Light Hitting Night For Affiliates, Morris Pitches 5 Shutout Innings

Looking in on the Pirates’ minor league affiliates on Tuesday… the State College Spikes have a scheduled day off.

Hagerstown Suns� 5,� West Virginia Power� 4 (box)

A single, a double, and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th gave the Suns the extra-inning win over the Power this afternoon.� The Power were held to 6 hits and scored all 4 of their runs in one inning, the 5th.� 3B Jesus Brito led off the inning with a single, and CF Evan Chambers was hit by a pitch.� Both scored on DH Jose Hernandez’s line drive double into center field.� 1B Aaron Baker brought in Hernandez with his 16th home run of the season, and the Power had their 4 runs.

Baker was the only Power batter who had more than one run in the game.� Besides the home run, he also singled in the 4th, but was forced out at second base.� SS Benji Gonzalez singled to lead off the 3rd inning, but was left on base. LF Rogelios Noris doubled to lead off the 6th.� Both RF David Rubinstein and� Noris were hit by pitches (back-to-back) in the 2nd inning.� Both C Ramon Cabrera and Chambers reached base two throwing errors in the 9th.� All four of them were left on base.

Jason Erickson pitched into the 7th inning for the Power, but he did not figure into the decision.� He gave up a run in the 3rd inning on a double, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single.� LF Noris prevented another run from scoring on a single, when he made a perfect throw in from left field to the plate, with Cabrera making the tag at the plate. Erickson gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, then gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning.

The Suns tied the score in the 7th inning.� With two outs, Erickson gave up a bunt single, a stolen base, and a walk.� Justin Ennis relieved Erickson, but the first batter he faced doubled into left field, scoring both base runners, to tie the game at 4-4.� Ennis gave up a single and a walk in the 8th, but did not let either runner score.� Zach Foster took over for the 9th, and retired the side in order then, but he suffered the loss when he gave up the run in the 10th.� The Power had two base runners on in the 8th (two errors) but they did not score either.

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Three Hits For Avila, Three RBI for Noris

Wednesday, with games going on all afternoon and evening….

Bradenton Marauders� 3,� Tampa Yankees� 1 (box)

A 3-run 5th inning was all it took from the Marauders’ bats this afternoon.� The inning began with 3B Jose De Los Santos reaching base on a fielding error.� RF Robbie Grossman singled, moving De Los Santos to third base, and LF Quincy Latimore doubled, scoring De Los Santos.� Both Grossman and Latimore scored on 1B Erik Huber’s single into right field.� Huber stole second base, but was left there when the inning ended on a fly out. All three runs were unearned.

Those three hits were half of the Marauder’s total for the game.� Latimore and Huber also singled in the 2nd inning, and C James Skelton walked, loading the bases, but three consecutive strikeouts ended the inning with all three runners still in place.� CF Austin McClune singled to lead off the 6th, 2B Adenson Chourio reached on a fielding error, but a double play ended the inning with Chourio forced out at second.� The Marauders went down in order in the last three innings of the game.

The only run the Yankees scored was also unearned.� Bradenton starter Aaron Pribanic pitched 5 innings and scattered 4 hits.� He came back out to begin the 6th, but was relieved after giving up a single and a walk.� Tom Boleska struck out the first batter he faced, then Skelton threw out the second runner as he tried to steal second in a double steal.� When the next batter reached on a throwing error by De Los Santos, the runner (who had stolen third base) scored from third.� Boleska pitched a scoreless 7th.� Tyler Cox allowed a single and a walk in the scoreless 8th.� Diego Moreno, who has finished his organizational suspension and has been reassigned to the Marauders, pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing just one walk.

Reliever Mike Colla has been promoted from the Marauders to AA Altoona, trading spots with Moreno.

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Fireworks in Altoona and State College; Kleis and Pevny Debut

Saturday with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…

Altoona Curve� 18,� Harrisburg Senators� 15 (box)

The booming you might have heard was thunder, and it came from the ballpark in Harrisburg.� These two teams combined for 34 hits and 33 runs, and 20 of the hits belonged to the Curve.� Every non-pitcher in the starting line-up had at least two hits, except LF Yung Chi Chen, who had only one hit and one RBI and walked once. Five different Curve batters homered in the game.

