The Pirates have announced the release of 9 players from the minor league ranks:
OF Erik Huber – Pirates’ 12th round pick in the 2007 draft. Huber’s best season was 2009, when he hit .318 with 40 RBI in 72 games for West Virginia, then .262 in 33 games for A+ Lynchburg. He remained at the A+ level with the Marauders in 2010, but hit .220 with 8 doubles and 20 RBI in 61 games.
From West Virginia:
RHP Melkin Laureano — Laureano spent June and part of July with A+ Bradenton, but finished the season back in A West Virginia. He threw 52 innings in 8 starts and 6 relief appearances for the Power, with a 4.15 ERA. In 33 innings with Bradenton, the Dominican native had a 3.82 ERA.
1B Kyle Morgan — 36th round pick in the 2008 draft. Morgan hit .296 for the Power in 2009, but when he returned to West Virginia in 2010, he hit just .203 in 87 games. He hit 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
From State College:
OF Kyle Saukko – 28th round pick in the 2008 draft. Saukko hit .138 in 34 games with the Spikes in 2010 and .172 in 28 games in 2090.
3B Andury Acevedo — This Dominican native has been in the Pirates’ organization since 2007. He played for the GCL Pirates in three seasons (2007, 2008, and 2009) but his batting average slid down each season (.444, .216, and .174 respectively). In 2010, he hit .129 in just 13 games for the Spikes, with no extra base hits or RBI.
From the GCL Pirates:
RHP Dinesh Patel — Patel was the runner-up of the “Million Dollar Arm” contest in India, and he joined lefty Rinku Singh in coming to the US and learning about baseball and pitching. He made 9 relief appearances in the GCL in 2010 — four good, 3 poor, and one really bad. In a total of 7.1 innings, he allowed 14 hits nad 7 runs, with 3 BB and 7 K.
RHP Sheng-Cin Hong – A Taiwan native and a product of the Australian academy, Hong appeared in 11 games for the GCL Pirates in 2010. He struggled more often than not, allowing 23 runs (21 earned) and 26 hits in 13.1 innings.
1B Chih-Wei Hsu – Another Taiwan native and Australian academy player, Hsu came to the US and played in the GCL for the first time in 2010. He appeared in 16 games and hit .154 with 2 doubles, no RBI.
RHP Yomar Pacheco – After two seasons with ERA’s of 0.71 and 1.97 in his native Venezuela, Pacheco struggled in his first season in the US. He made 13 relief appearances in the GCL and allowed 17 runs and 30 hits in 29.2 innings, for a 4.85 ERA.
Not getting game results from either the Venezuela or the Dominican Leagues yet tonight. The Puerto Rican League is off tonight. The Mexican Pacific League is playing late, of course, and the Australians will be playing at about 3 am Indiana time. More info in the morning.
Losses for all of the Pirates’ affiliates on Friday night:
Reading Phillies� 9,� Altoona Curve� 4 …������� (box)
The R-Phils attacked Curve starter Jared Hughes early, and the Curve bats could not keep up.� Hughes retired the side in order in the 1st inning, but gave up 3 unearned runs on a walk, a single, and two errors in the 2nd inning — the throwing error was by Hughes.� A walk, a double, and a single added 2 more runs in the 3rd inning.� In the 4th inning, Hughes gave up another 3 runs on two singles, a triple, and a double by former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied.� Hughes was done after those 4 innings, having allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, though he struck out 6 batters.
The Curve hitters were hitless in the first 4 innings.� The only batter to get on base was CF Anthony Norman, who reached in the 3rd on Bozied’s fielding error at first.� Two home runs, one by C Kris Watts in the 5th, and one by 2B Chase d’Arnaud in the 6th, got the Indians onto the scoreboard, but they were still trailing 8-2.
Each team scored in the 7th.� Tom Boleska had relieved Hughes to begin the 5th inning, and he retired the first 7 batters he faced in order.� Then in the 7th, he walked Bozied, then gave up a single and a double, allowing Bozied to score.� In the bottom of the frame, 1B Matt Hague led off with a single, then scored on singles by Watts and Norman, to make it 9-3.� The Curve added one more run in the bottom of the 9th, when SS Jordy Mercer, Hague, and RF Miles Durham led off the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases.� Watts’ sacrifice fly plated Mercer, but two ground outs ended the inning without any further scoring.� Bryan Morris pitched two perfect innings to wrap it up for the Curve.
The Curve have won the Eastern League’s Western Division title, and will begin the first round of playoffs on Wednesday.� None of the other playoff slots have been settled yet.� The Bowie Baysox and the Harrisburg Senators are tied for second place in the Western Division.� The Trenton Thunder are in first place in the Eastern Division, with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 2.5 games behind, with 3 games left to play.
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.
Sunday’s games in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues were partially hampered by rain…. The GCL Pirates again had today off.
