Friday the Thirteenth was lucky for the Curve and the Power….
Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 2
The Curve posted a lucky 12 hits, as CF Starling Marte led the charge with 3 singles. Marte, along with 2B Brock Holt got the scoring started with back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the 1st. LF Eric Fryer’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and SS Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice bunt plated Holt.
Erie came right back with a pair of doubles off Curve starter Jared Hughes to tie the game at 1-1. Hughes allowed only one walk over the next three innings. In the top of the 6th, he gave up a 2-out single, followed by a ground-rule double. Because it was ground-rule, the lead runner had to stop at third base, and Hughes was able to get out of the inning with a ground out, keeping the SeaWolves from scoring again.
The Curve missed out on scoring opportunities in two innings. Holt doubled and Marte singled in the 3rd, but both were left in scoring position. Both C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts singled in the 4th, and they were also left on base. A pair of doubles got the scoring re-started in the 5th. Marte walked and Fryer singled with one out. Marte advanced to third base on a fly out by Mercer, then scored on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s double into left field. Sanchez bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall to bring in both Fryer and Farrell, giving the Curve a 4-1 lead.
Marte started another rally in the 7th with a liner to second base for a single. He stole second base, then scored on Fryer’s grounder into right field. That chased the Erie starter, but their reliever did not have any better success. Fryer had gone to second base on the throw in from the outfield, and he advanced to third when the new reliever balked. Farrell doubled in Fryer for a 6-1 lead.
Hughes finished his evening with a scoreless 7th inning, having allowed one run on 6 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. Tim Alderson pitched a perfect 8th, then Noah Krol gave up one run in the top of the 9th on three singles, one of which ricocheted off Krol and into center field.
Fun with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates on Thursday night…
Altoona Curve 7, Erie SeaWolves 2
A big 6-run 6th inning gave the Curve the win over Erie, despite the SeaWolves out-hitting the Curve 15 – 6.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. C Tony Sanchez reached base and got all the way to second on a throwing error by the Erie shortstop. A ground out by DH Kris Watts moved Sanchez to third, and a sacrifice fly by 1B Miles Durham brought Sanchez in to score.
Altoona starter Aaron Thompson gave up a single in both the 1st and 3rd innings, and both times erased the runners with a double play. He hit a batter and allowed two singles in the 2nd, but caught one runner stealing, and got out of the inning without a run scoring. The top of the 4th inning began with a lead-off homer to tie the score. After a fly out, Thompson gave up another solo homer, and Erie had a 2-1 lead.
After three hitless innings, the Curve erupted in the 6th, sending 10 batters to the plate. Holt started the rally with a double into right field. CF Starling Marte beat out a bunt for a single, moving Holt to third. LF Quincy Latimore lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Holt, and when the Erie center fielder’s throw back in went wild for an error, Marte moved to second base. That put Marte in position to score on SS Jordy Mercer’s single. 3B Jeremy Farrell and Watts both walked to load the bases, then Durham lined a single into left field, plating both Mercer and Farrell. A double by RF Brad Chalk scored Watts and Durham, and the Curve had a 7-2 lead.
Thompson was relieved after 5 innings, having allowed 2 runs on 9 hits and a walk. Chris Leroux took over and pitched the next two innings. He gave up three singles but did not let a run score, and he was the pitcher of record when the Curve scored their 6, so he earned the win. Michael Dubee began the top of the 8th with three consecutive singles, then got out of the mess with a strikeout and a double play. He retired the side in order in the 9th.
A few roster moves before we get to the games:
The Pirates have signed 1B Gerlis Rodriguez to a minor league contract. Rodriguez, a Dominican native, played for State College in 2010. He played about half of his 48 games at first base, and did some DH’ing. Rodriguez hit .201, with 8 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 24 RBI. He walked 11 times and was struck out 34 times. Rodriguez will probably be back with the Spikes when their season begins next month.
Two minor league pitchers have been released: RHP Gabriel Alvarado and RHP Maurice Bankston. Alvarado was with the West Virginia Power for the past two seasons, mostly as a starter in 2009 and then as a reliever in 2010. Bankston also spent most of the last two years with the Power, and he also started in 2009 then moved to the bullpen in 2010.
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 3
Jeff Locke gave up 4 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings, but got out of jams with timely double plays in his start for the Curve. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up 4 more runs and the Squirrels took the win. The only run Locke gave up came in the bottom of the 1st. After a lead-off single, Locke got two fly outs, then gave up a walk and an RBI single. Another walk followed, before Locke ended the inning. A double play ended the 2nd inning with two runners left stranded (walk and hit batter), and a second double play eliminated a lead-off single in the 3rd. Locke also worked around a double and a walk in the 4th, then retired the side in the 5th.
