Tough Night for Morris, Miller; Taillon Strikes Out 8

All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost on Tuesday evening…..

New Britain Rock Cats  10,  Altoona Curve 4
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It was a tough night for Curve starter Bryan Morris, who gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work.  Morris got into trouble in the top of the 1st.  He gave up a lead-off single, then set down the next two batters on fly outs.  Three straight singles and his own throwing error on the final single (a bunt) brought in two runs.  The top of the 2nd was worse — three singles and three walks, with a throwing error by LF Quincy Latimore, and an RBI ground out brought in another 5 runs for New Britain, for a 7-0 lead.  Morris gave up a single in each of the next two innings, but retired those two runners with a pair of double plays.  

The Curve got three of the runs back in the 3rd inning.  DH Jose Hernandez doubled, and scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single.  Chalk came in on 2B Brock Holt’s triple, then SS Jordy Mercer doubled, plating Holt.  That cut the Rock Cats’ lead to 7-4.  

But the Rock Cats added to their lead with 3 runs off reliever Tim Alderson.  A single, a ground out, and a wild pitch put the lead-off batter on third in the 5th, and two more walks and a wild pitch brought him in.  A walk, another wild pitch, an RBI single and an RBI double gave the Rock Cats 2 more runs in the 6th, for a 10-3 lead.  

The Curve put base runners on in most of the remaining innings of the game, but they were left stranded.  Holt singled and CF Starling Marte walked with two outs in the 5th, and the Curve did not put two runners on base again until the 9th. 1B Matt Curry walked to begin the 9th, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled.  Curry went to third on the hit, and he scored on Hernandez’s sacrifce fly.  

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Homers For Cunningham, Mort, and Howard In Sunday Wins

Big hitting in the Pirates’ minor league affiliates’ Sunday action:

Altoona Curve  13,  Reading Phillies  4  (conclusion of suspended game)
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The Curve were way out in front when rain halted play on Saturday evening, leading 11-1 in the middle of the 3rd.  When play resumed today, Matt McSwain took over on the mound for starter Aaron Pribanic.  McSwain gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd, to make it 11-2.  McSwain retired the R-Phils in order over the next three innings, until he gave up another solo homer, followed by two singles, in the 7th.  

CF Starling Marte singled for the Curve in the 4th but did not score.  The Curve went down in order for the next two innings, then they rallied again in the top of the 7th.  RF Anthony Norman led off with a walk, and Marte singled again. A throwing error by the R-Phils third baseman let Norman score.  Marte advanced to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.  

Aaron Thompson came on in relief in the 8th inning.  He gave up a single and a walk, but retired the next three batters for a scoreless 8th.  Reading scored one more time in the bottom of the 9th, on a single, a walk, and an RBI double, but it was way too little and way to late, and the Curve had the win.  

Reading Phillies  2,  Altoona Curve 1   (scheduled game)
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The Curve should have saved a few hits and runs for this game.  They posted 6 hits, with 2 each by CF Starling Marte and RF Brad Chalk, and one each by SS Jordy Mercer and C Tony Sanchez.  Their only run came in the top of the 1st, on a single by Marte and Mercer’s RBI double.  

The Curve put at least one runner on base in all but one of the rest of the innings, but could not bring anyone around to score.  Sanchez and Chalk hit back-to-back singles in the 2nd, and that was their biggest threat.  A strikeout and a ground out ended that rally.  

Jeff Locke pitched 5 innings in his start.  He gave up one single over the first two innings, then gave up a solo home run with two outs in the 3rd to tie the game.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases after the homer, but a fly out got Locke out of that jam.  Locke also gave up a single in both the 4th and the 5th.  

Donnie Veal relieved Locke to begin the 6th inning.  He also gave up a 2-out solo home run for the go-ahead run, and was charged with the loss.  The Curve had one last chance in the top of the 7th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then went to second base on a bunt by Chalk, but he was left stranded when the game ended.  

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Veal Moves Up To Altoona, But Curve Bombarded

Sunday action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers:

Portland Sea Dogs  12,  Altoona Curve 4
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The Sea Dogs posted 17 hits on their way to 12 runs, scoring in three big innings.  They began with 3 runs in the top of the 1st off Curve starter Aaron Pribanic, who suffered the loss.  A walk, two singles, and two doubles brought in the runs in the 1st.  Portland added a run in the 2nd on a single, two stolen bases, a fielding error, and an RBI ground out.  Pribanic retired the side in order in the next two innings, but gave up one more run in the 5th on three singles.  Pribanic gave up the 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.  He threw 90 pitches with 61 strikes.  

