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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.
Not a lot of action for the lower minor league affiliates today.� The West Virginia Power and the GCL Pirates had a scheduled day off, and the Bradenton Marauders were rained out — they will play two games on Monday.
State College Spikes� 7,� Auburn Doubledays� 6 (box)
SS Walker Gourley and LF Pat Irvine led the Spikes with 3 hits each as they came from behind to erase a 6-run lead.� It was the largest deficit overcome for a win in the team’s history.
Zack Dodson pitched 4 innings and gave up 6 runs (5 earned) to give Auburn the early lead.� A triple, a single, and a 3-run homer gave Auburn a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.� Dodson retired the side in order in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but got into trouble again in the 4th.� A double, a throwing error by 3B Andy Vasquez, a single, and a wild pitch brought in one run.� A passed ball and another single added two more runs, and Auburn had a 6-0 lead.
The Spikes had runners on base in 5 of the first 7 innings, but were not able to push any of their base runners around to score.� They had the bases loaded with one out in the 5th, on a single by Vasquez, a walk to CF Mel Rojas, and a single through the hole into right field by Gourley.� A strikeout and a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring.
Then the Spikes got going in the 8th.� RF Adalberto Santos led off with a triple, and 1B Matt Curry walked.� Pat Irvine singled, scoring Santos.� Curry had moved to second base on a wild pitch, then on to third on Irvine’s single, and he and Irvine both scored when DH Chase Lyles smashed the second triple of the inning.� C Matt Skirving doubled, bringing in Lyles, and Andy Vasquez brought in Skirving with a sacrifice fly.� The Spikes had moved to within one run of Auburn, 6-5.
Walker Gourley started the 9th inning rally with a bunt single.� In a strange play, Santos grounded up the middle and was safe at first base, but Gourley, who tried to reach third base on the play, was ruled out because he’d missed touching second base as he was running.� Spikes’ manager Gary Robinson argued, but to no avail, and he was ejected for his efforts.� Santos advanced to second base on a balk, and he scored the tying run when Irvine doubled into center field.
Sandobal Septimo had pitched one scoreless inning, and Trent Stevenson gave the Spikes 3 more scoreless frames.� Jhonatan Ramos came on to pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings.� With one out in the top of the 10th, Vasquez dropped down a bunt and beat it out to first base.� A wild pitch moved him to second base, and both Rojas and Gourley walked, loading the bases.� Santos popped up, and was called out on the infield fly rule, but Matt Curry was the hero, with a single to short that allowed Vasquez to score the go-ahead run.� Ramos kept the Doubledays from scoring in the bottom of the inning, and the Spikes had their come-from-behind win.
Two early games on Wednesday, plus a few more in the evening:
Altoona Curve� 6,� Erie SeaWolves� 3 (box)
The Curve and the SeaWolves played early and scored early this afternoon.� All the scoring was done by the middle of the 3rd inning.� The Curve began the game with 4 runs in the top of the 1st.� SS Chase d’Arnaud went 3-for-4 in the game, and he opened the game by beating out an infield single to short.� He then stole his 19th and 20th bases of the season, then scored from third on 2B Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.�� 1B Matt Hague followed with a solo home run over the left-center field wall.� C Hector Gimenez, who had missed a few games due to illness, walked after the homer, and he scored when RF Miles Durham hit the second home run of the inning over the left field wall.
Erie came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring 2 runs after 2 outs had been recorded.� After a hit batter and a walk, a grounder to third should have been the end of the inning, but a throwing error by 3B Jose De Los Santos resulted in two runs scoring.
Erie did more 2-out scoring in the 2nd inning, and it was even more costly for the Curve.� OF Gorkys Hernandez is already out for the rest of the season with a broken right ring finger, and now another key player, 2B Jordy Mercer, had to be removed from the game after being injured on a play.� With two outs in the 2nd, a pop up into short left field was “deflected” by Mercer, and fell in for a double as Mercer had to leave the game.� Much defensive shuffling ensued — De Los Santos moved to second base, Josh Harrison came in to play third base, Brandon Jones moved from DH to right field, Miles Durham moved to center field, Anthony Norman came out of the game, and pitcher Justin Wilson had to move into the batting order with no more DH.� After all the rearranging, Erie got two back-to-back singles, scoring a run.
