Alderson Struggles, Grossman Takes One For the Team

Richmond Flying Squirrels 4, �Altoona Curve 2 (box)

Curve starter Tim Alderson had little trouble with the Squirrels for the first four innings on Thursday evening, using two double plays to erase two of the three base runners he’d allowed (two singles and a hit batter). �But he had problems in the 5th, when Richmond scored 5 runs on two walks, four singles, and a sacrifice fly, and Alderson could not get out of the inning. �One of the walks forced in a run, and it didn’t get any better from there. �Alderson threw 89 pitches in his 4.2 innings, and allowed a total of 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 4 strikeouts, while working entirely out of the stretch.

The Curve scored their first run in the top of the 1st. �SS Chase d’Arnaud opened the game in Richmond with a line drive single into right field. �A ground out moved him to second base, and he stole third base, then scored on 1B Matt Hague’s RBI single. �The Curve managed only a couple of walks over the next three innings, until LF Alex Presley led off the 5th by beating out an infield single. �Alderson sacrifice bunted him to second base, and Presley scored on d’Arnaud’s second single of the game, also an infield hit. �The Curve had one last chance in the 9th, when 2B Josh Harrison and RF Miles Durham hit back-to-back singles with two outs. �But a fly out by Presley ended the threat and the game.

Dustin Molleken relieved Alderson to finish up the 5th inning with a ground out. �He also pitched the next two innings, allowing only a walk. �Ronald Uviedo pitched the 9th inning, and he also gave up a walk, then struck out two batters.

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Curve Shut Out, West Virginia Powers Up

Harrisburg Senators 7, �Altoona Curve 0 (box)

It was a tough afternoon in Altoona on Wednesday, as the Curve were held to just 3 hits in this shutout. �1B Matt Hague, RF Miles Durham, and LF Alex Presley were the only Curve batters to get hits, and all three were singles. �SS Chase d’Arnaud and Hague also reached base on walks. �The singles came in the 2nd (Durham), 4th (Hague), and 5th (Presley) innings, and all three runners were left on base when the innings ended. �D’Arnaud walked to lead off the 6th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Hague walked in the 7th, and he was also eliminated in a double play. �The Curve never had a base runner reach second base, nor did they ever have more than one runner on base in any one inning.

Curve starter Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to begin his outing. �He allowed only one batter over the minimum in the first three innings (a walk). �Another batter who walked to open the 4th inning was picked off base. �Wilson gave up two singles in the 4th, but left them stranded. �The Senators finally scored against Wilson in the 6th inning, on a hit batter, a stolen base, and an RBI double. �Wilson went 6 innings total, allowing that one run on 3 hits, with 6 strikeouts, but without run support, his strong outing turned into a loss.

Things fell apart for reliever Corey Hamman, who took over to begin the 7th inning. �It began with a walk and a 2-run homer. �Hamman got the next two batters to strike out, but a wild pitch on strike three put the second of those on base. �After another walk, a 3-run homer gave Harrisburg a 6-0 lead. �Mike Dubee relieved Hamman to finish the inning, then pitched a scoreless 8th. �Danny Moskos pitched the 9th inning, and gave up one more run on a double and a single. �A hit batter and another single had a Harrisburg batter rounding third and heading for the plate, but RF Durham and 2B Josh Harrison got the ball right on target to C Hector Gimenez, who�tagged the runner out at the plate.

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Shutout Innings: Baker 6, Hankins 5

Some nice shutout pitching (at least for a few innings) on Saturday evening:

Altoona Curve �9, � Harrisburg Senators �2 (box)

Starter Derek Hankins pitched 5 shutout innings in his start in Harrisburg. �He scattered two doubles and two walks over those 5 innings, and struck out 2 batters. �Tony Watson relieved Hankins to begin the 6th inning, and he also kept the Senators scoreless for the next two innings. �Watson got into some trouble in the 8th, though, giving up a double, a walk, and a single to the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases. �Watson got the next batter to strike out, but then was replaced by Jeff Sues. Sues gave up a sacrifice fly, and then a single, both scoring one run. �Those runs were charged to Watson. �Sues finished the 8th inning with a ground out. �He got two ground outs in the 9th, allowed a walk, then struck out the last batter of the game.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were busy piling up 15 hits and 9 runs. �LF Alex Presley, who is hitting .471 over his last 10 games and is 8-for-15 in his last 3 games, led the charge by going 4-for-5 tonight, all singles, for 3 RBI. �C Hector Gimenez had 2 doubles and a single, and both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Josh Harrison had two singles each. �Each position player in the starting lineup had at least one hit. �The scoring started slowly, with one run in the 2nd inning. �RF Miles Durham tripled with two outs, then scored on Presley’s first single. �They added two more runs in the 4th, when singles by Hague and Harrison, along with a missed catch error on a pick-off attempt, put runners on the corners. �A balk scored Hague, and Presley’s second single scored Harrison. �Presley was out at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.

