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.
Thursdays’ action in the Pirates lower minor league organization:
Binghamton Mets �4, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)
It only took two innings to get all the scoring done in this game, as Bryan Morris suffered his 4th loss with the Curve in what will be his last start before the All-Star break and his participation in the Futures Game. �Morris didn’t get past the 2nd inning, as he gave up all 4 Mets’ runs on 6 hits. �Morris got the first batter he faced to ground out, but then immediately got into trouble with a single and a ground-rule double, putting two runners in scoring position. �A ground out allowed the runner from third base to score. �A hit batter put runners on the corners, and two singles followed, with a second run scoring. �Morris struck out the last batter of the 1st inning and the first batter of the 2nd inning. �Then he gave up a solo home run, and the Mets had a 4-0 lead. �A walk, a single, and a wild pitch followed the home run, but Morris was able to leave them on base as the inning ended. �I suspect he had run into problems with his pitch count as well, because Derek Hankins came out to pitch the 3rd inning.
The Curve batters came back with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 2nd. �2B Jordy Mercer led off with a line drive double, and he scored when 1B Miles Durham and LF Anthony Norman hit back-to-back singles. �Bryan Morris sacrifice bunted Durham and Norman into scoring position, and both of them scored on SS Chase d’Arnaud’s RBI single. �The Curve were behind by just one run, 4-3.
But the Curve couldn’t erase that narrow margin. �They put runners on base in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them could come around to score. �Nine base runners were left stranded. �Two runners were left on base in the 3rd, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and RF Brandon Jones walked. �Mercer doubled again in the 6th, and Norman walked, again leaving two runners on. �In the top of the 9th, the Curve’s final effort, CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with two outs, but a fly out ended the game.
Derek Hankins pitched 6 scoreless innings after Morris hit the showers. �He retired the first 6 batters he faced in order, including striking out the side in the 4th. �He hit a batter in the 5th, but immediately erased him with a double play. �Another double play got Hankins out of a walk-and-single jam in the 7th. �Anthony Claggett pitched the final inning. �He gave up a single, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal second base.
Lots of home runs in the minor leagues tonight, including Jim Negrych’s 2-run homer that won the game for the Indianapolis Indians.
Bradenton Marauders �9, �Jupiter Hammerheads �7 (box)
A 5-run inning boosted the Marauders in the early part of the game, and then the Marauders had to use three home runs to make up for making 4 errors in the field. �The two teams combined for 27 hits in the game, with the Marauders accounting for 16 of them.
Bradenton starter Nate Adcock gave up a run in each of the 2nd and 3rd innings. �Two singles and two throwing errors brought in a run in the 2nd, and a double, a single, and an RBI ground out plated the run in the 3rd.
The newest Marauder, 2B Jorge Bishop, got the party started in the bottom of the 3rd with a lead-off triple. �A single by SS Greg Picart brought in Bishop. Another single by CF Robbie Grossman and a double by rehabbing DH Steve Pearce plated Picart. �LF Quincy Latimore singled to score Grossman and Pearce. �Two more singles, by 1B Calvin Anderson and 3B Adenson Chourio scored Latimore. �The Marauders almost had another run, but Adenson Chourio was throw out at the plate after C Andrew Walker’s single. �The Marauders came out of the inning with a 5-2 lead.
Adcock got into trouble in the 5th, when a fielding error began the inning. �A double, a single, a passed ball, and two RBI ground outs brought in three more runs, only one of which was earned. �Another double, a fielding error, two singles and a sacrifice fly brought in an earned run and an unearned run in the 6th.
The Marauders kept up with the help of the homers. �Calvin Anderson smacked a solo homer in the 5th. �A double by Bishop, a stolen base, and a wild pitch added another run in the 6th, to tie the score at 7-7. �Back-to-back homers by Quincy Latimore and Calvin Anderson in the 7th gave the Marauders the go-ahead run and one more for insurance.
Tyler Cox, Ramon Aguero, and Noah Krol each pitched one scoreless inning of relief, with 5 strikeouts between them. �Cox earned the win, since he was the pitcher of record when Latimore and Anderson homered in the 7th. �Aguero was credited with a Hold, and Krol earned his 16th save of the season, tying him for the lead in the Florida State League.
Rehabbing Steve Pearce went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, a walk, and a strikeout in the game.