Black’s Season Debut; Presley’s On A Tear; Morris Promoted

The big news on Sunday afternoon in the Pirates’ minor league organization is that the team has promoted righty starter Bryan Morris from Bradenton to AA Altoona. �Morris won his 3rd victory for the Marauders yesterday, and has been mowing ‘em down in the Florida State League. �In 44.2 innings, Morris has allowed 37 hits but just 8 runs, and only 3 of those runs are earned. �He has allowed just 7 walks, while striking out 40 batters. �He has also not allowed a home run. �He leads the FSL with an ERA of 0.60, and his WHIP is 0.99. �The Florida State League has hit .220 against him. �He is first in the FSL with those 44.2 innings pitched, and his WHIP is 4th highest in the league.

West Virginia Power �8, �Delmarva Shorebirds �4 (box)

The Power turned on their power in the 4th inning, scoring 5 runs on their way to a 14-hit afternoon. �Righty starter Victor Black made his 2010 debut with a 4-inning start, and struck out 7 batters.

The Power got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st. �2B Jarek Cunningham got started with a solo home run. �DH Aaron Baker followed the homer with a walk, and LF Rogelios Noris and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases with back-to-back singles. �After a fly out, 1B Kyle Morgan brought in Baker with another single.

Victor Black gave up only two walks over the first three innings, while striking out 5 batters. �He gave up his first single in the 4th, then hit the next batter with a pitch. �The third batter of the inning smacked a 3-run homer, giving Delmarva a 3-2 lead. �Black finished the inning with a ground out and two more strikeouts, to end his afternoon.

In the bottom of the frame, the Power sent 8 batters to the plate. �3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, and went to second on SS Adenson Chourio’s sacrifice bunt. �Gonzalez stole third base, and after CF Evan Chambers walked, a wild pitch moved him to second base. �Another wild pitch on strike three to Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases. �Aaron Baker brought in Gonzalez and Chambers with a single into right field. �Then Rogelios Noris made it 7-3 with a 3-run homer over the left field wall.

Marc Baca pitched a scoreless 5th inning for the Power. �Jason Erickson took the mound for the next three innings. �He gave up a solo homer in the 6th, but the Power got the run back in the 7th. �RF David Rubinstein led off with a single, and went to second on a passed ball. �He scored on Kyle Morgan’s second RBI single of the game.

Erickson retired the side in the 7th. �He gave up a lead-off single in the 8th, but erased that runner with a double play. �Duke Welker pitched the 9th and worked around a throwing error at second base by Cunningham, striking out the final two batters of the game for a scoreless inning.

Rogelios Noris went 3-for-5 with a 3-run homer, while Jarek Cunningham, David Rubinstein, and Kyle Morgan each had two hits.

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Rain Cuts Curve Short

Harrisburg Senators 3, �Altoona Curve 2 (box)

Rain cut short the late-morning/early afternoon game in Altoona on Tuesday, and didn’t give the Curve a chance to catch up to the Senators for a second time. �Starter Derek Hankins gave up an unearned run in the top of the 2nd. �A lead-off double and Hankins’ own throwing error on a pickoff attempt put a runner on third base with no outs. �After a walk, a grounder for a double play was enough to score the runner from third base.

The Curve batters went down in order for the first two innings. �Two Harrisburg errors put C Kris Watts on third base and SS Chase d’Arnaud on first with two outs in the 3rd inning, but a fly out ended that threat as the rain began to fall. �Altoona got onto the scoreboard in the 4th, tying the game on a single by 1B Matt Hague and an RBI double by RF Miles Durham. Durham went to third base on a ground out, but was left there when the inning ended.

Harrisburg didn’t let the tie last long. �They scored 2 more runs in the top of the 5th, on a walk and a 2-run homer, taking a 3-1 lead. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the inning. �Watts was hit by a pitch, and pinch-hitter Jim Negrych doubled into right field, moving Watts to third base. �A sacrifice fly by d’Arnaud plated Watts and moved Negrych to third base. �He could not advance further, though, as a ground out and a line out ended the inning. �At that point, the rain was much harder, and the umpires called for a rain delay. �After nearly two hours of waiting and hoping for another chance to score, it was clear that the rain was not going to stop. �Since 5 full innings had been played, it was an official game, and the Curve were on the losing end.

The rain also held Alex Presley to just 2 at-bats, both of which were outs. �That ended his 24-game on-base streak.

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Presley’s Streak Ends As Curve Lose In 11th

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

Three singles in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Squirrels the walk-off win on Thursday night in Richmond. �Reliever Ronald Uviedo, who had allowed runs to score in only one of his previous 8 appearances for the season, gave up the singles in the 11th and suffered his second loss.

The Curve scored first, way back in the top of the 1st inning. �With one out, CF Gorkys Hernandez singled, 2B Josh Harrison walked, and 1B Matt Hague brought Hernandez in with an RBI single. �Richmond responded with a run off starter Derek Hankins in the 4th, scoring on a double and two ground outs.

The scoreboard filled up with a lot of donuts after that. �The Curve went down in order for three consecutive innings, until SS Chase d’Arnaud walked in the 5th. �He stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch, but got no farther. �Harrison walked in the 6th but was eliminated in a double play.

