Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve� 2,� Richmond Flying Squirrels� 1 (box)
Zach Duke pitched 4 rehab innings, allowing only one run on two hits and a walk.� Double plays got Duke out of the 1st inning, when a runner reached on Duke’s fielding error, and out of the 2nd, when he walked a batter.� He retired the side in order in the 3rd, then with two outs in the 4th gave up a solo home run followed by a single before ending the inning.� Duke did not strike out any batters.
The Curve gave Duke 2 runs worth of support in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a single, and two outs later, 1B Matt Hague blasted his 8th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.� Three innings later, the Squirrels homered off Duke, and that was all the scoring in the game.� The Curve had only two other hits in the game — a single by 2B Jordy Mercer immediately following Hague’s homer, and a double by Hague to lead off the 4th.� After Hague’s double, the next 15 Curve batters went down in order.
Not that the Squirrels were doing much better.� After the homer and the single in the 4th, Richmond posted only two more hits.� Those came back-to-back to open the 8th inning off reliever Anthony Claggett. Claggett struck out the next two batters and got a line out to end the inning without a run scoring.� Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk, and he was credited with the win.� Ramon Aguero earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning.
Don’t forget to watch Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Morris in the Futures Game on Sunday at 6pm (Eastern) on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.� Hernandez will be the starting center fielder for the World Team.� Tony Sanchez was invited too, but he’s still on the DL due to jaw surgery.
Losses for all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates today.
GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)
Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.
The Pirates cut the Tigers’ lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.
Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.
Indy Indians’�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.
The Bradenton Marauders and the GCL Pirates were both rained out on Monday.
Altoona �Curve �6, �Binghampton Mets �1 (box)
Things went well for�Zach Duke as he made a rehab start with the Curve. �He needed only 29 pitches to get through his scheduled 3 innings, allowing one run on 3 hits, no walks, with one strikeout. �The game began with a double, a ground out to move the runner to third, then an RBI single. �Duke ended that first inning with a double play. �He gave up a single in the 2nd, but another double play erased that runner, and Duke retired the side in order in the 3rd.
That was the only run the Mets had in the game. �Justin Wilson took over when Duke was done, and he pitched 4 shutout innigs, scattering 4 hits and a walk, to record his 7th win of the season. �Ramon Aguero pitched the 9th inning, also scoreless, with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
The Mets’ pitching staff was not so fortunate. �The Curve batters posted 15 hits, with each position player except LF Brandon Jones collecting at least one hit. �1B Matt Hague had his third 3-hit game in 5 days, and RF Miles Durham also had 3 hits. �The Curve responded to the Mets’ 1st inning run with 2 of their own, on a single by SS Chase d’Arnaud, a double by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a sacrifice fly by Hague to bring in d’Arnaud, and a double by C Hector Gimenez which scored Hernandez.
The Curve put at least one runner on base in each of the next four innings, though did not get any of them around to score. �In the 6th, they added one run when 2B Shelby Ford smacked a ground-rule double, and scored on Durham’s RBI single. �Another double-single combination, from Hague and Gimenez respectively, added a run in the 7th inning. �They picked up two more runs in the 8th, on a rally started by Durham when he singled and stole second base. �Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman and Hernandez also singled, driving in Durham. �After a pitching change, 3B Josh Harrison’s RBI single brought in Norman to give the Curve their 6th run.
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).
GCL Pirates 10, �GCL Yankees �1 (box)
The Pirates beat up on the Yankees this afternoon, and faced an old friend. �John Van Benschoten made a rehab start for the Yankees, and the Pirates did not treat him very nicely. �RF�Gregory Polanco singled and stole second base, and LF Exicardo Cayonez walked on Van Benschoten in the 1st inning, though he kept them from scoring. �3B Eric Avila began the 2nd inning with a solo homer off Van Benschoten, and C Joey Schoenfeld also walked.
Once Van Benschoten left (after 2 innings), the Pirates continued to pound at the Yankees. �They scored another run in the 3rd in two errors and an RBI single by Cayonez. �They added 3 more runs in the 4th. �After a walk to 1B Dylan Child, rehabbing CF Starling Marte, working his way back after hand surgery, singled. Child scored on 2B Jorge Bishop’s double, and Marte came in on a wild pitch. �Polanco’s RBI single brought in Bishop.
Colton Cain began the game by giving up one hit over his first two innings, then allowed a run on two singles and two walks in the 3rd inning. �He started the 4th inning and got two outs, then walked a batter, and was relieved by Yeyber Sanchez. Sanchez finished the 4th, then pitched a scoreless 5th, allowing two hits. �James Archibald made his pro debut with three ground outs in the 6th inning. �Bryce Weidman, Dovydas Neverauskas, and Fraylin Campos all added a scoreless inning for the Pirates.
The Pirates scored 2 more runs in the 7th. �Avila was hit by a pitch, then stole both second and third bases, and scored on DH�Luis Solano’s single. �A fielding error allowed Solano to score. �Back-to-back singles by Child and CF�Junior Sosa began the rally in the 9th. �two passed balls loaded the bases, and a ground out scored Child. �Cayonez doubled, driving in two more runs, to give the Pirates a total of 3 in the inning and 10 in the game.
Starling Marte went 2-for-4 for the day, with one run scored. �Cayonez was 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI, and Avila was 2-for-3 with 2 runs, a homer, and an RBI.