Thursday night’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…..
Akron Aeros 6, Altoona Curve 1 (Game 1)
The Aeros began today’s double-header with a 5-run 1st inning, and the Curve could not catch up in Game 1. 2B Brock Holt went 3-for-3 with a triple and two singles.
Curve starter Aaron Thompson did not get out of the first inning. With one out, A pair of doubles drove in one run. A catchers’ interference call on C Eric Fryer put the next batter on first base, and a single loaded the bases. Thompson got a strikeout, but then walked in a run. Two more singles drove in three more runs for a 5-0 lead. Tim Alderson relieved Thompson, and Alderson ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
Alderson gave up a double and a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the next three batters to get out of the inning without further runs scoring. He went on to retire the next 11 batters in order (14 in order overall), before giving up a solo home run in the 6th.
Holt recorded his first single in the top of the 1st, and CF Starling Marte reached base on an error, but they were not able to come around to score. Holt singled again in the 3rd, with two outs. That time he was out at second on a grounder force out. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 4th, and was left on base. The Curve scored their only run in the 5th. 1B Miles Durham walked in the 5th, and moments later, Holt drove Durham in with his triple.
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 1 (Game 2)
Jared Hughes pitched into the 6th inning, and kept the Aeros scoreless in the night-cap. Hughes gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, and worked around runners on base in four of the innings he pitched. He left two runners in scoring position in the 1st, and allowed another single in the 2nd. In the 4th, the Aeros doubled, and the runner advanced to third on a bunt. A grounder to 3B Shelby Ford became a fielder’s choice when Ford’s throw home let C Kris Watts tag out the runner at the plate. Hughes gave up another single and a walk in the 6th, and was relieved by Michael Dubee. Dubee moved both runners into scoring position with a wild pitch, but ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. DH Jeremy Farrell doubled into center field, and 1B Miles Durham walked. Ford lifted a single into left field, allowing Farrell to score from second base. A pair of doubles added another run for the Curve in the 3rd. With one out, CF Starling Marte doubled into center field. Marte scored on LF Quincy Latimore’s double into left. Latimore also singled and Farrell walked in the 6th, but the Aeros changed pitchers, and two strikeouts ended the inning.
Akron’s only run came in the bottom of the 7th. Dubee gave up a lead-off double and a walk, and with two outs, an RBI single up the middle brought in the lead runner.
Wins for everyone in the Pirates’ minor league system on Saturday… and each of these winners scored 6 runs:
Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 5
The Curve rallied with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, for a come-from-behind win, extending their winning streak to four games. Starter Mike Colla went 5 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts. Colla allowed only one hit over the first three innings. The top of the 4th began with a single, a walk, and a single to load the bases. After a strikeout, a single lined into left field drove in one run. A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the frame. CF Starling Marte had singled in the 1st inning, and the Curve had loaded the bases with two outs in the 2nd, on a walk by DH Kris Watts, and singles by 1B Miles Durham and RF Eric Fryer. All four runners were left on base. 3B Jeremy Farrell started the 4th inning by being hit by a pitch. C Tony Sanchez doubled into right field, scoring Fryer from first. Watts’ ground out moved Sanchez to third, then Durham lined a single into left field, bringing in Sanchez. The Curve had a 2-1 lead.
Brian Leach took over for Colla for the 6th inning, and retired the side in order. Anthony Claggett came on for the 7th, which started well, with two outs. Then a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single tied the game at 2-2. Claggett remained in the game to begin the 8th inning, but he quickly got into trouble, allowing a pair of doubles and a single, for one run and one out. Claggett was ejected after the single (no details, sorry), and Michael Dubee took over for him. Dubee gave up an RBI single and an RBI double, to give Erie a 5-2 lead.
The Curve came charging back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and SS Jordy Mercer brought them both in with a 2-run homer. Farrell singled after the homer, and Sanchez tied the score when he drove in Farrell with a triple. Brad Chalk came in to pinch-hit for Sanchez, and he scored on Watts’ RBI single, to give the Curve the lead.
Noah Krol pitched the final inning. He gave up a pair of singles, but kept the SeaWolves from scoring to hold on to the win. Dubee was credited with the win, and Krol earned his 8th Save of the season.
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.
Saturday evening action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 0
Strong pitching by Richmond and one big inning for the Squirrels’ batters combined for another Curve loss. The Curve were held to just two hits — one each by 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Tony Sanchez. Five walks did not help either, as the Curve left 7 runners on base. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona over the first 3 innings, when he walked in the 3rd. LF Quincy Latimore walked with one out in the 4th. He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s ground out. Mercer reached third base when Farrell slipped a single through the left side of the infield, but both runners were left stranded.
Farrell walked and Sanchez singled with one out in the 7th, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. The Curve’s biggest threat came in the 9th inning, when with two outs, Mercer was hit by a pitch, then Farrell and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks. A pop up to the catcher in foul territory by Durham ended the game with all three still on base.
Three errors by the Curve fielders did not help out their pitchers, who gave up a combined 11 hits. Starter Aaron Thompson worked around a pair of two-out singles in the 1st, then struck out three batters around a walk in the 2nd. Then things fell apart in the 3rd. The inning began with three consecutive singles, loading the bass. The next batter grounded to short, but Mercer’s fielding fumble left everyone safe, and the lead runner scored. Thompson looked like he had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage when he got the next two batters with a fly out and a strikeout. But a bases-clearing double into left field made the score 4-0. The throw in from LF Latimore was relayed from the cutoff man Mercer to Farrell at third, who tagged out the batter at third as he tried to stretch the double into a triple.
Thompson kept the Squirrels from scoring in the 4th, despite a fielding error by CF Starling Marte and another single. A lead-off single began the 5th inning, and a throwing error by Sanchez on a steal attempt put the runner on third base. Thompson struck out two batters, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett, who ended the inning with a ground out, leaving that runner on third. Claggett pitched a scoreless 6th, but gave up a run in the 7th on a hit batter and an RBI double. Two walks after the double loaded the bases, but Claggett escaped the inning with a ground out. Chris Leroux took over for the bottom of the 8th. He also gave up a double and hit a batter, but did not allow a run. Thompson took the loss, going 4.2 innings with 4 runs (one earned) on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts.
The Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates wrap up the month of April:
Erie SeaWolves 5, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, plus two walks, as they were shut-out by the SeaWolves. Their first hit of the game came in the 2nd inning, when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. The inning ended with Farrell being forced out at third base. Altoona had their biggest threat with two runners on base in the 3rd inning — a line drive single into left field by RF Eric Fryer and a walk to DH Jose Hernandez. A ground out put both runners into scoring position, but they too were left stranded. The Curve went down in order until LF Quincy Latimore’s single in the 6th. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona in the last three innings, when he walked in the 7th.
Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve. He pitched 6 innings but was the victim of some errors in the field behind him. He gave up one earned run but 4 unearned runs, and was charged with the loss. Erie’s earned run came in the 2nd inning, on a double, a walk, and an RBI single. The second base runner who tried to score was gunned down at the plate on a throw in from Fryer in right field to C Tony Sanchez. The top of the 4th inning began with a single, and the next batter grounded to short for what should have been a double play. But a missed catch error by 2B Brock Holt left both runners safe. A walk loaded the bases, and a grounder allowed the lead runner to score. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Erie a 4-0 lead. Erie began the 6th inning with a double and a single, and with two outs, a fielding error by Farrell at third allowed another unearned run to score.
Tim Alderson relieved Locke and pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings. The only batter to reach base against Alderson was hit by a pitch, then erased in a double play.