Curve All-Stars Named; Alvarez Homers

Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team.  RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte.  Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division’s team :  manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino.  The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).  

Friday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates …. the GCL Pirates’ game was postponed.   

Bradenton Marauders  3,  Palm Beach Cardinals  2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight.  The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game.  Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out.  He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks.  Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.  

The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez.  2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score.  All of the Marauders’ runs came in the bottom of the 5th.  Marquez led off with a double lined into center field.  SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base.  Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third.  Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.  
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th.  He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.  Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.  

The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th.  It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.  

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Alvarez Joins Marauders; Harrison Back to Pirates

Tuesdays’ action… and again the player moves are as interesting as the games.

3B Pedro Alvarez was moved from the GCL Pirates to the Marauders to continue his rehab work.  
With OF Jose Tabata being placed onto the Disabled List, the Pirates were no longer forced to wait 10 days before recalling INF Josh Harrison.  Harrison joined Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley as the new kids on the block in Pittsburgh.  Backfilling, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.  INF Josh Rodriguez was sent down to Altoona.

Bradenton Marauders  8,  St. Lucie Mets  1
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A 5-run 4th inning gave the Marauders a big boost, as they bombarded the Mets in Bradenton.  Pedro Alvarez started the game at third base for the Marauders.  He grounded out in the 1st inning, then singled to lead off the 4th, and was hit by a pitch in the 5th. It was not a particularly busy day at third base for Alvarez, but he successfully fielded 3 grounders that came his way.  Elevys Gonzalez took over for Alvarez at the beginning of the 6th.   

Brett Lorin allowed only one run in his start, and earned his 3rd win of the season (3-4 record).  The lone run scored in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a ground out, and a ground-rule double.  Lorin scattered 3 more hits, no walks, over the rest of his 6 innings.  He hit another batter and he struck out 5.  

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard when they batted around in the 4th.  Alvarez’s single got the fun started, then 1B Aaron Baker lined a double into left field, moving Alvarez to third.  DH Adalberto Santos walked to load the bases.  CF Evan Chambers brought in Alvarez with an RBI single, and C Carlos Paulino’s double into center field plated both Baker and Santos.  LF David Rubinstein walked to load the bases again.  After a pitching change, SS Kelson Brown’s RBI ground out scored Chambers, and RF Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly brought in Paulino, to give the Marauders a 5-1 lead.  

Tyler Cox replaced Lorin to begin the 7th inning.  Cox walked the first batter he faced, then retired the next 6, including two strikeouts in each inning.   Duke Welker pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with one strikeout.  

The Marauders also did some late-inning scoring.  Brown and Grossman led off the 7th with back-to-back singles, and 2B Jarek Cunningham drove both of them in with his double into right field.  Chambers started the 9th with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  He tagged up and advanced to third on Rubinstein’s fly out, then scored on a wild pitch, to give the Marauders their 8 run total.  

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Leach’s First Win In Marauders’ Hit-Fest

The Pirates have signed 23rd round draft pick RHP Jordan Cooper to a contract.  He had been a pitcher for Kentucky, and that experience might get him a start at State College.  Here is a list of all the 2011 draft picks, with notations for which ones have signed.  

Friday’s game action:

Harrisburg Senators  2,  Altoona Curve  0
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A 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th broke the scoreless tie for the only scoring in this pitching duel.  Jeff Locke pitched 6 scoreless frames for the Curve, scattering 3 singles and a walk over his first 3 innings.  The he retired the Senators in order for the next 3 innings.  He threw 78 pitches (48 strikes) in those 6 innings.  Bryan Morris pitched a scoreless 7th, allowing just a single.  That base runner moved to second base on a balk, which started an argument by Altoona manager PJ Forbes — and resulted in Forbes being ejected. Michael Dubee, back with the Curve after some time with Indianapolis, gave up a lone single in the 8th, and Noah Krol allowed a single and a walk in the 9th, but both kept the Senators from scoring.

But the Curve weren’t scoring either.  They pounded out 7 hits, including two by SS Jordy Mercer.  Mercer’s triple i n the 7th was the only extra-base hit for the Curve, and the only time that a Curve base runner reached as far as third base.  RF Andrew Lambo also walked twice.  CF Starling Marte opened the game with a single, but was thrown out at second after Mercer’s strikeout.  1B Matt Curry and LF Brad Chalk both singled in the 2nd, but Curry was picked off second base, and Chalk was thrown out trying to steal second.  2B Brock Holt singled in the 4th, and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman singled in the 10th and stole second base.  

