The Pirates have announced the release of 9 players from the minor league ranks:
OF Erik Huber – Pirates’ 12th round pick in the 2007 draft. Huber’s best season was 2009, when he hit .318 with 40 RBI in 72 games for West Virginia, then .262 in 33 games for A+ Lynchburg. He remained at the A+ level with the Marauders in 2010, but hit .220 with 8 doubles and 20 RBI in 61 games.
From West Virginia:
RHP Melkin Laureano — Laureano spent June and part of July with A+ Bradenton, but finished the season back in A West Virginia. He threw 52 innings in 8 starts and 6 relief appearances for the Power, with a 4.15 ERA. In 33 innings with Bradenton, the Dominican native had a 3.82 ERA.
1B Kyle Morgan — 36th round pick in the 2008 draft. Morgan hit .296 for the Power in 2009, but when he returned to West Virginia in 2010, he hit just .203 in 87 games. He hit 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
From State College:
OF Kyle Saukko – 28th round pick in the 2008 draft. Saukko hit .138 in 34 games with the Spikes in 2010 and .172 in 28 games in 2090.
3B Andury Acevedo — This Dominican native has been in the Pirates’ organization since 2007. He played for the GCL Pirates in three seasons (2007, 2008, and 2009) but his batting average slid down each season (.444, .216, and .174 respectively). In 2010, he hit .129 in just 13 games for the Spikes, with no extra base hits or RBI.
From the GCL Pirates:
RHP Dinesh Patel — Patel was the runner-up of the “Million Dollar Arm” contest in India, and he joined lefty Rinku Singh in coming to the US and learning about baseball and pitching. He made 9 relief appearances in the GCL in 2010 — four good, 3 poor, and one really bad. In a total of 7.1 innings, he allowed 14 hits nad 7 runs, with 3 BB and 7 K.
RHP Sheng-Cin Hong – A Taiwan native and a product of the Australian academy, Hong appeared in 11 games for the GCL Pirates in 2010. He struggled more often than not, allowing 23 runs (21 earned) and 26 hits in 13.1 innings.
1B Chih-Wei Hsu – Another Taiwan native and Australian academy player, Hsu came to the US and played in the GCL for the first time in 2010. He appeared in 16 games and hit .154 with 2 doubles, no RBI.
RHP Yomar Pacheco – After two seasons with ERA’s of 0.71 and 1.97 in his native Venezuela, Pacheco struggled in his first season in the US. He made 13 relief appearances in the GCL and allowed 17 runs and 30 hits in 29.2 innings, for a 4.85 ERA.
Not getting game results from either the Venezuela or the Dominican Leagues yet tonight. The Puerto Rican League is off tonight. The Mexican Pacific League is playing late, of course, and the Australians will be playing at about 3 am Indiana time. More info in the morning.
Bradenton Marauders� 5,� Charlotte Stone Crabs� 0 ….�� (box)
The Marauders broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 7th with a big 4-run inning to take the win in their first playoff game.� Starter Aaron Pribanic earned the win with 7 scoreless innings of work.
Pribanic scattered 6 hits and one walk over those 7 innings.�� The first batter of the game singled, but a pickoff at first helped Pribanic get out of the inning.� He worked around a single and a walk in the 2nd inning, and around another single in the 3rd.� Pribanic retired the Stone Crabs in order in the 4th, but got into a jam in the 5th when he gave up three singles to load the bases with one out.� A timely double play, started by 2B Shelby Ford, who stepped on second base himself, then fired on to 1B Calvin Anderson, got Pribanic and the Marauders out of that jam without a run scoring.� Pribanic went on to retire the side in order in the 6th and 7th innings.
Charlotte starter Matthew Moore was also having a great night.� He struck out 9 Bradenton batters over the first 6 innings, while allowing only one hit.� He also walked 6 batters, though, and the walks were what ultimately got him into trouble.� The Marauders threatened in the bottom of the 1st, when both Ford and RF Robbie Grossman walked.� A wild pitch allowed Ford to move to third base.� CF Starling Marte grounded to first base, but the Charlotte first baseman threw home, and Ford was out on the basepath.� A strikeout ended that inning.� 3B Adam Davis walked in the 2nd inning, and Grossman singled and LF Quincy Latimore walked in the 3rd, but none of them could come around to score.� The Marauders went down in order in the three middle innings, including the side striking out in the 5th.
