Action for the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates on Tuesday…� The Bradenton Marauders were rained out.� They’ll play a double header against Palm Beach today.
GCL Phillies� 5,� GCL Pirates 0 (box)
The Phillies dominated the Pirates for the second day in a row, adding 12 hits today to their 19 hits yesterday.� Righty pitcher Chris Jakubauskas made his first appearance in a game in months but suffered the loss with a 3-inning start for the Pirates.� He gave up one run on 3 hits and 2 walks.� The run scored in the 3rd inning. on a single, a wild pitch and an RBI ground out.� Kevin Kleis also gave up one run in his 2 innings of work, on two singles with a stolen base in the 5th.� Rinku Singh made his longest appearance to date, going 4 innings and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits.� Two runs scored in the 6th, on two doubles, a hit batter, a walk, and a wild pitch.� A single and a double added another run for the Phillies in the 8th.
The Pirates were held to 5 hits — a double by DH Justin Howard, and singles by CF Junior Sosa, 3B Eric Avila, C Elias Diaz, and 1B Dylan Child. The Pirates came closest to scoring in the 6th, when Howard doubled and Avila followed with a single into left field.� Howard tried to score from second on the throw, but was tagged out at the plate.� That was also the only inning in which more than one Pirate was on base at the same time.
Back to full action in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization:
Harrisburg Senators � 9,� Altoona Curve� 7 (box)
The 5 Curve players who participated in the Eastern League All-Star Game didn’t have to do any extra travelling after the game, because the rest of the Curve joined them in Harrisburg to begin a series against the Senators.
The Senators jumped out to an early lead, with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and 2 more in the 3rd inning off Curve starter Jared Hughes. Hughes gave up two walks, a triple, a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 1st inning, and a 2-run homer in the 3rd.� After the homer, Hughes had a batter reach on a throwing error by SS Chase d’Arnaud, then gave up another single.� Then he settled down and retired the next 11 batters in a row.� He pitched 6 innings and allowed those 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.
The Curve bats were quiet over their first 5 innings, with only a walk to C Hector Gimenez and singles to CF Gorkys Hernandez and RF Miles Durham. They got going in the 6th inning, when Hernandez singled again and 3B Josh Harrison doubled, scoring Hernadez from first base.� 1B Matt Hague blasted a 2-run homer, and the Curve were back in the game, trailing 5-3.
Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman added another 2-run homer in the top of the 7th, after LF Brandon Jones had walked.� With the score tied at 5-5, D’Arnaud walked after the home run, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.� Hernandez’s third single of the game put d’Arnaud on third base, and Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought him in with the go-ahead run.� One more run came across in the top of the 8th.� 3B Jordy Mercer walked, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� Durham singled again, but Mercer had to hold at second base because the ball was just at shortstop.� Jones walked to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Yung Chi Chen’s sacrifice fly brought in Mercer.
The Curve were looking good, with a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.� Anthony Claggett had relieved Hughes and struck out the side in the 7th.� Mike Dubee pitched the 8th, allowing a single and a walk, but striking out two more batters.� Ramon Aguero took the mound for the bottom of the 9th.� He got the first out… then everything fell apart.� A walk, a single, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third base.� A sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base, bringing the Senators closer, 7-6.� Another walk put two runners on, and a 3-run walk-off homer gave the Senators the 9-7 win.
Lots of action in the Pirates’ lower minors on Tuesday, partly because of two double headers making up for the two postponements yesterday.
West Virginia Power �7, �Hagerstown Suns �3 (box)
Power starter Nate Baker pitched 8 no-hit innings tonight in Hagerstown, to earn his 6th win of the season. �He was not perfect, though. �After striking out the first two batters he faced, a batter reached base on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez. A grounder force out ended the inning. �With one out in the 2nd inning, Baker hit a batter with a pitch, though he left that runner stranded on base. �From there, Baker retired the next 20 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts. �Only three of those batters got the ball out of the infield.
Baker did not come out to pitch the 9th inning, probably due to pitch count. �Reliever Gabriel Alvarado took the 9th, and he was the victim of the Suns’ pent-up frustration and stifled hits. � Alvarado struck out the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a line-drive single, a triple, and a home run, as the Suns avoided both the no-hitter and the shut-out.
