Tag Archives: Duke Welker
Saturday evening wins for the entire Pirates’ minor league system!
Altoona Curve 8, �Erie SeaWolves 3 � �Game 1 (box)
Altoona had a double-header, making up for a game that had been rained out back in April. �The Curve exploded out of the box with a 4-run 1st inning and never looked back in Game 1. �3B Jordy Mercer led the charge by going 4-for-4 with an RBI, and RF Alex Presley and 1B Matt Hague had 3 hits each.
A throwing error put SS Chase d’Arnaud on base to begin the game, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, Hague, and Mercer, plus a double by Presley and a wild pitch brought in those 4 runs in the top of the 1st. �Erie came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, on three walks and a double off starter Jared Hughes. Hughes made a wild pitch on strike three to put a runner on base in the 2nd inning, and a double and a sacrifice fly brought in another run, to bring Erie within one run, 4-3.
Hague led off the 3rd inning with a walk, then stole second base. �Mercer and C Hector Gimenez followed with singles, and Presley’s second double of the game plus another single by LF Jose De Los Santos added 3 more runs. �Another walk, this one to DH Jim Negrych, began the 4th inning, and he scored on two singles and a fly out with a missed catch error by the Erie third baseman.
Hughes settled down a bit in the 3rd and 4th innings, but began the 5th with a walk and a single. �Mike Dubee finished up the inning with a strikeout and a grounder force out, then allowed only one hit over the next two innings. �Dubee earned the win. �Hughes struck out 7 batters in his 4.1 innings, and Dubee added 5 more strikeouts.
Curve 7, �SeaWolves 3 � �Game 2 (box)
The Curve jumped out to an early lead in this game also, with 3 runs in the top of the 1st. �This time, SS Chase d’Arnaud opened the game with a walk, and singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Jim Negrych, and 3B Jordy Mercer brought in 3 runs. �Derek Hankins gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, on three singles, a walk, and a triple, tying the game at 3-3.
LF Alex Presley liked the idea of that triple, so he hit one of his own in the 3rd inning, following a single by 2B Josh Harrison, to break the tie. �C Kris Watts gave the Curve an insurance run in the 4th, with a lead-off home run. The Curve bats were quiet for a couple of innings, then woke up again in the top of the 7th. �With one out, Negrych and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back doubles, and Harrison added another single, for 2 more runs.
Hankins retired 10 Erie batters in order after the runs scored in the 2nd inning. �He got a strikeout but gave up two walks to begin the 6th inning, and was relieved by Corey Hamman. Hamman finished the inning with two quick outs. �Danny Moskos pitched a perfect inning in the 7th, including 2 strikeouts, to finish the game. �Hankins earned his 4th win of the season.
The Curve recorded a total of 23 hits over the two games.
Another day with one afternoon game and two evening games in the lower part of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve �2, �Akron Aeros �1 (box)
The Curve and the Aeros could have skipped all the other innings and just played the 7th �– that was the only one that turned out to matter. �After 6 scoreless innings from starter Rudy Owens, reliever Dustin Molleken took the mound for the 7th. � He got the first out, then gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second bases. �One more out, then another single to drive in the run for Akron.
Altoona returned fire with a pair of one-out back-to-back singles in the 7th, by LF Alex Presley and RF Miles Durham. C Kris Watts loaded the bases with a walk. �SS Chase d’Arnaud drove in both Presley and Durham with a double into right field. �CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases again by beating out an infield single to third base, but an inning-ending double play cut the rally short.
Owens worked around 4 hits and two batters reaching on errors over his 6 innings. �He struck out 3 Akron batters. �Molleken pitched only that 7th inning. �Danny Moskos pitched the final two innings to earn his 9th save of the season. �He had a batter reach on an error by 3B Jordy Mercer in the 8th, but promptly picked the runner off first base. �Moskos walked a batter in the 9th, but erased him in a double play.
