Tuesday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers….
Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)
The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League’s Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.
Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague’s two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning — he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.
Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie’s only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.
Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer’s ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman’s double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).
Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.
Pirates’ lower minor leaguers on Saturday…
Altoona Curve� 10,� Binghamton Mets� 4 (box)
The Curve posted 14 hits, with two big innings, as all but one member of the starting line-up had at least one hit in the game, as starter Rudy Owens earned his 10th win of the season.� SS Jordy Mercer doubled three times and 1B Matt Hague doubled twice, with 4 RBI.� Even Owens doubled, walked, and scored twice.
Owens got off to a little bit of a shaky start on the mound.� He gave up a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly to begin the bottom of the 1st.� A single and a double gave the Mets a second run in the 3rd.� Owens settled in after that, and allowed just one hit in each of the 4th and 5th.
The Curve got one run back in the top of the 4th, after putting runners on base in each of the first three innings but failing to score.� In the 4th,� Mercer hit his first double, and he scored on RF Miles Durham’s RBI single.� Then they broke through in the 5th.� Owens led off the inning with a walk.� LF Jose De Los Santos singled, then 3B Josh Harrison bunted both runners into scoring position.� 2B Jim Negrych was intentionally walked to load the bases.� Hague cleared the bases with a double into left field, then Mercer hit his second double (this one was a ground-rule double), plating Hague.� The Curve had a 5-2 lead.
The next inning began with a solo home run by Miles Durham.� One out later, Owens doubled, and De Los Santos singled.� A fielding error on a ball hit to third by Harrison let Owens score.� Negrych brought in both Owens and De Los Santos with another double, and Hague made it three doubles in the inning with his 26th of the season, bringing in Negrych with the fifth run of the inning.� The Curve were up, 10-2.
Mike Colla relieved Owens to begin the 6th.� He gave up a solo homer in that inning, and another solo homer in the 8th, but retired the other 12 batters he faced in 4 innings.� Owens earned his 10th win of the season, and Colla earned his first save.
A little lighter schedule in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues tonight — the Altoona Curve and the State College Spikes both had scheduled days off.
The Pirates have signed their top two draft picks, righty pitchers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, just a few hours before the midnight deadline.� That makes 27 of 50 draft picks signed.� Check out the complete list here.
Bradenton Marauders� 9,� Palm Beach Cardinals� 1 (box)
The Marauders posted 12 hits and scored in each of their last three at-bats as they bombarded the Cardinals.� 3B Jeremy Farrell led the charge with 3 hits, while SS Shelby Ford and C Eric Fryer had 2 hits and 2 RBI each.
Starter Brian Leach earned his 6th win of the season with 5 innings of work, in which he allowed only one unearned run, on 6 hits and a walk, while striking out 5 batters.� He worked around a hit in each of the first two innings, and then got out of a small jam after two singles in the 4th by striking out the next 2 batters.� The 5th inning began with a batter reaching on a fielding error by Farrell.� A single and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases.� Leach’s only walk of the game forced in the unearned run.
The Marauders also picked up an unearned run, which came in the 3rd.� 2B Adam Davis doubled, then scored when DH James Skelton’s bunt was complicated by a throwing error on the Cardinals’ pitcher.� They scored again (earned this time) in the next inning, when LF Quincy Latimore led off with a walk, followed by Farrell’s ground rule double and Fryer’s RBI single.
The Marauders broke the game open with 4 runs in the 6th. Latimore again led off with a walk, and Farrell singled.� Fryer moved them up a base each with a sacrifice bunt.� 1B Calvin Anderson singled, scoring both Latimore and Farrell.� Davis walked, then a throwing error laoded the bases again.� This time it was Ford’s single which brought in two runs, Anderson and Davis, and the Marauders had a 6-1 lead.
Latimore led off an inning with a walk for the third time in the 7th inning.� That was followed by singles from both Farrell and Fryer, driving in Latimore with the Marauders’ 7th run.� In the 8th, Skelton had a turn at leading off an inning with a walk.� Ford singled, but he was out at second on RF Robbie Grossman’s grounder force out.� Back-to-back doubles by CF Starling Marte and Latimore brought in Skelton and Grossman, though Marte was out at the plate trying to score on Latimore’s double.
Duke Welker pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings for the Marauders, allowing just 2 walks.� Craig Hansen also went 2 innings, with a hit batter in the 8th, and a single in the 9th.� The single was followed by a game-ending double play.
