Tag Archives: Jason Erickson
A rainy Tuesday night in the Pirates’ minor league organization. The Indianapolis Indians played their entire game in the rain. The Altoona Curve’s game against the Akron Aeros (in Akron) was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a double-header on Thursday. The West Virginia Power and the Lexington Legends were also rained out in Lexington. They’ll try for two tomorrow, beginning at 10 am. The Marauders might have wished it was raining in Bradenton.
Clearwater Threshers 3, Bradenton Marauders 2
LF Adalberto Santos hit his first homer of the season and contributed to the Marauders’ 9th inning rally, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Threshers. Quinton Miller made the start for Bradenton. He pitched 5 scoreless innings, though had to work around runners on base in each of them:
– two singles in the 1st
– a hit batter, a single, and a walk in the 2nd
– a single in the 3rd (erased by a double play)
– a triple in the 4th (out at the plate on a fielder’s choice)
– a fielding error in the 5th.
But Miller’s luck ran out in the 6th, when the inning began with a double and a single to put two runners into scoring position. A suicide bunt scored the lead runner, and with two outs, a single loaded the bases. Miller was relieved by Jason Erickson, who threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to score. Erickson gave up an unearned run in the 8th, which would prove to be the winning run. With two outs, a fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham put a runner on second, and an RBI double brought that runner around to score. Duke Welker pitched the top of the 9th, and retired the Threshers in order — the only 1-2-3 inning for the Marauders’ pitchers.
The Marauders got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning, with Santos’ solo blast over the right field wall. They put two runners on base in the 4th, when C Ramon Cabrera walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, but a double play ended that inning. Santos reached base again in the 5th on a walk, then stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball, but that was as far as he got.
The second Marauders’ run came in a rally in the 9th. With one out, CF Evan Chambers walked, and Santos singled, moving Chambers to second base. DH Cole White grounded to third, and the Threshers’ third baseman went for the fielders’ choice, but didn’t get it — leaving the bases full of Marauders. An RBI ground out by SS Benji Gonzalez let Chambers score from third. Another ground out ended the inning and the game.
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 Indianapolis Indians were rained out on Monday night. They and the Durham Bulls will try for two on Tuesday. Tuesday’s first game is scheduled for 11:05 am, early for a Baseball In Education Day. That game is scheduled to be shown on the MLB network. (It’s absolutley pouring down rain now.)
The Marauders played a morning game to accommodate the school kids; the Curve and Power play in the evening.
Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Bradenton Marauders 1
A 4-run inning was enough for Palm Beach to secure the win this morning. Marauders’ starter Kyle McPherson had allowed just one hit over the first two innings, but with one out in the 3rd, he hit two successive batters with pitches. A fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez allowed the next batter to reach base safely, loading them up. An RBI single drove in the runner from third, leaving the bags still full of Cardinals. Then a double lined into left field cleared the bases to give the Cardinals a 4-run inning. McPherson put Palm Beach down in order in the 4th and 5th innings, then gave up another run on a pair of doubles in the 6th. He finished with 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits, no walk, and 4 strikeouts in his 6 innings of work.
2B Jarek Cunningham led the Marauders’ batters with 2 hits, a single and a double, and 1B Aaron Baker drove in the only Marauders’ run. Bradenton missed a big chance in the 2nd inning, when both 3B Elevys Gonzalez and C Travis Scott walked, then LF Adalberto Santos’s infield single loaded the bases. But a strikeout and a pop out ended the threat with all three runners still in place. Cunningham began the 3rd inning rally with a double lined into left field. One out later, Baker lined a single into center field, and Cunningham raced around from second base to score the Marauders’ only run. The Marauders had another chance with the bases loaded in the 7th — DH Cole White walked, then Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers both singled, but a fly out ended that opportunity. Scott had the only other Bradenton hit, with a single to lead off the 4th.
Duke Welker pitched a quick 7th inning for the Marauders, getting three ground outs. Jason Erickson took the bottom of the 8th, and gave up two singles, then got a double play when the next batter lined out to Baker, who threw to SS Benji Gonzalez to double off the runner from second base. Erickson gave up one more single, but then ended the inning without a run scoring.
Altoona Curve 8, Erie SeaWolves 6
Two big innings gave the Curve enough runs to withstand a late-inning rally by the SeaWolves and take the win to open this series. The Curve got started with a two-out rally which scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. After a line out and a ground out, C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts both walked. 1B Miles Durham and RF Brad Chalk then hit back-to-back doubles, with Durham driving in one run and Watts adding two. 2B Brock Holt reached base on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Chalk to third base. Chalk scored on a balk, giving the Curve a 4-0 lead. They added 3 more runs in the 5th, beginning with Holt’s lead-off single through the hole into right field. CF Starling Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt to moved Holt to second base. Three consecutive singles, by LF Quincy Latimore, Mercer, and 3B Jeremy Farrell brought in one run (Mercer’s RBI). After a pitching change, Sanchez made it four straight singles with a liner into center field, scoring Latimore and Mercer. The Curve added one more insurance run in the 7t, on a single by Latimore and an RBI double by Mercer.
