Sunday afternoon action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams:
Altoona Curve 5, Akron Aeros 4
2B Brock Holt singled up the middle in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 1B Miles Durham from second base, for the Curve’s walk-off win.
Curve starter Aaron Thompson began his outing by facing only the minimum over the first three innings. He gave up a single in the 2nd, but erased that runner with a double play. The Aeros scored the first run of the game in the top of the 4th, when they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Thompson could record an out. A sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third, but Thompson got another double play to get out of the inning.
The first 11 Curve batters also went down in order, until LF Quincy Latimore singled in the 4th. He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s grounder. The Curve got onto the scoreboard and tied the game when 3B Jeremy Farrell blasted a solo homer to lead off the 4th inning.
Thompson again retired the side in order in the 5th. The Aeros took the lead again in the top of the 6th with 2 runs off Thompson. A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners with one out. A wild pitch moved the runner from first to second, though the runner on third had to stay there. Two more strikeouts drove in two runs, to give Akron a 3-1 lead.
The Curve answered with one run in the bottom of the 7th. Mercer and Ferrell led off the inning with singles, and C Tony Sanchez walked to load the bases. After a pitching change, RF Eric Fryer bounced into a double play, which let Mercer score from third base, though Fryer did not get credit for an RBI. The Curve added two more in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead. Pinch-hitter Kris Watts singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Brad Chalk. Holt sacrificed bunted Chalk to second. CF Starling Marte beat out an infield single, moving Chalk to third, and Marte stole second base to put two Curve runners in scoring position. Latimore drove in Chalk with a sacrifice fly, an Mercer brought in Marte with an RBI single. Curve ahead, 4-3.
Mike Dubee relieved Thompson and pitched 2 scoreless innings. He retired the side in order in the 6th, then gave up just a walk in the 8th. Noah Krol took over for Dubee for the 9th. He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up a solo home run to tie the score. Then he was credited with the win because he was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the 9th. The bottom of the frame began with a fly out, then Fryer singled and Durham reached on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Fryer to third. Chalk bounced to short, giving the Akron shortstop the opportunity to fire back to the plate, and Fryer was tagged out at home. With Durham on second and Chalk on first, Holt singled into center field, and had the walk-off win when Durham raced around third base to score on the single.
The Curve were making up a rained out game with a double header:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0 (Game 1)
After shutting out the Aeros last night, the Curve pitching staff continued their dominance with another 7 shutout innings in Game 1 of the double header. Tonight it was Aaron Pribanic who earned his 4th win with 7 scoreless innings, for a (shortened) complete game. He gave up 6 hits, no walks, and also worked around two errors by his fielders. Pribanic had at least one base runner on in all but one inning. Akron had a small threat going in the 6th, when Pribanic gave up back-to-back singles with one out, but a foul pop ended that inning. With one out in the 7th, Pribanic gave up a hit, then another batter reached on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s throwing error. Pribanic got a grounder force out and a fly out to end that inning.
The Curve also posted just 6 hits, but they made them count. Farrell singled in the bottom of the 2nd, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. He scored on DH Eric Fryer’s single up the middle. Fryer also advanced to second on another wild pitch, and 1B Miles Durham walked, but they were left on base. CF Starling Marte contributed the Curve’s only other run with a solo home run in the 3rd. Marte also singled in the 1st inning. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 2nd, but was picked off and caught stealing, and singled again in the 6th. C Tony Sanchez walked in the 4th and stole second base.
Aeros 8, Curve 1 (Game 2)
Curve starter Bryan Morris continued the streak with 3 scoreless innings, in which he gave up only a walk, and struck out 3 batters. But the streak ended in the 4th, when Morris started out by giving up a single and a walk. He was relieved by Matt McSwain. The first batter McSwain faced dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. McSwain then walked the next two batters, forcing in a run, before striking out two batters to end the inning. McSwain came back out in the 5th and began with a hit batter and a walk. The lead runner stole third base, then scored on an RBI single. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Akron a 4-0 lead.
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, and two of those were by LF Quincy Latimore. Latimore singled in the 1st but was thrown out trying to steal second base. He singled again in the 4th and was left on base. The only other hit was a solo home run by C Eric Fryer in the 5th inning, for the only Curve run of the game. The last 7 Curve batters were retired in order.