It was not a good night for ERA’s.� Starter Bryan Morris gave up 2 runs in the 1st (walk, walk, 2-RBI double) and 2 more in the 3rd (2-run homer).� He gave up a run on a double and a single in the 5th, then loaded the bases with two walks.� Morris was relieved by Dustin Molleken, who immediately threw a wild pitch to bring in the runner from third base (charged to Morris).� Morris was responsible for 6 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 4.2 innings.

Molleken retired the side in order in the 6th.� Mike Dubee came out to pitch the 7th, and he got into trouble quickly.� A single, a stolen base, a double, a walk, a single, another double — 4 runs in, and Molleken out.� Anthony Claggett relieved Dubee, but gave up a single, and the 5th run of the inning scored (charged to Dubee).� Claggett began the 8th with two singles and a double, then an RBI ground out, bringing in two more runs.� After a walk, Ramon Aguero replaced Claggett, but a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base (charged to Claggett).� That made 14 runs for the Senators,� and a 14 – 8 lead.

The Curve batters had been scoring, just not as prolifically as the Senators.� They threatened in the 2nd inning, loading the baes on a single to C Hector Gimenez and walks to RF Miles Durham and Chen, but Morris struck out to end the inning.� Gimenez doubled in the 4th, and scored on Chen’s single, putting the Curve on the scoreboard with a 4-1 score.

In the 5th, the Curve tied the score.� SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, and CF Gorkys Hernandez reached base on a throwing error.� 3B Jordy Mercer brought both d’Arnaud and Hernandez in with a double into right field, and Mercer scored on Gimenez’s RBI single.� The 4-4 tie did not last long, as the Senators scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th.� Then the Curve took the lead in the top of the 7th.� 3B Josh Harrison led off with a single, but was forced out at second when 1B Matt Hague grounded into a force play.� Mercer bounced back to the mound, and the Senators tried to turn a double play, but missed something at second, since Hague was safe but Mercer was out at first.� Gimenez walked, then Durham greeted the new Senators’ reliever with a booming 3-run homer, to give the Curve a 7-6 lead.� That lead didn’t last any longer than the tie did.� Harrisburg scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, to take an 11-7 lead.

LF Anthony Norman, who had entered the game in a double-switch, homered to lead off the 8th inning, but the Senators scored another 3 runs in the bottom of the frame, to push their lead to 14-8.

Then the top of the 9th, and the Curve exploded.� Fifteen batters came to the plate, as the Curve piled on 10 runs.� Mercer walked, and Gimenez homered (runs #1, 2).� Durham walked and pinch-hitter Brandon Jones homered (3, 4).� Norman reached on a fielding error, and d’Arnaud, Hernandez, and Harrison all singled, plating Norman and d’Arnaud (5,6).� Hague homered for 3 runs (7, 8, 9).� It was a controversial call by the umpires, as Hague’s blast down the left field line was ruled fair — even the Curve radio broadcaster, Dan Zangrilli, said that the ball was foul.� Both the Harrisburg pitcher and manager were ejected arguing the call.� Once things settled down, Mercer singled.� Oh, and did I mention that no outs had been recorded yet?� Gimenez made the first out of the inning at that point, on a strikeout.� Durham doubled in Mercer (10), then Jones also struck out.� Norman walked, and then d’Arnaud flied out to (finally) end the inning.

The Senators did score one more run in the bottom of the 9th, as Derek Hankins gave up a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly, but it was way too little, too late.

The Curve set some records — highest scoring game (33 runs) in Curve history, most runs given up in a game (15), longest 9-inning game (4 hours, 33 minutes), most number of runs in one inning (10).� Their 20 hits in the game was one hit short of the team record.

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Spikes’ and Pirates’ Bats Are Booming

Good news and bad news today…

The bad news is that OF Starling Marte has had some problems with his hand after surgery.� Marte had played in two rehab games last week, going 3-for-6, but has not played in over a week.� He’s going to need to rest the hand for awhile yet — a setback indeed.