Aaron Pribanic made the start for the Curve and earned his second win of the season. He pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and a walk. Two of the hits, a single and a double, came in the 3rd inning, and were followed by a bouncer back to the mound, which Pribanic returned to Sanchez, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate. Two more singles came in the 4th, and both of those runners were left on base. Brian Leach pitched the 6th and 7th innings and gave up a run in each. A walk and a triple plated the run in the 6th, and a walk, a single, and two ground outs brought in the run in the 7th. Tom Boleska began the 8th inning, and got into trouble right away. Two walks and a double loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly scored one run. After another walk, Boleska was relieved by Noah Krol. The first batter Krol faced doubled into left field for 2 runs, and a hit batter and an RBI ground out gave Erie the fourth run of the inning. Krol ended the rally with a strikeout, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 9th to earn his 6th Save of the season.
The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power have scheduled days off today.
Bradenton Marauders 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 3
1B Aaron Baker gave the Marauders a boost with his grand slam in the 1st inning, and Jason Erickson won his first game of the season.
Starter Quinton Miller began the game with two outs, then gave up a double and a single, to give the Cardinals one run. The Marauders thundered back with 6 runs in the bottom of the frame, as the first 6 batters reached base before an out was recorded. RF Robbie Grossman led off with a walk, then went to third when 2B Adalberto Santos doubled. CF Evan Chambers walked to load the bases and set up Baker, who blasted a grand slam over the right field wall. DH Calvin Anderson followed the home run with a single, then he advanced to third on C Ramon Cabrera’s double. After a ground out and a strikeout, SS Benji Gonzalez sent the Palm Beach starter to the showers with a 2-RBI single. Grossman singled also, but a pop out ended the inning with the Marauders ahead 6-1.
Then it started raining…. and the game was delayed for more than 2 hours. When they did get back to business, Erickson took over on the mound for Miller. Erickson pitched 4 innings, and had trouble in only one, the 4th. He gave up a single, a double, a single, and a double, to give the Cardinals 2 runs. With two runners in scoring position, Erickson maintained his composure to strike out the next two batters and get out of the inning. Diego Moreno pitched the next two innings for Bradenton, allowing a walk and a wild pitch. He also had a runner reach base due to a throwing error by Gonzalez, but erased that runner with a double play. Ryan Beckman took the final two innings, and earned his 2nd save of the season, as he retired all 6 batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts.
Baker did not stop hitting after the 1st inning, though the Marauders did not score again in the game. He singled in the 2nd, and Anderson doubled behind him, but Baker was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice play. LF David Rubinstein reached on a fielding error at short, loading the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without a run scoring. Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice in the 3rd inning, after a walk, a stolen base, and a fly out. The Marauders had two runners on base due to a single and a walk in both the 4th and 5th innings. In the 4th, Rubinstein walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled; in the 5th, Santos singled and Chambers walked. Baker’s third hit came in the 8th, when Chambers drove a ball off the glove of the Palm Beach right fielder. Chambers rounded second and headed for third, but the center fielder was able to pick up the ball and fire it in to third, where Chambers was tagged out. Baker singled after Chambers’ hit, but was left on base.
The Marauders posted a total of 12 hits. Each member of the lineup reached base at least once, and Rubinstein was the only one without at least one hit.
It’s a rainy night for half of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:
The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain. Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected. The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.
Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.
The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona. They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.
Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week. He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.
Jupiter Hammerheads 1, Bradenton Marauders 0
The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today. Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts. Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st. The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base. An RBI ground out brought in the run. A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.
Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score. He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th. After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.
Unfortunately, the Hammerheads’ pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders’ batters. Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera’s single. The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base. With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked. But a ground out ended the threat and the game.
Losses all around in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
Augusta Green Jackets 5, West Virginia Power 3
A 4-run 2nd inning by Augusta had the Power trying to catch up for most of the game. With Zack Dodson getting the start, Augusta scored on two singles, a throwing error by 3B Eric Avila, a 2 RBI triple, and an RBI ground out. Only two of the runs were earned. Dodson retired the side in two other innings, and walked two batters in the 4th. The Power posted 8 hits (to Augusta’s 5 hits), and put runners on base in each of their first four innings but could not bring any of them around to score. The top of the 5th began with back-to-back singles by LF Rogelios Noris and SS Gift Ngoepe. 2B Drew Maggi dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but a missed catch error by the Augusta first baseman put Maggi safe on first, moved Ngoepe to third, and allowed Noris to score. Ngoepe scored on an RBI ground out.
