Three Spikes Are All-Stars; Two Out 9th Inning Rally Gives Power The Win

News and action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates on Sunday.� The GCL Pirates and the Bradenton Marauders had scheduled days off today.

Three members of the State College Spikes have been named to the National League squad for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, which will be played on August 17th at the home of the Staten Island Yankees.� IF Matt Curry, the Pirates’ 16th round pick in the 2010 draft, has a .331 batting average, with 3 homers and 19 RBI.�� OF Adalberto Santos was the Pirates’ 22nd round pick in this year’s draft.� He is hitting .313 with 2 homers and 29 RBI, and is tied for second in the league with 37 runs scored.� Reliever Jhonathan Ramos has a 3-1 record and one save, with a 1.54 ERA.� He leads the league in lowest number of baserunners allowed at 6.56/9 innings.� Opposing batters are hitting just .169 against him.

Tri-City Valley Cats� 4,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)

Tri-City took the early lead and never gave it up in this evening’s game.� CF Mel Rojas and 2B Gift Ngoepe led the Spikes with 2 hits each, but the team managed only one run.� Starter Zach Fuesser got into trouble right away in his 5th start for the Spikes.� Two singles, a stolen base, and a 2-RBI single gave Tri-City 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� They added another run in the 2nd on a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.� After a single, a wild pitch, a balk, and a walk in the 4th, Fuesser was relieved by Ryan Beckman, who finished the inning.� Beckman also gave up a walk and a wild pitch in the 5th, but kept Tri-City from scoring in that inning, but he surrendered a run on a single and a double in the 6th.

The Spikes had only one base runner over the first 3 innings, when Rojas walked to lead off the bottom of the 1st.� RF Adalberto Santos singled and stole second base in the 4th, and both C Miguel Mendez and DH Cole White singled with two outs in the 5th, but they were all left on base.� Ngoepe bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall to begin the 6th, and Santos walked, but three strikeouts left both of them stranded also.� The Spikes scored their only run in the 7th.� 3B Kelson Brown led off with a double, and he scored on Rojas’ single.� Ngoepe also singled, and Santos walked, loading the bases with two outs.� A grounder ended the inning, though, and the Spikes were held to just that one run.� They threatened again in the 9th, when White walked and Rojas singled, but could not push the runner across the plate.

Mitch Fienemann pitched the last 3 innings for the Spikes, and allowed only one hit, while striking out 3 batters.

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Six Scoreless Innings For Watson and Von Rosenberg

Thursday’s action with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates….

Altoona Curve� 6,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)

Starter Tony Watson dominated the Aeros with 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits, no walks, while striking out 3 batters.� Watson retired the first 13 batters he faced, before allowing a single with one out in the 5th.� The second hit, also a single, also came in the 5th, but both runners were left on base.� After retiring the side in order, with 2 strikeouts, in the 6th, Watson was relieved by Ramon Aguero.

The Curve also went down in order in the first three innings.� With one out in the 4th, 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, then stole second and third bases.� He scored on 1B Matt Hague’s single.� SS Jordy Mercer reached on a throwing error by the Aeros pitcher.� C Hector Gimenez singled, driving in Hague.� A balk moved Mercer up to third base and Gimenez to second, then RF Miles Durham walked to load the bases.� DH Yung Chi Chen’s line drive into left field plated both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 4-0 lead.

Aguero gave up 2 singles in the 7th but kept the Aeros from scoring.� Then in the 8th, two singles were combined with a walk, to bring in a run.� Anthony Claggett pitched the 9th inning, and gave up a walk and a single, but left the runners stranded.

2B Chase d’Arnaud singled and stole second base (his 23rd of the season) in the 5th, then he doubled in the 7th.� The Curve added two runs in the 8th.� LF Andrew Lambo led off with a single and Hague walked.� Mercer dropped down a sacrifice bunt toward third base, and a throwing error by the Aeros’ third baseman allowed Lambo to score, and put Curve runners on first and third.� After two outs, Chen again brought in a run when Hague scored on his RBI single.

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Spikes Come From Behind; Morris Wins #5 With Curve

Not a lot of action for the lower minor league affiliates today.� The West Virginia Power and the GCL Pirates had a scheduled day off, and the Bradenton Marauders were rained out — they will play two games on Monday.

State College Spikes� 7,� Auburn Doubledays� 6 (box)

SS Walker Gourley and LF Pat Irvine led the Spikes with 3 hits each as they came from behind to erase a 6-run lead.� It was the largest deficit overcome for a win in the team’s history.

Zack Dodson pitched 4 innings and gave up 6 runs (5 earned) to give Auburn the early lead.� A triple, a single, and a 3-run homer gave Auburn a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.� Dodson retired the side in order in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but got into trouble again in the 4th.� A double, a throwing error by 3B Andy Vasquez, a single, and a wild pitch brought in one run.� A passed ball and another single added two more runs, and Auburn had a 6-0 lead.