The Senators tried changing pitchers to begin the 6th inning, but it didn’t help them. �3B Jordy Mercer led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. �Matt Hague’s single scored Mercer. �A walk to Durham and Presley’s third single scored Hague with another run. �Gimenez’s double brought in Durham and Presley, and gave the Curve a 7-0 lead. �Walks to pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases, but a fly out ended the inning and left the three runners stranded.

A double by SS Chase d’Arnaud and an RBI single by Hernandez made it 8-0 in the top of the 8th. �The Senators scored twice in the bottom of the frame, but by then it was too little too late. �The Curve added one more for good measure in the top of the 9th. �With two outs, Durham walked, and Presley beat out a grounder to short for his fourth hit. �Gimenez’s second double brought in Durham with the Curve’s 9th run.

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Three Hits For Watts; Power Split Doubleheader

Sunday afternoon’s games for the Pirates minor league affiliates:

Erie SeaWolves 10, �Altoona Curve 3 (box)

Six runs in the 3rd inning gave the SeaWolves a huge boost over the Curve in the series finale, and the Curve could not catch up, despite 3 hits from C Kris Watts. Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first three batters he faced, but got into trouble in the 2nd inning. �A walk and a double put runners on second and third bases, then a ground out brought in the first run. �An RBI singled plated the second runner, and Erie had a 2-0 lead. �The Curve tried to come back in the bottom of the inning. �Watts’ first single, plus a walk to RF Miles Durham put two runners on base. �LF Alex Presley singled into left field, but the throw in to the plate was in time to tag out Watts, and a strikeout ended the inning.

Then came the 3rd inning. �The SeaWolves sent 10 batters to the plate on their way to 6 runs. �Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases to begin the inning. �A ground out scored one run, and a double into center field brought in two more. �A grounder to third base let 3B Jordy Mercer make an out at third, but left a runner at first base. �Two more singles scored two more runs, and a double brought in the 6th run of the inning. �That was enough to send Hughes to the showers; Tony Watson came on in relief and got a ground out to end the miserable inning. �A solo home run off Watson in the 4th inning gave Erie a 9-0 lead.

The Curve made a little headway in the 4th. �1B Matt Hague led off with a walk, then a double error (fielding, then throwing) by the Erie third baseman put Mercer on base and sent Hague to third base. �Watts singled up the middle, and when the Erie center fielder made a fielding error, both Hague and Mercer scored. �That was all the Curve would get, though. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off the 5th inning with a single, but the next 13 Curve batters went down in order. �With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Watts singled for his third hit of the game. �Durham doubled, bringing Watts around to score the last Altoona run.

Jared Hughes was charged with his first loss of the season. �Tony Watson allowed the home run in the 4th, and another solo homer in the 6th inning. �He pitched a total of 3.1 innings, and those were the only two hits he allowed. �Michael Dubee pitched the final 3 innings, allowing just one hit. �CF Gorkys Hernandez also had a hit, going 1-for-4 at the plate.

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Five No-Hit Innings For Hughes; Three Doubles For Marte

Altoona Curve 2, �Akron Aeros 0 (box)

Starter Jared Hughes dominated the Aeros for 5 innings in Akron on Monday night. �He scattered 4 walks over those innings, but did not allow a hit, while striking out 3 batters on the way to his third win of the season. �Reliever Dustin Molleken took over in the 6th inning and allowed a double, then gave up a walk and a single in the 7th, but still kept the Aeros from crossing the plate. �Danny Moskos earned his second save with a scoreless 9th, giving up another walk, but striking out the other three batters he faced.

The Curve didn’t need many runs in this one. �They put up an unearned run in the 1st inning, when SS Chase d’Arnaud reached base on a fielding error, then scored on back-to-back singles by RF Miles Durham and 3B Jordy Mercer. The Curve had runners on base in 6 of the next 8 innings, and in two innings had runners reach as far as third base without scoring. �In the 7th Altoona loaded the bases on a walk by DH Jim Negrych, a single by Durham, and a walk by Mercer. �C Hector Gimenez brought in Negrych with a sacrifice fly, and that was all the scoring required.

The Curve now have a 9-3 record.

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