A full day of action for the Pirates’ minor league affiliates on Wednesday
Altoona Curve� 1,� Portland Sea Dogs� 0 (box)
Jeff Locke pitched 7 shut-out innings and struck out 8 batters to earn his 2nd win with the Curve.� Locke scattered 3 hits and one walk in those 7 innings.� All three of the hits were doubles.� Two of the runners were left on base, and the other was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple.� Locke never had more than one base runner on at a time.� Mike Dubee completed the shutout with 2 perfect innings in relief, including two strikeouts.
The Curve batters were not hitting a lot either, but they were the ones who put together a series of hits to score a run.� In the 8th, C Hector Gimenez doubled, and DH Yung Chi Chen and CF Anthony Norman followed with back-to-back singles.� Norman’s single drove in Gimenez with the only run of the game.� The only other hits the Curve posted were back-to-back singles by LF Jim Negrych and 1B Matt Hague in the first inning.� Both were left on base.� After those two hits, the next 20 Curve batters were retired in order, until the 3 hits in the 8th.
Wednesday evening in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization…. The GCL Pirates were rained out this afternoon, and the West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off.
Trenton Thunder� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 (box)
The Curve came within one out of being shut out in this evening’s game.� After 8 scoreless innings, DH Jim Negrych worked a one-out walk in the bottom of the 9th.� After a pop out, C Hector Gimenez blasted a 2-run homer over the center field wall, finally putting the Curve on the scoreboard.
Negrych was the only Curve batter to have 2 hits in the game.� He and 1B Matt Hague both singled in the 2nd inning, though Hague was erased in a double play.� Negrych also singled in the 7th, and was left on base.� The Curve had base runners in all but two innings, and had 7 batters left on base.� LF Andrew Lambo, RF Miles Durham, and CF Anthony Norman also had singles in the game.
Starter Tony Watson pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts, suffering only his second loss of the season.� The second Trenton batter of the game homered, then three consecutive singles following the home run added another run in the 1st inning.� A single and a triple in the 3rd inning brought in Trenton’s only other run.� Watson retired the last 10 batters he faced in order.� Anthony Claggett pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve, allowing a single but immediately erasing the runner with a double play.� Mike Dubee retired the side in order in his one inning of work.
Looking in on the Pirates’ minor league affiliates on Tuesday… the State College Spikes have a scheduled day off.
Hagerstown Suns� 5,� West Virginia Power� 4 (box)
A single, a double, and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th gave the Suns the extra-inning win over the Power this afternoon.� The Power were held to 6 hits and scored all 4 of their runs in one inning, the 5th.� 3B Jesus Brito led off the inning with a single, and CF Evan Chambers was hit by a pitch.� Both scored on DH Jose Hernandez’s line drive double into center field.� 1B Aaron Baker brought in Hernandez with his 16th home run of the season, and the Power had their 4 runs.
Baker was the only Power batter who had more than one run in the game.� Besides the home run, he also singled in the 4th, but was forced out at second base.� SS Benji Gonzalez singled to lead off the 3rd inning, but was left on base. LF Rogelios Noris doubled to lead off the 6th.� Both RF David Rubinstein and� Noris were hit by pitches (back-to-back) in the 2nd inning.� Both C Ramon Cabrera and Chambers reached base two throwing errors in the 9th.� All four of them were left on base.
Jason Erickson pitched into the 7th inning for the Power, but he did not figure into the decision.� He gave up a run in the 3rd inning on a double, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single.� LF Noris prevented another run from scoring on a single, when he made a perfect throw in from left field to the plate, with Cabrera making the tag at the plate. Erickson gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, then gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning.
The Suns tied the score in the 7th inning.� With two outs, Erickson gave up a bunt single, a stolen base, and a walk.� Justin Ennis relieved Erickson, but the first batter he faced doubled into left field, scoring both base runners, to tie the game at 4-4.� Ennis gave up a single and a walk in the 8th, but did not let either runner score.� Zach Foster took over for the 9th, and retired the side in order then, but he suffered the loss when he gave up the run in the 10th.� The Power had two base runners on in the 8th (two errors) but they did not score either.
