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.
The Curve played a (mostly) morning game today; the Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 13, Harrisburg Senators 2
The Curve had a great morning today, blasting away at the Senators with 13 runs on 18 hits. All but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit, and that one was not starting pitcher Jeff Locke. Locke singled twice and came around to score, doing his share, and reliever Anthony Claggett also had a hit. CF Starling Marte, SS Jordy Mercer, and 1B Miles Durham each had 3 hits, and two of Mercer’s hits were home runs. Mercer contributed 5 RBI, while Durham and RF Jose Hernandez each had 3 RBI.
The game actually began in Harrisburg’s favor. Marte doubled in the top of the 1st, then moved to third base on a wild pitch, but got no further. In the bottom of the inning, Locke began by hitting the lead-off man with a pitch, then gave up a single to give Harrisburg runners on the corners. An RBI ground out brought in the first run, then an RBI single added a second run. After another single, Locke finished the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
After that inning, it was all Altoona. Locke shut down the Senators, retiring the next 12 batters in order. He gave up a single and a double in the 6th, but left both runners in scoring position. Locke threw 79 pitches (57 strikes) in earning his second win of the season.
The Curve put their hitting shoes on in the 3rd. Locke and 2B Brock Holt led off with back-to-back singles. That chased the Senators’ starter, and brought in former Indy Indian and Curve Jimmy Barthmaier. Barthmaier got Marte to ground into a force out at second, but could not get the double play. Marte stole second base, then Mercer blatsed his first homer, a 3-run shot over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 3-2 lead.
Locke singled again in the 4th inning, though he was left on base. Marte singled to begin the 5th, and was moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s sacrifice bunt. Mercer singled, and Marte came around from second base to score. Mercer stole second, and he scored on C Eric Fryer’s double. Then Fryer scored on Durham’s 2-run homer for a 4-run inning, giving the Curve a 7-2 lead. Holt singled and came around to score on Latimore’s RBI single in the 6th.
The Curve put up another 4-run inning in the 7th. 3B Jeremy Farrell, the only Curve position player without a hit in the game, was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Fryer reached base on a fielding error. Durham doubled, driving in Farrell, then Hernandez’s 3-run homer gave the Curve a 12-2 lead. Mercer’s second home run, a solo homer, provided the Curve with their final run in the 8th.
Anthony Claggett relieved Locke in the 7th inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, then worked around a hit batter and a single in the 8th, to keep the Senators from scoring again. Tim Alderson finished the game for the Curve, with a perfect 9th inning.
Bradenton Marauders 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
Three 2-run innings gave the Marauders enough fire power to get past the Stone Crabs and salvage the last game of this 3-game series. Starter Kyle McPherson earned his second win of the season, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, no walks, in 7 innings of work. The 7 innings matched his two previous longest starts this season. Both of the Stone Crabs’ runs came early in the game. In the bottom of the 1st, a lead-off triple and an RBI ground out put the first run on the board. A solo home run brought in the second run in the 2nd inning. McPherson also gave up a double in the 1st, and a single in the 5th, and he hit one batter in the 3rd inning. He finished strong by retiring the last 7 batters he faced, four of them on strikeouts.
The Marauders went into the 4th inning behind by a score of 2-0. The only batter to reach base in the first three innings was SS Benji Gonzalez, who singled with two outs in the 3rd, but was picked off second base. But the bats started booming in the 4th, beginning with a double into left field by RF Robbie Grossman and a triple by 2B Jarek Cunningham, scoring Grossman. CF Evan Chambers’ ground out single drove in Cunningham to tie the game.
3B Kelson Brown singled and Benji Gonzalez walked in the 5th inning, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. Cunningham and Chambers opened the 6th with back-to-back singles, and a missed catch error by the Charlotte shortstop on a pick-off attempt let both runners move up a base. A fielding error by the second baseman on the next play off the bat of 1B Aaron Baker allowed both Cunningham and Chambers to score. The Marauders took a 4-2 lead. Baker added 2 more insurance runs in the 8th inning with a 2-run home run shot over the right field wall. He brought in Grossman, who had reached base on a fielding error at third base.
The Stone Crabs did not score again after the 2nd inning. Diego Moreno relieved McPherson to begin the 8th inning, and he walked one, gave up a single, and struck out two, keeping Charlotte scoreless. Ryan Beckman took the 9th, and he also pitched a scoreless inning, with one walk.
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 Indianapolis Indians and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off today.
OF John Bowker, who was DFA’ed last week, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Indianapolis Indians.
LHP Dan Meyer has been activated off the Indians’ disabled list.
RHP Chris Leroux was moved to the Altoona Curve to make room for Meyer on the Indians’ roster.
Akron Aeros 6, Altoona Curve 3
Chris Leroux was sent down to Altoona, then was charged with the loss in his first game for the Curve. The game began with Akron scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st. Mike Colla, making his second start of the season, gave up a walk, a single, and a walk to load the bases. The next batter grounded to third, but a fielding error by 3B Jeremy Farrell let the lead runner score and left the bases still loaded. A single and a sacrifice fly each added another run, for a 3-0 lead.
The Curve got one run back in the 3rd inning. DH Kris Watts led off with a double, and 1B Miles Durham’s single put Watts on third base. Two pop-outs later, Durham stole second base, then RF Eric Fryer walked to load the bases. Just like the Aeros in the 1st inning, a grounder to third and an error by the third baseman let a run score. But that was all the Curve could get, as they left the bases loaded. The Curve loaded the bases again in the 4th inning, with back-to-back singles by 3B Shelby Ford (who took over for Farrell) and C Tony Sanchez, a balk, and a walk to Watts. Durham’s sacrifice fly drove in Ford, before a double play ended that inning. Fryer tied the score at 3-3 in the 5th with a solo home run.
Colla pitched 4 more innings after the 1st, and allowed just one batter to reach base — a single in the 4th. Then Sanchez threw that runner out trying to steal second base. Matt McSwain pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Curve in the 6th. Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th. The first batter he faced smacked a solo home run. The next batter reached base on a missed catch error by Durham at first, and a double put two runners into scoring position. A fielder’s choice play was not fast enough, so let the runner from third score, and a sacrifice fly brought in the third run of the inning, for a 6-3 score. Only one of the runs was earned.
Anthony Claggett relieved Leroux to begin the 8th. He gave up a walk, and that runner reached second base on a balk, and third base on a passed ball, but Claggett did not let him score. Then he worked around a walk and a single in the 9th.
SS Jordy Mercer and Ford both singled in the 5th inning after Fryer’s homer, but both were left stranded. Only one Curve batter reached base after the 5th. Watts singled to lead off the 6th, but was erased in a double play.