In the 7th, the Curve got close. �C Kris Watts doubled and moved to third base on a wild pitch. �Pinch-hitter Jim Negrych lined out to left field, and when Watts tried to tag up and score, he was thrown out at the plate. �They loaded the bases in the 10th, on a single by 3B Jose De Los Santos (in his first game back since being involved in a collision with Gorkys Hernandez on Monday), an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Jordy Mercer, and a single to short by d’Arnaud. �But Hernandez bounced into an inning-ending double play, and the threat ended. �Hague and RF Miles Durham had back-to-back singles in the 11th, but both were left on base.

Meanwhile, Derek Hankins was also pitching well. �He scattered 4 singles and a walk over the other 5 innings he pitched besides the 4th. �He left after 6 innings, with the game tied. �Tony Watson relieved Hankins, and he pitched 3 shutout innings, allowing three singles and a hit batter. �A timely double play got him out of a jam in the 7th, when he had runners on first and second with one out. �Ronald Uviedo replaced Watson to begin the 10th. �Uviedo gave up a two-out single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout. �But when he returned in the top of the 11th, the Squirrels ended the game quickly.

Matt Hague and Miles Durham each had two hits for the Curve. �Watts’ double in the 7th was the Curve’s only extra base hit. �LF Alex Presley’s hitting streak came to an end at 19 games (2nd longest in Curve history) when he went 0-for-4, but he did continue his on-base streak with a walk in the 1st inning.

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Shutout Innings: Baker 6, Hankins 5

Some nice shutout pitching (at least for a few innings) on Saturday evening:

Altoona Curve �9, � Harrisburg Senators �2 (box)

Starter Derek Hankins pitched 5 shutout innings in his start in Harrisburg. �He scattered two doubles and two walks over those 5 innings, and struck out 2 batters. �Tony Watson relieved Hankins to begin the 6th inning, and he also kept the Senators scoreless for the next two innings. �Watson got into some trouble in the 8th, though, giving up a double, a walk, and a single to the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases. �Watson got the next batter to strike out, but then was replaced by Jeff Sues. Sues gave up a sacrifice fly, and then a single, both scoring one run. �Those runs were charged to Watson. �Sues finished the 8th inning with a ground out. �He got two ground outs in the 9th, allowed a walk, then struck out the last batter of the game.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were busy piling up 15 hits and 9 runs. �LF Alex Presley, who is hitting .471 over his last 10 games and is 8-for-15 in his last 3 games, led the charge by going 4-for-5 tonight, all singles, for 3 RBI. �C Hector Gimenez had 2 doubles and a single, and both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Josh Harrison had two singles each. �Each position player in the starting lineup had at least one hit. �The scoring started slowly, with one run in the 2nd inning. �RF Miles Durham tripled with two outs, then scored on Presley’s first single. �They added two more runs in the 4th, when singles by Hague and Harrison, along with a missed catch error on a pick-off attempt, put runners on the corners. �A balk scored Hague, and Presley’s second single scored Harrison. �Presley was out at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.

The Senators tried changing pitchers to begin the 6th inning, but it didn’t help them. �3B Jordy Mercer led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. �Matt Hague’s single scored Mercer. �A walk to Durham and Presley’s third single scored Hague with another run. �Gimenez’s double brought in Durham and Presley, and gave the Curve a 7-0 lead. �Walks to pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases, but a fly out ended the inning and left the three runners stranded.

A double by SS Chase d’Arnaud and an RBI single by Hernandez made it 8-0 in the top of the 8th. �The Senators scored twice in the bottom of the frame, but by then it was too little too late. �The Curve added one more for good measure in the top of the 9th. �With two outs, Durham walked, and Presley beat out a grounder to short for his fourth hit. �Gimenez’s second double brought in Durham with the Curve’s 9th run.

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Power Show Their Power, Bradenton Pitchers Shine

West Virginia Power 8, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)

The West Virginia Power powered up, recording 17 hits on their way to 8 runs, to beat the Intimidators in Kannapolis on Monday night. �The West Virginia starter Kyle McPherson was also showing his Power, going 7 innings and allowing just one runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. �McPherson, in his best outing of the season, worked around a double in each of the first two innings. �In the 4th inning, he gave up a lead-off single followed by another double, and this double scored a run. �A Kannapolis runner reached base in the 6th on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez, and another reached on a single in the 7th, and was erased by a double play.

Meanwhile, each member of the Power lineup had at least one hit, and C Ramon Cabrera led the charge by going 4-for-5, with a triple and 2 RBI. �1B Kyle Morgan had a single and two triples, and DH Aaron Baker homered and doubled. �They started with 2 runs in the 1st inning. �A walk by 3B Jesus Brito, a double by Baker, and a throwing error by the Kannapolis pitcher brought in two unearned runs.

The 4th inning began with a single by LF Rogelios Noris and Morgan’s first triple, for an RBI. �Morgan scored on Cabrera’s single. �Two more singles, by CF Evan Chambers and 2B Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases, and a walk to Brito forced in the third run of the inning. �Power up 5-0.

The Power put two runners on base in each of the 5th and 6th innings, but did not bring any of them around to score. �The 7th began with Morgan’s single, and he scored on Cabrera’s triple. �Gonzalez plated Cabrera with an RBI single. �Aaron Baker added one more run in the 8th with his solo home run. �Morgan tripled for the second time after the homer, but was left on base

McPherson’s win was his first of the season. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last 2 innings for the Power, allowing just one hit, while striking out two batters.

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