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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Cain Throws Six Scoreless Innings

Sunday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

West Virginia Power  7,  Augusta Green Jackets  0
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Three Power pitchers powered up to shut out the Green Jackets.  Colton Cain made the start and earned his first win of the season.  He allowed just one hit and one walk in 6 innings.  Cain retired the first 9 Augusta batters in order, then gave up both the hit (a double) and a walk to begin the bottom of the 4th.  A double play and a pop out got Cain out of that little jam, then he retired 6 more batters to end his outing.  Kevin Decker allowed a single in each of his two innings, but maintained the shutout.  Ryan Beckman gave up two singles in the 9th, but left both on base to end the game.  

The Power began their scoring with an unearned run in the top of the 2nd.  C Elias Diaz reached on a fielding error in right field, then advanced to third base on RF Dan Grovatt’s single.  2B Kevin Mort brought Diaz in with a sacrifice fly.  Grovatt led off the 5th with a walk.  He was forced out at second on Mort’s grounder, though Mort avoided the double play and was safe at first.  LF Andy Vasquez plated Mort with a triple into right field.

The 6th was the big inning for the Power.  CF Mel Rojas and 1B Matt Curry started the frame with back-to-back singles, and after two outs, Diaz walked to load the bases.  Another walk to Grovatt forced in Rojas, then Mort drove in Curry and Diaz with a line drive single into center field.  The Power tacked on another run in the 7th, when SS Gift Ngoepe doubled, Rojas singled (his third hit of the game), and a fielder’s choice on Curry’s ball let Ngoepe score.  It was Curry’s turn to double in the 9th, and he scored on Avila’s RBI single.  

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Three Hits By Grossman And Emsley-Pai

The Altoona Curve and the Richmond Flying Squirrels were rained out in Altoona tonight.  They will make up the game in August.

West Virginia Power  8,  Augusta  5
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The Power scored in each of the first 4 innings to stay ahead of the Augusta Green Jackets on Saturday evening.  2B Drew Maggi got the game off to a good start with a double into right field.   1B Matt Curry walked, then with Maggi off and running, a ground out by 3B Eric Avila let Maggi score.  RF Justin Howard drove in Curry with a single into center field.  Augusta got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 1st with a triple and an RBI ground out off starter Tyler Waldron.  

Back-to-back singles by DH Elias Diaz and C Kawika Emsley-Pai opened the top of the 2nd, and gave the Power runners on the corners.  A passed ball let Diaz score.  SS Gift Ngoepe walked, but was out in a grounder force out, as Maggi got to first in time to avoid the double play.  Another grounder forced out Maggi at second, but CF Mel Rojas also beat out the throw to first, and Emsley-Pai scored.  Augusta also scored one run in the bottom of the inning, on a bases-loaded RBI ground out.  

The Power took a big step ahead in the 3rd.  Avila led off with a double, and after two outs, four consecutive singles drove in 3 runs.  Diaz plated Avila, and Emsley-Pai plated Diaz; Ngoepe’s single put two runners on, and Maggi’s single scored Emsley-Pai.  Another single by Avila and a fielding error on a fly into center field by Howard gave the Power an unearned run in the 4th.  

Augusta kept tacking on runs, but one at a time — a solo homer in the 4th, and a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly in the 5th.  Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts.  He was relieved by Zach Foster to begin the 6th.  Foster pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings and hit one batter, who was promptly caught stealing by Emsley-Pai.  Jason Townsend pitched the 9th and gave up the final Augusta run, on two singles, a passed ball, and an RBI ground out.  

Waldron earned his second win of the season.  Emsley-Pai went 3-for-4, with an RBI and 2 runs scored.  Besides the singles in the 2nd and 3rd, he also singled in the 8th inning, but was left on base.  Maggi, Avila, and Diaz all had 2 hits in the game.  

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Three Hits For Rojas, But Losses All Around

Losses all around in the Pirates’ minor league organization:

Augusta Green Jackets  5,  West Virginia Power  3
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A 4-run 2nd inning by Augusta had the Power trying to catch up for most of the game.  With Zack Dodson getting the start, Augusta scored on two singles, a throwing error by 3B Eric Avila, a 2 RBI triple, and an RBI ground out.  Only two of the runs were earned.  Dodson retired the side in two other innings, and walked two batters in the 4th.  The Power posted 8 hits (to Augusta’s 5 hits), and put runners on base in each of their first four innings but could not bring any of them around to score.  The top of the 5th began with back-to-back singles by LF Rogelios Noris and SS Gift Ngoepe.  2B Drew Maggi dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but a missed catch error by the Augusta first baseman put Maggi safe on first, moved Ngoepe to third, and allowed Noris to score.  Ngoepe scored on an RBI ground out.  

Dodson was relieved by Brooks Pounders to begin the bottom of the 5th.  Pounders surrendered another unearned run, on two singles, a passed ball, and a wild pitch in the 5th.  He retired the side in order in both the 7th and 8th innings.  Ryan Beckman retired the side in order in the 8th inning.  

The Power continued to put runners on base in each inning, and they scored again in the 8th.  RF Dan Grovatt walked, moved to second base on a ground out, and scored on DH Justin Howard’s line drive single into left field.  Ngoepe also singled in the 3rd inning.  CF Mel Rojas singled three times:  in the 1st, the 3rd, and the 7th.  He also stole second base in the 1st. 

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Morris Shines For Curve; Marauders Blast Jupiter

Three wins for the Pirates’ lower minor league teams on Tuesday:

Altoona Curve  2,  Akron Aeros  0
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Starter Bryan Morris threw 6 shutout innings to lead the Curve over the Aeros in Akron.  Morris scattered 4 hits and a walk, while striking out 3 for his first win of the season.  The only real trouble he had was in the bottom of the 1st, when rehabbing Grady Sizemore began the inning with a walk.  After two grounder force outs, a single, Akron had runners on first and second.  A single lined into center field had the runner from second charging for home, but CF Starling Marte fired in to C Eric Fryer, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Morris sailed through his remaining 5 innings, allowing just two more hits — singles in the 2nd and the 5th.  Brian Leach, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.  Leach and Dubee each allowed one walk, but Dubee struck out the other three batters he faced.  Krol earned his second Save of the season.  

Both of the Curve’s runs scored in the 3rd inning.  3B Jeremy Farrell began the rally by being hit by a pitch.  Fryer singled, and RF Jose Hernandez sacrifice bunted both runners into scoring position.  2B Brock Holt grounded to first, but a fielding error let him reach safely and gave Farrell the chance to score.  An RBI grounder by Marte brougth in Fryer with the second run.  Marte stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch, but the inning ended before he could come around to score.  

Marte singled after Holt walked in the 5th inning, and both Farrell and Fryer singled in the 7th, but neither of those threats yielded any runs.  Farrell lined into right field in the 9th, and rounded second easily, but was thrown out when he tried to stretch it into a triple.  He would have scored if he’d stopped at second, because Fryer followed with his own double.  Fryer was 3-for-4 in the game, and Farrell went 2-for-3.  

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