A rainy Tuesday night in the Pirates’ minor league organization. The Indianapolis Indians played their entire game in the rain. The Altoona Curve’s game against the Akron Aeros (in Akron) was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a double-header on Thursday. The West Virginia Power and the Lexington Legends were also rained out in Lexington. They’ll try for two tomorrow, beginning at 10 am. The Marauders might have wished it was raining in Bradenton.
Clearwater Threshers 3, Bradenton Marauders 2
LF Adalberto Santos hit his first homer of the season and contributed to the Marauders’ 9th inning rally, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Threshers. Quinton Miller made the start for Bradenton. He pitched 5 scoreless innings, though had to work around runners on base in each of them:
– two singles in the 1st
– a hit batter, a single, and a walk in the 2nd
– a single in the 3rd (erased by a double play)
– a triple in the 4th (out at the plate on a fielder’s choice)
– a fielding error in the 5th.
But Miller’s luck ran out in the 6th, when the inning began with a double and a single to put two runners into scoring position. A suicide bunt scored the lead runner, and with two outs, a single loaded the bases. Miller was relieved by Jason Erickson, who threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to score. Erickson gave up an unearned run in the 8th, which would prove to be the winning run. With two outs, a fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham put a runner on second, and an RBI double brought that runner around to score. Duke Welker pitched the top of the 9th, and retired the Threshers in order — the only 1-2-3 inning for the Marauders’ pitchers.
The Marauders got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning, with Santos’ solo blast over the right field wall. They put two runners on base in the 4th, when C Ramon Cabrera walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, but a double play ended that inning. Santos reached base again in the 5th on a walk, then stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball, but that was as far as he got.
The second Marauders’ run came in a rally in the 9th. With one out, CF Evan Chambers walked, and Santos singled, moving Chambers to second base. DH Cole White grounded to third, and the Threshers’ third baseman went for the fielders’ choice, but didn’t get it — leaving the bases full of Marauders. An RBI ground out by SS Benji Gonzalez let Chambers score from third. Another ground out ended the inning and the game.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….
West Virginia Power 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 8
Late inning rallies for a total of 7 runs gave the Power the win over Kannapolis. 1B Matt Curry got the scoring started with a solo home run to begin the bottom of the 2nd. That run was overwhelmed, though, when the Intimidators exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 3rd. Power starter Zack Von Rosenberg had allowed only one walk over the first two innings, but that fell apart in the 3rd inning. A single, a walk, and a triple brought in two runs. A sacrifice fly gave Von Rosenberg the first out of the inning, but it also scored the runner from third, for a 3-1 lead. Two more singles, another triple, and another single brought in 3 more runs, for a 6-1 lead, and sent Von Rosenberg to the showers. Zac Fuesser relieved Von Rosenberg, and Fuesser’s first move was to pick off the runner on first base and get him out in a run-down. A walk and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Power got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3B Eric Avila’s double and a fielding error on LF Dan Grovatt’s bouncer to short. Fuesser gave up a pair of walks and a single in the 4th, but a timely double play kept any runs from scoring. He also gave up a pair of singles in the 5th, but was aided by an outfield assist from Grovatt. Kannapolis scored again in the 6th, with a two-out ground-rule double and an RBI single. Two more doubles gave Kannapolis another run in the top of the 7th, for an 8-2 lead.
Then the Power burst out with 7 unanswered runs over their last two at-bats to take the lead and the win. With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a single into left field, and Avila drove him in with a triple. SS Drew Maggi’s ground out plated Avila. 2B Kevin Mort singled and pinch-hitter Rogelios Noris walked, but they did not score in that inning. The Power continued the surge right where they left off in the 8th. RF Justin Howard led off with a double and CF Mel Rojas was hit by a pitch. C Kawika Emsley-Pai loaded the bases with a walk. Marquez drove in Howard with a single grounded into right field, leaving the bases still loaded. Avila bounced to short, for a force out at second base, but Rojas scored the second run of the inning on the play. After an out, Mort singled, plating Emsley-Pai, then Noris tripled in both Avila and Mort, for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Zach Foster relieved Fuesser for the final two innings. Foster allowed a double and hit a batter with a pitch in the 8th, but two strikeouts left them stranded. He also walked a batter in the 9th, but got two more strikeouts to preserve the Power lead and earned his first win of the season.
The Curve played a (mostly) morning game today; the Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 13, Harrisburg Senators 2
The Curve had a great morning today, blasting away at the Senators with 13 runs on 18 hits. All but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit, and that one was not starting pitcher Jeff Locke. Locke singled twice and came around to score, doing his share, and reliever Anthony Claggett also had a hit. CF Starling Marte, SS Jordy Mercer, and 1B Miles Durham each had 3 hits, and two of Mercer’s hits were home runs. Mercer contributed 5 RBI, while Durham and RF Jose Hernandez each had 3 RBI.
The game actually began in Harrisburg’s favor. Marte doubled in the top of the 1st, then moved to third base on a wild pitch, but got no further. In the bottom of the inning, Locke began by hitting the lead-off man with a pitch, then gave up a single to give Harrisburg runners on the corners. An RBI ground out brought in the first run, then an RBI single added a second run. After another single, Locke finished the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
After that inning, it was all Altoona. Locke shut down the Senators, retiring the next 12 batters in order. He gave up a single and a double in the 6th, but left both runners in scoring position. Locke threw 79 pitches (57 strikes) in earning his second win of the season.
