Tag Archives: Justin Bencsko
Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team. RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte. Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division’s team : manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino. The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).
Friday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates …. the GCL Pirates’ game was postponed.
Bradenton Marauders 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight. The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game. Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out. He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks. Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position. Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.
The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez. 2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score. All of the Marauders’ runs came in the bottom of the 5th. Marquez led off with a double lined into center field. SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base. Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third. Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th. He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2. Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.
The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th. It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.
Catching up with the action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates for Thursday…. several home runs
Trenton Thunder 8 , Altoona Curve 6
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A 3-run homer by CF Starling Marte and a solo blast by SS Josh Rodriguez were not enough to get past the Thunder.
The Curve got the game started with a run in the top of the 1st on singles by RF Andrew Lambo and C Tony Sanchez, plus a fielding error by the Trenton center fielder, allowing Lambo to score. Trenton came back with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning, on a walk, two singles, and two doubles, for a 4-1 lead. The Curve took the lead back in the top of the 2nd, when 1B Matt Curry and 3B Greg Picart both singled, and Marte drove them in with his 5th home run of the season. That tied the game, but the tie did not last long. Five singles in the bottom of the 2nd brought in 3 runs for the Thunder, who were back on top, 7-4.
Starter Aaron Pribanic gave up a single in the 3rd, then gave up an unearned run in the 4th on a fielding error by Picart, a single, scoring on a double play. That made Pribanic responsible for 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work. Matt McSwain took over to begin the 6th. He gave up a single in the 6th, but erased that runner with a double play, and then gave up a double and a walk in the 7th, but left those runners on base. Anthony Claggett pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a single. That runner moved up to second base on a throwing error by Rodriguez, but was out in a fielder’s choice run-down between second and third.
Rodriguez led off the Curve part of the 6th with his solo homer. LF Quincy Latimore followed the homer with a walk, and Curry singled, moving Latimore to third. Curry was thrown out trying to steal second base, but Picart’s single drove in Latimore to give the Curve their final run.
The Pirates have signed 23rd round draft pick RHP Jordan Cooper to a contract. He had been a pitcher for Kentucky, and that experience might get him a start at State College. Here is a list of all the 2011 draft picks, with notations for which ones have signed.
Friday’s game action:
Harrisburg Senators 2, Altoona Curve 0
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A 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th broke the scoreless tie for the only scoring in this pitching duel. Jeff Locke pitched 6 scoreless frames for the Curve, scattering 3 singles and a walk over his first 3 innings. The he retired the Senators in order for the next 3 innings. He threw 78 pitches (48 strikes) in those 6 innings. Bryan Morris pitched a scoreless 7th, allowing just a single. That base runner moved to second base on a balk, which started an argument by Altoona manager PJ Forbes — and resulted in Forbes being ejected. Michael Dubee, back with the Curve after some time with Indianapolis, gave up a lone single in the 8th, and Noah Krol allowed a single and a walk in the 9th, but both kept the Senators from scoring.
But the Curve weren’t scoring either. They pounded out 7 hits, including two by SS Jordy Mercer. Mercer’s triple i n the 7th was the only extra-base hit for the Curve, and the only time that a Curve base runner reached as far as third base. RF Andrew Lambo also walked twice. CF Starling Marte opened the game with a single, but was thrown out at second after Mercer’s strikeout. 1B Matt Curry and LF Brad Chalk both singled in the 2nd, but Curry was picked off second base, and Chalk was thrown out trying to steal second. 2B Brock Holt singled in the 4th, and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman singled in the 10th and stole second base.
The Altoona Curve have a scheduled day off today (Monday), and the West Virginia Power are off for the first day of their All-Star Break. The All-Star Game will be played in Delmarva on Tuesday, with Brandon Cumpton, Jameson Taillon, and Dan Grovatt representing the Power.
Auburn Doubledays 7 , State College Spikes 6
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Pirates’ 2nd round draft pick from 2010, Stetson Allie, made his professional debut tonight, as the starting pitcher for the State College Spikes, though he did not factor into the decision. Allie struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a single, struck out the next batter, and gave up an RBI double. A line out ended the inning. The second inning went better, as Allie retired three Auburn batters in order, including another strikeout.