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Rodriguez Goes 3-For-3 In Debut; Owens Injured

Indianapolis Indians 10,  Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs  5
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The newest Indian, Josh Rodriguez, went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI as the Indianapolis Indians overcame a 4-0 deficit to beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight.  The Indians posted 15 hits, while the Iron Pigs put up 14 hits; the Tribe also worked 8 walks.  SS Brian Friday also had 3 hits for the Indians, as all but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit.  The Tribe pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Iron Pigs’ batters.

Once again, several former Indy Indians were on the field for Lehigh Valley:  CF Rich Thompson (2005-06), LF Brandon Moss (2010), 1B Tagg Bozied (2009).

IMG_5565Starter Rudy Owens (photo), who has been having trouble getting through the first inning in many of his starts this season, had problems again tonight.   Rich Thompson led off with a line drive off 1B Matt Hague’s glove and into short right field for a single.  As usual for the speedy Thompson, he stole second base.  SS Pete Orr moved Thompson to third base with a single tapped back to the mound and deflected by Owens.  RF John Mayberry brought in both Thompson and Orr with a 3-run homer.  Owens got Brandon Moss to pop out, but Tagg Bozied blasted a no-doubt-about-it homer over the left field wall and well past the bullpen, for a 4-0 lead.  Owens also gave up a double to 2B Josh Barfield after the homer, but a fly out and a strike out ended the inning.  

The Tribe put runners on base in each of the first three innings, though none of them came around to score.  Chase d’Arnaud, who was on third base again tonight, led off the top of the 1st for the Indians by reaching first when SS Orr made a high throw to first base, bouncing it off the screen in front of the Indians’ bullpen.  Friday singled, moving d’Arnaud to second, and a fly out by LF Alex Presley moved d’Arnaud to third.  But RF John Bowker bounced into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning, keeping d’Arnaud from scoring.  


The Indians threatened again in the 2nd inning, when Hague lined a ball off the Iron Pigs’ 3B Cody Overbeck’s glove and into left field.  With one out, new Indian 2B Josh Rodriguez grounded to short, where SS Orr made the scoop then fumbled the ball a bit, and Rodriguez was credited with his first Indians’ hit.  A grounder by CF Gorkys Hernandez forced out Rodriguez at second, but left runners on the corners with two outs.  They got no further that time either, as Owens struck out to end the inning.  Presley singled in the 3rd inning, but was left on base.

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Indians Split The Split Double Header

Indianapolis Indians  7,  Rochester Red Wings  5   (Game 1)
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A 4-run 6th inning gave the Indians the edge this afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, despite being out-hit 13-9.  SS Chase d’Arnaud led the Tribe with 3 hits and 2 RBI, and LF Alex Presley and 3B Andy Marte had 2 hits apiece.

Both teams got their scoring started early with 2 runs in the 1st inning.  With former Indy Indian (2009) Eric Hacker making the start for Rochester, d’Arnaud began with a strikeout, then 2B Corey Wimberly was hit by a pitch.  Presley walked, and when Hacker pick-off attempt went wild, both runners moved into scoring position on the error.  RF John Bowker’s grounder let the Rochester third baseman fire back to the plate, where Wimberly was tagged out.  With Bowker still on first base, Marte lined a double into left field, scoring both Presley and Bowker for the early 2-0 lead. 

The Red Wings came right back in the bottom of the inning.  The first batter Brian Burres faced, CF Dustin Martin, doubled into right field, and the next batter, SS Trevor Plouffe, smacked a 2-run homer to tie the score.  

Marte doubled again in to lead off the top of the 4th, and when the Wings’ right fielder misplayed the ball, Marte advanced to third.  A sacrifice fly by 1B Matt Hague plated Marte, to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.  

Burres had a tough second inning to work through.  The lead off batter, 3B Chase Lambin, led off with a single, but was picked off first and caught stealing.  After a ground out, a walk, a single by Martin, and another walk loaded the bases.  Burres got out of the jam with a ground out, leaving the bases full.  Burres also got lucky in the 4th, when another single by Lambin and a double by C Steve Holm had Lambin rounding third and heading for the plate.  Presley made the play on the double in left field, then his throw in was relayed by d’Arnaud, who fired on to C Wyatt Toregas for the tag out of Lambin at the plate.   

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