Brian Leach took the mound in relief of McSwain in the 6th and retired the side in order. The Aeros rallied again in the top of the 7th. The inning began with a double, a single, and a walk to load the bases. A triple cleared the bases for 3 runs. After a walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the 4th run of the inning. Leach surrendered another single, then was relieved by Noah Krol, who ended the inning with a grounder force out.
Friday night’s action:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0
Three Curve pitchers combined to throw a 3-hit shutout of the Aeros. Starter Mike Colla had to work around runners on base in 5 of his 6 innings, but he held the Aeros scoreless and earned his second win. He scattered 3 hits, 2 walks, and one hit batter over those innings. The only inning in which Akron had 2 runners on base was the 3rd, when Colla walked two. Anthony Claggett also gave up two walks in the 8th, after a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but he did not allow a hit or a run. Noah Krol picked up his 9th Save with three quick ground outs in the 9th.
The Curve posted 11 hits, but scored only two runs (8 runners left on base). In the bottom of the 1st, with two outs, LF Quincy Latimore looped a single into right field, then scored from first on SS Jordy Mercer’s ringing double into center field. C Tony Sanchez singled and DH Kris Watts doubled in the 2nd inning, but Sanchez was out at the plate on the throw in from left field. The Curve added an unearned run in the 3rd. 2B Brock Holt led off the inning with a strikeout, but he reached first when strike three was a wild pitch. Holt stole second base, then scored when the Akron center fielder made an error on Mercer’s ball.
The Curve put runners on base in each inning after that, but could not bring any of them around to score. Sanchez and 1B Miles Durham both singled in the 4th inning, and that was the only inning after the 3rd when the Curve had two runners on base. CF Starling Marte singled twice, Watts singled, and Mercer doubled again.
Thursday night’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…..
Akron Aeros 6, Altoona Curve 1 (Game 1)
The Aeros began today’s double-header with a 5-run 1st inning, and the Curve could not catch up in Game 1. 2B Brock Holt went 3-for-3 with a triple and two singles.
Curve starter Aaron Thompson did not get out of the first inning. With one out, A pair of doubles drove in one run. A catchers’ interference call on C Eric Fryer put the next batter on first base, and a single loaded the bases. Thompson got a strikeout, but then walked in a run. Two more singles drove in three more runs for a 5-0 lead. Tim Alderson relieved Thompson, and Alderson ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
Alderson gave up a double and a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the next three batters to get out of the inning without further runs scoring. He went on to retire the next 11 batters in order (14 in order overall), before giving up a solo home run in the 6th.
Holt recorded his first single in the top of the 1st, and CF Starling Marte reached base on an error, but they were not able to come around to score. Holt singled again in the 3rd, with two outs. That time he was out at second on a grounder force out. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 4th, and was left on base. The Curve scored their only run in the 5th. 1B Miles Durham walked in the 5th, and moments later, Holt drove Durham in with his triple.
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 1 (Game 2)
Jared Hughes pitched into the 6th inning, and kept the Aeros scoreless in the night-cap. Hughes gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, and worked around runners on base in four of the innings he pitched. He left two runners in scoring position in the 1st, and allowed another single in the 2nd. In the 4th, the Aeros doubled, and the runner advanced to third on a bunt. A grounder to 3B Shelby Ford became a fielder’s choice when Ford’s throw home let C Kris Watts tag out the runner at the plate. Hughes gave up another single and a walk in the 6th, and was relieved by Michael Dubee. Dubee moved both runners into scoring position with a wild pitch, but ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. DH Jeremy Farrell doubled into center field, and 1B Miles Durham walked. Ford lifted a single into left field, allowing Farrell to score from second base. A pair of doubles added another run for the Curve in the 3rd. With one out, CF Starling Marte doubled into center field. Marte scored on LF Quincy Latimore’s double into left. Latimore also singled and Farrell walked in the 6th, but the Aeros changed pitchers, and two strikeouts ended the inning.
Akron’s only run came in the bottom of the 7th. Dubee gave up a lead-off double and a walk, and with two outs, an RBI single up the middle brought in the lead runner.
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
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
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.