The third inning was another tough one for Allie. A single and a walk opened the inning. After a fly out, both runners stole the next base, and a walk loaded the bases. Allie also walked the next batter, forcing in a run. That signaled the end of his evening. Cliff Archibald relieved Allie, but Archibald also walked in a run (charged to Allie), before getting the inning-ending double play. Allie was responsible for 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts, in 2.1 innings.
State College got onto the scoreboard with a run in the 3rd. SS Kirk Singer led off with a double, then DH Carlos Mesa singled, moving Singer to third. C Samuel Gonzalez’s RBI single brought in Singer, to cut the Auburn lead to 3-1. The Spikes tied the game in the 4th. 1B Walker Gourley led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch, then to third on a ground out. Singer walked, then CF Taylor Lewis’ sacrifice fly scored Gourley. Singer stole second base, then scored on RF Justin Benscko’s RBI single.
Archibald went on to pitch the 4th and 5th innings, allowing a walk and a single, but keeping Auburn scoreless. Emmanuel De Leon relieved Archibald to begin the 6th inning, and gave up only a double in that inning. With two outs in the 7th, De Leon gave up a double and a 2-run homer. The Spikes got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, with a single by Benscko, a stolen base and a missed catch error to put Benscko onto third, and a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez.
De Leon started the top of the 8th by giving up a walk and a stolen base. After two outs, a single, a throwing error by Singer, and a double gave Auburn 2 more runs, for a 7-4 lead. Jesus Brito relieved De Leon and ended the 8th inning with a fly out. Singer tried to make up for his error with an RBI double after a single by 3B Brian Sharp, bringing the score to 7-5. Brito pitched a scoreless top of the 9th. The Spikes tried for another rally in the bottom of the 9th. With one out, Benscko singled, then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a second wild pitch. After a walk to Mesa, Gonzalez brought in Benscko with a sacrifice fly. But a strikeout ended the inning and the game without the Spikes being able to catch up.
Lots of action in the Pirates’ lower minors on Tuesday, partly because of two double headers making up for the two postponements yesterday.
West Virginia Power �7, �Hagerstown Suns �3 (box)
Power starter Nate Baker pitched 8 no-hit innings tonight in Hagerstown, to earn his 6th win of the season. �He was not perfect, though. �After striking out the first two batters he faced, a batter reached base on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez. A grounder force out ended the inning. �With one out in the 2nd inning, Baker hit a batter with a pitch, though he left that runner stranded on base. �From there, Baker retired the next 20 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts. �Only three of those batters got the ball out of the infield.
Baker did not come out to pitch the 9th inning, probably due to pitch count. �Reliever Gabriel Alvarado took the 9th, and he was the victim of the Suns’ pent-up frustration and stifled hits. � Alvarado struck out the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a line-drive single, a triple, and a home run, as the Suns avoided both the no-hitter and the shut-out.
The Power batters provided Baker with plenty of run support, though not until the later innings. �C Ramon Cabrera had 3 hits and 2 RBI, while CF Evan Chambers, 2B Jarek Cunningham, and 1B Aaron Baker all had 2 hits. �The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when Cabrera singled, Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Chambers walked, but a strikeout ended the inning. �They got going in the 6th inning, with a single by Aaron Baker, a walk to LF Jose Hernandez, and a 2-RBI triple by Cabrera. �DH Elevys Gonzalez followed with a double, scoring Cabrera, for a 3-0 lead. �They added another run in the 7th, when Chambers led off with a single and scored on Aaron Baker’s double.
Two walks, to 3B Jesus Brito and Cabrera, began the 8th inning, and a fielding error on Elevys Gonzalez’s sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Power. �Benji Gonzalez brought in Brito on a grounder force out, then Chambers doubled, scoring Cabrera. �Benji Gonzalez tried to score from first base, but he was thrown out at the plate. �Cunningham also singled, plating Chambers for the Power’s final run of the game.
The GCL Pirates were off, as usual for a Sunday. �In other holiday action….
Bradenton Marauders �5, �Palm Beach Cardinals �3 (box)
The Marauders jumped out to an early lead with 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. �1B Calvin Anderson began the inning with a single up the middle, and 3B Adam Davis walked. �Both were advanced with a sacrifice bunt by RF Austin McClune. C James Skelton brought them both in with a 2-RBI double, and another double by SS Greg Picart brought in Skelton.
