Marauders Blast Cardinals, Power Split DoubleHeader

A little lighter schedule in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues tonight — the Altoona Curve and the State College Spikes both had scheduled days off.

The Pirates have signed their top two draft picks, righty pitchers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, just a few hours before the midnight deadline.� That makes 27 of 50 draft picks signed.� Check out the complete list here.

Bradenton Marauders� 9,� Palm Beach Cardinals� 1 (box)

The Marauders posted 12 hits and scored in each of their last three at-bats as they bombarded the Cardinals.� 3B Jeremy Farrell led the charge with 3 hits, while SS Shelby Ford and C Eric Fryer had 2 hits and 2 RBI each.

Starter Brian Leach earned his 6th win of the season with 5 innings of work, in which he allowed only one unearned run, on 6 hits and a walk, while striking out 5 batters.� He worked around a hit in each of the first two innings, and then got out of a small jam after two singles in the 4th by striking out the next 2 batters.� The 5th inning began with a batter reaching on a fielding error by Farrell.� A single and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases.� Leach’s only walk of the game forced in the unearned run.

The Marauders also picked up an unearned run, which came in the 3rd.� 2B Adam Davis doubled, then scored when DH James Skelton’s bunt was complicated by a throwing error on the Cardinals’ pitcher.� They scored again (earned this time) in the next inning, when LF Quincy Latimore led off with a walk, followed by Farrell’s ground rule double and Fryer’s RBI single.

The Marauders broke the game open with 4 runs in the 6th. Latimore again led off with a walk, and Farrell singled.� Fryer moved them up a base each with a sacrifice bunt.� 1B Calvin Anderson singled, scoring both Latimore and Farrell.� Davis walked, then a throwing error laoded the bases again.� This time it was Ford’s single which brought in two runs, Anderson and Davis, and the Marauders had a 6-1 lead.

Latimore led off an inning with a walk for the third time in the 7th inning.� That was followed by singles from both Farrell and Fryer, driving in Latimore with the Marauders’ 7th run.� In the 8th, Skelton had a turn at leading off an inning with a walk.� Ford singled, but he was out at second on RF Robbie Grossman’s grounder force out.� Back-to-back doubles by CF Starling Marte and Latimore brought in Skelton and Grossman, though Marte was out at the plate trying to score on Latimore’s double.

Duke Welker pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings for the Marauders, allowing just 2 walks.� Craig Hansen also went 2 innings, with a hit batter in the 8th, and a single in the 9th.� The single was followed by a game-ending double play.

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Solid Starts From Locke, Adcock, Miller, and Cain

Minor League action with the Pirates’ affiliates on Thursday… lots of good pitching

Altoona Curve� 5,� Trenton Thunder� 3 (box)

The Curve came from behind to take this game from Trenton, despite being out-hit 8-7.� Starter Jeff Locke had trouble in the 1st inning, when 3 runs scored on a double, three singles, a wild pitch, and a throwing error by C Hector Gimenez on a stolen base play.� After that inning, Locke settled in, scattering four hits over the next 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters.

The Curve batters had only 2 hits over the first 3 innings, but they got going in the 4th to put one run on the board.� LF Andrew Lambo walked, and 1B Matt Hague singled.� A ground out to second by Gimenez moved both runners into scoring position, and 2B Jim Negrych picked up an RBI when his groundout scored Lambo.� DH Yung Chi Chen got the 5th inning off to a good start with a triple into left field.� He scored on CF Anthony Norman’s sacrifice fly.� A fielding error in left field put Norman on first base, but he was caught stealing moments later.� SS Chase d’Arnaud kept the rally going with a walk, and he was successful in stealing second.� 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, and a wild pitch moved d’Arnaud to third and Harrison to second.� Lambo’s grounder to second brought in d’Arnaud from third, and the score was tied at 3-3.

Jared Hughes took over for Locke for the final three innings.� He held the Thunder to just a walk in the 7th, retiring the other 9 batters he faced, with the help of some outstanding outfield work, particularly by Norman, and an infield gem by Negrych.� The Curve threatened in the 6th, when RF Miles Durham singled and Chen walked with 2 outs, but both were left on base.� Harrison began the 7th inning with a walk, and with two outs, he stole second base.� That put him into scoring position, so that when Hague took a 3-0 pitch into left field for a double, Harrison was able to score the go-ahead run.� Gimenez was intentionally walked to get to Negrych, who obligingly grounded to second base for what should have been the final out of the inning.� But the Trenton second baseman made a fielding error — Negrych was safe at first, and Hague scored an insurance run.

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Jakubauskas Begins Rehab (Again); Power Get Over-Powered

Action for the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates on Tuesday…� The Bradenton Marauders were rained out.� They’ll play a double header against Palm Beach today.

GCL Phillies� 5,� GCL Pirates 0 (box)

The Phillies dominated the Pirates for the second day in a row, adding 12 hits today to their 19 hits yesterday.� Righty pitcher Chris Jakubauskas made his first appearance in a game in months but suffered the loss with a 3-inning start for the Pirates.� He gave up one run on 3 hits and 2 walks.� The run scored in the 3rd inning. on a single, a wild pitch and an RBI ground out.� Kevin Kleis also gave up one run in his 2 innings of work, on two singles with a stolen base in the 5th.� Rinku Singh made his longest appearance to date, going 4 innings and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits.� Two runs scored in the 6th, on two doubles, a hit batter, a walk, and a wild pitch.� A single and a double added another run for the Phillies in the 8th.

The Pirates were held to 5 hits — a double by DH Justin Howard, and singles by CF Junior Sosa, 3B Eric Avila, C Elias Diaz, and 1B Dylan Child. The Pirates came closest to scoring in the 6th, when Howard doubled and Avila followed with a single into left field.� Howard tried to score from second on the throw, but was tagged out at the plate.� That was also the only inning in which more than one Pirate was on base at the same time.

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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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