Indians Rained Out; Curve Lose In Extras

The Indianapolis Indians and the Columbus Clippers were rained out in Columbus tonight.  They will try for two on Monday, beginning at 5 pm.  Sunday’s game is scheduled for 4 pm.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was optioned back to the Indians, after just a brief visit to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates’ new shortstop Brandon Wood got himself to Pittsburgh very quickly, so no need for Ciriaco to fill in.  Jose Ascanio, who was hit in the head by a line drive on Thursday, has been diagnosed as having “just” a contusion (a bruise).  He’s doing better today.

Kannapolis Intimidators  8,  West Virginia Power  7   (Game 1) 
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 The Pirates were able to fight back after Kannapolis scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th gave Kannapolis the win.  The Power had  the early lead with one run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. CF Mel Rojas walked, and 1B Matt Curry singled.  LF Rogelios Noris’ fly out moved Rojas to third, and then Rojas scored on RF Justin Howard’s single through the hole into left field.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without any more runs scoring.  With one out in the top of the 2nd, back-to-back doubles by DH Jairo Marquez and SS Drew Maggi brought in one run, then a wild pitch and a fielding error allowed Maggi to score, giving the Power a 3-0 lead.

Starter Colton Cain had retired the Intimidators in order in the 1st, but got in trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, when the first 6 batters who came to the plate reached base safely.  A single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a hit batter forced in the first run.  A double plated two more, and a single added another two.  Another double made it 6 runs in the inning, and the Power were behind 6-3.  

The Power battled right back in the top of the 3rd.  Walks to Howard and 3B Andy Vasquez both walked, and Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Power.  An RBI ground out drove in Howard, then Marquez’s single scored both Vasquez and Emsley-Pai to tie the score at 6-6.  The Power took the lead in the 4th on Curry’s lead-off home run.  

Trent Stevenson relieved Cain to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless innings.  He allowed 3 hits and struck out one.  The Power bats suddenly went quiet after the 4th, with no more hits until the 7th, when Howard tripled.  Emsley-Pai and Marquez both walked, but two ground outs and a strikeout left all three on base.  Jason Townsend pitched the 6th inning for the Power, allowing just one hit.  Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th, and with one out, Sadler gave up three consecutive singles.  The third hit went to Howard in right field, and Howard’s throw back to the plate was right to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  But the next batter doubled to tie the score again, and the fourth single of the inning drove in the winning walk-off run.  

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Curve Lose Early Lead; Howard Homers

Pirates’ lower minor leaguers in action on Thursday:

Richmond Flying Squirrels  7,  Altoona Curve  3
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The Curve had a good start to their game, but lost their early lead in the 6th inning.  LF Quincy Latimore drove in 2 runs in the top of the 1st.  2B Brock Holt and C Tony Sanchez had both walked, and with 2 outs, Latimore grounded to shortstop, where a throwing error let both runs score.   Sanchez and Latimore both singled in the 3rd, with Latimore driving in Sanchez, who had moved up to second base on a ground out.  

Curve starter Aaron Thompson allowed just 2 singles over the first 5 innings of the game.  Things changed in the 6th inning, though.  A single, a bunt, and another single gave the Squirrels runners on the corners.  Thompson balked, allowing the runner from third to score.  A stolen base and a walk put Squirrels on the corners again.  This time, Thompson threw a wild pitch to let the runner from third score.  Another walk and a single loaded the bases, and sent Thompson to the showers.  Anthony Claggett came in from the bullpen to relieve Thompson.  The first batter Claggett faced grounded to second, forcing out the runner coming from first base, as the runner from third scored.  A walk loaded the bases again, and a fielding error by 1B Miles Durham let the fourth run of the inning score.  Thompson was responsible for all 4 runs, 3 of which were earned.  

Mike Colla took over for the 7th inning, when he gave up a lone single.  Then in the bottom of the 8th, Colla gave up a walk and a single, and the lead runner scored when Sanchez made a throwing error on a steal attempt.  Another walk and two singles drove in two more runs.  

After the 3rd inning, the Curve could not push another run across the plate.  They hurt themselves on base running plays, when Holt singled and was caught stealing in the 4th, and Sanchez walked and was caught stealing in the 5th.  SS Jordy Mercer doubled in the 5th, and Durham singled in the 8th, but were left on base.  Pinch hitter Kris Watts singled in the Curve’s last chance in the 9th, but he was left stranded when a ground out ended the game.   