The Curve were still up by one run, but they added some insurance in the top of the 3rd.� Matt Hague doubled and Hector Gimenez singled then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.� Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly plated Hague, then Brandon Jones doubled, bringing in Durham.
That was all the scoring.� The Curve collected only two more hits in the rest of the game — Chase d’Arnaud singled to begin the 4th and moved to second base on a wild pitch, but was left there; LF Yung Chi Chen singled in the 8th, but was forced out at second.� The 8th inning was the closest the Curve came to scoring again.� After Chen was forced out on Jose De Los Santos’ grounder, walks to d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison loaded the bases, but relief pitcher Tom Boleska, in what was probably his first pro at-bat, struck out to end the inning.
Starter Justin Wilson pitched 6 innings and allowed the 3 runs, only one of which was earned.� He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.� After the 2nd inning, he gave up only a walk and two hits in the rest of his outing.� Tom Boleska had much better luck on the mound than he did at the plate.� He pitched 3 scoreless and hitless innings, striking out 3 batters.� He allowed only a walk, and immediately erased that runner with a double play to end the game.
Altoona’s RHP Derek Hankins has been promoted to AAA Indianapolis today.� He will join the Indians in Syracuse.� Hankins has made 6 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Curve this season and has earned a 5-3 record with 5 saves, and a 1.82 ERA.� Opposing batters have been hitting .215 against Hankins, who has allowed 58 hits in 79 innings of work, with 27 walks and 48 strikeouts.� To make room for Hankins, reliever Brian Bass will be assigned to Altoona, though this might be on paper only.
Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues… the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.
Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)
RF Miles Durham’s grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.
Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d’Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d’Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d’Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.
Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.
A few roster notes:� RHP Teddy Fallon and LHP Justin Ennis were both promoted from State College to West Virginia.� Fallon was the Pirates’ 43rd pick in the 2009 draft, and Ennis was the 33rd round pick in this year’s draft.� RHP Tom Boleska has been promoted from Bradenton to Altoona.
Altoona’s Bryan Morris has skipped a start, which the Pirates are calling just a “breather”.� He has struggled in his last few starts, but has also stacked up the innings so far this season (103) and the Pirates want him to stay below 140 innings this season.
West Virginia Power� 9,� Hagerstown Suns� 1 (box)
Phillip Irwin pitched 7 no-hit innings for the Power tonight, before he had to be relieved due to his increasing pitch count.� Irwin struck out 8 batters in his 7 innings, and he allowed 2 walks.� He got off to a strong start when he struck out the side in the 1st inning, then struck out 2 more in the 2nd.� The first walk came in the 3rd inning, but that runner was immediately erased when the next batter lined right to 1B Aaron Baker, who stepped on first base for a double play.� The next 7 batters went down in order, until the 6th, when that same batter, C Sandy Leon, walked again.� This time Leon was forced out at second on a grounder, and another ground out ended the inning.� Irwin wrapped up his amazing evening with two more strikeouts in the 7th inning.
Ryan Kelly relieved Irwin and pitched the final two innings.� He allowed one hit, but it was a solo home run.� He also walked a batter in the 9th, and struck out 2 batters.
The rest of the team was busy giving Irwin and Kelly plenty of run support.� They piled up 16 hits, with everyone in the lineup reaching base at least one time, and all but SS Benji Gonzalez picking up at least one hit (Gonzalez had a walk).� 3B Elevys Gonzalez, Aaron Baker, and LF Rogelios Noris each had 3 hits.� Baker led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run.� CF David Rubinstein followed the homer with a double, and Noris added a single to put runners on the corners.� C Jairo Marquez lined a single into center field, scoring Rubinstein to give the Power an early 2-0 lead.
