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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.
The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, and the Curve played a morning game. The Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 7, Bowie Baysox 1
After allowing a run in the top of the 1st, the Curve pitchers held Bowie scoreless for the rest of this morning’s game. The Curve posted a total of 14 hits, double the number they allowed the Baysox, and every hitter in the Curve lineup but one had at least one hit.
Starter Mike Colla began the game by giving up a double into center field to the Bowie lead-off hitter. A ground out moved the runner to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him in with the first run of the game. The Curve managed only a single by CF Starling Marte in the bottom of the 1st, but they got things going in the bottom of the 2nd. 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Eric Fryer led off with back-to-back singles. DH Kris Watts dropped down a bunt, but a quick move by the Bowie catcher forced out Farrell at third and left Fryer on second and Watts on first. After a pop out by 1B Miles Durham, RF Brad Chalk lined a single into right field, scoring Fryer. Watts advanced to third base and Chalk moved up to second base on the throw. 2B Brock Holt brought in both Watts and Chalk with a triple into right field, giving the Curve a 3-1 lead.
Four consecutive singles began the bottom of the 3rd for the Curve. LF Quincy Latimore, SS Jordy Mercer, Farrell, and Fryer all singled, adding 2 more runs as Latimore and Mercer scored. A ground out by Watts moved both Farrell and Fryer into scoring position, and after another out, Chalk singled to first base, plating Farrell and chasing the Bowie starter to the showers. The Curve had a 6-1 lead.
Colla worked around at least one runner on base in each of his 5 innings. The biggest threat he faced after the 1st inning came in the 4th, when he gave up a ground-rule double and a single, to put runners on the corners with one out. Colla got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to end the inning. Colla pitched 5 innings, throwing 76 pitches (53 strikes). He gave up the one run on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters, to earn his 3rd win of the season. Tim Alderson took over for Colla for the 6th inning. Alderson pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. Bryan Morris came on for the last 3 innings. He earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and a single in the 8th.
The Curve added their final run in the 7th. Marte led off with a double, moved to third on Latimore’s ground out, then scored on Mercer’s sacrifice fly. Marte, Holt, Farrell, and Chalk each had 2 hits in the game, and Fryer went 3-for-4.
The Curve play another morning game on Thursday.
Thursday night’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…..
Akron Aeros 6, Altoona Curve 1 (Game 1)
The Aeros began today’s double-header with a 5-run 1st inning, and the Curve could not catch up in Game 1. 2B Brock Holt went 3-for-3 with a triple and two singles.
Curve starter Aaron Thompson did not get out of the first inning. With one out, A pair of doubles drove in one run. A catchers’ interference call on C Eric Fryer put the next batter on first base, and a single loaded the bases. Thompson got a strikeout, but then walked in a run. Two more singles drove in three more runs for a 5-0 lead. Tim Alderson relieved Thompson, and Alderson ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
Alderson gave up a double and a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the next three batters to get out of the inning without further runs scoring. He went on to retire the next 11 batters in order (14 in order overall), before giving up a solo home run in the 6th.
Holt recorded his first single in the top of the 1st, and CF Starling Marte reached base on an error, but they were not able to come around to score. Holt singled again in the 3rd, with two outs. That time he was out at second on a grounder force out. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 4th, and was left on base. The Curve scored their only run in the 5th. 1B Miles Durham walked in the 5th, and moments later, Holt drove Durham in with his triple.
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 1 (Game 2)
Jared Hughes pitched into the 6th inning, and kept the Aeros scoreless in the night-cap. Hughes gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, and worked around runners on base in four of the innings he pitched. He left two runners in scoring position in the 1st, and allowed another single in the 2nd. In the 4th, the Aeros doubled, and the runner advanced to third on a bunt. A grounder to 3B Shelby Ford became a fielder’s choice when Ford’s throw home let C Kris Watts tag out the runner at the plate. Hughes gave up another single and a walk in the 6th, and was relieved by Michael Dubee. Dubee moved both runners into scoring position with a wild pitch, but ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. DH Jeremy Farrell doubled into center field, and 1B Miles Durham walked. Ford lifted a single into left field, allowing Farrell to score from second base. A pair of doubles added another run for the Curve in the 3rd. With one out, CF Starling Marte doubled into center field. Marte scored on LF Quincy Latimore’s double into left. Latimore also singled and Farrell walked in the 6th, but the Aeros changed pitchers, and two strikeouts ended the inning.
Akron’s only run came in the bottom of the 7th. Dubee gave up a lead-off double and a walk, and with two outs, an RBI single up the middle brought in the lead runner.
After wins for everyone on Saturday, it’s losses for everyone on Sunday:
Erie SeaWolves 2, Altoona Curve 1
It took 13 innings to finish this pitching duel, when the Curve could not respond to a run scored by the SeaWolves in the top of the inning.
The Curve had put a runner on base in three of the first four innings: a double by SS Jordy Mercer in the 2nd, a single by 2B Brock Holt in the 3rd, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore in the 4th. The Curve scored first, with a run in the bottom of the 5th. C Eric Fryer led off with a single, and he scored on 1B Miles Durham’s double to center field.
Starter Aaron Pribanic mowed down the SeaWolves with 6 scoreless innings. He struck out 4 batters and did not walk any, and had to work around only 2 hits, plus a batter reaching base on a throwing error. After a single in the 2nd, Pribanic retired 13 consecutive Erie batters. He gave up another single to begin the 7th inning, then was relieved by Matt McSwain. Pribanic had thrown 79 pitches, with 53 strikes.
McSwain gave up a double, but got out of the 7th inning without a run scoring. RF Brad Chalk helped out with a timely double play, when he made the catch on a fly ball, then threw out a base runner at third. Tim Alderson took the mound to begin the 8th inning, and he retired the side in order. But in the 9th, Alderson gave up a run on a single, a throwing error by 3B Jeremy Farrell on a bunt play, and an RBI double.
The Curve had only one base runner in the 6th – 8th innings, when Holt was hit by a pitch in the 8th. DH Tony Sanchez singled in the bottom of the 9th, but got no further, and the game moved into extra innings.
Alderson pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, and the Curve went down in order in the bottom of the inning. Michael Dubee took over for Alderson in the top of the 11th. Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 12th. The Curve went down in order again in the bottom of the 11th, but threatened in the 12th. Farrell was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then Fryer walked. A double play ended the inning without a run scoring.
Chris Leroux came on to pitch the top of the 13th, which began with a triple lined into right field. Chalk threw the ball in to the cut-off man Durham, whose relay throw went wild for an error, letting the runner score the go-ahead run. Leroux retired the next three batters, and the Curve had one more chance.
Pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez led off the bottom of the 13th with a line drive double into left field. Holt put down a sacrifice bunt to move Hernandez to third base. CF Starling Marte popped out to first base, and Latimore was hit by a pitch, and advanced to second on defensive indifference. But a strikeout by Mercer ended the game with the two runners in scoring position, and Erie had the win.
Tuesday night’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:
West Virginia Power 5, Charleston RiverDogs 1
Colton Cain took his second win of the season, allowing 3 hits and one run over 5 innings, with one walk and 3 strikeouts. Cain had some trouble in the 1st inning, when a lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single drove in a run for Charleston. After a walk, Cain got the next batter to fly out to center, where a nice throw from CF Mel Rojas to 3B Eric Avila ended the inning. Cain retired the next 10 batters in order, then gave up a double in the 5th inning. He struck out two batters to end his evening’s work.
The Power batters gave Cain all the run support he needed in the top of the 2nd. With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a double into right field, then went to third base when C Elias Diaz reached base on a fielding error. Diaz stole second base, then LF Rogelios Noris singled into right field, plating Marquez. Noris advanced to second base on the throw in from the outfield, which put him into position to score behind Diaz on Avila’s 2-RBI single. The Power added a run in the 3rd for a 4-1 lead. RF Dan Grovatt singled, then 1B Justin Howard’s double advanced Grovatt to third. Rojas picked up the RBI with a ground out, scoring Grovatt.
Kevin Decker relieved Cain to begin the 6th inning. He pitched 3 perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts. Brooks Pounders took the 9th inning and allowed only a single in his scoreless inning.
Charleston committed errors in both the 4th and the 5th innings, but the Power were not able to take advantage of those errors to score. The Power scored one more run in the 9th, when Marquez bed off with a single, and was bunted to second by Diaz. Noris’ ground out moved Diaz to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.
The Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.
Harrisburg Senators 3, Altoona Curve 2
Three walks and an RBI ground out in the bottom of the 9th gave the Senators a walk-off win against the Curve.
