Saturday evening action for the Pirates’ minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 11, Reading Phillies 1 (Suspended)
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After rain delayed the start of this game, the Curve must have decided that they needed to score a lot and quickly, in case the rain cut the game short. The rain did come again, but too early for a complete game. Instead, it was suspended in the 3rd inning, with the Curve leading by 10 runs. R-Phils starter Juan Ramirez could not get through the 1st inning. The first four Curve batters reached base safely: a lead-off triple by RF Anthony Norman, a double by CF Starling Marte (one run), a walk by SS Jordy Mercer, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore to load the bases. After a fly out, 3B Jeremy Farrell drove in both Marte and Mercer with an RBI single (runs 2,3). C Travis Scott singled, loading the bases again. 2B Greg Picart grounded to first, and the R-Phils’ first baseman returned the ball to the plate, forcing out Latimore for the second out. Pitcher Aaron Pribanic singled into right field, bringing in Farrell (run 4), and a walk by Norman forced in Scott with the 5th run of the inning. That was the end for Ramirez, and the new reliever, Tyson Brummett, struck out Marte to end the inning.
But the Curve came right back at Brummett in the 2nd. With one out, Latimore singled, and 1B Matt Curry doubled him in. A walk by Scott and a single by Picart brought in Curry, and the Curve extended their lead to 7-0.
Pribanic retired the R-Phils in order in the bottom of the 1st. He gave up one run in the 2nd, on two singles and two ground outs. Then the Curve came roaring right back in the top of the 3rd. Norman led off with a walk, and a fielding error put Marte on first and Norman on second. Mercer singled, plating Norman. After one out, Brummet threw two wild pitches, scoring Marte and leaving Mercer on third base. Curry walked, then Farrell doubled, driving in Mercer. Curry went to third base, and he scored on Scott’s sacrifice fly. A ground out ended the top of the inning, and at that point, the game was halted, with the Curve ahead 11-1. The game will resume at 1:30 pm on Sunday, and the regularly scheduled game will follow, but that game will be only 7 innings long. Hope the Curve didn’t use up all their hits in those first three innings.
Everyone in action on Thursday evening…. and the State College Spikes begin their season next week on Friday
Altoona Curve 5, Erie SeaWolves 4
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A 4-run 4th inning gave the Curve a big boost, and a run in the bottom of the 8th gave them the win over Erie. Starter Mike Colla held the SeaWolves to two hits in the 1st inning, and retired the side in the 2nd and 3rd, to get a good start. He gave up a walk and a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th, to put Erie onto the scoreboard.
The Curve had only two walks (3B Jeremy Farrell and CF Starling Marte) and a single by 2B Brock Holt over the first three innings. Then they too broke out in the 4th inning. LF Quincy Latimore led off the inning with a solo home run. After an out, Farrell singled and C Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch. RF Brad Chalk hit the first of three singles in the gmae, driving in Farrell from second base. Sanchez reached third base on the play, then stole home as Chalk stole second base behind him, both reaching safely. A wild pitch put Chalk on third base, and he scored on Holt’s double, to give the Curve a 4-2 lead.
Colla retired the side in order again in the 5th, then gave up a lead-off homer in the 6th, to bring Erie within one run of the Curve, 4-3. Colla allowed 5 hits and one walk, with 5 strikeouts in his 6 innings. He was relieved by Aaron Thompson, who pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning. Thompson was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up the tying run in the 8th. A lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt, a walk with a wild pitch on ball four, and an RBI ground out brought the game to a 4-4 tie.
Jeremy Farrell got the lead back for the Curve with a lead-off home run to begin the bottom of the 8th. Chalk also picked up his third hit of the game with a single after the home run, but he was thrown out at second base. Noah Krol pitched the 9th inning, and earned his 12th save with a perfect inning.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday, but the Power and the Marauders were in action.
