Indians Postponed; McPherson’s First AA Win

The Indianapolis Indians’ game in Rochester was postponed today — because the Indians were not there!  The team was supposed to fly to Rochester this morning, but due to mechanical problems, their flight was delayed.  There were not any other flights available to get the team to Rochester in time for the game.  The Indians and the Red Wings will play two games on Saturday, the first at 1 pm, and the second at 7 pm.  Both will be 9-inning games.  

The Pirates have signed two more draft picks:  3B Dan Gamache from Auburn U. and OF Taylor Lewis from University of Maine- Orono.  My guess is that they will be heading to State College, but no definite word yet.

The State College Spikes begin their season tomorrow, on the road at Williamsport.  The GCL Pirates will begin their 2011 season on Monday.
 
Don’t forget to vote for the All-Stars:
Eastern League All-Star Voting is here
AAA (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) All-Star Voting is here
 

Thursday’s action:

Altoona Curve  3,  New Britain Rock Cats  1
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Kyle McPherson allowed the New Britain a solo home run in the top of the 1st, and then he and the bullpen shut the Rock Cats down for the rest of the game.  McPherson pitched 6 innings and scattered 3 more runs and a walk over the remaining 5 innings for his first win at the AA level.  Two singles came in the 3rd, but McPherson left runners on the corners.  He left two runners in scoring position in the 6th after a walk and a single.  McPherson also struck out 4 batters.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st.  LF Anthony Norman led off with a single lined into right field, and 2B Brock Holt followed with a grounder into right for a second single, moving Norman to third base.  Norman scored on a ground out by SS Jordy Mercer.  Holt came in on CF Quincy Latimore’s RBI single, to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order over the next three innings.  They added an insurance run in the 5th, when C Tony Sanchez and DH Jose Hernandez hit back-to-back singles.  Sanchez moved to third base on Hernandez’s hit, then scored on RF Brad Chalk’s sacrifice fly.  1B Matt Curry blasted a triple into right field in the 7th inning, but he was left on base.  The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when Chalk and Norman both singled, and Holt walked.  They left the bases loaded, though, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

Matt McSwain pitched two perfect innings in relief after McPherson was done for the evening.  Anthony Claggett, who was moved back to the Curve when Jose Ascanio was assigned to Indianapolis, pitched the 9th inning.  The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error by Norman in left.  After two fly outs, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases.  But Claggett got a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.  

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Homers For Cunningham, Mort, and Howard In Sunday Wins

Big hitting in the Pirates’ minor league affiliates’ Sunday action:

Altoona Curve  13,  Reading Phillies  4  (conclusion of suspended game)
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The Curve were way out in front when rain halted play on Saturday evening, leading 11-1 in the middle of the 3rd.  When play resumed today, Matt McSwain took over on the mound for starter Aaron Pribanic.  McSwain gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd, to make it 11-2.  McSwain retired the R-Phils in order over the next three innings, until he gave up another solo homer, followed by two singles, in the 7th.  

CF Starling Marte singled for the Curve in the 4th but did not score.  The Curve went down in order for the next two innings, then they rallied again in the top of the 7th.  RF Anthony Norman led off with a walk, and Marte singled again. A throwing error by the R-Phils third baseman let Norman score.  Marte advanced to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.  

Aaron Thompson came on in relief in the 8th inning.  He gave up a single and a walk, but retired the next three batters for a scoreless 8th.  Reading scored one more time in the bottom of the 9th, on a single, a walk, and an RBI double, but it was way too little and way to late, and the Curve had the win.  

Reading Phillies  2,  Altoona Curve 1   (scheduled game)
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The Curve should have saved a few hits and runs for this game.  They posted 6 hits, with 2 each by CF Starling Marte and RF Brad Chalk, and one each by SS Jordy Mercer and C Tony Sanchez.  Their only run came in the top of the 1st, on a single by Marte and Mercer’s RBI double.  

The Curve put at least one runner on base in all but one of the rest of the innings, but could not bring anyone around to score.  Sanchez and Chalk hit back-to-back singles in the 2nd, and that was their biggest threat.  A strikeout and a ground out ended that rally.  

Jeff Locke pitched 5 innings in his start.  He gave up one single over the first two innings, then gave up a solo home run with two outs in the 3rd to tie the game.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases after the homer, but a fly out got Locke out of that jam.  Locke also gave up a single in both the 4th and the 5th.  

Donnie Veal relieved Locke to begin the 6th inning.  He also gave up a 2-out solo home run for the go-ahead run, and was charged with the loss.  The Curve had one last chance in the top of the 7th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then went to second base on a bunt by Chalk, but he was left stranded when the game ended.  

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Triple Play For Marauders In Loss; Another Good Inning For Veal

The West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off on Tuesday, but the Marauders and the Curve are in action:

Jupiter Hammerheads  4,  Bradenton Marauders  3
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The Marauders had the luck to pull off a rare triple play, but Jupiter broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th to take the win.  

Each team scored one run in the 1st inning.  RF Robbie Grossman opened the game with a walk, then went to third on 2B Kelson Brown’s single up the middle.  Grossman scored on 1B Aaron Baker’s sacrifice fly.  3B Elevys Gonzalez also singled, sending Brown around from second, but he was thrown out at the plate.  In the bottom of the frame, with Nate Baker on the mound for the Marauders, two lead-off walks and a grounder force out at second put Jupiter runners on the corners.  A sacrifice fly brought in the lead runner, and Nate Baker and Aaron Baker combined to pick off and catch stealing the second runner.  

