Gone for a few days, and all kinds of changes going on….
The Pirates have removed starting pitcher Zach Duke, infielder Andy LaRoche, and outfielder Delwyn Young from their 40-man roster.
Duke (photo) was the starting pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians on Opening Day in 2005, the beginning of the Pirates’ affiliation with the Indians. Duke faced the rehabbing Curt Schilling, and he and the Indians beat Schilling pretty easily.
The open spots on the 40-man roster, plus two other already open spots, went to a group of minor league pitchers:
Mike Crotta, a righty who made 4 starts for Altoona before he was promoted to Indianapolis. He made 24 starts for the Indians and pitched 131.1 innings, with a 4.93 ERA.
Daniel Moskos, who split the season between the Indy Indians and the Altoona Curve. The lefty was outstanding for the Curve, with a 1.52 ERA and 21 saves, though he struggled for the Indians, where he earned a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings of relief.
Tony Watson, another lefty who spent the season with the Curve. He made a few starts (9) but mostly worked in relief, earning a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings.
Jeff Locke, split the season between Altoona and the Bradenton Marauders. After earning a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for Bradenton, Locke was promoted to AA, where the southpaw made an additional 10 starts and earned a consistent 3.59 ERA.
Kyle McPherson, a right-hander who spent most of the season with A-level West Virginia. McPherson made 21 starts and 5 relief appearances for the Power, with a 3.59 ERA in 117.2 innings, though he had some hot and cold swings. McPherson also pitched 4 scoreless innings for Bradenton in September.
Lots of action in the Pirates’ lower minors on Tuesday, partly because of two double headers making up for the two postponements yesterday.
West Virginia Power �7, �Hagerstown Suns �3 (box)
Power starter Nate Baker pitched 8 no-hit innings tonight in Hagerstown, to earn his 6th win of the season. �He was not perfect, though. �After striking out the first two batters he faced, a batter reached base on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez. A grounder force out ended the inning. �With one out in the 2nd inning, Baker hit a batter with a pitch, though he left that runner stranded on base. �From there, Baker retired the next 20 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts. �Only three of those batters got the ball out of the infield.
Baker did not come out to pitch the 9th inning, probably due to pitch count. �Reliever Gabriel Alvarado took the 9th, and he was the victim of the Suns’ pent-up frustration and stifled hits. � Alvarado struck out the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a line-drive single, a triple, and a home run, as the Suns avoided both the no-hitter and the shut-out.
The Power batters provided Baker with plenty of run support, though not until the later innings. �C Ramon Cabrera had 3 hits and 2 RBI, while CF Evan Chambers, 2B Jarek Cunningham, and 1B Aaron Baker all had 2 hits. �The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when Cabrera singled, Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Chambers walked, but a strikeout ended the inning. �They got going in the 6th inning, with a single by Aaron Baker, a walk to LF Jose Hernandez, and a 2-RBI triple by Cabrera. �DH Elevys Gonzalez followed with a double, scoring Cabrera, for a 3-0 lead. �They added another run in the 7th, when Chambers led off with a single and scored on Aaron Baker’s double.
Two walks, to 3B Jesus Brito and Cabrera, began the 8th inning, and a fielding error on Elevys Gonzalez’s sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Power. �Benji Gonzalez brought in Brito on a grounder force out, then Chambers doubled, scoring Cabrera. �Benji Gonzalez tried to score from first base, but he was thrown out at the plate. �Cunningham also singled, plating Chambers for the Power’s final run of the game.
Bradenton Marauders �11, �Ft. Myers Miracle �1 (box)
The Marauders scored early, then poured it on with two late-inning rallies to take a big win over Ft. Myers tonight. �Starter Aaron Pribanic earned his 4th win for the Marauders with 6 innings of work, allowing one run on 7 hits, no walks, and 2 strikeouts. �He scattered 4 of the hits over the first 5 innings, then gave up the lone run in the 6th, on a double and an RBI single, plus one more single. � Mike Colla earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, in which he scattered 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters.
The Marauders began scoring in the 2nd inning. �CF Austin McClune walked, then scored on 3B Adam Davis’ double. �A wild pitch moved Davis to third base, and after a walk, SS Greg Picart brought in Davis with an RBI single. �McClune also walked to led off the 4th inning. �Davis was hit by a pitch, and DH James Skelton moved both runners up one base with a sacrifice bunt. �Picart’s RBI ground out brought McClune across the plate. �In the 5th, it was RF �Robbie Grossman who led off with a walk. �Singles by C Eric Fryer and LF Quincy Latimore brought in Grossman, and Bradenton was up 4-0.