Minor League action with the Pirates’ affiliates on Thursday… lots of good pitching
Altoona Curve� 5,� Trenton Thunder� 3 (box)
The Curve came from behind to take this game from Trenton, despite being out-hit 8-7.� Starter Jeff Locke had trouble in the 1st inning, when 3 runs scored on a double, three singles, a wild pitch, and a throwing error by C Hector Gimenez on a stolen base play.� After that inning, Locke settled in, scattering four hits over the next 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters.
The Curve batters had only 2 hits over the first 3 innings, but they got going in the 4th to put one run on the board.� LF Andrew Lambo walked, and 1B Matt Hague singled.� A ground out to second by Gimenez moved both runners into scoring position, and 2B Jim Negrych picked up an RBI when his groundout scored Lambo.� DH Yung Chi Chen got the 5th inning off to a good start with a triple into left field.� He scored on CF Anthony Norman’s sacrifice fly.� A fielding error in left field put Norman on first base, but he was caught stealing moments later.� SS Chase d’Arnaud kept the rally going with a walk, and he was successful in stealing second.� 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, and a wild pitch moved d’Arnaud to third and Harrison to second.� Lambo’s grounder to second brought in d’Arnaud from third, and the score was tied at 3-3.
Jared Hughes took over for Locke for the final three innings.� He held the Thunder to just a walk in the 7th, retiring the other 9 batters he faced, with the help of some outstanding outfield work, particularly by Norman, and an infield gem by Negrych.� The Curve threatened in the 6th, when RF Miles Durham singled and Chen walked with 2 outs, but both were left on base.� Harrison began the 7th inning with a walk, and with two outs, he stole second base.� That put him into scoring position, so that when Hague took a 3-0 pitch into left field for a double, Harrison was able to score the go-ahead run.� Gimenez was intentionally walked to get to Negrych, who obligingly grounded to second base for what should have been the final out of the inning.� But the Trenton second baseman made a fielding error — Negrych was safe at first, and Hague scored an insurance run.
Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues…�� The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off.
Palm Beach Cardinals� 6,� Bradenton Marauders� 5 (box)
The Marauders wanted to celebrate the return of 3B Jeremy Farrell with a big win, but a 3-run 7th inning by the Cardinals spoiled their plans.� Farrell finished his rehab stint with the GCL Pirates and returned to the Marauders’ line-up for the first time since he injured his knee on a foul ball in mid-June.� Farrell got right back at it, doubling in a run in the 5th, and scoring in the Marauders’ 4th inning rally.
Bradenton was the first to have the lead in the game, when they scored a run in the 2nd.� LF Quincy Latimore was hit by a pitch, moved to second base on Farrell’s groundout, and scored on C Eric Fryer’s RBI single.� The Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd with a solo home run, then followed the homer with back-to-back doubles to take a 2-1 lead.
The Marauders responded with 2 runs in the top of the 4th.� Latimore again got the rally started, this time with a walk.� Farrell grounded to short, but was safe when the Cardinals’ second baseman missed the catch on the flip from his shortstop.� Instead of what might have been a double play, the Marauders had runners on first and second bases with no outs.� A fly out let Latimore tag up and move to third base.� Fryer knocked another RBI single, scoring Latimore, and DH Jordan Newton RBI single brought in Farrell.
RF Robbie Grossman teamed up with Farrell to make it 4-2 in the 5th, when Grossman singled, and scored on Farrell’s double.� The Marauders picked up another run in the 6th, when 2B Adam Davis singled, then advanced to third base on a throwing error.� He scored on another RBI single by Newton.� Palm Beach got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 6th, on two walks and a single.
Nate Baker made the start for the Marauders, going 5 innings and allowing the 2 runs in the 3rd, on a total of 6 hits, no walks, and 3 RBI.� Yerfi Taveras, in his debut with the Marauders, gave up the run on two walks and a single in the 6th, but also struck out a batter and induced an inning-ending double play.
Tyler Cox took over for Taveras to begin the 7th, and he was charged with both the Blown Save and the loss.� He gave up a walk and a single, then a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third.� A fielding error by SS Shelby Ford allowed 2 runs to score (one earned, one not) and a throwing error by Farrell allowed the third run to come in (also unearned).� Duke Welker retired the side in order in the 8th, and the Marauders went down in order in both the 8th and 9th.