The Squirrels’ starter retired the first 10 Curve batters in order. The first hit he gave up was a big one — a solo home run over the left field wall by CF Starling Marte. The Curve took a 2-1 lead in the 5th inning, on a line drive double by 3B Jeremy Farrell, a passed ball, and an RBI single lined into center field by C Tony Sanchez.
The lead lasted only one inning. Tom Boleska relieved Locke to begin the bottom of the 6th He allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base — two walks and a single back to the mound. Boleska struck out the next batter, then a grounder force out at second (but not the double play) let the tying run score. An RBI single gave Richmond a 3-2 lead. Boleska pitched a scoreless 7th inning, then Matt McSwain took over for the 8th. The first two batters McSwain faced both smacked solo home runs, and Richmond was up 5-2.
The Curve scratched out one more run in the top of the 9th. With two outs, LF Quincy Latimore worked a walk, then SS Jordy Mercer and Farrell hit back-to-back singles, plating Latimore. But that was all they were able to get, as Sanchez’s line out ended the game.
The Curve played another mid-day game today, with the stadium full of school kids
Altoona Curve 4, Akron Aeros 3
The Curve hung on for the win, despite being out-hit 12-6 by the Aeros. Aaron Pribanic earned his third win of the season, and Noah Krol earned his 7th Save.
SS Jordy Mercer got things going for the Curve in the bottom of the 2nd inning. He beat out an infield single to third, then stole second base. A grounder by DH Tony Sanchez moved him to third base, and Mercer scored from there on a wild pitch. C Eric Fryer singled and 1B Miles Durham walked after Mercer scored, but both were left on base.
Akron took the lead in the top of the 4th. Pribanic had allowed 3 singles over the first two innings, but left those batters on base. He hit a batter with a pitch to open the 4th inning, then gave up a 2-run homer, giving the Aeros a 2-1 lead.
The Curve went down in order in both the 3rd and 4th innings, but they got to the Akron starter again in the bottom of the 5th. Fryer led off with a walk, and with one out, RF Jose Hernandez drove a triple into center field, scoring Fryer. 2B Brock Holt’s RBI ground out brought in Hernandez, and the Curve had the lead back, 3-2. They tacked on another run in the 6th. LF Quincy Latimore began the inning with a line drive into center field for a single, and when the Akron center fielder made a fielding error, Latimore moved to second base. Mercer followed with another line drive into center, putting runners on the corners. Sanchez bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Latimore was able to score from third base for a 4-2 lead.
Pribanic allowed 6 hits with those 2 runs in the 4th, going a total of 5 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 3 Aeros’ batters. Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 6th, and retired the side in order. He gave up an unearned run in the 7th, when Fryer made a fielding error to put a runner on base. A force out at second traded runners at first, and an RBI double brought the run in. Michael Dubee loaded the bases on three singles in the 8th, but wiggled out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out. Krol earned his save by getting out of another bases-loaded jam in the top of the 9th (two singles and a walk) with a timely double play.
The Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates wrap up the month of April:
Erie SeaWolves 5, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, plus two walks, as they were shut-out by the SeaWolves. Their first hit of the game came in the 2nd inning, when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. The inning ended with Farrell being forced out at third base. Altoona had their biggest threat with two runners on base in the 3rd inning — a line drive single into left field by RF Eric Fryer and a walk to DH Jose Hernandez. A ground out put both runners into scoring position, but they too were left stranded. The Curve went down in order until LF Quincy Latimore’s single in the 6th. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona in the last three innings, when he walked in the 7th.
Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve. He pitched 6 innings but was the victim of some errors in the field behind him. He gave up one earned run but 4 unearned runs, and was charged with the loss. Erie’s earned run came in the 2nd inning, on a double, a walk, and an RBI single. The second base runner who tried to score was gunned down at the plate on a throw in from Fryer in right field to C Tony Sanchez. The top of the 4th inning began with a single, and the next batter grounded to short for what should have been a double play. But a missed catch error by 2B Brock Holt left both runners safe. A walk loaded the bases, and a grounder allowed the lead runner to score. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Erie a 4-0 lead. Erie began the 6th inning with a double and a single, and with two outs, a fielding error by Farrell at third allowed another unearned run to score.
Tim Alderson relieved Locke and pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings. The only batter to reach base against Alderson was hit by a pitch, then erased in a double play.