and another single gave the Claws their first run.  Two more singles, a double steal, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the top of the 2nd.

The Power tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd.  1B Matt Curry walked, and DH Justin Howard moved Curry to third with a double lined into left field.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai brought in Curry with an RBI single, and LF Rogelios Noris plated Howard with a sacrifice fly.   

Taillon walked a batter in the 3rd, and with a stolen base and a missed catch error by 2B Andy Vasquez on the throw to second, the runner reached third base.  Taillon escaped without a run scored, though, when the next batter flied out and RF Dan Grovatt made an on-target throw to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Taillon worked around a single in the 4th, but got into trouble again in the 5th.  A single and two ground outs again put a runner on third base, and an RBI single broke the tie, giving the Claws a 3-2 lead.  

The Power tied the score again in the bottom of the 5th.  3B Eric Avila led off with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  Pinch-hitter Kevin Mort sacrifice bunted Avila to third base, and SS Drew Maggi’s single through the hole into left field let Avila score.  

Tyler Waldron relieved Taillon to begin the 6th inning.  Waldron gave up a double in both the 6th and 7th innings, but both times left that runner on base for two scoreless innings.  Avila was next to break the tie with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 7th.  But back-to-back solo homers in the top of the 8th gave the lead right back to the Claws.  Noris was the next to homer, tying the score again, 5-5, in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extras.

With Waldron still on the mound in the top of the 10th, the Claws made two outs, then began a rally with a walk.  Waldron struck out the next batter, but strike three was a wild pitch, and the Claws got a second chance with the batter reaching first base safely.  They took advantage of the opportunity, with an RBI single to score the runner from second base.  Casey Sadler relieved Waldron and struck out the next batter to end the inning.  The Power had a chance in the bottom of the 10th, when Curry doubled with two outs.  Lakewood also brought in another reliever, who also got a strikeout (of Howard) to end the Power’s threat and the game.  

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Veal Back In Action, Walk-off Win For Curve

Sunday afternoon action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams:  

Altoona Curve 5,  Akron Aeros  4
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2B Brock Holt singled up the middle in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 1B Miles Durham from second base, for the Curve’s walk-off win.  
Curve starter Aaron Thompson began his outing by facing only the minimum over the first three innings.  He gave up a single in the 2nd, but erased that runner with a double play.  The Aeros scored the first run of the game in the top of the 4th, when they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Thompson could record an out.  A sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third, but Thompson got another double play to get out of the inning.   

The first 11 Curve batters also went down in order, until LF Quincy Latimore singled in the 4th.  He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s grounder.  The Curve got onto the scoreboard and tied the game when 3B Jeremy Farrell blasted a solo homer to lead off the 4th inning.   

Thompson again retired the side in order in the 5th.  The Aeros took the lead again in the top of the 6th with 2 runs off Thompson.  A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners with one out.  A wild pitch moved the runner from first to second, though the runner on third had to stay there.  Two more strikeouts drove in two runs, to give Akron a 3-1 lead.  

The Curve answered with one run in the bottom of the 7th.  Mercer and Ferrell led off the inning with singles, and C Tony Sanchez walked to load the bases.  After a pitching change, RF Eric Fryer bounced into a double play, which let Mercer score from third base, though Fryer did not get credit for an RBI.  The Curve added two more in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Brad Chalk.  Holt sacrificed bunted Chalk to second.  CF Starling Marte beat out an infield single, moving Chalk to third, and Marte stole second base to put two Curve runners in scoring position.  Latimore drove in Chalk with a sacrifice fly, an Mercer brought in Marte with an RBI single.  Curve ahead, 4-3.

Mike Dubee relieved Thompson and pitched 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 6th, then gave up just a walk in the 8th.  Noah Krol took over for Dubee for the 9th.  He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up a solo home run to tie the score.  Then he was credited with the win because he was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the 9th.  The bottom of the frame began with a fly out, then Fryer singled and Durham reached on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Fryer to third.  Chalk bounced to short, giving the Akron shortstop the opportunity to fire back to the plate, and Fryer was tagged out at home.  With Durham on second and Chalk on first, Holt singled into center field, and had the walk-off win when Durham raced around third base to score on the single.  

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Hit-Fest In Bradenton; Curve Pitchers Throw A Shutout

Friday night’s action:

Altoona Curve 2,  Akron Aeros  0
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Three Curve pitchers combined to throw a 3-hit shutout of the Aeros.  Starter Mike Colla had to work around runners on base in 5 of his 6 innings, but he held the Aeros scoreless and earned his second win.  He scattered 3 hits, 2 walks, and one hit batter over those innings.  The only inning in which Akron had 2 runners on base was the 3rd, when Colla walked two.  Anthony Claggett also gave up two walks in the 8th, after a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but he did not allow a hit or a run.  Noah Krol picked up his 9th Save with three quick ground outs in the 9th.

The Curve posted 11 hits, but scored only two runs (8 runners left on base).  In the bottom of the 1st, with two outs, LF Quincy Latimore looped a single into right field, then scored from first on SS Jordy Mercer’s ringing double into center field.  C Tony Sanchez singled and DH Kris Watts doubled in the 2nd inning, but Sanchez was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.  The Curve added an unearned run in the 3rd.  2B Brock Holt led off the inning with a strikeout, but he reached first when strike three was a wild pitch.  Holt stole second base, then scored when the Akron center fielder made an error on Mercer’s ball.

The Curve put runners on base in each inning after that, but could not bring any of them around to score.  Sanchez and 1B Miles Durham both singled in the 4th inning, and that was the only inning after the 3rd when the Curve had two runners on base.  CF Starling Marte singled twice, Watts singled, and Mercer doubled again.

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