The Curve were held to 6 hits, and three of them belonged to C Kris Watts, including a solo homer.  SS Jordy Mercer had 2 hits, both solo home runs.  CF Starling Marte’s double was the other run.  Watts singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell was hit by a pitch in th 2nd inning, but both were left on base.  Mercer put the Curve onto the scoreboard with his first home run in the 4th, and Watts also singled after the homer.  

Aaron Thompson pitched a scoreless 6th inning for the Curve, then Donnie Veal, who was just promoted from the Marauders, pitched the 7th.  Veal gave up a solo homer to lead off the 7th, then gave up a single and a 2-run homer, giving Portland an 8-1 lead.  Things got even worse in the 8th, with Diego Moreno on the mound.  a single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a grand slam raised Portland’s lead to 12-1.  

Mercer’s second home run came in the bottom of the 8th, after Marte’s double.  Watts picked up his third hit in the bottom of the 9th, a solo home run, but that was all the Curve could get.   

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Taillon’s First Loss; Marauders And Curve Bombarded

The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:

Lexington Legends  4,  West Virginia Power  2    Game 1 
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Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header.  Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st.  Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder’s choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila.  Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring.  A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends’ 4th run in the 4th inning.  Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.

The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning.  LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base.  The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit.  2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases.  CF Mel Rojas’s grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends’ shortstop let Mort and Noris score.  Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.  

Power  9,  Legends  3    Game 2
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Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game.  They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits.  DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.

The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st.  With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer.  Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead. 

Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai’s double.  Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate.  Power up 8-0.  Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. 

Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2.  Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order.  He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame.  The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered.  Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th.  He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th.  A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington.  A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score.  Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.  

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Pribanic Pitches 6 Scoreless; Marauders Are One-Hit

After wins for everyone on Saturday, it’s losses for everyone on Sunday:

Erie SeaWolves  2,  Altoona Curve  1  
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It took 13 innings to finish this pitching duel, when the Curve could not respond to a run scored by the SeaWolves in the top of the inning.  

The Curve had put a runner on base in three of the first four innings:  a double by SS Jordy Mercer in the 2nd, a single by 2B Brock Holt in the 3rd, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore in the 4th.  The Curve scored first, with a run in the bottom of the 5th.  C Eric Fryer led off with a single, and he scored on 1B Miles Durham’s double to center field.  

Starter Aaron Pribanic mowed down the SeaWolves with 6 scoreless innings.  He struck out 4 batters and did not walk any, and had to work around only 2 hits, plus a batter reaching base on a throwing error.  After a single in the 2nd, Pribanic retired 13 consecutive Erie batters.  He gave up another single to begin the 7th inning, then was relieved by Matt McSwain.  Pribanic had thrown 79 pitches, with 53 strikes.

McSwain gave up a double, but got out of the 7th inning without a run scoring.  RF Brad Chalk helped out with a timely double play, when he made the catch on a fly ball, then threw out a base runner at third.  Tim Alderson took the mound to begin the 8th inning, and he retired the side in order.  But in the 9th, Alderson gave up a run on a single, a throwing error by 3B Jeremy Farrell on a bunt play, and an RBI double.  

The Curve had only one base runner in the 6th – 8th innings, when Holt was hit by a pitch in the 8th.  DH Tony Sanchez singled in the bottom of the 9th, but got no further, and the game moved into extra innings.  

Alderson pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, and the Curve went down in order in the bottom of the inning.  Michael Dubee took over for Alderson in the top of the 11th.  Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 12th.  The Curve went down in order again in the bottom of the 11th, but threatened in the 12th.  Farrell was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then Fryer walked.  A double play ended the inning without a run scoring.  

Chris Leroux came on to pitch the top of the 13th, which began with a triple lined into right field.  Chalk threw the ball in to the cut-off man Durham, whose relay throw went wild for an error, letting the runner score the go-ahead run.  Leroux retired the next three batters, and the Curve had one more chance.  

Pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez led off the bottom of the 13th with a line drive double into left field.  Holt put down a sacrifice bunt to move Hernandez to third base.  CF Starling Marte popped out to first base, and Latimore was hit by a pitch, and advanced to second on defensive indifference.  But a strikeout by Mercer ended the game with the two runners in scoring position, and Erie had the win.

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