They boosted that lead in the 3rd inning, as they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 7 runs.� Six of the first seven batters reached base safely:� 2B Jarek Cunningham and RF Jose Hernandez began with back-to-back singles, and Baker’s double scored Cunningham (#1 run).� Rubinstein’s sacrifice fly brought in Hernandez (#2).� Noris and DH Kyle Morgan goth singled, and Baker scored (#3).� Marquez doubled in Noris and Morgan (#4, 5), and sent the Hagerstown pitcher to the showers.� Benji Gonzalez flied out, but Elevys Gonzalez singled, plating Marquez (#6).� A fielding error on that play moved Elevys G to second base, and a wild pitch put him on third.� Cunningham’s second single in the inning brought in Elevys G (#7), before a line out ended the inning.
The Power put at least one baserunner on in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them were able to come around to score.
Trenton Thunder� 8,� Altoona Curve� 3 (box)
The Curve stretched their losing streak to 5 games tonight while reliever Mike Colla struggled in his AA debut.� Derek Hankins made the start for the Curve, but didn’t get out of the 4th inning.� He gave up a run in the 1st on a hit batter, a stolen base, a ground out, and an RBI single.� A fielding error and a double gave Trenton a second run in the 3rd inning, and a single and a double added run #3 in the 4th.� Colla relieved Hankins and got a strikeout to end that inning, but a solo homer, a double, two singles, and a passed ball gave Trenton 3 more runs in the 5th.� Colla came back out to begin the 6th, but that inning went no better.� A single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases, and a single drove in two runs.
The Curve batters were also getting on base, in every inning but the 6th and 7th, but they were not coming around to score as often as the Thunder were.� They got onto the scoreboard in the 4th, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch.� 2B Jordy Mercer’s single brought Harrison in to score, but Mercer was erased on a double play.� They came up with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th, when RF Miles Durham led off with a single.� SS Chase d’Arnaud walked, and Harrison plated both of them with a double into center field.
Harrison, Mercer, and Durham had 2 hits each, and C Hector Gimenez and LF Anthony Norman each had one hit.� Hankins was charged with the loss, his 2nd of the season.� Reliever Mike Dubee relieved Colla to finish the 6th with a double play.� Dubee gave up a single to lead off the 7th, but the runner was thrown out by Miles Durham when he tried to stretch it into a double.� Dubee had a batter reach on a fielding error by Mercer in the 8th, and he walked a batter in the 9th, but both of those runners were also erased with double plays.
Wednesday, with games going on all afternoon and evening….
Bradenton Marauders� 3,� Tampa Yankees� 1 (box)
A 3-run 5th inning was all it took from the Marauders’ bats this afternoon.� The inning began with 3B Jose De Los Santos reaching base on a fielding error.� RF Robbie Grossman singled, moving De Los Santos to third base, and LF Quincy Latimore doubled, scoring De Los Santos.� Both Grossman and Latimore scored on 1B Erik Huber’s single into right field.� Huber stole second base, but was left there when the inning ended on a fly out. All three runs were unearned.
Those three hits were half of the Marauder’s total for the game.� Latimore and Huber also singled in the 2nd inning, and C James Skelton walked, loading the bases, but three consecutive strikeouts ended the inning with all three runners still in place.� CF Austin McClune singled to lead off the 6th, 2B Adenson Chourio reached on a fielding error, but a double play ended the inning with Chourio forced out at second.� The Marauders went down in order in the last three innings of the game.
The only run the Yankees scored was also unearned.� Bradenton starter Aaron Pribanic pitched 5 innings and scattered 4 hits.� He came back out to begin the 6th, but was relieved after giving up a single and a walk.� Tom Boleska struck out the first batter he faced, then Skelton threw out the second runner as he tried to steal second in a double steal.� When the next batter reached on a throwing error by De Los Santos, the runner (who had stolen third base) scored from third.� Boleska pitched a scoreless 7th.� Tyler Cox allowed a single and a walk in the scoreless 8th.� Diego Moreno, who has finished his organizational suspension and has been reassigned to the Marauders, pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing just one walk.
Reliever Mike Colla has been promoted from the Marauders to AA Altoona, trading spots with Moreno.
Monday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.� The West Virginia Power have a a scheduled day off.
GCL Pirates� 11,� GCL Braves� 3 (box)
The Pirates got in on the recent hit-o-rama fun the minor league teams have been having.� This afternoon, the Pirates collected 20 hits on their way to 11 runs.� 2B Kevin Mort went 5-for-5, all singles.� SS Jorge Bishop had 4 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI.� 1B Michaelangel Trinidad had 4 hits, two of which were home runs, and he knocked in 7 of the Pirates’ 11 runs.
