Bradenton Marauders 1, �Fort Myers Miracle �0 (box)
The Marauders were out-hit 4 -2, but they needed only one hit to score the only run of the game and beat the Miracle on Friday night. �Bradenton starter Brian Leach pitched 4 innings and worked around at least one base runner in three of them — a walk in the 1st, two singles in the 2nd, and one more single in the 3rd. �All four runners were left stranded. �After retiring the side in order in the 4th, Leach was relieved by Casey Erickson to begin the 5th. �Erickson pitched 3 innings and allowed only one single in the 6th, then had C Tony Sanchez throw that runner out trying to steal second base. �Diego Moreno pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, and Noah Krol bounced back from his tough appearance last night to retire the side in order in the 9th, earning his 8th save.
At the same time, Miracle starter Bruce Pugh was busy mowing down the Marauders’ hitters. �He struck out 10 batters in his 7 innings of work. �He gave up only one walk, to lead-off batter SS Brock Holt in the 1st inning, then picked Holt off and caught him stealing. �Pugh then retired the next 13 Bradenton batters, until 3B Jeremy Farrell reached base on an error in the 5th. �Farrell was left on base, as Pugh struck out two to end the inning, then two more to begin the 6th. �Holt singled with two outs in the 6th, but was also left on base. �Pugh also struck out two in the 7th. �He was relieved by Loek Van Mil to begin the 8th, and the Marauders found some luck. �Van Mil hit DH Eric Fryer with a pitch to begin his inning. �1B Erik Huber singled, moving Fryer to third base. �2B Greg Picart grounded to third base, and Fryer scored on a fielder’s choice. �A double play ended the inning, but the Marauders had all the runs they needed.
Altoona Curve �6, � �Harrisburg Senators �1 (box)
Washington Nationals’ #1 Prospect Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to make one last AA start on Sunday afternoon, before heading over to AAA Syracuse. �The Curve wanted to make sure Strasburg learned one more lesson at the AA level before being promoted. �That lesson: �sometimes you have to take a loss. �The Curve were not all that cowed by Strasburg the first time they faced him, back on April 11th, and they were not any more impressed today. �After going down in order in the top of the 1st, the Curve began the top of the 2nd with a walk by 1B Matt Hague, followed by three consecutive singles by 2B Jim Negrych, RF Miles Durham, and LF Alex Presley. Negrych just beat out the throw from the shortstop for an infield single. �Durham floated a little single over the head of the Senators’ center fielder. �Presley’s single through the right side of the infield�brought Hague and Negrych in to score with the throw in from the outfield not even close, and the Curve had a 2-1 lead. �C Kris Watts walked, again loading the bases. �Strasburg got his mound opponent Justin Wilson to strike out. �SS Chase d’Arnaud grounded to short, and it looked like Strasburg was going to get out of the inning with a double play. �Watts was forced out at second, but Senators’ 2B Michael Martinez threw wildly to first base, and the ball skittered away, as two runs came across the plate, and d’Arnaud was safe at first. �The Curve took a 4-1 lead.
The Curve kept poking at Strasburg, and made him work for his outs. �In the 3rd inning, 3B Jordy Mercer led off with a walk, and Hague singled. �After a fly out, a double play got Strasburg out of the inning. �Strasburg retired the side in the 4th, but began the 5th by hitting d’Arnaud with a pitch. �Singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez and Mercer loaded the bases, but again Strasburg got a timely double play. �Hague grounded to third, and the Senators started a 5-2-3 double play, forcing d’Arnaud out at the plate. �That was the end of Strasburg’s afternoon. �He finished with 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks with 4 strikeouts, and was charged with the loss. �Strasburg has allowed 9 runs (4 earned) in his 5 starts — 8 of those, including all of the earned runs, have been by the Curve.
Starter Justin Wilson gave up a run to the Senators in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a walk, and an RBI single that slipped just past d’Arnaud. �Wilson worked around runners on base in each of the next three innings, but allowed only that one run over 4 innings, on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 2 strikeouts. �Mike Dubee, just returned to the Curve from Indianapolis, pitched the next three innings for the Curve. �Dubee retired 9 batters in order, with one strikeout. �That earned him his first win. �Ronald Uviedo followed Dubee by retiring all 6 batters he faced, also with one strikeout.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Thursday.
Palm Beach Cardinals 6, �Bradenton Marauders 2 (box)
The Cardinals held the Marauders to just 5 hits and 2 runs in Bradenton on Thursday. �Two of those hits were by CF Robbie Grossman, and SS Brock Holt, RF Austin McClune, and 2B Greg Picart had one hit apiece. �The Marauders did pick up 4 walks too.
The Marauders had runners on base in 4 of the first 6 innings, but didn’t get a runner past second base in any of those innings. �In the 7th, with two outs, Austin McClune and Greg Picart hit back-to-back singles. �The Cardinals changed pitchers, and Brock Holt greeted the new reliever with a double into right field, scoring both runners, including Picart all the way around from first base. �That was all Bradenton could get though, as they went down in order in the 8th, and had three batters strike out around a walk in the 9th.
Starter Brian Leach had trouble right away in the top of the 1st. �He gave up a lead-off single, a walk, and a 3-run homer, to give the Cardinals an early 3-run lead. �Leach gave up walks in each of the innings he pitched, for a total of 7 walks in 4.1 innings. �He worked around the walks in the 2nd and 3rd, and worked around two walks in the 4th. �The 5th inning began with 2 walks, then a single to load the bases. �The next Cardinal batter grounded to third, and 3B Jeremy Farrell fired back to C Tony Sanchez to force out the lead runner, but Sanchez made a throwing error on the relay to first base, and that allowed a run to score. �A double into center field brought in two more runs, to give Palm Beach a 6-0 lead.
Mike Felix relieved Leach and finished the 5th inning. �He pitched the next two innings and gave up 3 walks, but two timely double plays kept the Cardinals from scoring again. �Mike Colla retired the side in order in the 8th, and Diego Moreno pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a double.
Altoona Curve 4, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 1 (box)
The Giants have moved their AA level team from Connecticut, where they were the Defenders, to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now the… Flying Squirrels? �Richmond had been the home of the Atlanta Braves’ AAA team for just about forever, until last season when the Braves moved their affiliate to Gwinnett County, just outside Atlanta. �Now Richmond has a team again.
The Curve curtailed the Squirrels’ flying by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, SS Chase d’Arnaud and 3B Jordy Mercer worked back-to-back walks. �A ground out to the right side of the infield moved both runners up one base, and a single by C Hector Gomez on a line drive into center field brought both runs in.
Altoona’s starter Justin Wilson zipped through the first two innings. �He gave up a double and a walk in the 3rd, but a fly out kept any runs from scoring. �Another double, a ground out, and an RBI single by the Squirrels cut the Curve lead to one run in the top of the 4th. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the frame, when RF Miles Durham led off with a double, went to third on Gimenez’s sacrifice bunt, and score on 2B Josh Harrison’s grounder to short. �They added one more run in the 5th. �Two walks got the Squirrels in trouble again, this time by pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez. Jordy Mercer supplied the RBI single that brought in Negrych with the insurance run. �The Curve had only 4 hits in the game, to 5 by the Squirrels. �1B Matt Hague had the other Curve hit, which was a single in the top of the 9th.
Justin Wilson pitched 5 innings and allowed the one run on 5 hits and a walk, and he struck out 4 batters in his first win of the season. �Tony Watson also struck out 4 batters in his 3 innings of work. �Watson walked 2 batters but did not allow any hits. �Jeff Sues earned his first Save with a perfect 9th inning.