Baker Homers In FSL All-Star Game; Curve Drops Double Header

More brief notes for Saturday, since we’re on the road….

Florida State League All-Star Game, played in Clearwater, Florida
FSL North  5,  FSL South  3
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Three Marauders’ players got in on this game:  C Ramon Cabrera, 1B Aaron Baker, and 2B Jarek Cunningham were all starters for the South squad.  The North scored first, with a single, a triple, and fielding error in center field in the bottom of the 1st, for a 2-0 lead.  The South tied it up in the top of the 4th, thanks to the Marauders.  Cabrera led off with a single through to left field.  After two outs, Baker brought in Cabrera with a 2-run homer to tie the game.  

The North took the lead again in the bottom of the 5th.  A walk, a stolen base, an RBI double, and an RBI single gave the North a 4-2 lead.  The North added some insurance in the bottom of the 8th, on two singles and a double.  The South had one last chance in the top of the 9th, which began with a lead-off single.  Baker grounded out, moving the runner to second base, and another single put him on third.  A sacrifice fly brought in the run, but a ground out ended the rally and the game.  

Cabrera played 3.5 innings before being replaced by another catcher.  He went 1-for-2, with a ground out in his other at-bats.  Cunningham played 5.5 innings before letting another second baseman get into the game.  He grounded out and popped out in his two plate appearances.  Baker played the whole game, and went 1-for-2 at the plate, with two walks.   

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Indians Postponed; McPherson’s First AA Win

The Indianapolis Indians’ game in Rochester was postponed today — because the Indians were not there!  The team was supposed to fly to Rochester this morning, but due to mechanical problems, their flight was delayed.  There were not any other flights available to get the team to Rochester in time for the game.  The Indians and the Red Wings will play two games on Saturday, the first at 1 pm, and the second at 7 pm.  Both will be 9-inning games.  

The Pirates have signed two more draft picks:  3B Dan Gamache from Auburn U. and OF Taylor Lewis from University of Maine- Orono.  My guess is that they will be heading to State College, but no definite word yet.

The State College Spikes begin their season tomorrow, on the road at Williamsport.  The GCL Pirates will begin their 2011 season on Monday.
 
Don’t forget to vote for the All-Stars:
Eastern League All-Star Voting is here
AAA (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) All-Star Voting is here
 

Thursday’s action:

Altoona Curve  3,  New Britain Rock Cats  1
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Kyle McPherson allowed the New Britain a solo home run in the top of the 1st, and then he and the bullpen shut the Rock Cats down for the rest of the game.  McPherson pitched 6 innings and scattered 3 more runs and a walk over the remaining 5 innings for his first win at the AA level.  Two singles came in the 3rd, but McPherson left runners on the corners.  He left two runners in scoring position in the 6th after a walk and a single.  McPherson also struck out 4 batters.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st.  LF Anthony Norman led off with a single lined into right field, and 2B Brock Holt followed with a grounder into right for a second single, moving Norman to third base.  Norman scored on a ground out by SS Jordy Mercer.  Holt came in on CF Quincy Latimore’s RBI single, to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order over the next three innings.  They added an insurance run in the 5th, when C Tony Sanchez and DH Jose Hernandez hit back-to-back singles.  Sanchez moved to third base on Hernandez’s hit, then scored on RF Brad Chalk’s sacrifice fly.  1B Matt Curry blasted a triple into right field in the 7th inning, but he was left on base.  The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when Chalk and Norman both singled, and Holt walked.  They left the bases loaded, though, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

Matt McSwain pitched two perfect innings in relief after McPherson was done for the evening.  Anthony Claggett, who was moved back to the Curve when Jose Ascanio was assigned to Indianapolis, pitched the 9th inning.  The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error by Norman in left.  After two fly outs, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases.  But Claggett got a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.  

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Farrell’s Winning Homer; A Shutout By The Marauders

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.  

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Homers For Mercer And Watts; Three Power All-Stars

Tonight it’s the Bradenton Marauders who have a scheduled night off….

 
Altoona Curve  10,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve posted 13 hits, with CF Starling Marte leading the barrage with 3 of them.  The Curve jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st and 4 more in the 2nd.  2B Brock Holt opened the bottom of the 1st with a double into center field.  Marte’s ground out moved Holt to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s single into left field.  Mercer advanced to second base on a ground out by LF Quincy Latimore, and he scored on 1B Matt Curry’s RBI single.  

The 2nd inning began with a walk by C Tony Sanchez, followed by a ground-rule double by DH Kris Watts.  Both runners held their place on a short fly out and a strike out, then Marte singled, driving in Sanchez.  Marte stole second base, and the Erie pitcher threw a wild pitch, allowing Watts to score.  A 2-run homer by Mercer brought in Marte and gave the Curve the 6-0 lead.  

Erie got two of the runs back in the top of the 3rd off starter Jeff Locke.  A single and a hit batter gave the SeaWolves 2 runners on base with 2 outs.  The lead runner came in on a fielding error by Mercer, then a single plated the second unearned run of the inning.  A double, a fielding error by Latimore, and a sacrifice fly gave Erie a third run in the 4th inning.

The Curve kept adding on.  Watts blasted a solo homer in the 3rd.  In the 5th, Curry doubled, then scored on Sanchez’s line drive single into center field, and the Curve led 8-3.  Sanchez also stole second base and went to third on a throwing error, but was left there when Watts struck out.  

Locke pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, no walks, while striking out 8 batters.  Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 7th, but he got into trouble right away.  With one out, he gave up a single and three consecutive walks, driving in a run.  Michael Dubee replaced Alderson, and he got the next batter to ground out, but that brought in another run, also charged to Alderson.  Dubee ended the inning with a strikeout.  Dubee also pitched a scoreless 8th inning, allowing 2 singles.  Noah Krol pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.

Altoona rallied one more time in the bottom of the 8th.  With one out, Watts was hit by a pitch, and RF Brad Chalk ripped a triple into right field, easily scoring Watts.  Chalk scored on Holt’s RBI single, and Marte also added a single — his third of the game.  

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Curve Held To 3 Hits; Marauders Held To 2 Hits

Saturday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.

Don’t forget to vote for the All-Star Teams:
Pirates/MLB:  vote here
Indianapolis Indians/International League:  vote here
Altoona Curve/Eastern League:  vote here

Portland Sea Dogs  4,  Altoona Curve  0
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The Curve were held to just 6 base runners — 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score.  SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings.  He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.  

Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd.  He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning.  In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th.  Portland’s third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th.  Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts.  He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.  

The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out.  But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning.  Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play.  Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.  

Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla.  He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded.  Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.   

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