The Curve put their hitting shoes on in the 3rd. Locke and 2B Brock Holt led off with back-to-back singles. That chased the Senators’ starter, and brought in former Indy Indian and Curve Jimmy Barthmaier. Barthmaier got Marte to ground into a force out at second, but could not get the double play. Marte stole second base, then Mercer blatsed his first homer, a 3-run shot over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 3-2 lead.
Locke singled again in the 4th inning, though he was left on base. Marte singled to begin the 5th, and was moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s sacrifice bunt. Mercer singled, and Marte came around from second base to score. Mercer stole second, and he scored on C Eric Fryer’s double. Then Fryer scored on Durham’s 2-run homer for a 4-run inning, giving the Curve a 7-2 lead. Holt singled and came around to score on Latimore’s RBI single in the 6th.
The Curve put up another 4-run inning in the 7th. 3B Jeremy Farrell, the only Curve position player without a hit in the game, was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Fryer reached base on a fielding error. Durham doubled, driving in Farrell, then Hernandez’s 3-run homer gave the Curve a 12-2 lead. Mercer’s second home run, a solo homer, provided the Curve with their final run in the 8th.
Anthony Claggett relieved Locke in the 7th inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, then worked around a hit batter and a single in the 8th, to keep the Senators from scoring again. Tim Alderson finished the game for the Curve, with a perfect 9th inning.
Bradenton Marauders 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
Three 2-run innings gave the Marauders enough fire power to get past the Stone Crabs and salvage the last game of this 3-game series. Starter Kyle McPherson earned his second win of the season, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, no walks, in 7 innings of work. The 7 innings matched his two previous longest starts this season. Both of the Stone Crabs’ runs came early in the game. In the bottom of the 1st, a lead-off triple and an RBI ground out put the first run on the board. A solo home run brought in the second run in the 2nd inning. McPherson also gave up a double in the 1st, and a single in the 5th, and he hit one batter in the 3rd inning. He finished strong by retiring the last 7 batters he faced, four of them on strikeouts.
The Marauders went into the 4th inning behind by a score of 2-0. The only batter to reach base in the first three innings was SS Benji Gonzalez, who singled with two outs in the 3rd, but was picked off second base. But the bats started booming in the 4th, beginning with a double into left field by RF Robbie Grossman and a triple by 2B Jarek Cunningham, scoring Grossman. CF Evan Chambers’ ground out single drove in Cunningham to tie the game.
3B Kelson Brown singled and Benji Gonzalez walked in the 5th inning, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. Cunningham and Chambers opened the 6th with back-to-back singles, and a missed catch error by the Charlotte shortstop on a pick-off attempt let both runners move up a base. A fielding error by the second baseman on the next play off the bat of 1B Aaron Baker allowed both Cunningham and Chambers to score. The Marauders took a 4-2 lead. Baker added 2 more insurance runs in the 8th inning with a 2-run home run shot over the right field wall. He brought in Grossman, who had reached base on a fielding error at third base.
The Stone Crabs did not score again after the 2nd inning. Diego Moreno relieved McPherson to begin the 8th inning, and he walked one, gave up a single, and struck out two, keeping Charlotte scoreless. Ryan Beckman took the 9th, and he also pitched a scoreless inning, with one walk.
Saturday evening action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 0
Strong pitching by Richmond and one big inning for the Squirrels’ batters combined for another Curve loss. The Curve were held to just two hits — one each by 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Tony Sanchez. Five walks did not help either, as the Curve left 7 runners on base. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona over the first 3 innings, when he walked in the 3rd. LF Quincy Latimore walked with one out in the 4th. He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s ground out. Mercer reached third base when Farrell slipped a single through the left side of the infield, but both runners were left stranded.
Farrell walked and Sanchez singled with one out in the 7th, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. The Curve’s biggest threat came in the 9th inning, when with two outs, Mercer was hit by a pitch, then Farrell and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks. A pop up to the catcher in foul territory by Durham ended the game with all three still on base.
Three errors by the Curve fielders did not help out their pitchers, who gave up a combined 11 hits. Starter Aaron Thompson worked around a pair of two-out singles in the 1st, then struck out three batters around a walk in the 2nd. Then things fell apart in the 3rd. The inning began with three consecutive singles, loading the bass. The next batter grounded to short, but Mercer’s fielding fumble left everyone safe, and the lead runner scored. Thompson looked like he had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage when he got the next two batters with a fly out and a strikeout. But a bases-clearing double into left field made the score 4-0. The throw in from LF Latimore was relayed from the cutoff man Mercer to Farrell at third, who tagged out the batter at third as he tried to stretch the double into a triple.
Thompson kept the Squirrels from scoring in the 4th, despite a fielding error by CF Starling Marte and another single. A lead-off single began the 5th inning, and a throwing error by Sanchez on a steal attempt put the runner on third base. Thompson struck out two batters, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett, who ended the inning with a ground out, leaving that runner on third. Claggett pitched a scoreless 6th, but gave up a run in the 7th on a hit batter and an RBI double. Two walks after the double loaded the bases, but Claggett escaped the inning with a ground out. Chris Leroux took over for the bottom of the 8th. He also gave up a double and hit a batter, but did not allow a run. Thompson took the loss, going 4.2 innings with 4 runs (one earned) on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts.