Durham’s Grand Slam Sparks Curve; Marte Back With A Homer

Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues… the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.

Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)

RF Miles Durham’s grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.

Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d’Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d’Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d’Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.

Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.

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Two Homers For Trinidad; Three Hits For Lyles and Grossman

Monday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.� The West Virginia Power have a a scheduled day off.

GCL Pirates� 11,� GCL Braves� 3 (box)

The Pirates got in on the recent hit-o-rama fun the minor league teams have been having.� This afternoon, the Pirates collected 20 hits on their way to 11 runs.� 2B Kevin Mort went 5-for-5, all singles.� SS Jorge Bishop had 4 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI.� 1B Michaelangel Trinidad had 4 hits, two of which were home runs, and he knocked in 7 of the Pirates’ 11 runs.

The fun started with 5 runs in the 2nd inning.� Trinidad’s first homer was for 2 runs after Mort’s first single, and it was followed by a walk to CF Chih-Wei Hsu and three doubles, by 3B Eric Avila, Bishop, and LF Exicardo Cayonez, for 3 more runs.� Trinidad blasted another 2-run homer in the 3rd inning, following another one of Mort’s singles.� Bishop led off the 4th with a single, and he scored on two more singles, by RF Gregory Polanco and Mort.

Polanco, Mort, and Trinidad hit three consecutive singles in the 6th to add another run.� The Pirates’ final two runs came in the 7th, on singles by Cayonez, C Elias Diaz, and Mort, with a 2-RBI double by Trinidad.

Vincent Payne pitched 4 innings in his 5th start for the Pirates.� He scattered 3 hits, and only one counted — a solo home run in the 4th inning.� He did not walk anyone, and he struck out 2 batters.� Bryton Trepagnier made his second pro appearance and earned his first win.� He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but erased him with a double play, and retired the rest of the batters he faced in two innings.� Joan Montero also gave up a single and erased the runner with a double play in the 7th.� He also gave up two runs (one earned) on a single, a walk, a passed ball,� a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 8th inning.� Dinesh Patel pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing only a single.

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Fireworks in Altoona and State College; Kleis and Pevny Debut

Saturday with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…

Altoona Curve� 18,� Harrisburg Senators� 15 (box)

The booming you might have heard was thunder, and it came from the ballpark in Harrisburg.� These two teams combined for 34 hits and 33 runs, and 20 of the hits belonged to the Curve.� Every non-pitcher in the starting line-up had at least two hits, except LF Yung Chi Chen, who had only one hit and one RBI and walked once. Five different Curve batters homered in the game.

It was not a good night for ERA’s.� Starter Bryan Morris gave up 2 runs in the 1st (walk, walk, 2-RBI double) and 2 more in the 3rd (2-run homer).� He gave up a run on a double and a single in the 5th, then loaded the bases with two walks.� Morris was relieved by Dustin Molleken, who immediately threw a wild pitch to bring in the runner from third base (charged to Morris).� Morris was responsible for 6 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 4.2 innings.

Molleken retired the side in order in the 6th.� Mike Dubee came out to pitch the 7th, and he got into trouble quickly.� A single, a stolen base, a double, a walk, a single, another double — 4 runs in, and Molleken out.� Anthony Claggett relieved Dubee, but gave up a single, and the 5th run of the inning scored (charged to Dubee).� Claggett began the 8th with two singles and a double, then an RBI ground out, bringing in two more runs.� After a walk, Ramon Aguero replaced Claggett, but a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base (charged to Claggett).� That made 14 runs for the Senators,� and a 14 – 8 lead.

The Curve batters had been scoring, just not as prolifically as the Senators.� They threatened in the 2nd inning, loading the baes on a single to C Hector Gimenez and walks to RF Miles Durham and Chen, but Morris struck out to end the inning.� Gimenez doubled in the 4th, and scored on Chen’s single, putting the Curve on the scoreboard with a 4-1 score.

In the 5th, the Curve tied the score.� SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, and CF Gorkys Hernandez reached base on a throwing error.� 3B Jordy Mercer brought both d’Arnaud and Hernandez in with a double into right field, and Mercer scored on Gimenez’s RBI single.� The 4-4 tie did not last long, as the Senators scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th.� Then the Curve took the lead in the top of the 7th.� 3B Josh Harrison led off with a single, but was forced out at second when 1B Matt Hague grounded into a force play.� Mercer bounced back to the mound, and the Senators tried to turn a double play, but missed something at second, since Hague was safe but Mercer was out at first.� Gimenez walked, then Durham greeted the new Senators’ reliever with a booming 3-run homer, to give the Curve a 7-6 lead.� That lead didn’t last any longer than the tie did.� Harrisburg scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, to take an 11-7 lead.

LF Anthony Norman, who had entered the game in a double-switch, homered to lead off the 8th inning, but the Senators scored another 3 runs in the bottom of the frame, to push their lead to 14-8.

Then the top of the 9th, and the Curve exploded.� Fifteen batters came to the plate, as the Curve piled on 10 runs.� Mercer walked, and Gimenez homered (runs #1, 2).� Durham walked and pinch-hitter Brandon Jones homered (3, 4).� Norman reached on a fielding error, and d’Arnaud, Hernandez, and Harrison all singled, plating Norman and d’Arnaud (5,6).� Hague homered for 3 runs (7, 8, 9).� It was a controversial call by the umpires, as Hague’s blast down the left field line was ruled fair — even the Curve radio broadcaster, Dan Zangrilli, said that the ball was foul.� Both the Harrisburg pitcher and manager were ejected arguing the call.� Once things settled down, Mercer singled.� Oh, and did I mention that no outs had been recorded yet?� Gimenez made the first out of the inning at that point, on a strikeout.� Durham doubled in Mercer (10), then Jones also struck out.� Norman walked, and then d’Arnaud flied out to (finally) end the inning.

The Senators did score one more run in the bottom of the 9th, as Derek Hankins gave up a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly, but it was way too little, too late.

The Curve set some records — highest scoring game (33 runs) in Curve history, most runs given up in a game (15), longest 9-inning game (4 hours, 33 minutes), most number of runs in one inning (10).� Their 20 hits in the game was one hit short of the team record.

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Spikes’ and Pirates’ Bats Are Booming

Good news and bad news today…

The bad news is that OF Starling Marte has had some problems with his hand after surgery.� Marte had played in two rehab games last week, going 3-for-6, but has not played in over a week.� He’s going to need to rest the hand for awhile yet — a setback indeed.

The good news is that OF Mel Rojas Jr, the Pirates’ 3rd-round pick in the 2010 draft is reported to be on his way to Pittsburgh to sign a contract.� If all goes as expected, he could report to the State College Spikes by the weekend.

A few non-all-star-games going on today:

State College Spikes� 11,� Connecticut Tigers� 1 (box)

The Spikes posted 13 hits on their way to 11 runs this evening in Connecticut. 1B Matt Curry led the team with a 3-for-3 game and 2 RBI.� RF Adalberto Santos, DH Chase Lyles, LF Pat Irvine, and C Miguel Mendez each had 2 hits, and 3B Kelson Brown contributed 3 RBI.

The Spikes started off with 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� 2B Walker Gourley began the rally with a walk, and Santos reached base on a fielder’s choice that Gourley beat out.� Curry singled, scoring Gourley, and Lyles singled, bringing in Santos.� They added 4 runs in the 3rd inning, when Curry and Lyles both singled again.� Irvine followed with a double to plate Curry.� Brown’s single drove in both Lyles and Irvine.� Mendez made it runners on the corners with another single, and Brown scored when CF Kyle Saukko bounced into force out at second but beat the throw to first base.

The Tigers scored their lone run in the bottom of the 3rd, on two singles and a sacrifice fly.� It was the only run that Zack Von Rosenberg allowed in his 5 innings.� He gave up 5 hits and one run, and he struck out 5 batters.� Colton Cain, Casey Sadler, Teddy Fallon, and Jason Townsend all pitched one scoreless inning.� Townsend was the only one who allowed a hit, a single in the 9th.� Fallon was the only one to allow a walk, and he erased that runner with a double play.� Sadler struck out the side, all swinging, in the 7th.