Altoona had scored first, on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning. The Senators replied with a solo home run by 3B Tim Pahuta in the bottom of the inning. The Curve took the lead again in the top of the 4th, when LF Quincy Latimore singled, then Farrell picked up another RBI with his double into center field.
Mike Colla pitched 5 innings and struck out 5 batters in his start. He gave up that solo homer, plus two singles in the 1st inning. Colla walked two batters, and those were the only Harrisburg base runners over the last three innings of his outing. Tim Alderson struck out two batters in his scoreless 6th inning. Chris Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th inning. He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up Pahuta’s second solo home run, tying the game at 2-2.
The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single. Latimore grounded into a force out at second, replacing Marte at first. A fielding error by Pahuta let SS Jordy Mercer reach base safely. Former Indy Indian Jimmy Barthmaier came on in relief for Harrisburg, and he got Farrell to bounce into a double play, ending the rally. Barthmaier gave up a double to 1B Miles Durham with one out in the 7th, then walked pinch hitter Kris Watts, before being relieved himself. A strikeout ended that threat without a run scoring.
Each team put a runner on base in the 8th — Mercer walked and stole second for the Curve, and the Senators had a single, and the runner moved to second on a wild pitch by Leroux — but neither one scored. The Curve went down in order in the top of the 9th. Noah Krol replaced Leroux to begin the bottom of the 9th. He walked the first batter he faced, then a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base. Pahuta was intentionally walked, then the next batter was unintentionally walked to load the bases. A ground out to third looked like it might be a double play, but the 5-4-3 throw only got out the batter at first, while the runner going to second was safe. That allowed the runner from third to score, giving the Senators the win.
The Indianapolis Indians were rained out on Monday night. They and the Durham Bulls will try for two on Tuesday. Tuesday’s first game is scheduled for 11:05 am, early for a Baseball In Education Day. That game is scheduled to be shown on the MLB network. (It’s absolutley pouring down rain now.)
The Marauders played a morning game to accommodate the school kids; the Curve and Power play in the evening.
Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Bradenton Marauders 1
A 4-run inning was enough for Palm Beach to secure the win this morning. Marauders’ starter Kyle McPherson had allowed just one hit over the first two innings, but with one out in the 3rd, he hit two successive batters with pitches. A fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez allowed the next batter to reach base safely, loading them up. An RBI single drove in the runner from third, leaving the bags still full of Cardinals. Then a double lined into left field cleared the bases to give the Cardinals a 4-run inning. McPherson put Palm Beach down in order in the 4th and 5th innings, then gave up another run on a pair of doubles in the 6th. He finished with 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits, no walk, and 4 strikeouts in his 6 innings of work.
2B Jarek Cunningham led the Marauders’ batters with 2 hits, a single and a double, and 1B Aaron Baker drove in the only Marauders’ run. Bradenton missed a big chance in the 2nd inning, when both 3B Elevys Gonzalez and C Travis Scott walked, then LF Adalberto Santos’s infield single loaded the bases. But a strikeout and a pop out ended the threat with all three runners still in place. Cunningham began the 3rd inning rally with a double lined into left field. One out later, Baker lined a single into center field, and Cunningham raced around from second base to score the Marauders’ only run. The Marauders had another chance with the bases loaded in the 7th — DH Cole White walked, then Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers both singled, but a fly out ended that opportunity. Scott had the only other Bradenton hit, with a single to lead off the 4th.
Duke Welker pitched a quick 7th inning for the Marauders, getting three ground outs. Jason Erickson took the bottom of the 8th, and gave up two singles, then got a double play when the next batter lined out to Baker, who threw to SS Benji Gonzalez to double off the runner from second base. Erickson gave up one more single, but then ended the inning without a run scoring.
The Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates wrap up the month of April:
Erie SeaWolves 5, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, plus two walks, as they were shut-out by the SeaWolves. Their first hit of the game came in the 2nd inning, when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. The inning ended with Farrell being forced out at third base. Altoona had their biggest threat with two runners on base in the 3rd inning — a line drive single into left field by RF Eric Fryer and a walk to DH Jose Hernandez. A ground out put both runners into scoring position, but they too were left stranded. The Curve went down in order until LF Quincy Latimore’s single in the 6th. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona in the last three innings, when he walked in the 7th.
Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve. He pitched 6 innings but was the victim of some errors in the field behind him. He gave up one earned run but 4 unearned runs, and was charged with the loss. Erie’s earned run came in the 2nd inning, on a double, a walk, and an RBI single. The second base runner who tried to score was gunned down at the plate on a throw in from Fryer in right field to C Tony Sanchez. The top of the 4th inning began with a single, and the next batter grounded to short for what should have been a double play. But a missed catch error by 2B Brock Holt left both runners safe. A walk loaded the bases, and a grounder allowed the lead runner to score. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Erie a 4-0 lead. Erie began the 6th inning with a double and a single, and with two outs, a fielding error by Farrell at third allowed another unearned run to score.
Tim Alderson relieved Locke and pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings. The only batter to reach base against Alderson was hit by a pitch, then erased in a double play.
Pirates’ lower minor league action for Thursday: the Curve had an early game, and the Marauders and the Power play in the evening
Harrisburg Senators 6, Altoona Curve 2
Matt McSwain made his AA debut today with the Curve, after being promoted from A+ Bradenton to fill the roster spot opened when Bryan Morris went on the DL (oblique strain). Unfortunately, it was not as happy a debut as McSwain and the Curve would have liked, as the Senators scored 4 runs over their last two at-bats to take the win.
Mike Colla made the start for the Curve, and retired the first 11 batters he faced in order. Then he gave up back-to-back solo home runs in the 4th.
The Curve batters were getting on base during those innings, but they weren’t scoring either. CF Starling Marte and RF Eric Fryer both singled, and 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Kris Watts both doubled, but all were left on base. LF Quincy Latimore put the Curve onto the scoreboard in the 6th, when he led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall. Then he gave the Curve their only other run with another solo home run (to left-center field) in the 8th.
McSwain came on in relief of Colla to begin the 5th. He retired the Senators in order in the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a run in the 7th on a walk, a single, and an RBI double. With two runners in scoring position, McSwain ended the inning with a ground out and a fly out. He got into trouble again in the 8th, with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI double, to bring in one run. The next batter, 1B Tyler Moore, homered for the second time in the game, adding another 2 runs. Colla was charged with his first loss of the season.
The Indianapolis Indians and the Columbus Clippers were rained out in Columbus tonight. They will try for two on Monday, beginning at 5 pm. Sunday’s game is scheduled for 4 pm.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was optioned back to the Indians, after just a brief visit to Pittsburgh. The Pirates’ new shortstop Brandon Wood got himself to Pittsburgh very quickly, so no need for Ciriaco to fill in. Jose Ascanio, who was hit in the head by a line drive on Thursday, has been diagnosed as having “just” a contusion (a bruise). He’s doing better today.
Kannapolis Intimidators 8, West Virginia Power 7 (Game 1)
The Pirates were able to fight back after Kannapolis scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th gave Kannapolis the win. The Power had the early lead with one run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. CF Mel Rojas walked, and 1B Matt Curry singled. LF Rogelios Noris’ fly out moved Rojas to third, and then Rojas scored on RF Justin Howard’s single through the hole into left field. C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without any more runs scoring. With one out in the top of the 2nd, back-to-back doubles by DH Jairo Marquez and SS Drew Maggi brought in one run, then a wild pitch and a fielding error allowed Maggi to score, giving the Power a 3-0 lead.
Starter Colton Cain had retired the Intimidators in order in the 1st, but got in trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, when the first 6 batters who came to the plate reached base safely. A single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a hit batter forced in the first run. A double plated two more, and a single added another two. Another double made it 6 runs in the inning, and the Power were behind 6-3.
The Power battled right back in the top of the 3rd. Walks to Howard and 3B Andy Vasquez both walked, and Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Power. An RBI ground out drove in Howard, then Marquez’s single scored both Vasquez and Emsley-Pai to tie the score at 6-6. The Power took the lead in the 4th on Curry’s lead-off home run.
Trent Stevenson relieved Cain to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless innings. He allowed 3 hits and struck out one. The Power bats suddenly went quiet after the 4th, with no more hits until the 7th, when Howard tripled. Emsley-Pai and Marquez both walked, but two ground outs and a strikeout left all three on base. Jason Townsend pitched the 6th inning for the Power, allowing just one hit. Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th, and with one out, Sadler gave up three consecutive singles. The third hit went to Howard in right field, and Howard’s throw back to the plate was right to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate. But the next batter doubled to tie the score again, and the fourth single of the inning drove in the winning walk-off run.