Dodson was relieved by Brooks Pounders to begin the bottom of the 5th. Pounders surrendered another unearned run, on two singles, a passed ball, and a wild pitch in the 5th. He retired the side in order in both the 7th and 8th innings. Ryan Beckman retired the side in order in the 8th inning.
The Power continued to put runners on base in each inning, and they scored again in the 8th. RF Dan Grovatt walked, moved to second base on a ground out, and scored on DH Justin Howard’s line drive single into left field. Ngoepe also singled in the 3rd inning. CF Mel Rojas singled three times: in the 1st, the 3rd, and the 7th. He also stole second base in the 1st.
Wins all around for the rest of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:
Altoona Curve 10, Erie Seawolves 7
Three home runs and a 4-run 2nd inning sparked the Curve to their second win of the season on Sunday afternoon. The scoring got started in the top of the 1st, when 2B opened the game with a single, moved to third on CF Starling Marte’s double, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s RBI ground out. The Curve made it 5-1 with 4 more runs in the 2nd. DH Eric Fryer led off with a walk, but was forced out at second on RF Jose Hernandez’s grounder, though they avoided the double play. Holt singled, then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position. Hernandez scored on Marte’s RBI ground out, Mercer drove in Holt with a double, and C Tony Sanchez followed with his first homer of the season, driving in Mercer as well.
The Curve tacked on another run in each of the next two innings. 3B Jeremy Farrell reached base on a throwing error in the 3rd, and scored on Hernandez’s double. Marte led off the 4th with a solo home run. They took a break for two innings, then Farrell added his 2-run homer in the 7th, bringing in Sanchez, who had singled. Altoona’s final run came in the top of the 9th, with a two-out double by LF Quincy Latimore, an intentional walk by Farrell, and an RBI single by Fryer.
Holt had 3 hits in the game, raising his average to .400. Marte (.375), Sanchez (.300), and Farrell (.313) each had 2 hits.
Jared Hughes made the start for the Curve. He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 3 runs. A double and a single gave Erie one run in the 2nd inning, then a walk, a double, and two ground outs scored two runs in the 3rd. Mike Colla relieved Hughes to begin the 5th. A hit batter and a triple gave the Sea Wolves one run in the 6th, but Colla kept Erie from scoring in his other two innings. Anthony Claggett pitched the 8th inning and gave up two home runs — a solo homer to open the inning, then a 2-run homer after a single. Noah Krol took the 9th, and loaded the bases with a walk and two singles, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a game-ending double play. Colla earned the win, and Krol earned the Save.
Continuing to look at the Pirates’ minor league pitchers, moving upward in the organization:
Hunter Strickland – R/R, 6′ 5″, 200 lb
Strickland was the Red Sox’ 18th round pick in the 2007 draft, and he was traded to the Pirates in July 2009 in the deal involving Andy LaRoche. He joined the West Virginia team, and made 8 starts over the rest of the season (43 innings), going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA for the Power. Strickland returned to West Virginia to begin the 2010 season, where he made another 8 starts for another 43 innings. His results were not as good — an 0-4 record and a 5.86 ERA, with 58 hits and 28 earned runs. Both his walk rate (8, 1.7 walks/ 9 innings) and his strikeout rate (15, 3.1 K/ 9 innings) were low. In mid-May, Bradenton needed a pitcher, and Strickland was promoted. He made two strong relief appearances, combining for 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and one walk, with 5 strikeouts. Then he made two starts, and got blasted — 8 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 2.1 innings, and 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings. At that point, Strickland was having tightness in his right forearm (or maybe it had been there already, and that was why he had been struggling), and he went on the DL, missing the remainder of the season. Strickland should be ready to go for 2011, and at age 22, he should be back in Bradenton, where he will need to get back on track.
Phillip Irwin – R/R, 6′ 3″, 220 lb
Irwin was the Pirates’ 21st round pick in the 2009 draft. He pitched well for State College in his pro debut in 2009, with a 2.12 ERA despite a 1-2 record in 29.2 innings for the Spikes. Irwin was assigned to West Virginia to begin the 2010 season. He had a solid month of April, making one relief appearance and 3 starts. In 15 innings, he allowed 3 earned runs (1.80 ERA) on 11 hits and struck out 13 batters for the month. Then Irwin went onto the DL for a month (injury not specified). When he returned, he made two relief pitches, for 3 combined scoreless innings), then got back into the starting rotation. He had an up-and-down rest of the season, finishing with a 6-3 record and a 3.35 ERA. In a total of 113 innings, he allowed 99 hits and 42 earned runs with just 20 walks and 111 strikeouts. Irwin said that his tougher starts allowed him to remain focused and kept him motivated during the season. He was rewarded with a promotion to Bradenton for their brief playoff run, and got into one game. He threw 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, with 2 strikeouts. Irwin enjoyed his time in Bradenton, and said that he had fun and learned from some of the more experienced players. The 24-year-old should get a return to Bradenton for the 2011 season, where he says his goal is to “stay healthy and focused”.