The good news is that OF Mel Rojas Jr, the Pirates’ 3rd-round pick in the 2010 draft is reported to be on his way to Pittsburgh to sign a contract.� If all goes as expected, he could report to the State College Spikes by the weekend.

A few non-all-star-games going on today:

State College Spikes� 11,� Connecticut Tigers� 1 (box)

The Spikes posted 13 hits on their way to 11 runs this evening in Connecticut. 1B Matt Curry led the team with a 3-for-3 game and 2 RBI.� RF Adalberto Santos, DH Chase Lyles, LF Pat Irvine, and C Miguel Mendez each had 2 hits, and 3B Kelson Brown contributed 3 RBI.

The Spikes started off with 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� 2B Walker Gourley began the rally with a walk, and Santos reached base on a fielder’s choice that Gourley beat out.� Curry singled, scoring Gourley, and Lyles singled, bringing in Santos.� They added 4 runs in the 3rd inning, when Curry and Lyles both singled again.� Irvine followed with a double to plate Curry.� Brown’s single drove in both Lyles and Irvine.� Mendez made it runners on the corners with another single, and Brown scored when CF Kyle Saukko bounced into force out at second but beat the throw to first base.

The Tigers scored their lone run in the bottom of the 3rd, on two singles and a sacrifice fly.� It was the only run that Zack Von Rosenberg allowed in his 5 innings.� He gave up 5 hits and one run, and he struck out 5 batters.� Colton Cain, Casey Sadler, Teddy Fallon, and Jason Townsend all pitched one scoreless inning.� Townsend was the only one who allowed a hit, a single in the 9th.� Fallon was the only one to allow a walk, and he erased that runner with a double play.� Sadler struck out the side, all swinging, in the 7th.

The Spikes kept going after Connecticut scored their run.� Santos tripled with one out in the 4th.� Curry walked, and Lyles reached on a fielding error, as Santos scored.� A throwing error on the play put Curry on third and Lyles on second.� Irvine singled, and Curry crossed the plate, then Brown’s sacrifice fly brought in Lyles.� Spikes ahead, 9-1.� Back-to-back doubles by Santos (ground-rule) and Curry added the first run in the 6th.� A walk to Irvine and Brown being hit by a pitch loaded the bases.� Mendez singled, scoring Curry and giving the Spikes an 11-1 lead.� The Spikes’ bats slowed down after that.� They had only one base runner over the last three innings — Curry walked to begin the 8th, but was erased in a double play.

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Duke Pitches Well In 2nd Rehab Start; 3 Rehab Hits For Friday

Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve� 2,� Richmond Flying Squirrels� 1 (box)

Zach Duke pitched 4 rehab innings, allowing only one run on two hits and a walk.� Double plays got Duke out of the 1st inning, when a runner reached on Duke’s fielding error, and out of the 2nd, when he walked a batter.� He retired the side in order in the 3rd, then with two outs in the 4th gave up a solo home run followed by a single before ending the inning.� Duke did not strike out any batters.

The Curve gave Duke 2 runs worth of support in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a single, and two outs later, 1B Matt Hague blasted his 8th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.� Three innings later, the Squirrels homered off Duke, and that was all the scoring in the game.� The Curve had only two other hits in the game — a single by 2B Jordy Mercer immediately following Hague’s homer, and a double by Hague to lead off the 4th.� After Hague’s double, the next 15 Curve batters went down in order.

Not that the Squirrels were doing much better.� After the homer and the single in the 4th, Richmond posted only two more hits.� Those came back-to-back to open the 8th inning off reliever Anthony Claggett. Claggett struck out the next two batters and got a line out to end the inning without a run scoring.� Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk, and he was credited with the win.� Ramon Aguero earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning.

Don’t forget to watch Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Morris in the Futures Game on Sunday at 6pm (Eastern) on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.� Hernandez will be the starting center fielder for the World Team.� Tony Sanchez was invited too, but he’s still on the DL due to jaw surgery.

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