Delmarva Shorebirds 10, West Virginia Power 7
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A 6-run offensive blast by the Power was enough to tie the score, but not enough for the win. Delmarva got the game started with a 3-run homer off Zack Von Rosenberg in the top of the 1st, after a double and a single. Von Rosenberg put runners on base in the next two innings but did not let them come around to score. A walk and a 2-run homer increased the Shorebirds’ lead to 5-0 with one out in the 4th. A single and a walk followed that homer, and Von Rosenberg was relieved by Porfirio Lopez. Lopez finished the 4th, but gave up two more runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, a balk, another single, and a fielding error by SS Drew Maggi.
The Power led off each of the first four innings with a hit: singles by Maggi (1st), 1B Chase Lyles (2nd), and 3B Eric Avila (3rd), and a double by LF Dan Grovatt (4th). Grovatt was the only one who scored, on RF Justin Howard’s RBI single. The Power went into the bottom of the 5th trailing 7-1, and that’s when the fireworks started. With one out, Avila walked, Maggi doubled, and 2B Kevin Mort walked, to load the bases. Grovatt tapped back to the mound, where the Shorebirds’ pitcher thought he could get a force out at the plate. Instead, he made a fielding error, and Avila scored. A wild pitch brought in Maggi, then Howard walked to load the bases again. Lyles’ RBI single into center field plated Mort with the third run of the inning. C Kawika Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch, forcing in Grovatt, and after a pitching change, DH Elias Diaz brought in both Howard and Lyles with a 2-RBI single, to tie the score at 7-7. After a fly out, Avila’s second walk of the inning loaded the bases again, but a ground out by Maggi ended the inning.
Zac Fuesser took over on the mound for the 6th, which was scoreless (for both teams). The top of the 7th began with a missed catch error by Lyles at first. Fuesser’s balk pushed that runner to second base, and a bunt advanced him to third. He scored on an RBI double, then a walk, two singles, and a fielding error by RF Howard added two more runs.
Casey Sadler pitched the 8th inning for the Power. He gave up a double and hit a batter, but got out of the inning without a run scoring. The Power put two runner on in the 7th, when Lyles and Diaz both walked, but a double play and a fly out ended that inning. They threatened again in the bottom of the 9th. Grovatt singled, but was erased in a double play. Then Lyles walked and Emsley-Pai and Diaz singled to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the game.
Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 8, Binghamton Mets 6
First, the Curve and the Mets had to finish up yesterday’s game, which had been suspended in the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6. Binghamton had scored 4 runs in the 1st, and one run in both the 4th and 5th. The Curve had tied the score with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. The big hit in the 5th was CF Starling Marte’s triple, and the big hit in the 6th was pinch-hitter Eric Fryer’s triple. Curve starter Aaron Thompson had allowed all 6 Binghamton hits on 9 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work. Tim Alderson came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a hit but maintained the tie.
The top of the 7th began with a single by LF Quincy Latimore, who was replaced at first base by SS Jordy Mercer on a grounder force out at second. Mercer stole second base, then took third on a wild pitch. 3B Jeremy Farrell walked to put runners on the corners, and that’s when the game was suspended. When they picked it up again this afternoon with a new relief pitcher, two quick outs left Mercer and Farrell still standing on the corners.
Anthony Claggett came on in relief of Alderson, and in a double switch, Shelby Ford took over at first base for Miles Durham. Claggett kept the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the 7th. Then Ford gave the Curve the lead with a solo homer in the top of the 8th. The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, when Mercer and Farrell led off with a pair of singles. Pinch-hitter Kris Watts moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, then RF Brad Chalk lined a single into left field. Mercer scored easily on the play, but Farrell was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.
Claggett held on to the lead with a scoreless bottom of the 8th, allowing just one hit. He was credited with his third win of the season. Noah Krol earned his 10th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th. He walked the first batter of the inning, then retired the next three batters with two fly outs and a pop out.
Lakewood BlueClaws 6, West Virginia Power 5
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.