Matthew Moore began the bottom of the 7th by walking Anderson, and Anderson was replaced by pinch-runner Adenson Chourio. A wild pitch moved Chourio to second base.� Moore struck out Davis, his 10th batter of the game, then intentionally walked DH Jordan Newton. That was the end of Moore’s night, and he was relieved by Marquis Fleming, and Fleming did not have a good night.� He began by giving up a grounder through the right side of the infield for a single to SS Greg Picart. Chourio raced around from second base to score the first run of the game.� Shelby Ford followed with a double into the left-center field gap, bringing in both Newton and Picart from first base.� Robbie Grossman grounded out to first, and Ford advanced to third base.� Starling Marte drove a liner into left field for a double, and Ford also scored, to give the Marauders a 4-0 lead.
Fleming came back out to pitch the bottom of the 8th.� C Eric Fryer began the inning with a double down the right field line.� Both Erik Huber, who had come into the game in place of Calvin Anderson, and Adam Davis flied out, but Jordan Newton skipped a bad hop off the glove of the Charlotte shortstop and into short left field.� Newton was credited with a hit, and Fryer came around to score one more run while the Stone Crabs were chasing down the ball.
Kyle McPherson came on in relief of Pribanic, to begin the 8th inning.� By then, the Stone Crabs were a bit stunned.� They went down in order, including 2 strikeouts in the 8th.� McPherson got some help from Shelby Ford, who made a perfectly-timed leaping catch of a line drive to begin the 9th inning.� The Stone Crabs did get a two-out hit, on a ball that fell into short left field, but McPherson got a pop out to short right field, easily played by Robbie Grossman, to end the game.
The Marauders will play Game 2 tomorrow in Charlotte.� The Tampa Yankees beat the Dunedin Blue Jays 3-0 in the other Florida State League round one game.
The Altoona Curve begin their playoffs on Wednesday, facing the Harrisburg Senators in Altoona.
The Pirates also took a scoreless tie into the bottom of the 7th inning, when they busted the game open with a big inning.� None of the 8 new call-ups got into the game, though.
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 few roster moves:� The Pirates have designated pitcher Steven Jackson for assignment, so that a roster space on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters will be available.� That will make room for reliefer Chris Resop, who the Pirates picked up off waivers from the Braves today.
1B/OF Steve Pearce’s surgery on his knee went fine, and he is expected to be out of commission for at least 4 months.� He has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, which frees up another spot on the 40-man roster.� That will be taken by reliever Chan Ho Park, who the Pirates claimed off waivers from the Yankees today.� The Pirates will still need to open a spot on the 25-man roster, but they will have a couple more days to do that, since Park won’t be joining the team until Friday.
And, today’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization…..� The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled day off today; the West Virginia Power’s game against the Delmarva Shorebirds was rained out, so they’ll try again tomorrow.
Altoona Curve� 5,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)
Starter Rudy Owens pitched another stellar start, going 6 innings and allowing only a solo home run to the second batter he faced in the top of the 1st.� After that homer, Owens retired the next 17 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.� Tom Boleska relieved Owens and earned his second save with the Curve.� He pitched 3 scoreless innings and allowed only a triple and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.� The triple was hit by Jason Kipnis, the first batter Boleska faced.� After a short fly out, Kipnis tried to tag up and score on another short fly out to new Curve LF Andrew Lambo. Lambo’s throw to C Kris Watts was on target and on time, and Kipnis was thrown out at the plate.
The Curve posted 13 hits and gave Owens and Boleska 5 runs worth of support.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud had 3 of the hits, all singles, and four Curve batters, Lambo, Watts, 1B Matt Hague, and RF Miles Durham each had 2 hits.� The first Altoona run scored in the 2nd inning.� Durham singled, CF Anthony Norman walked, and a fielding error allowed Durham to score.� Lambo walked to lead off the 2nd inning rally.� A single by Hague and a double by Watts followed, with Watts picking up the RBI.� A sacrifice fly by Norman brought in Hague with the second run of the inning.
Singles by d’Arnaud and 3B Josh Harrison led off the 4th inning, and a double steal moved both into scoring position.� Hague’s RBI single plated d’Arnaud.� Watts walked to load the bases, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.� The Curve scored their final run of the game in the 7th inning without a hit.� SS Yung Chi Chen and DH Jose De Los Santos worked back-to-back walks, and both advanced a base on d’Arnaud’s sacrifice bunt.� Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought in Chen with the Curve’s 5th run of the game.