Morris Loses In Pre-Futures Start; Power Win In 10

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.

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Curve Win In Late Innings, Power and Spikes Fall

Wednesday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minors…

The Bradenton Marauders vs. Ft. Myers Miracle, along with a few other Florida State League games, have been postponed due to weather.

Altoona Curve �6, �Binghamton Mets �3 (box)

Two late-inning rallies gave the Curve the edge over the Mets tonight, and earned Justin Wilson his 6th win of the season. �Wilson allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in his 6 innings of work, while striking out 6 Mets. �Wilson gave up a single and a walk in the 1st inning but left both stranded, then went on to retire the side in the next two innings. �The first Mets’ run came in the 4th with two outs, on a double and a single. �A solo home run gave the Mets their second run in the 5th.

The Curve bats were quiet until the top of the 4th inning, when they loaded the bases with a single by SS Chase d’Arnaud, a walk to 1B Matt Hague, and a single by 2B Jordy Mercer. All three were left on base, though, when a fly out ended the inning. �D’Arnaud singled again to lead off the 6th, and this time the Curve were more effective. �CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with a single, and a double by 3B Josh Harrison brought d’Arnaud in to score. �Hernandez scored the tying run on an RBI ground out by Hague, and Harrison came in on a sacrifice fly by Mercer. �The Curve were up 3-2.

For the third time in the game, in the 8th, d’Arnaud led off an inning with a single. �Hernandez was hit by a pitch, and Harrison’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up one base each. �Hague was intentionally walked to load the bases. �A wild pitch brought in d’Arnaud. �Mercer grounded to short for a fielder’s choice, as Hernandez was thrown out at the plate. �But singles by C Hector Gimenez and RF Miles Durham grought in Hague and Mercer respectively, and the Curve had increased their lead to 6-2.

Tony Watson relieved Justin Wilson to begin the 7th inning. �Watson retired 6 batters in order, but began the bottom of the 9th by giving up a double and two singles, to bring in a run. �Watson got the next two batters to strike out, then was replaced by Diego Moreno. Moreno struck out the only batter he faced, ending the game and earning his first save of the season.

Five Curve players were named to the Eastern League All-Star team: �LHP Rudy Owens, RHP Derek Hankins, 1B Matt Hague, 2B/3B Josh Harrison, and C Hector Gimenez. That game will be played in Harrisburg on Wednesday, July 14th.

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Curve Fall Apart in 9th; Grossman and Huber With 4 Hits Each

Binghamton Mets �7, �Altoona Curve �6 (box)

The Curve thought they were in the drivers’ seat going in to the bottom of the 9th. �They were leading the Mets, 6-1. �Their starter Bryan Morris had pitched 7 innings and allowed only that one run on two walks and a single in the 5th, and he had scattered 2 other hits. �Reliever Mike Dubee had retired the Mets in order in the 8th. �Curve batters had scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning, on singles by newcomer LF Brandon Jones and C Kris Watts, an RBI force out by RF Anthony Norman, Morris reaching base on a wild pitch for strike three, and a huge triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud. They scored again in the 3rd on 1B Matt Hague’s 2-run homer after 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch. �Harrison also doubled in the 7th and scored on Mercer’s RBI single. �So, the Curve thought things were going just fine.

Then the bottom of the 9th. �Diego Moreno came on to relieve Dubee. �He gave up a walk, then a wild pitch put that runner on second base. �After a strikeout, a single and a 3-run homer brought the score to 6-4. �Another walk and a single, and Moreno was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single and a walk. �Now the tying run was on first base, and the winning run was coming to the plate. �Mets’ SS Luis Hernandez doubled into left field, scoring two runs to give the Mets the win.

Brandon Jones, who was removed from the Indianapolis Indians’ roster when Aki Iwamura was assigned to Indianapolis, was sent to the Curve “on paper” last week. �Now he’s there in body too. �Righty reliever Ramon Aguero, who has had an elbow injury, was promoted to the Curve from the Bradenton Marauders. �INF James Skelton was sent to Bradenton to make space on the roster.

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GCL Season Opens; Spikes Find First Win

The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off on Monday. �The Power are starting their 3-day All-Star break, with the South Atlantic League’s All-Star Game scheduled for Tuesday.

GCL Yankees 10, �GCL Pirates 8 (box)

The Pirates posted a 4-run 5th inning and scored their 8 runs on only 5 hits, taking advantage of 5 errors by the Yankees. �But the Yanks made up for their errors with two 4-run innings to take the win.

CF Junior Sosa began the game with a walk and a stolen base for the Pirates. �He moved to third on a ground out, and scored the Pirates’ first run on a wild pitch — no hits involved. �The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, as their first batter homered off rehabbing Pirates’ starter Brett Lorin. �Lorin then retired the next 6 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.

Joely Rodriguez took the mound to begin the 3rd for the Pirates. �He gave up a single, two walks, and a grand slam, then another single, to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. �Yomar Pacheco rescued Rodriguez, to finish that inning, then pitch 3 more. �He gave up a run in the 4th on another lead-off homer, along with 2 more hits and 2 walks, but struck out 3 batters.

The Pirates came charging back in the 5th. �LF Exicardo Cayonez led off with a double, and went to third on a ground out. �DH Daan Cornelissen walked, and Sosa loaded the bases when he reached on a fielding error. �SS Kevin Mort singled, driving in Cayonez, and 1B Michaelangel Trinidad cleared the bases with a double into right field. �Trinidad injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. �Yankees 6, Pirates 5.

The Pirates took the lead with 2 runs in the 7th. �Sosa walked, and moved to second base when Mort reached on a throwing error. �A double steal put both into scoring position, and they both crossed the plate on another Yankee error. �Cayonez was hit by a pitch to begin the 8th inning, and after a ground out, he scored on Sosa’s RBI double, to give the Pirates an insurance run, 8-6.

It was not enough insurance, though, as the Yankees scored 4 again in the bottom of the 8th. �After a scoreless 7th inning by reliever Yeyber Sanchez, Oscar Verdugo took the mound for the 8th. �With one out, he gave up a single, hit a batter, and gave up a walk and another single, bringing in one run. �A runner was out at the plate on what appears to have been an attempt to score on a wild pitch, but that was all for Verdugo. �Sheng-Cin Hong relieved Verdugo, but he gave up a double and a single, scoring 3 more runs (3 charged to Verdugo and one to Hong). �Verdugo was charged with the loss, and Hong with the Blown Save.

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