The Curve posted 10 hits, including 2 each by Chase d’Arnaud, 1B Matt Hague, and Alex Presley, with both d’Arnaud and Presley collecting a double each. �DH Jim Negrych walked twice and stole second base in the 1st inning. �The Curve came close to scoring in the 2nd inning, when Hague led off with a single, and Presley doubled, but Hague was thrown out at the plate. �They also had the bases loaded with one out in the 3rd — back-to-back singles by Watts and Presley, then a walk to Negrych. �That time a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning without a run scoring.
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.
Daytona Cubs �2, �Bradenton Marauders 1 (box)
Starter Bryan Morris pitched 6 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 Cubs’ batters. �Unfortunately he did not earn a win, as the Marauders lost in extra innings. � Morris had to work around a fielding error and a walk in the top of the 1st inning, but got out of the frame leaving two runners on base. �He allowed only one base runner over the next 4 innings, and that was a double to lead off the 4th. �Back-to-back singles began the 6th inning, and a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, but Morris got a strikeout and a pop out to end that inning.
The Marauders were also held scoreless over the first 5 innings. �They had at least one runner on base in each of those innings, but base running errors erased two of the runners. � Four runners were left on base, two after singles and two after walks. �Finally in the 6th, Daytona starter Brooks Raley was relieved, and the Marauders got going. �With one out, four consecutive singles, by C Tony Sanchez, LF Quincy Latimore, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and 1B Calvin Anderson brought in one run, and the Marauders had a slim lead.
Casey Erickson took over for Morris to begin the 7th inning. �He retired the side in order in the 7th, but then gave up a run on a double and a single in the 8th to tie the game. �SS Brock Holt singled in the bottom of the 7th, but was left stranded. �They also went down in order in the 8th and 9th, and the game went into extras.
Noah Krol relieved Erickson to begin the 9th. �He gave up a lead-off single, but did not let that runner score. �Then in the top of the 10th, a walk, a stolen base, and a triple brought in the go-ahead run for Daytona. �The Marauders could not respond in the bottom of the inning, and Krol was charged with the loss.
This was Bryan Morris’ fourth straight start in which he did not allow an earned run. �That gives him 26 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. �Morris’s ERA stands at 0.66 — 3 earned runs over 40.2 innings.
The Indianapolis Indians lost, but the rest of the Pirates’ affiliates won on Saturday.
Altoona Curve �9, �Erie SeaWolves �7 (box)
A 6-run 2nd inning boosted the Curve to an early lead, and a late-inning rally kept them on top for a win at home on Saturday. �The Curve sent 11 batters to the plate in the 2nd, collecting 8 hits for their 6 runs. �DH Jim Negrych got the fun started with a single through the hole into right field. �2B Josh Harrison and LF Alex Presley both doubled, and RF Miles Durham added another single, and two runs were in before an out had been recorded. �After a fly out, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled, bringing in both Presley and Durham, and a fielding error accounted for the second run (so only one RBI for d’Arnaud) and moved d’Arnaud to third. �Three more consecutive singles, by CF Gorkys Hernandez, 3B Jordy Mercer, and 1B Matt Hague, and another run came in. �That brought it back to Negrych, who this time brought the 6th run in with a sacrifice fly, before a ground out by Harrison ended the inning.
Starter Tim Alderson elected to work entirely out of the stretch as he worked on mechanics. �He�kept the SeaWolves from scoring over the first three innings, but gave up one run in the 4th on a single and an RBI double. �He ran into more trouble in the 5th, giving up a single, a double, a sacrifice fly, and another double, and then another single, for 3 runs. �Alderson was relieved at that point, just one out away from qualifying for the win, having surrendered 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks over his 4.2 innings, with 6 strikeouts. �He was replaced by Dustin Molleken, who gave up another single, but the throw in from Durham in right field put the runner from first out at third base to end the inning. �Curve 6, SeaWolves 4.
Erie moved within one run of the Curve in the 7th, when Molleken gave up a double, a wild pitch to move the batter to third base, then a sacrifice fly. �The Curve responded in the bottom of the inning with 3 more runs to maintain a bigger lead. �Hernandez led off with a double, and Hague walked. �A grounder by Negrych forced Hague out at second, but left runners on the corners with two outs. �Harrison brought both Negrych and Hernandez in with a line drive double into left field, and he moved to third on the throw in to the plate. �That meant that he was able to score on a wild pitch, and the Curve had a 9-5 lead.