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Mercer and Curry Homer; Boyer And Sinkbeil Sign

Both the Curve and the Power played early games today…. 

Altoona Curve  3,  Harrisburg Senators  2
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A fielding error by the Senators in the bottom of the 7th gave the Curve the win, and a split of this rain-shortened series with Harrisburg.  Jeff Locke got the start for the Curve, and he buzzed through his first 6 innings.  A runner who reached base on SS Jordy Mercer’s throwing error in the 1st was promptly picked off and caught stealing, and a runner who singled in the 2nd was erased with a double play.  A hit batter in the 5th was left stranded.  

The Curve also were quiet for most of the first 5 innings.  1B Miles Durham walked to lead off the 2nd, but was also eliminated in a double play.  Their only threat was when three walks, to Locke, 2B Brock Holt, and CF Starling Marte, loaded the bases for the Curve in the 3rd.  But a pop out ended the inning with all three left on base.  

The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 6th.  Holt led off the inning with a double into right field on a ball that was deflected off the Harrisburg pitcher Erik Davis.  Holt moved to third base on a ground out by Marte.  Then Mercer blasted a home run over the left field wall to give the Curve a 2-0 lead.  The Curve loaded the bases after the homer, on singles by Durham and LF Quincy Latimore, then another single by 3B Jeremy Farrell off a new relief pitcher who is familiar:  Jimmy Barthmaier.  With the bases loaded, Barthmaier struck out C Eric Fryer, then ended the inning with a ground out by RF Brad Chalk.  

The Senators returned the favor in the top of the 7th.  Locke got one out, then gave up a double and a single, putting runners on the corners.  He was relieved by Tom Boleska, who began by throwing a wild pitch, which allowed the runner from third to come across the plate.  A single again gave Harrisburg runners on the corners, and a sacrifice fly brought in the tying run — both runs charged to Locke.  

With two outs in the bottom of the 7th, Marte singled into left field.  He stole second base, then came around to score when Harrisburg’s right fielder Archie Gilbert made a fielding error on Mercer’s fly ball.  The Curve held on to that narrow lead for the next two innings.  Michael Dubee retired the side in order with three grounders in the top of the 8th.  Noah Krol gave up a single in the 9th, but got three more ground outs, earning his 4th Save of the season.  

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Thompson Is POW; Ngoepe Homers In Wild Power Game

It’s a rainy night for half of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:

The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain.  Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected.  The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.

Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.  

The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona.  They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.

Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week.  He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.  

Jupiter Hammerheads  1,  Bradenton Marauders  0
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The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today.  Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts.  Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st.   The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base.  An RBI ground out brought in the run.  A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.

Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score.  He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th.  After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.  

Unfortunately, the Hammerheads’ pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders’ batters.  Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera’s single.  The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base.  With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked.  But a ground out ended the threat and the game.  

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Cunningham Homers Twice; Power Hold On For The Win

Monday evening’s games in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
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The Curve were able to put runners on base but not push them across the plate tonight.  Starter Bryan Morris worked around a double in the 1st and a pair of walks in the 3rd to keep the Senators scoreless in the first three innings.  He got into trouble in the 4th, with a lead-off triple, followed by a walk and an RBI double.  A single drove in 2 more runs for a 3-0 Harrisburg lead.  The Curve had left CF Starling Marte stranded on third base in the 1st, after his single, stolen base, and a throwing error.  2B Brock Holt also singled in the 3rd and was left on base.  SS Jordy Mercer answered the Senators’ 3-run inning with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but LF Quincy Latimore singled in that inning, and he was also left stranded.  

Tim Alderson took over for Morris to begin the 5th inning, and he pitched 2 scoreless frames.  He loaded the bases in the 6th with a single and two hit batters, but ended the inning with a ground out.  Mike Colla allowed a triple in his scoreless 7th.  Then Noah Krol came on for the 8th, and gave up 3 more runs on a single, an RBI double, an RBI triple, and a wild pitch.  

The Curve put two runners on base in the 7th, when 1B Miles Durham singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell walked, but both were left on base.  Marte singled again in the 8th, and again could not come around to score.  The final Curve run scored in the 9th, when Durham tripled, then scored on Latimore’s sacrifice fly.  

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