A few roster notes:� RHP Teddy Fallon and LHP Justin Ennis were both promoted from State College to West Virginia.� Fallon was the Pirates’ 43rd pick in the 2009 draft, and Ennis was the 33rd round pick in this year’s draft.� RHP Tom Boleska has been promoted from Bradenton to Altoona.
Altoona’s Bryan Morris has skipped a start, which the Pirates are calling just a “breather”.� He has struggled in his last few starts, but has also stacked up the innings so far this season (103) and the Pirates want him to stay below 140 innings this season.
West Virginia Power� 9,� Hagerstown Suns� 1 (box)
Phillip Irwin pitched 7 no-hit innings for the Power tonight, before he had to be relieved due to his increasing pitch count.� Irwin struck out 8 batters in his 7 innings, and he allowed 2 walks.� He got off to a strong start when he struck out the side in the 1st inning, then struck out 2 more in the 2nd.� The first walk came in the 3rd inning, but that runner was immediately erased when the next batter lined right to 1B Aaron Baker, who stepped on first base for a double play.� The next 7 batters went down in order, until the 6th, when that same batter, C Sandy Leon, walked again.� This time Leon was forced out at second on a grounder, and another ground out ended the inning.� Irwin wrapped up his amazing evening with two more strikeouts in the 7th inning.
Ryan Kelly relieved Irwin and pitched the final two innings.� He allowed one hit, but it was a solo home run.� He also walked a batter in the 9th, and struck out 2 batters.
The rest of the team was busy giving Irwin and Kelly plenty of run support.� They piled up 16 hits, with everyone in the lineup reaching base at least one time, and all but SS Benji Gonzalez picking up at least one hit (Gonzalez had a walk).� 3B Elevys Gonzalez, Aaron Baker, and LF Rogelios Noris each had 3 hits.� Baker led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run.� CF David Rubinstein followed the homer with a double, and Noris added a single to put runners on the corners.� C Jairo Marquez lined a single into center field, scoring Rubinstein to give the Power an early 2-0 lead.
They boosted that lead in the 3rd inning, as they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 7 runs.� Six of the first seven batters reached base safely:� 2B Jarek Cunningham and RF Jose Hernandez began with back-to-back singles, and Baker’s double scored Cunningham (#1 run).� Rubinstein’s sacrifice fly brought in Hernandez (#2).� Noris and DH Kyle Morgan goth singled, and Baker scored (#3).� Marquez doubled in Noris and Morgan (#4, 5), and sent the Hagerstown pitcher to the showers.� Benji Gonzalez flied out, but Elevys Gonzalez singled, plating Marquez (#6).� A fielding error on that play moved Elevys G to second base, and a wild pitch put him on third.� Cunningham’s second single in the inning brought in Elevys G (#7), before a line out ended the inning.
The Power put at least one baserunner on in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them were able to come around to score.
Friday evening’s news….
Altoona Curve� 3,� Harrisburg Senator� 0 (box)
Three Curve pitchers combined for a shutout, as starter Jeff Locke earned the win in his Curve debut.� Locke pitched 5 scoreless innings and struck out 5 batters.� He scattered 4 hits, and did not allow a walk.� Tony Watson relieved Locke to begin the 6th.� Watson allowed only one hit and one walk, both in the 6th inning, then retired the side in the 7th and 8th.� Derek Hankins earned his 4th save with a scoreless 9th, as he worked around a lead-off double.
The pitching trio got their first bit of run support before Locke even took the mound.� SS Chase d’Arnaud began the game with a double into center field.� CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with a single up the middle, driving in d’Arnaud.� Hernandez stole second and reached third on a ground out, but was left stranded.� The Curve scored again in the 3rd.� D’Arnaud walked, and his base running blunder was erased by an error by the Harrisburg first baseman.� D’Arnaud was picked off first base and caught stealing, but when the first baseman missed the catch for an error, d’Arnaud advanced to second safely.� 2B Josh Harrison lined a single into right field, and d’Arnaud scored.
One more run scored in the 7th.� Back-to-back singles by RF Miles Durham and LF Brandon Jones put two runners on base, and Tony Watson’s sacrifice bunt moved them both into scoring position.� A wild pitch let Durham race home from third with the Curve’s final run.