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.
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.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….
West Virginia Power 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 8
Late inning rallies for a total of 7 runs gave the Power the win over Kannapolis. 1B Matt Curry got the scoring started with a solo home run to begin the bottom of the 2nd. That run was overwhelmed, though, when the Intimidators exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 3rd. Power starter Zack Von Rosenberg had allowed only one walk over the first two innings, but that fell apart in the 3rd inning. A single, a walk, and a triple brought in two runs. A sacrifice fly gave Von Rosenberg the first out of the inning, but it also scored the runner from third, for a 3-1 lead. Two more singles, another triple, and another single brought in 3 more runs, for a 6-1 lead, and sent Von Rosenberg to the showers. Zac Fuesser relieved Von Rosenberg, and Fuesser’s first move was to pick off the runner on first base and get him out in a run-down. A walk and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Power got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3B Eric Avila’s double and a fielding error on LF Dan Grovatt’s bouncer to short. Fuesser gave up a pair of walks and a single in the 4th, but a timely double play kept any runs from scoring. He also gave up a pair of singles in the 5th, but was aided by an outfield assist from Grovatt. Kannapolis scored again in the 6th, with a two-out ground-rule double and an RBI single. Two more doubles gave Kannapolis another run in the top of the 7th, for an 8-2 lead.
Then the Power burst out with 7 unanswered runs over their last two at-bats to take the lead and the win. With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a single into left field, and Avila drove him in with a triple. SS Drew Maggi’s ground out plated Avila. 2B Kevin Mort singled and pinch-hitter Rogelios Noris walked, but they did not score in that inning. The Power continued the surge right where they left off in the 8th. RF Justin Howard led off with a double and CF Mel Rojas was hit by a pitch. C Kawika Emsley-Pai loaded the bases with a walk. Marquez drove in Howard with a single grounded into right field, leaving the bases still loaded. Avila bounced to short, for a force out at second base, but Rojas scored the second run of the inning on the play. After an out, Mort singled, plating Emsley-Pai, then Noris tripled in both Avila and Mort, for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Zach Foster relieved Fuesser for the final two innings. Foster allowed a double and hit a batter with a pitch in the 8th, but two strikeouts left them stranded. He also walked a batter in the 9th, but got two more strikeouts to preserve the Power lead and earned his first win of the season.