Nate Baker retired the side in the 2nd inning, but gave up another run in the bottom of the 3rd, on a single and an RBI double.  The double would have been a triple, but an on-target throw from LF David Rubinstein to Elevys Gonzalez at third let Gonzalez tag him out.  

The Marauders loaded the bases in the top of the 2nd, when CF Evan Chambers reached on a fielding error, and both DH Calvin Anderson and Grossman walked.  But with two outs, a pop out by Brown ended the threat.  Both C Ramon Cabrera and Elevys Gonzalez singled in the 3rd, but both were left on base.  In the top of the 4th, the Marauders scored twice, courtesy of two wild pitches.  Anderson and SS Benji Gonzalez both walked to lead off the inning, and Grossman loaded the bases with a grounder through the hole into left field.  A wild pitch let Anderson score from third base, while the other two runners both moved up a base.  After two outs, another wild pitch allowed Benji Gonzalez to come across the plate, and the Marauders had a 3-2 lead.

Two strikeouts and a ground out gave Nate Baker a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 4th.  He got into trouble again in the 5th, though, with a lead-off double and a hit batter.  A sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by Elevys Gonzalez loaded the bases, and an RBI single pushed the lead runner in to tie the score again.  With the bases still loaded, the Marauders had a rare triple play:  Jupiter’s CF Jose Duarte lined right to Brown, who fired to first, where Aaron Baker doubled off the runner and fired back to Brown, who doubled off the runner at second base.  Nate Baker also retired the Hammerheads in order in the 6th.  He finished with 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, with 2 strikeouts, but left the game with the score tied, so did not figure into the decision.  

The Marauders had 3 batters reach base over the 5th and 6th innings, all on walks.  Elevys Gonzalez worked a walk to lead off the 5th, and stole second base.  Grossman and Brown both walked with one out in the 6th.  None of them came around to score, though.  The only other Marauder to reach base was Aaron Baker, who singled with two outs in the top of the 9th.  Adalberto Santos came in to pinch-run for Baker, but he did not have a chance to do anything, as a ground out ended the inning.  
 
Brian Leach relieved Nate Baker to begin the 7th inning, and he retired the side on three fly outs.  Jhonathan Ramos came on for the 8th inning, and he was charged with the loss when he gave up the winning run.  A single and a sacrifice bunt began the inning, then a passed ball put the runner on third base.  After an intentional walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third, to give Jupiter a 4-3 lead.  The Marauders could not respond, and Jupiter had the win.  

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Curve Held To 3 Hits; Marauders Held To 2 Hits

Saturday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.

Don’t forget to vote for the All-Star Teams:
Pirates/MLB:  vote here
Indianapolis Indians/International League:  vote here
Altoona Curve/Eastern League:  vote here

Portland Sea Dogs  4,  Altoona Curve  0
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The Curve were held to just 6 base runners — 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score.  SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings.  He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.  

Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd.  He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning.  In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th.  Portland’s third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th.  Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts.  He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.  

The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out.  But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning.  Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play.  Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.  

Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla.  He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded.  Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.   

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Tough Afternoon In Altoona; Von Rosenberg’s First Win

The Curve played an early game on Wednesday afternoon, with the Marauders and the Power playing in the evening: 

Trenton Thunder  7,  Altoona Curve  3
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A 4-run 6th inning by the Thunder was too much for the Curve to overcome, in an early afternoon game in New Jersey.  The Curve posted 11 hits, with Brad Chalk, playing center field today, collecting 3 hits.  LF Quincy Latimore, 1B Matt Curry, and 3B Jeremy Farrell all had 2 hits each.   

Each team scored one run in the 1st inning.  Chalk began the Curve rally with his first single, but was forced out at second on Latimore’s grounder force out at second.  A throwing error by the second baseman on the play let Latimore reach second base.  SS Jordy Mercer singled into right field, scoring Latimore.  Two singles and a grounder force out gave the Thunder a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.  

Latimore also double in the 3rd inning, but didn’t score.  Curry began a rally in the top of the 4th when he worked a walk.  Farrell singled, pushing Curry to third base, and a passed ball let Farrell move up to second base.  DH Tony Sanchez’s RBI ground out scored Curry to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.   Trenton tied it up again in the bottom of the 5th, with a single, a throwing error by starter Aaron Thompson, and a sacrifice fly.  

Chalk singled again in the 5th, but was out in a force play.  The Curve threatened in the top of the 6th.  Curry, Farrell, and Sanchez hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out.  C Kris Watts grounded to first for a fielder’s choice as a throw back to the plate forced Curry out at home.  A ground out ended the inning, leaving the bases loaded.  

Trenton got to Thompson again in the bottom of the 6th.  With one out, a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single gave Trenton a 3-2 lead.  Matt McSwain relieved Thompson, but the first batter McSwain faced reached base on a fielding error by Curry.  The next batter swatted a 3-run homer, giving Trenton a 6-2 lead.

The Curve got one run back in the top of the 7th.  Chalk and Latimore hit back-to-back line drive singles with one out.  Mercer popped up for an infield fly rule out, then Curry’s single through the hole and into left field brought Chalk in to score.  That was all the Curve could get, though.  Sanchez walked to begin the 8th inning, and was erased on a double play, and the next four Altoona batters went down in order.  

McSwain gave up one more run in the bottom of the 7th, on a two-out triple and an RBI single.  Thompson was charged with his 5th loss of the season.  

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