Two early games on Wednesday, plus a few more in the evening:
Altoona Curve� 6,� Erie SeaWolves� 3 (box)
The Curve and the SeaWolves played early and scored early this afternoon.� All the scoring was done by the middle of the 3rd inning.� The Curve began the game with 4 runs in the top of the 1st.� SS Chase d’Arnaud went 3-for-4 in the game, and he opened the game by beating out an infield single to short.� He then stole his 19th and 20th bases of the season, then scored from third on 2B Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.�� 1B Matt Hague followed with a solo home run over the left-center field wall.� C Hector Gimenez, who had missed a few games due to illness, walked after the homer, and he scored when RF Miles Durham hit the second home run of the inning over the left field wall.
Erie came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring 2 runs after 2 outs had been recorded.� After a hit batter and a walk, a grounder to third should have been the end of the inning, but a throwing error by 3B Jose De Los Santos resulted in two runs scoring.
Erie did more 2-out scoring in the 2nd inning, and it was even more costly for the Curve.� OF Gorkys Hernandez is already out for the rest of the season with a broken right ring finger, and now another key player, 2B Jordy Mercer, had to be removed from the game after being injured on a play.� With two outs in the 2nd, a pop up into short left field was “deflected” by Mercer, and fell in for a double as Mercer had to leave the game.� Much defensive shuffling ensued — De Los Santos moved to second base, Josh Harrison came in to play third base, Brandon Jones moved from DH to right field, Miles Durham moved to center field, Anthony Norman came out of the game, and pitcher Justin Wilson had to move into the batting order with no more DH.� After all the rearranging, Erie got two back-to-back singles, scoring a run.
The Curve were still up by one run, but they added some insurance in the top of the 3rd.� Matt Hague doubled and Hector Gimenez singled then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.� Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly plated Hague, then Brandon Jones doubled, bringing in Durham.
That was all the scoring.� The Curve collected only two more hits in the rest of the game — Chase d’Arnaud singled to begin the 4th and moved to second base on a wild pitch, but was left there; LF Yung Chi Chen singled in the 8th, but was forced out at second.� The 8th inning was the closest the Curve came to scoring again.� After Chen was forced out on Jose De Los Santos’ grounder, walks to d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison loaded the bases, but relief pitcher Tom Boleska, in what was probably his first pro at-bat, struck out to end the inning.
Starter Justin Wilson pitched 6 innings and allowed the 3 runs, only one of which was earned.� He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.� After the 2nd inning, he gave up only a walk and two hits in the rest of his outing.� Tom Boleska had much better luck on the mound than he did at the plate.� He pitched 3 scoreless and hitless innings, striking out 3 batters.� He allowed only a walk, and immediately erased that runner with a double play to end the game.
Altoona’s RHP Derek Hankins has been promoted to AAA Indianapolis today.� He will join the Indians in Syracuse.� Hankins has made 6 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Curve this season and has earned a 5-3 record with 5 saves, and a 1.82 ERA.� Opposing batters have been hitting .215 against Hankins, who has allowed 58 hits in 79 innings of work, with 27 walks and 48 strikeouts.� To make room for Hankins, reliever Brian Bass will be assigned to Altoona, though this might be on paper only.
Trenton Thunder� 8,� Altoona Curve� 3 (box)
The Curve stretched their losing streak to 5 games tonight while reliever Mike Colla struggled in his AA debut.� Derek Hankins made the start for the Curve, but didn’t get out of the 4th inning.� He gave up a run in the 1st on a hit batter, a stolen base, a ground out, and an RBI single.� A fielding error and a double gave Trenton a second run in the 3rd inning, and a single and a double added run #3 in the 4th.� Colla relieved Hankins and got a strikeout to end that inning, but a solo homer, a double, two singles, and a passed ball gave Trenton 3 more runs in the 5th.� Colla came back out to begin the 6th, but that inning went no better.� A single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases, and a single drove in two runs.
The Curve batters were also getting on base, in every inning but the 6th and 7th, but they were not coming around to score as often as the Thunder were.� They got onto the scoreboard in the 4th, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch.� 2B Jordy Mercer’s single brought Harrison in to score, but Mercer was erased on a double play.� They came up with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th, when RF Miles Durham led off with a single.� SS Chase d’Arnaud walked, and Harrison plated both of them with a double into center field.
Harrison, Mercer, and Durham had 2 hits each, and C Hector Gimenez and LF Anthony Norman each had one hit.� Hankins was charged with the loss, his 2nd of the season.� Reliever Mike Dubee relieved Colla to finish the 6th with a double play.� Dubee gave up a single to lead off the 7th, but the runner was thrown out by Miles Durham when he tried to stretch it into a double.� Dubee had a batter reach on a fielding error by Mercer in the 8th, and he walked a batter in the 9th, but both of those runners were also erased with double plays.
As usual on Sunday, the GCL Pirates were off.� Everyone else played games scattered through the afternoon and evening.
Harrisburg Senators� 13, � Altoona Curve� 4 (box)
Paybacks are… well, you know, and today the Senators got revenge for the Curve having scored 10 runs in the 9th last night.� Harrisburg sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 8th and scored 8 runs, to give them a total of 13 runs in the game.
Justin Wilson made the start for the Curve, and pitched 6 innings.� He did well for the first 5 of those innings, allowing only one run, on a walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning.� Wilson allowed only a walk and a single over the next three innings.� In the 6th, Wilson gave up back-to-back singles to open the inning, then a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly brought in one run.� A walk and a single drove in a second run.� Wilson allowed 8 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 5 batters.