The Power batters provided Baker with plenty of run support, though not until the later innings. �C Ramon Cabrera had 3 hits and 2 RBI, while CF Evan Chambers, 2B Jarek Cunningham, and 1B Aaron Baker all had 2 hits. �The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when Cabrera singled, Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Chambers walked, but a strikeout ended the inning. �They got going in the 6th inning, with a single by Aaron Baker, a walk to LF Jose Hernandez, and a 2-RBI triple by Cabrera. �DH Elevys Gonzalez followed with a double, scoring Cabrera, for a 3-0 lead. �They added another run in the 7th, when Chambers led off with a single and scored on Aaron Baker’s double.
Two walks, to 3B Jesus Brito and Cabrera, began the 8th inning, and a fielding error on Elevys Gonzalez’s sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Power. �Benji Gonzalez brought in Brito on a grounder force out, then Chambers doubled, scoring Cabrera. �Benji Gonzalez tried to score from first base, but he was thrown out at the plate. �Cunningham also singled, plating Chambers for the Power’s final run of the game.
Roster moves: �Relief pitcher Duke Welker has been promoted from West Virginia to the Bradenton Marauders. �Welker had made 20 relief appearances for the Power, earning a 1-1 record and 5 saves, with a 3.63 ERA. �In 22.1 in innings, Welker gave up 16 hits, 14 runs (9 earned), with 24 walks and 25 strikeouts. �Opponents hit .198 against him.
The Pirates have signed INF�Yung Chi Chen to a minor league contract and assigned him to Altoona. �Chen had been playing for the AA Midland RockHounds (A’s), but was released in early June. �He had been hitting .168 for Midland, with 5 doubles and 9 RBI in 28 games. �The Taiwan native has been a member of the Taiwan National Team, and was signed by the Mariners in 2004. �He played for AAA Tacoma in 2007 for just a few games before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, and in 69 games in 2008, when he hit .249. �Chen was claimed off waivers by the A’s in late 2008. �He split the 2009 season between AAA Sacramento (where he hit .283 with one homer and 8 RBI in 27 games), AA Midland (.324 and 10 RBI in 17 games) and the Arizona League A’s (.346 with one homer and 8 RBI in 8 games). �Chen appeared in his first game for the Curve on June 30th, when he went 0-for3 with 2 strikeouts.
Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)
Tim Alderson earned his 7th win for the Curve, and he contributed to the offense too, with a 2-run homer. �It was not the first homer of Alderson’s career, though. �He hit one last year for the Curve and another, also last season, while pitching for Connecticut, while he was still in the Giants’ organization.
Alderson got into some trouble right away in the 1st inning, when he gave up what would turn out to be the R-Phils’ only run on a 2-out double and a single. �Then Alderson settled down, scattering a two more hits and two walks over the next 5 innings. �He retired the last 7 batters he faced in order.
After allowing that run in the bottom of the 1st, Alderson took care of the problem himself in the top of the 2nd. �LF Brandon Jones singled, and Alderson gave the Curve a 2-1 lead with his 2-run homer over the left field wall. �The Curve added 4 more runs in the 5th inning. �With one out, 2B Josh Harrison and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back singles. �3B Jordy Mercer’s grounder to first forced out Hague at second, but the R-Phils could not turn it into a double play to end the inning. �Instead, they gave C Hector Gimenez a chance, and he took it — a double into center field, scoring both Harrison from third and Mercer all the way from first. �Jones singled, bringing in Gimenez, and a fielding error in center field allowed Jones to advance to second base. �That gave him the opportunity to score on RF Miles Durham’s RBI single.
The next 11 Curve batters went down in order, until CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with one out in the 9th. �A passed ball let Hernandez move up to second base, and he scored on Hague’s RBI single. �Mercer also singled and Gimenez walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning before the Curve could add to their run tally.
Derek Hankins earned his 3rd save for the Curve with 3 scoreless innings of work. �He gave up a walk and a single over those 3 innings, while striking out 2 batters.