The fun started with 5 runs in the 2nd inning.� Trinidad’s first homer was for 2 runs after Mort’s first single, and it was followed by a walk to CF Chih-Wei Hsu and three doubles, by 3B Eric Avila, Bishop, and LF Exicardo Cayonez, for 3 more runs.� Trinidad blasted another 2-run homer in the 3rd inning, following another one of Mort’s singles.� Bishop led off the 4th with a single, and he scored on two more singles, by RF Gregory Polanco and Mort.
Polanco, Mort, and Trinidad hit three consecutive singles in the 6th to add another run.� The Pirates’ final two runs came in the 7th, on singles by Cayonez, C Elias Diaz, and Mort, with a 2-RBI double by Trinidad.
Vincent Payne pitched 4 innings in his 5th start for the Pirates.� He scattered 3 hits, and only one counted — a solo home run in the 4th inning.� He did not walk anyone, and he struck out 2 batters.� Bryton Trepagnier made his second pro appearance and earned his first win.� He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but erased him with a double play, and retired the rest of the batters he faced in two innings.� Joan Montero also gave up a single and erased the runner with a double play in the 7th.� He also gave up two runs (one earned) on a single, a walk, a passed ball,� a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 8th inning.� Dinesh Patel pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing only a single.
As usual on Sunday, the GCL Pirates were off.� Everyone else played games scattered through the afternoon and evening.
Harrisburg Senators� 13, � Altoona Curve� 4 (box)
Paybacks are… well, you know, and today the Senators got revenge for the Curve having scored 10 runs in the 9th last night.� Harrisburg sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 8th and scored 8 runs, to give them a total of 13 runs in the game.
Justin Wilson made the start for the Curve, and pitched 6 innings.� He did well for the first 5 of those innings, allowing only one run, on a walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning.� Wilson allowed only a walk and a single over the next three innings.� In the 6th, Wilson gave up back-to-back singles to open the inning, then a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly brought in one run.� A walk and a single drove in a second run.� Wilson allowed 8 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 5 batters.
The Curve scored one run in the 3rd inning, when RF Miles Durham reached base on a fielding error, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson, and scored on SS Chase d’Arnaud’s double.� 1B Matt Hague added a solo home run in the 4th, to briefly give the Curve a 2-1 lead.
After the Senators took a 3-2 lead in the 6th, Corey Hamman, just returned to the Curve after a stint with AAA Indianapolis, took the mound for the 7th inning.� It was Hamman’s first game action in nearly three weeks, so it wasn’t a big surprise when Hamman gave up a lead-off single followed by a 2-run homer, to give Harrisburg a 5-2 lead.
Then the wheels fell off in the 8th inning.� Hamman gave up two singles, two walks, another single (with a fielding error), then got a fielding error.� Three runs had come in at that point, and after another walk to load the bases (again), Hamman was relieved by Dustin Molleken. Molleken got a strikeout, then gave up two singles and a double, driving in 5 more runs (3 of which were charged to Hamman), before he struck out the 12th batter of the inning to end the bleeding.
The Curve made a valiant effort in the top of the 9th.� Matt Hague walked, and 3B Jordy Mercer singled.� A wild pitch moved both up one base, so that Hague scored on LF Brandon Jones’ single.� Durham bounced back to the mound, and the Senators traded another run for two outs in a double play, as Mercer scored.� A fly out ended the game, with the Curve not even close to catching up.
Other Curve news:� The Pirates and Curve have suspended reliever Diego Moreno for a period of “5 to 7 days” for unprofessional behavior.� The problem occurred while in Altoona on the Curve’s most recent home stand.� Pirates’ farm director Kyle Stark also hinted that it’s possible that Moreno will be returned to the Bradenton Marauders after his suspension.� Moreno had a 3-0 record and a 1.37 ERA in 16 appearances for Bradenton, with 39 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.� Since being promoted to Altoona and working around a month on the DL, Moreno has made 7 appearances for the Curve, but has allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in 7.2 innings, with 12 strikeouts.
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.