Two errors by the Miracle got the Marauders’ 8th inning rally started. �Picart reached on a fielding error and a throwing error let 2B Jose De Los Santos reach base on a sacrifice bunt and moved the runners to third and second bases. �Picart scored on a wild pitch, then C Eric Fryer walked and stole second base. �Latimore’s grounder fielder’s choice brought in De Los Santos, and McClune’s single plated Fryer. �Those three runs gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.
The 9th inning brought another rally, again started with a lead-off single. �It was Skelton who walked, then Picart singled and De Los Santos grounded into a force out at second, which was probably hoping to be a double play, but De Los Santos is too speedy. �The grounder force out brought in Skelton. �Grossman doubled and Fryer tripled, for two more runs, then 1B Calvin Anderson doubled, driving in Fryer with the 4th run of the inning.
Wednesday’s action in the rest of the Pirates’ minor league organization. �The West Virginia Power had the day off, wrapping up the South Atlantic League’s All-Star break
Altoona Curve �8, �Portland Sea Dogs �1 (box)
Bryan Morris pitched into the 7th inning in his 4th win of the season, allowing only one run on 6 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 for the Curve. �The first batter Morris faced doubled to open the gam, and Portland’s second batter lined a single into center field, complicated by a fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez, to score a run. �Morris gave up a walk, but ended the inning with 2 strikeouts, and put up zeros after that. �He retired the next 7 batters, before allowing two singles in the 4th, then getting out of that jam with a double play. �He breezed through the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a single and a walk in the 7th, and was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues finished the 7th inning, but loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk and two singles (one by former Curve Ray Chang). �He got out of that mess with two pop outs (all three of the outs that inning were pop outs). Diego Moreno, fresh off the Disabled List, pitched the 9th inning, allowing a walk amid three strikeouts.
The Curve batters provided Morris with plenty of run support, beginning with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, the next 5 batters reached base on hits. �Singles by Gorkys Hernandez and 3B Josh Harrison were followed by a double by 1B Matt Hague, which brought in two runs. �2B Jordy Mercer singled, scoring Hague. �C Hector Gimenez doubled, moving Mercer to third base. �LF Alex Presley bounced to first base for a fielder’s choice, as Hague was tagged out at the plate. �Gimenez scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball. �RF Miles Durham got in on the act in the 4th inning with a 2-run homer, after a walk by Presley. �Gimenez led off the 6th with a solo homer, then Presley scored on a double and a fielding error on DH Shelby Ford’s ball to first.
The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off on Monday. �The Power are starting their 3-day All-Star break, with the South Atlantic League’s All-Star Game scheduled for Tuesday.
GCL Yankees 10, �GCL Pirates 8 (box)
The Pirates posted a 4-run 5th inning and scored their 8 runs on only 5 hits, taking advantage of 5 errors by the Yankees. �But the Yanks made up for their errors with two 4-run innings to take the win.
CF Junior Sosa began the game with a walk and a stolen base for the Pirates. �He moved to third on a ground out, and scored the Pirates’ first run on a wild pitch — no hits involved. �The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, as their first batter homered off rehabbing Pirates’ starter Brett Lorin. �Lorin then retired the next 6 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.
Joely Rodriguez took the mound to begin the 3rd for the Pirates. �He gave up a single, two walks, and a grand slam, then another single, to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. �Yomar Pacheco rescued Rodriguez, to finish that inning, then pitch 3 more. �He gave up a run in the 4th on another lead-off homer, along with 2 more hits and 2 walks, but struck out 3 batters.
The Pirates came charging back in the 5th. �LF Exicardo Cayonez led off with a double, and went to third on a ground out. �DH Daan Cornelissen walked, and Sosa loaded the bases when he reached on a fielding error. �SS Kevin Mort singled, driving in Cayonez, and 1B Michaelangel Trinidad cleared the bases with a double into right field. �Trinidad injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. �Yankees 6, Pirates 5.
The Pirates took the lead with 2 runs in the 7th. �Sosa walked, and moved to second base when Mort reached on a throwing error. �A double steal put both into scoring position, and they both crossed the plate on another Yankee error. �Cayonez was hit by a pitch to begin the 8th inning, and after a ground out, he scored on Sosa’s RBI double, to give the Pirates an insurance run, 8-6.
It was not enough insurance, though, as the Yankees scored 4 again in the bottom of the 8th. �After a scoreless 7th inning by reliever Yeyber Sanchez, Oscar Verdugo took the mound for the 8th. �With one out, he gave up a single, hit a batter, and gave up a walk and another single, bringing in one run. �A runner was out at the plate on what appears to have been an attempt to score on a wild pitch, but that was all for Verdugo. �Sheng-Cin Hong relieved Verdugo, but he gave up a double and a single, scoring 3 more runs (3 charged to Verdugo and one to Hong). �Verdugo was charged with the loss, and Hong with the Blown Save.