Jeff Sues came in fro Molleken to begin the 8th inning, and he was greeted by a solo home run by Erie 1B Michael Bertram. �Sues got two outs, then gave up a single, a wild pitch, and another single. �Danny Moskos finished the inning for Sues with a fly out. �Moskos had to work around a fielding error by SS d’Arnaud and 2B Harrison in the 9th, but still kept Erie from scoring, to earn his 7th save of the season. �Molleken was credited with the win, his first of the season.
Gorkys Hernandez had a 3-hit night for the Curve, with a double and one RBI. �Jim Negrych, Josh Harrison, and Alex Presley each had 2 hits for the Curve.
Altoona Curve �6, � �Harrisburg Senators �1 (box)
Washington Nationals’ #1 Prospect Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to make one last AA start on Sunday afternoon, before heading over to AAA Syracuse. �The Curve wanted to make sure Strasburg learned one more lesson at the AA level before being promoted. �That lesson: �sometimes you have to take a loss. �The Curve were not all that cowed by Strasburg the first time they faced him, back on April 11th, and they were not any more impressed today. �After going down in order in the top of the 1st, the Curve began the top of the 2nd with a walk by 1B Matt Hague, followed by three consecutive singles by 2B Jim Negrych, RF Miles Durham, and LF Alex Presley. Negrych just beat out the throw from the shortstop for an infield single. �Durham floated a little single over the head of the Senators’ center fielder. �Presley’s single through the right side of the infield�brought Hague and Negrych in to score with the throw in from the outfield not even close, and the Curve had a 2-1 lead. �C Kris Watts walked, again loading the bases. �Strasburg got his mound opponent Justin Wilson to strike out. �SS Chase d’Arnaud grounded to short, and it looked like Strasburg was going to get out of the inning with a double play. �Watts was forced out at second, but Senators’ 2B Michael Martinez threw wildly to first base, and the ball skittered away, as two runs came across the plate, and d’Arnaud was safe at first. �The Curve took a 4-1 lead.
The Curve kept poking at Strasburg, and made him work for his outs. �In the 3rd inning, 3B Jordy Mercer led off with a walk, and Hague singled. �After a fly out, a double play got Strasburg out of the inning. �Strasburg retired the side in the 4th, but began the 5th by hitting d’Arnaud with a pitch. �Singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez and Mercer loaded the bases, but again Strasburg got a timely double play. �Hague grounded to third, and the Senators started a 5-2-3 double play, forcing d’Arnaud out at the plate. �That was the end of Strasburg’s afternoon. �He finished with 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks with 4 strikeouts, and was charged with the loss. �Strasburg has allowed 9 runs (4 earned) in his 5 starts — 8 of those, including all of the earned runs, have been by the Curve.
Starter Justin Wilson gave up a run to the Senators in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a walk, and an RBI single that slipped just past d’Arnaud. �Wilson worked around runners on base in each of the next three innings, but allowed only that one run over 4 innings, on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 2 strikeouts. �Mike Dubee, just returned to the Curve from Indianapolis, pitched the next three innings for the Curve. �Dubee retired 9 batters in order, with one strikeout. �That earned him his first win. �Ronald Uviedo followed Dubee by retiring all 6 batters he faced, also with one strikeout.
As expected, the Pirates have called up righty�Jeff Karstens from Indianapolis to help them with their pitching woes. �Karstens will have to be added to the 40-man roster — he was removed from it back in November. �Over the past few weeks, Karstens had made 4 relief appearances for the Indy Indians, �for a total of 11 innings, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits. �He also made one start, last Thursday, and pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits.
In order to make room, Rule 5 Draft pick OF John Raynor has been designated for assignment. �If Raynor clears waivers, he will have to be offered back to the Marlins. �The Pirates are hoping they can work out a deal to keep him, like they did for Evan Meek a couple of years ago.