The Spikes kept going after Connecticut scored their run.� Santos tripled with one out in the 4th.� Curry walked, and Lyles reached on a fielding error, as Santos scored.� A throwing error on the play put Curry on third and Lyles on second.� Irvine singled, and Curry crossed the plate, then Brown’s sacrifice fly brought in Lyles.� Spikes ahead, 9-1.� Back-to-back doubles by Santos (ground-rule) and Curry added the first run in the 6th.� A walk to Irvine and Brown being hit by a pitch loaded the bases.� Mendez singled, scoring Curry and giving the Spikes an 11-1 lead.� The Spikes’ bats slowed down after that.� They had only one base runner over the last three innings — Curry walked to begin the 8th, but was erased in a double play.

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Decker Is Pitcher of the Week; Solano Goes 3-For-3

Limited action on Tuesday, just two daytime games… everyone’s watching the All-Star Game tonight.

Vermont Lake Monsters� 3,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)

LF Adalberto Santos and C Matt Skirving each had two hits, but the Spikes managed only one run this afternoon as they fell to the Lake Monsters.� While they put at least one runner on base in all but two innings, the 7th was the only one in which they pushed a run across.� With one out in the 7th, Skirving doubled into left field, and scored on 2B Gift Ngoepe’s single up the middle.� Ngoepe tried to go to second on the throw, but was tagged out.� The Spikes had two runners on in the 1st inning, on back-to-back singles by Santos and 1B Matt Curry, and again in the 2nd, when Skirving singled and CF Kyle Saukko reached base on an error.� Both times, a ground out ended the inning.

Starter Tyler Waldron pitched 5 innings in his 5th start for the Spikes, but he suffered the loss.� He gave up a run in the top of the 1st inning, on a triple and a sacrifice fly.� He worked his way out of a bases loaded jam (double, single, and walk) with a double play in the 5th inning.� Trent Stevenson gave up 2 runs in the 6th, on two walks and a 2-RBI double, then pitched two more scoreless innings.� Justin Ennis pitched the final inning, retiring the side in order including one strikeout.

Spikes’ RHP Kevin Decker was named the New York-Penn League’s Pitcher of the Week for July 5-11.� Decker pitched in two games in relief, for a total of 10.1 scoreless innings. He allowed a total of 5 hits and 2 walks in those two appearances, while striking out 9 batters.� Overall, Decker has a 2-0 record, with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, and a total of 14 strikeouts.

GCL Pirates� 4,� GCL Blue Jays� 2 (box)

2B Luis Solano went 3-for-3 this afternoon for the Pirates, with a single, a double, and a triple.� After the Blue Jays scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd, Solano’s lead-off triple got the Pirates’ bats going.� He scored on DH Brian Friday’s single, to cut the lead in half.� The tied the score with a run in the 5th.� SS Kevin Mort walked and Solano singled, then two wild pitches brought Mort in to score.� LF Exicardo Cayonez also tripled, with one out in the 6th.� He scored on 3B Eric Avila’s sacrifice fly, giving the Pirates the lead.� Solano’s double came with two outs in the 7th, and was followed by pinch-hitter Michaelangel Trinidad’s double, bringing in Solano for the Pirates’ fourth run.

Vincent Payne started for the Pirates, and he was responsible for both of the Blue Jays’ runs.� He gave up a single and a walk in the top of the 3rd.� Yeyber Sanchez relieved Payne, but gave up an RBI single, hit a batter, then threw a wild pitch that scored the second run.� Sanchez threw 3 scoreless innings after that, allowing only one walk.� He was credited with the win, his 3rd of the season.� James Archibald added two scoreless innings, working around a single in each and a hit batter in the 8th.� Joan Montero pitched the 9th, and loaded the bases with 3 walks, but got the inning-ending double play to earn his first save.

Brian Friday continued his rehab work by going 1-for-2, with a walk, and he was also hit by a pitch.

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