The Spikes had runners on base in 5 of the first 7 innings, but were not able to push any of their base runners around to score.� They had the bases loaded with one out in the 5th, on a single by Vasquez, a walk to CF Mel Rojas, and a single through the hole into right field by Gourley.� A strikeout and a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring.

Then the Spikes got going in the 8th.� RF Adalberto Santos led off with a triple, and 1B Matt Curry walked.� Pat Irvine singled, scoring Santos.� Curry had moved to second base on a wild pitch, then on to third on Irvine’s single, and he and Irvine both scored when DH Chase Lyles smashed the second triple of the inning.� C Matt Skirving doubled, bringing in Lyles, and Andy Vasquez brought in Skirving with a sacrifice fly.� The Spikes had moved to within one run of Auburn, 6-5.

Walker Gourley started the 9th inning rally with a bunt single.� In a strange play, Santos grounded up the middle and was safe at first base, but Gourley, who tried to reach third base on the play, was ruled out because he’d missed touching second base as he was running.� Spikes’ manager Gary Robinson argued, but to no avail, and he was ejected for his efforts.� Santos advanced to second base on a balk, and he scored the tying run when Irvine doubled into center field.

Sandobal Septimo had pitched one scoreless inning, and Trent Stevenson gave the Spikes 3 more scoreless frames.� Jhonatan Ramos came on to pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings.� With one out in the top of the 10th, Vasquez dropped down a bunt and beat it out to first base.� A wild pitch moved him to second base, and both Rojas and Gourley walked, loading the bases.� Santos popped up, and was called out on the infield fly rule, but Matt Curry was the hero, with a single to short that allowed Vasquez to score the go-ahead run.� Ramos kept the Doubledays from scoring in the bottom of the inning, and the Spikes had their come-from-behind win.

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Big First Inning For Curve; Power Win In Extras

Two early games on Wednesday, plus a few more in the evening:

Altoona Curve� 6,� Erie SeaWolves� 3 (box)

The Curve and the SeaWolves played early and scored early this afternoon.� All the scoring was done by the middle of the 3rd inning.� The Curve began the game with 4 runs in the top of the 1st.� SS Chase d’Arnaud went 3-for-4 in the game, and he opened the game by beating out an infield single to short.� He then stole his 19th and 20th bases of the season, then scored from third on 2B Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice fly.�� 1B Matt Hague followed with a solo home run over the left-center field wall.� C Hector Gimenez, who had missed a few games due to illness, walked after the homer, and he scored when RF Miles Durham hit the second home run of the inning over the left field wall.

Erie came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring 2 runs after 2 outs had been recorded.� After a hit batter and a walk, a grounder to third should have been the end of the inning, but a throwing error by 3B Jose De Los Santos resulted in two runs scoring.

Erie did more 2-out scoring in the 2nd inning, and it was even more costly for the Curve.� OF Gorkys Hernandez is already out for the rest of the season with a broken right ring finger, and now another key player, 2B Jordy Mercer, had to be removed from the game after being injured on a play.� With two outs in the 2nd, a pop up into short left field was “deflected” by Mercer, and fell in for a double as Mercer had to leave the game.� Much defensive shuffling ensued — De Los Santos moved to second base, Josh Harrison came in to play third base, Brandon Jones moved from DH to right field, Miles Durham moved to center field, Anthony Norman came out of the game, and pitcher Justin Wilson had to move into the batting order with no more DH.� After all the rearranging, Erie got two back-to-back singles, scoring a run.

The Curve were still up by one run, but they added some insurance in the top of the 3rd.� Matt Hague doubled and Hector Gimenez singled then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.� Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly plated Hague, then Brandon Jones doubled, bringing in Durham.

That was all the scoring.� The Curve collected only two more hits in the rest of the game — Chase d’Arnaud singled to begin the 4th and moved to second base on a wild pitch, but was left there; LF Yung Chi Chen singled in the 8th, but was forced out at second.� The 8th inning was the closest the Curve came to scoring again.� After Chen was forced out on Jose De Los Santos’ grounder, walks to d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison loaded the bases, but relief pitcher Tom Boleska, in what was probably his first pro at-bat, struck out to end the inning.

Starter Justin Wilson pitched 6 innings and allowed the 3 runs, only one of which was earned.� He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.� After the 2nd inning, he gave up only a walk and two hits in the rest of his outing.� Tom Boleska had much better luck on the mound than he did at the plate.� He pitched 3 scoreless and hitless innings, striking out 3 batters.� He allowed only a walk, and immediately erased that runner with a double play to end the game.

Altoona’s RHP Derek Hankins has been promoted to AAA Indianapolis today.� He will join the Indians in Syracuse.� Hankins has made 6 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Curve this season and has earned a 5-3 record with 5 saves, and a 1.82 ERA.� Opposing batters have been hitting .215 against Hankins, who has allowed 58 hits in 79 innings of work, with 27 walks and 48 strikeouts.� To make room for Hankins, reliever Brian Bass will be assigned to Altoona, though this might be on paper only.

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Durham’s Grand Slam Sparks Curve; Marte Back With A Homer

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.

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