The State College Spikes and the Aberdeen IronBirds fell victim to rain.� That game will not be made up, as the Spikes are not scheduled to play Aberdeen again this season.� Tomorrow is an off day for the Spikes, then on Tuesday, Matt Curry, Adalberto Santos, and Jhonatan Ramos will be participating in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
West Virginia Power 3,� Lexington Legends 3 — suspended (box)
The Power and the Legends were supposed to play 2 games today, making up for last night’s rainout.� They got started on Game 1, but got only into the third inning (of a 7-inning game) before the rain returned.� That game was suspended and the second game was postponed.
The game began with a scoreless first inning for both teams.� In the top of the 2nd, LF Rogelios Noris and C Ramon Cabrera both singled, then with two outs, 1B Kyle Morgan blasted a 3-run homer.� The Legends responded with 3 runs in the bottom of the frame on four singles.� With one out in the top of the 3rd, the game was suspended.� They will try to finish this one, then play a second game tomorrow.
New Hampshire FisherCats� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 (box)
More extra innings for the Curve and the FisherCats, but this one went New Hampshire’s way.�� The Curve threatened in the 2nd inning, when both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Jordy Mercer led off with back-to-back singles.� DH Jim Negrych’s grounder forced out Hague at third, and C Kris Watts walked to load the bases.� Another ground out ended the inning, though.�� A triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud and a sacrifice fly by 3B Josh Harrison in the 3rd inning did put the Curve onto the scoreboard with a 1-0 lead.� They scored again in the 5th on an exciting play.� CF Jose De Los Santos began with a single.� D’Arnaud grounded to short, for what should have been a double play, but the New Hampshire second baseman missed the catch, and both runners were safe.� De Los Santos tagged up and advanced to third on a fly out, then stole home in a double steal.
Rudy Owens pitched 5 scoreless innings in his start for the Curve, striking out 6 batters.� He scattered 5 hits, no walks, and only had more than one runner on base at a time in the 3rd, but got out of it with a strikeout and a ground out.� Jared Hughes relieved Owens to start the 6th.� Hughes walked a batter then erased him with a double play in the 6th.� In the 7th, Hughes hit the first batter, CF Callix Crabbe with a pitch.� Crabbe stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on an RBI single.� That batter was thrown out at second base by RF Miles Durham when he tried to stretch his single into a double.� Moments later, a solo home run tied the game at 2-2.� Hughes also pitched the 8th, and again gave up a walk and erased the runner with a double play.
The tie continued as the Curve went down in order in the 7th.� D’Arnaud was hit with a pitch in the 8th, was bunted to second by Harrison, then stole third base, but was left stranded.� Daniel Moskos worked around a lead-off single to keep the tie going in the top of the 9th.� Jim Negrych singled in the bottom of the inning, but was erased in a double play.� Derek Hankins retired the FisherCats in order in the top of the 10th.� Kris Watts singled in the bottom of that inning, and was replaced by pinch-runner Anthony Norman, who was also left on base.
Hankins came out again for the 11th.� With two outs, he gave up a single, then an RBI double to Crabbe, and the FisherCats had the 3-2 lead.� Matt Hague walked with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but a grounder off the bat of Negrych forced out Hague at second base to end the game.
Thursday’s action with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates….
Altoona Curve� 6,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)
Starter Tony Watson dominated the Aeros with 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits, no walks, while striking out 3 batters.� Watson retired the first 13 batters he faced, before allowing a single with one out in the 5th.� The second hit, also a single, also came in the 5th, but both runners were left on base.� After retiring the side in order, with 2 strikeouts, in the 6th, Watson was relieved by Ramon Aguero.
The Curve also went down in order in the first three innings.� With one out in the 4th, 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, then stole second and third bases.� He scored on 1B Matt Hague’s single.� SS Jordy Mercer reached on a throwing error by the Aeros pitcher.� C Hector Gimenez singled, driving in Hague.� A balk moved Mercer up to third base and Gimenez to second, then RF Miles Durham walked to load the bases.� DH Yung Chi Chen’s line drive into left field plated both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 4-0 lead.
Aguero gave up 2 singles in the 7th but kept the Aeros from scoring.� Then in the 8th, two singles were combined with a walk, to bring in a run.� Anthony Claggett pitched the 9th inning, and gave up a walk and a single, but left the runners stranded.
2B Chase d’Arnaud singled and stole second base (his 23rd of the season) in the 5th, then he doubled in the 7th.� The Curve added two runs in the 8th.� LF Andrew Lambo led off with a single and Hague walked.� Mercer dropped down a sacrifice bunt toward third base, and a throwing error by the Aeros’ third baseman allowed Lambo to score, and put Curve runners on first and third.� After two outs, Chen again brought in a run when Hague scored on his RBI single.