Three straight singles by McClune, Skelton, and DH Erik Huber gave the Marauders another run in the 4th inning.
The Cardinals scored an unearned run off starter Jeff Locke in the 2nd inning. �A fielding error by 3B Davis put a runner on base, and a double combined with an interference error by SS Picart allowed the run to score. �A single, a walk, and an RBI single added an earned run in the 4th. �Locke pitched a total of 6 innings, allowing those runs on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 6 batters.
Bradenton scored their final run in the 8th. �With two outs, Anderson doubled, and Davis walked. �McClune singled into right field, and Anderson raced around from second base to score. �Davis tried to score from first base, but was out at the plate on a good throw in from right field.
Mike Colla pitched 2 innings in relief, and allowed another unearned run in the 7th. �With two outs and a runner on first, a throwing error by Colla on a pick-off attempt put the runner on second, and another throwing error by Davis on the next play allowed the runner to score. �Noah Krol pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his league-leading 19th save (Florida State League).
Roster moves: �Relief pitcher Duke Welker has been promoted from West Virginia to the Bradenton Marauders. �Welker had made 20 relief appearances for the Power, earning a 1-1 record and 5 saves, with a 3.63 ERA. �In 22.1 in innings, Welker gave up 16 hits, 14 runs (9 earned), with 24 walks and 25 strikeouts. �Opponents hit .198 against him.
The Pirates have signed INF�Yung Chi Chen to a minor league contract and assigned him to Altoona. �Chen had been playing for the AA Midland RockHounds (A’s), but was released in early June. �He had been hitting .168 for Midland, with 5 doubles and 9 RBI in 28 games. �The Taiwan native has been a member of the Taiwan National Team, and was signed by the Mariners in 2004. �He played for AAA Tacoma in 2007 for just a few games before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, and in 69 games in 2008, when he hit .249. �Chen was claimed off waivers by the A’s in late 2008. �He split the 2009 season between AAA Sacramento (where he hit .283 with one homer and 8 RBI in 27 games), AA Midland (.324 and 10 RBI in 17 games) and the Arizona League A’s (.346 with one homer and 8 RBI in 8 games). �Chen appeared in his first game for the Curve on June 30th, when he went 0-for3 with 2 strikeouts.
Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)
Tim Alderson earned his 7th win for the Curve, and he contributed to the offense too, with a 2-run homer. �It was not the first homer of Alderson’s career, though. �He hit one last year for the Curve and another, also last season, while pitching for Connecticut, while he was still in the Giants’ organization.
Alderson got into some trouble right away in the 1st inning, when he gave up what would turn out to be the R-Phils’ only run on a 2-out double and a single. �Then Alderson settled down, scattering a two more hits and two walks over the next 5 innings. �He retired the last 7 batters he faced in order.
After allowing that run in the bottom of the 1st, Alderson took care of the problem himself in the top of the 2nd. �LF Brandon Jones singled, and Alderson gave the Curve a 2-1 lead with his 2-run homer over the left field wall. �The Curve added 4 more runs in the 5th inning. �With one out, 2B Josh Harrison and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back singles. �3B Jordy Mercer’s grounder to first forced out Hague at second, but the R-Phils could not turn it into a double play to end the inning. �Instead, they gave C Hector Gimenez a chance, and he took it — a double into center field, scoring both Harrison from third and Mercer all the way from first. �Jones singled, bringing in Gimenez, and a fielding error in center field allowed Jones to advance to second base. �That gave him the opportunity to score on RF Miles Durham’s RBI single.
The next 11 Curve batters went down in order, until CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with one out in the 9th. �A passed ball let Hernandez move up to second base, and he scored on Hague’s RBI single. �Mercer also singled and Gimenez walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning before the Curve could add to their run tally.
Derek Hankins earned his 3rd save for the Curve with 3 scoreless innings of work. �He gave up a walk and a single over those 3 innings, while striking out 2 batters.
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.
Sunday action in the Pirates’ minor league organization…. the GCL Pirates had the day off, and all of the rest of the affiliates won their games.