The Curve scored one run in the 3rd inning, when RF Miles Durham reached base on a fielding error, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson, and scored on SS Chase d’Arnaud’s double.� 1B Matt Hague added a solo home run in the 4th, to briefly give the Curve a 2-1 lead.
After the Senators took a 3-2 lead in the 6th, Corey Hamman, just returned to the Curve after a stint with AAA Indianapolis, took the mound for the 7th inning.� It was Hamman’s first game action in nearly three weeks, so it wasn’t a big surprise when Hamman gave up a lead-off single followed by a 2-run homer, to give Harrisburg a 5-2 lead.
Then the wheels fell off in the 8th inning.� Hamman gave up two singles, two walks, another single (with a fielding error), then got a fielding error.� Three runs had come in at that point, and after another walk to load the bases (again), Hamman was relieved by Dustin Molleken. Molleken got a strikeout, then gave up two singles and a double, driving in 5 more runs (3 of which were charged to Hamman), before he struck out the 12th batter of the inning to end the bleeding.
The Curve made a valiant effort in the top of the 9th.� Matt Hague walked, and 3B Jordy Mercer singled.� A wild pitch moved both up one base, so that Hague scored on LF Brandon Jones’ single.� Durham bounced back to the mound, and the Senators traded another run for two outs in a double play, as Mercer scored.� A fly out ended the game, with the Curve not even close to catching up.
Other Curve news:� The Pirates and Curve have suspended reliever Diego Moreno for a period of “5 to 7 days” for unprofessional behavior.� The problem occurred while in Altoona on the Curve’s most recent home stand.� Pirates’ farm director Kyle Stark also hinted that it’s possible that Moreno will be returned to the Bradenton Marauders after his suspension.� Moreno had a 3-0 record and a 1.37 ERA in 16 appearances for Bradenton, with 39 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.� Since being promoted to Altoona and working around a month on the DL, Moreno has made 7 appearances for the Curve, but has allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in 7.2 innings, with 12 strikeouts.
Friday evening’s news….
Altoona Curve� 3,� Harrisburg Senator� 0 (box)
Three Curve pitchers combined for a shutout, as starter Jeff Locke earned the win in his Curve debut.� Locke pitched 5 scoreless innings and struck out 5 batters.� He scattered 4 hits, and did not allow a walk.� Tony Watson relieved Locke to begin the 6th.� Watson allowed only one hit and one walk, both in the 6th inning, then retired the side in the 7th and 8th.� Derek Hankins earned his 4th save with a scoreless 9th, as he worked around a lead-off double.
The pitching trio got their first bit of run support before Locke even took the mound.� SS Chase d’Arnaud began the game with a double into center field.� CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with a single up the middle, driving in d’Arnaud.� Hernandez stole second and reached third on a ground out, but was left stranded.� The Curve scored again in the 3rd.� D’Arnaud walked, and his base running blunder was erased by an error by the Harrisburg first baseman.� D’Arnaud was picked off first base and caught stealing, but when the first baseman missed the catch for an error, d’Arnaud advanced to second safely.� 2B Josh Harrison lined a single into right field, and d’Arnaud scored.
One more run scored in the 7th.� Back-to-back singles by RF Miles Durham and LF Brandon Jones put two runners on base, and Tony Watson’s sacrifice bunt moved them both into scoring position.� A wild pitch let Durham race home from third with the Curve’s final run.
Back to full action in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization:
Harrisburg Senators � 9,� Altoona Curve� 7 (box)
The 5 Curve players who participated in the Eastern League All-Star Game didn’t have to do any extra travelling after the game, because the rest of the Curve joined them in Harrisburg to begin a series against the Senators.
The Senators jumped out to an early lead, with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and 2 more in the 3rd inning off Curve starter Jared Hughes. Hughes gave up two walks, a triple, a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 1st inning, and a 2-run homer in the 3rd.� After the homer, Hughes had a batter reach on a throwing error by SS Chase d’Arnaud, then gave up another single.� Then he settled down and retired the next 11 batters in a row.� He pitched 6 innings and allowed those 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.
The Curve bats were quiet over their first 5 innings, with only a walk to C Hector Gimenez and singles to CF Gorkys Hernandez and RF Miles Durham. They got going in the 6th inning, when Hernandez singled again and 3B Josh Harrison doubled, scoring Hernadez from first base.� 1B Matt Hague blasted a 2-run homer, and the Curve were back in the game, trailing 5-3.
Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman added another 2-run homer in the top of the 7th, after LF Brandon Jones had walked.� With the score tied at 5-5, D’Arnaud walked after the home run, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.� Hernandez’s third single of the game put d’Arnaud on third base, and Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought him in with the go-ahead run.� One more run came across in the top of the 8th.� 3B Jordy Mercer walked, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� Durham singled again, but Mercer had to hold at second base because the ball was just at shortstop.� Jones walked to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Yung Chi Chen’s sacrifice fly brought in Mercer.
The Curve were looking good, with a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.� Anthony Claggett had relieved Hughes and struck out the side in the 7th.� Mike Dubee pitched the 8th, allowing a single and a walk, but striking out two more batters.� Ramon Aguero took the mound for the bottom of the 9th.� He got the first out… then everything fell apart.� A walk, a single, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third base.� A sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base, bringing the Senators closer, 7-6.� Another walk put two runners on, and a 3-run walk-off homer gave the Senators the 9-7 win.