One late morning/early afternoon game today:
West Virginia Power 6, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)
The Power won the series over Kannapolis 3 games to one with today’s early-bird win. �Gabriel Alvarado made the start for the Power, and pitched 4 solid innings, allowing one run on 3 hits and 2 walks. �The run he gave up was a lead-off homer to Kannapolis RF Nicholas Ciolli, to begin the 2nd inning. �Alvarado worked around a base runner in each inning, but did not allow any of those batters to score. �He struck out one and erased one of the runners with a double play. �Ciolli had another hit off Alvarado in the 4th, and a third hit off Zach Foster in the 8th, accounting for 3 of Kannapolis’ 4 hits.
The Power answered the run in the bottom of the 2nd with 3 runs on 3 doubles in the top of the 3rd. �CF Evan Chambers walked with one out, and moved to third base when LF David Rubinstein doubled. �3B Jesus Brito brought Chambers in with a sacrifice fly. �Back-to-back doubles by 1B Aaron Baker and DH Rogelios Noris plated two more runs, giving the Power a 3-1 lead.
The Power were quiet over the next four innings, getting only one hit — a single by Aaron Baker, who was then caught stealing second base. �In the 8th, they utilized singles and errors instead of doubles to do their scoring. �With one out, Rubinstein and Brito both singled, and when the Kannapolis centerfielder made a fielding error, Rubinstein was able to make it all the way around to score. �Brito was left on second base, and a wild pitch moved him up to third. �Baker singled next, scoring Brito, and another fielding error, this one in left field, put Baker on third base. �Noris lifted a sacrifice fly, and Baker came in with the third run of the inning. �Power up, 6-1.
Duke Welker relieved Alvarado for the 5th inning. �He walked three and struck out three (S,W,W, S,W,S), but gave up no hits or runs. �In the eyes of the official scorer, that earned him his first win of the season. �Maurice Bankston pitched the next two innings and allowed only a walk. �Zach Foster gave up a walk and Ciolli’s third hit in the 8th, but left both runners on base, then retired the side in order to finish up the 9th.
Altoona Curve 3, �Erie SeaWolves 2 (box)
3B Jordy Mercer was the man of the night for the Curve, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate, raising his batting average to .348. �He drove in two of the Curve’s three runs and scored the first and third. �LF Alex Presley went 3-for-3, and 1B Matt Hague contributed two hits and the remaining RBI.
Starter Rudy Owens earned his first win of the season. �He allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings, and struck out 5 Erie batters. �The run came in the 2d inning, on a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single. �Owens stopped the scoring at one run by getting the next batter to bounce into a double play. �Owens also worked around base runners in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 5th and 6th.
The Curve bats were quiet in the early innings. �Their first hit was a single by Presley to lead off the 3rd. �Mercer tied the score at 1-1 with his first home run of the season, a blast over the left field wall with one out in the 4th. �Hague and Presley both singled following the homer, but were both left on base. �The go-ahead run came in the 5th inning. �CF Gorkys Hernandez led off with a single into right field that had deflected off the Erie pitcher. �SS Chase d’Arnaud bunted Hernandez to second base, then RF Miles Durham was hit by a pitch. �That brought up Mercer, who doubled down the left field line, scoring Hernandez.
Owens was relieved by Michael Dubee to begin the top of the 7th. �Dubee retired the side in order that inning, but the top of the 8th began with a batter reaching on a fielding error by Mercer. �After a stolen base, a walk, and a strikeout, Dubee was relieved by Danny Moskos. Moskos got a grounder for a force out at third, then a second ground out to end the inning without a run scoring.
Mercer started the rally in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Curve an insurance run. �He led off with a triple into right field, which was followed by a walk to C Kris Watts, and two singles by Hague (RBI) and Presley. �With the bases loaded and one out, Hernandez grounded to third, forcing Watts out at the plate, and another grounder ended the inning. �The insurance run was necessary, because Erie scored one more time in the top of the 9th on a double and a single off Moskos, who held on to end the inning and earn his third save.
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.