Bradenton Marauders �7, �Fort Myers Miracle �6 (box)
Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made the start for the Marauders, going into the 5th inning and allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts. �Jakubauskas worked his way out of trouble in each of the first three innings. �He gave up back-to-back hits to begin the game, but got out of the 1st inning with a line out and a double play. �Two more runners got on in the 2nd, on a single and a fielding error, but Jakubauskas worked around them to keep the Miracle from scoring. �Two more singles and another error in the 3rd again had Jakubauskas in a jam, but a runner caught stealing and a fielder’s choice out got him out of it again. �Finally, in the 4th, Jakubauskas could not escape — a double and a single drove in Fort Myers’ first run. �Jakubauskas began the 5th with an out, then two walks, and that was the end of his afternoon. �Tom Boleska relieved him, but threw a wild pitch, then gave up a single and a sacrifice fly to bring in those two runners, both runs charged to Jakubauskas.
Nate Adcock pitched the next 3 innings for the Marauders. �Adcock surrendered another 2 runs, on a walk, a double, an RBI single, and an RBI ground out in the 6th inning. �Adcock kept the Miracle from scoring in the 7th and the 8th, but the Marauders entered the bottom of the 8th behind by a score of 5-0.
The Marauders had gone down in order in the first three innings of the game. �They had one runner on base in each of the next two innings — a single by 2B Jose De Los Santos in the 4th, a single by 3B Adam Davis in the 5th. �Two batters reached base in the 6th, when De Los Santos got to first on an error and C Eric Fryer walked. �None of them could come around to score.
Then, in the bottom of the 8th, it was the Marauders who found the miracle. �With one out, De Los Santos doiubled, RF Robbie Grossman singled, and Fryer also doubled, and the score was 5-2. �After a pitching change, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and DH Calvin Anderson singled, to load the bases. �CF Austin McClune doubled, driving in both Grossman and Latimore, and a passed ball allowed Anderson to score, tying the game at 5-5.
Noah Krol took the mound in relief of Adcock to begin the 9th inning. �He was greeted by a solo home run, which gave Fort Myers a 6-5 lead. �Krol gave up a triple also, but left that runner stranded.
SS Adenson Chourio led off the bottom of the 9th with a single to second base. �De Los Santos sacrifice bunted him to second base, and Grossman walked. �Fryer tied the game again with a single into right field, as Chourio raced around from second base. �Then Calvin Anderson won the game with a walk-off single, scoring Grossman for a 7-6 win.
Wednesday’s action in the rest of the Pirates’ minor league organization. �The West Virginia Power had the day off, wrapping up the South Atlantic League’s All-Star break
Altoona Curve �8, �Portland Sea Dogs �1 (box)
Bryan Morris pitched into the 7th inning in his 4th win of the season, allowing only one run on 6 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 for the Curve. �The first batter Morris faced doubled to open the gam, and Portland’s second batter lined a single into center field, complicated by a fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez, to score a run. �Morris gave up a walk, but ended the inning with 2 strikeouts, and put up zeros after that. �He retired the next 7 batters, before allowing two singles in the 4th, then getting out of that jam with a double play. �He breezed through the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a single and a walk in the 7th, and was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues finished the 7th inning, but loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk and two singles (one by former Curve Ray Chang). �He got out of that mess with two pop outs (all three of the outs that inning were pop outs). Diego Moreno, fresh off the Disabled List, pitched the 9th inning, allowing a walk amid three strikeouts.
The Curve batters provided Morris with plenty of run support, beginning with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, the next 5 batters reached base on hits. �Singles by Gorkys Hernandez and 3B Josh Harrison were followed by a double by 1B Matt Hague, which brought in two runs. �2B Jordy Mercer singled, scoring Hague. �C Hector Gimenez doubled, moving Mercer to third base. �LF Alex Presley bounced to first base for a fielder’s choice, as Hague was tagged out at the plate. �Gimenez scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball. �RF Miles Durham got in on the act in the 4th inning with a 2-run homer, after a walk by Presley. �Gimenez led off the 6th with a solo homer, then Presley scored on a double and a fielding error on DH Shelby Ford’s ball to first.