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.
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.
Limited action on Tuesday, just two daytime games… everyone’s watching the All-Star Game tonight.
Vermont Lake Monsters� 3,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)
LF Adalberto Santos and C Matt Skirving each had two hits, but the Spikes managed only one run this afternoon as they fell to the Lake Monsters.� While they put at least one runner on base in all but two innings, the 7th was the only one in which they pushed a run across.� With one out in the 7th, Skirving doubled into left field, and scored on 2B Gift Ngoepe’s single up the middle.� Ngoepe tried to go to second on the throw, but was tagged out.� The Spikes had two runners on in the 1st inning, on back-to-back singles by Santos and 1B Matt Curry, and again in the 2nd, when Skirving singled and CF Kyle Saukko reached base on an error.� Both times, a ground out ended the inning.
Starter Tyler Waldron pitched 5 innings in his 5th start for the Spikes, but he suffered the loss.� He gave up a run in the top of the 1st inning, on a triple and a sacrifice fly.� He worked his way out of a bases loaded jam (double, single, and walk) with a double play in the 5th inning.� Trent Stevenson gave up 2 runs in the 6th, on two walks and a 2-RBI double, then pitched two more scoreless innings.� Justin Ennis pitched the final inning, retiring the side in order including one strikeout.
Spikes’ RHP Kevin Decker was named the New York-Penn League’s Pitcher of the Week for July 5-11.� Decker pitched in two games in relief, for a total of 10.1 scoreless innings. He allowed a total of 5 hits and 2 walks in those two appearances, while striking out 9 batters.� Overall, Decker has a 2-0 record, with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, and a total of 14 strikeouts.
GCL Pirates� 4,� GCL Blue Jays� 2 (box)
2B Luis Solano went 3-for-3 this afternoon for the Pirates, with a single, a double, and a triple.� After the Blue Jays scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd, Solano’s lead-off triple got the Pirates’ bats going.� He scored on DH Brian Friday’s single, to cut the lead in half.� The tied the score with a run in the 5th.� SS Kevin Mort walked and Solano singled, then two wild pitches brought Mort in to score.� LF Exicardo Cayonez also tripled, with one out in the 6th.� He scored on 3B Eric Avila’s sacrifice fly, giving the Pirates the lead.� Solano’s double came with two outs in the 7th, and was followed by pinch-hitter Michaelangel Trinidad’s double, bringing in Solano for the Pirates’ fourth run.
Vincent Payne started for the Pirates, and he was responsible for both of the Blue Jays’ runs.� He gave up a single and a walk in the top of the 3rd.� Yeyber Sanchez relieved Payne, but gave up an RBI single, hit a batter, then threw a wild pitch that scored the second run.� Sanchez threw 3 scoreless innings after that, allowing only one walk.� He was credited with the win, his 3rd of the season.� James Archibald added two scoreless innings, working around a single in each and a hit batter in the 8th.� Joan Montero pitched the 9th, and loaded the bases with 3 walks, but got the inning-ending double play to earn his first save.
Brian Friday continued his rehab work by going 1-for-2, with a walk, and he was also hit by a pitch.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have reaquired infielder Brian Bixler (photo) from the Cleveland Indians’ organization.� Bixler, who was originally drafted by the Pirates in the second round of the 2004 draft, played in the Pirates’ organization for all of his career until he was traded to Cleveland in January 2010 for infielder Jesus Brito. Bixler did not make the Cleveland major league team out of spring training, and he was removed from their 40-man roster.� He has been playing for AAA Columbus, and has appeared in several games against the Indy Indians.� For the Clippers, the 27-year-old Ohio native has been hitting .278 with 13 doubles, one triple, 3 homers, and 27 RBI.� That’s about the same average but with a little less power than he showed with the Indy Indians in 2009.� Bixler has not been able to take his AAA level success up to the major league level.� In a total of 68 games with the Pirates, Bixler hit .178 with 7 doubles, one triple, and 5 RBI, and struck out 62 times.� Bixler will join the Indy Indians after the All-Star break.
The Indy Indians are off for their All-Star break.� The AAA All-Star game will be played on Wednesday in Lehigh Valley.� The game will not be on ESPN2 as in past years, but will be televised on the MLB network.� It will also be on-line on milb.com.�� More Monday action in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
Richmond Flying Squirrels� 6,� Altoona Curve� 3….. suspended (box)
They got into the 4th inning before rain halted play in Altoona this afternoon.� The Curve got busy in the bottom of the 1st, with a double by 3B Shelby Ford, and an RBI single by 2B Jordy Mercer. Mercer stole second, then went to third on walks to C Kris Watts and LF Brandon Jones. RF Miles Durham drove in both Mercer and Watts with a line drive single into left field.� Durham also stole second, but was left there when the inning ended.
Starter Tim Alderson retired the side in the top of the 1st, but struggled after that.� The Squirrels came right back in the top of the 2nd to tie the score.� The inning began with three consecutive singles, which brought in one run.� A throwing error by 1B Matt Hague loaded the bases, and another single drove in two more runs.� A sacrifice bunt moved two runners into scoring position — and provided the first out of the inning.� A hit batter loaded the bases again, but an infield fly rule pop out and a grounder force out ended the inning.� The second inning did not go any better.� A double, a walk, and a double opened the inning, bringing in 2 runs.� After two ground outs, another double drove in the Squirrels’ 6th run.� Alderson was relieved by Dustin Molleken to begin the top of the 4th, and Molleken retired the side in order.
The Curve went down in order in the 2nd.� Mercer and Watts both singled in the 3rd, though neither scored.� The bottom of the 4th began with a walk to Durham and a single by CF Anthony Norman, moving Durham to third.� Molleken’s sacrifice bunt moved Norman to second base, and that’s how things stood when play was halted.� The game will be resumed on August 26th.
After the game, Alderson was reassigned to A+ Bradenton.� He had made 17 starts for the Curve, and in 86.2 innings, Alderson had allowed 105 hits and 54 earned runs (5.30 ERA).� He had 26 walks and 57 strikeouts, and batters hit .307 against him. His record:� 7-5.
Jeff Locke is being promoted from Bradenton to Altoona — a pitcher swap.� Locke has a 9-3 record with the Marauders.� He also has 17 starts, for 86.1 innings, allowing 82 hits and 42 earned runs (3.54 ERA).� Locke has walked 14 and struck out 83, and batters hit .248 against him.
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.