Saturday with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…
Altoona Curve� 18,� Harrisburg Senators� 15 (box)
The booming you might have heard was thunder, and it came from the ballpark in Harrisburg.� These two teams combined for 34 hits and 33 runs, and 20 of the hits belonged to the Curve.� Every non-pitcher in the starting line-up had at least two hits, except LF Yung Chi Chen, who had only one hit and one RBI and walked once. Five different Curve batters homered in the game.
It was not a good night for ERA’s.� Starter Bryan Morris gave up 2 runs in the 1st (walk, walk, 2-RBI double) and 2 more in the 3rd (2-run homer).� He gave up a run on a double and a single in the 5th, then loaded the bases with two walks.� Morris was relieved by Dustin Molleken, who immediately threw a wild pitch to bring in the runner from third base (charged to Morris).� Morris was responsible for 6 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 4.2 innings.
Molleken retired the side in order in the 6th.� Mike Dubee came out to pitch the 7th, and he got into trouble quickly.� A single, a stolen base, a double, a walk, a single, another double — 4 runs in, and Molleken out.� Anthony Claggett relieved Dubee, but gave up a single, and the 5th run of the inning scored (charged to Dubee).� Claggett began the 8th with two singles and a double, then an RBI ground out, bringing in two more runs.� After a walk, Ramon Aguero replaced Claggett, but a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base (charged to Claggett).� That made 14 runs for the Senators,� and a 14 – 8 lead.
The Curve batters had been scoring, just not as prolifically as the Senators.� They threatened in the 2nd inning, loading the baes on a single to C Hector Gimenez and walks to RF Miles Durham and Chen, but Morris struck out to end the inning.� Gimenez doubled in the 4th, and scored on Chen’s single, putting the Curve on the scoreboard with a 4-1 score.
In the 5th, the Curve tied the score.� SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, and CF Gorkys Hernandez reached base on a throwing error.� 3B Jordy Mercer brought both d’Arnaud and Hernandez in with a double into right field, and Mercer scored on Gimenez’s RBI single.� The 4-4 tie did not last long, as the Senators scored two more runs in the bottom of the 5th.� Then the Curve took the lead in the top of the 7th.� 3B Josh Harrison led off with a single, but was forced out at second when 1B Matt Hague grounded into a force play.� Mercer bounced back to the mound, and the Senators tried to turn a double play, but missed something at second, since Hague was safe but Mercer was out at first.� Gimenez walked, then Durham greeted the new Senators’ reliever with a booming 3-run homer, to give the Curve a 7-6 lead.� That lead didn’t last any longer than the tie did.� Harrisburg scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, to take an 11-7 lead.
LF Anthony Norman, who had entered the game in a double-switch, homered to lead off the 8th inning, but the Senators scored another 3 runs in the bottom of the frame, to push their lead to 14-8.
Then the top of the 9th, and the Curve exploded.� Fifteen batters came to the plate, as the Curve piled on 10 runs.� Mercer walked, and Gimenez homered (runs #1, 2).� Durham walked and pinch-hitter Brandon Jones homered (3, 4).� Norman reached on a fielding error, and d’Arnaud, Hernandez, and Harrison all singled, plating Norman and d’Arnaud (5,6).� Hague homered for 3 runs (7, 8, 9).� It was a controversial call by the umpires, as Hague’s blast down the left field line was ruled fair — even the Curve radio broadcaster, Dan Zangrilli, said that the ball was foul.� Both the Harrisburg pitcher and manager were ejected arguing the call.� Once things settled down, Mercer singled.� Oh, and did I mention that no outs had been recorded yet?� Gimenez made the first out of the inning at that point, on a strikeout.� Durham doubled in Mercer (10), then Jones also struck out.� Norman walked, and then d’Arnaud flied out to (finally) end the inning.
The Senators did score one more run in the bottom of the 9th, as Derek Hankins gave up a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly, but it was way too little, too late.
The Curve set some records — highest scoring game (33 runs) in Curve history, most runs given up in a game (15), longest 9-inning game (4 hours, 33 minutes), most number of runs in one inning (10).� Their 20 hits in the game was one hit short of the team record.