Altoona Curve �5, �New Britain Rock Cats �4 (box)
A 2-2 tie brought on a busy 10th inning for the Curve and the Rock Cats, but it was the Curve who came out on top. �Tony Watson had pitched two scoreless innings in the 8th and the 9th, and he was still the pitcher of record in the 10th inning.
RF/LF Alex Presley opened�the 10th inning with a solo home run over the right field wall to break the tie. �Two outs later, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled into left field, and CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with another single through the hole into left field. �A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position for 3B Josh Harrison, who came through with a liner into left, scoring both d’Arnaud and Hernandez on the single. �The Curve had a 5-2 lead.
Reliever Danny Moskos and Harrison made things interesting in the bottom of the inning. �With two outs, Harrison made a fielding error on a ball off the bat of RF Mark Dolenc, extending the inning. �A single by DH Rene Tosoni (remember him from Team USA?) and a fielding error by Hernandez in center field brought in Dolenc and put a Tosoni on third. �1B Erik Lis singled into center, scoring Tosoni and making it a one-run game. A passed ball by C Hector Gimenez moved Lis to second base, but Moskos ended the game with a fly out. �Moskos earned his lucky 13th save, and Watson earned his second win.
Presley, Hernandez, Gimenez, and Presley each had 2 hits in the game, with 2 RBI by Presley and 3 RBI by Harrison. �The Curve’s first run came in the top of the 1st, on a double by d’Arnaud, a throwing error on a pick-off attempt that put d’Arnaud to third base, and an RBI grounder by Harrison. �Singles by 1B Matt Hague, Gimenez, and Presley added another run in the 4th.
Starter Tim Alderson pitched 6 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and 2 walks. �The run came on a solo homer by Erik Lis to lead off the 2nd inning. �The Rock Cats added two more singles in that inning, but those two runners did not come around to score. �Alderson also gave up singles in the 3rd and the 5th innings, but Gimenez threw out both runners trying to steal second base.
Jimmy Barthmaier made his first AA rehab start, but it did not go as well as he’d hoped. �He gave up a walk and a single, then got a sacrifice bunt. �Another single drove in the tying run, and that was all for Barthmaier. �Tony Watson came in to finish the inning. �He got CF Ben Revere to line right to Harrison at third base, who then doubled the runner off third for a double play.
Holiday weekend play in the Pirates’ minor league organization:
Tampa Yankees �14, �Bradenton Marauders �5 (box)
The Marauders were boarded and sunk by the Yankees on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton. �Two late-inning rallies kept them from being shut out, but were not nearly enough for the Marauders to catch up.
The Yankees hit starter Hunter Strickland hard, beginning in the 2nd inning, when the first four batters reached base: �two singles, a walk, and a hit batter forcing in a run. �A sacrifice fly brought in a second run, and another single gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
It got worse in the 3rd inning. �With out out, Strickland gave up a ground-rule double, and an RBI single. �When the runner from first base stole second, 2B James Skelton could not keep hold of C Eric Fryer’s throw, and the runner was safe at second base. �A walk and a single loaded the bases, and another single drove in the second run of the inning. �Melkin Laureano relieved Strickland at that point, but Laureano gave up a walk to drive in a run, and then a bases-clearing double for three more runs. � Laureano was responsible for only one of those runs (earned), and only one of the five runs that Strickland allowed in the 3rd inning was earned.
Laureano gave up 3 more runs in the 5th inning, on a double followed by back-to-back home runs. �He struck out the next three batters in a row, but the Yankees were up 12-0. �Tom Boleska was next out of the bullpen for the Marauders. �He retired the Yankees in order in the 6th, but gave up another 2-run homer in the 7th to increase Tampa’s lead to 14-0. �Mike Colla and rehabbing Jimmy Barthmaier each pitched an inning to finish it up for Bradenton, and they were the most effective pitchers — each retired three batters in order.
It might have been easy for the Marauders to give up. �They had managed only a walk and a single by DH Tony Sanchez over the first four innings. �They had put two runners on base in the 5th, on singles by 1B Calvin Anderson and 3B Adenson Chourio. CF Robbie Grossman and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman both singled in the 6th, but none of those runners were able to come around to score.
Finally, in the 8th inning, the Marauders were able to crack the scoreboard. �SS Brock Holt led off with a single, and Grossman reached base on a fielding error. �Norman, who had remained in the game in left field, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. �Eric Fryer brought in Holt with a sacrifice fly, and Anderson’s second single of the game scored Grossman. �14 – 2 is still better than 14 – 0.
The Marauders rallied again in the 9th, this time with two outs. �Holt and Grossman started it again with back-to-back singles. �Norman was hit by a pitch again, to load the bases. �Sanchez doubled, clearing the bases, and the Marauders had climbed to 14 – 5. �Fryer walked and Anderson singled for the third time in the game, loading the bases again, but RF Eric Huber struck out to end the game.
Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)
Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to earn his third win, and CF Gorkys Hernandez had 3 hits to lead the Curve over the R-Phils on Friday evening.
The Curve jumped out to an early lead with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with his second triple of the season. �He scored on Hernandez’s double. �2B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch and 1B Matt Hague walked to load the bases. �3B Jordy Mercer was also hit by a pitch, forcing in another run. �LF Alex Presley bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Harrison scored (no RBI). �A passed ball allowed Hague to score, and the Curve were ahead 4-0. �The Curve added another run in the 2nd inning, when d’Arnaud beat out an infield single to third base, stole second, then came around to score on Hernandez’s second double of the game.
Hernandez did not get a hit in the 5th, but instead he led off the inning with a walk. �Back-to-back singles by Harrison and Hague loaded the bases with no outs. �Mercer grounded to third, where former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied made the play to force out Hernandez at the plate, leaving the bases still loaded. �Another pair of back-to-back singles, by Presley and RF Miles Durham brought in a run each.
Hernandez picked up his third hit, a single, in the 8th inning, but was out in a force play. �Presley also doubled in the 7th inning.
Justin Wilson gave up just 2 hits and a walk in his 5 innings. �Tagg Bozied singled to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play. �Wilson gave up the other single and the walk in the 3rd inning, but two strikeouts left those runners stranded. �Wilson retired the last 8 batters he faced.
Dustin Molleken relieved Wilson to begin the 6th inning. �He allowed a double in the 6th but did not let the runner score. �He loaded the bases with three singles (another to Bozied) in the 7th, but two strikeouts and a fly out got Molleken out of the inning without a run scoring. �Ronald Uviedo pitched 2 innings, and allowed the R-Phils’ only run in the 8th, on a walk and two singles.
Reliever Diego Moreno, who was recently promoted to Altoona from Bradenton, has been placed on the DL with right rotator cuff strain. � The Pirates are sending reliever Jack Taschner, who has been on the DL with left hamstring issues, is going to be joining the Curve for a rehab assignment.
The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled off day on Wednesday, but the rest of the minor league organization was going strong, beginning with an early game in West Virginia:
Lexington Legends �5, �West Virginia Power �4 (box)
The Power and the Legends played a late-morning game for the second time in two days. �Today, though, it was the Legends who came out on top, scoring 5 runs on 10 hits, and breaking a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the 8th. �The Power scored their 4 runs on only 5 hits.
2B Elevys Gonzalez recorded 3 hits in the game, and he put the Power onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st inning, with a 2-run homer following a walk by CF Evan Chambers. Lexington tied the score in the top of the 3rd with two runs on a single and two doubles. �Both Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez took the lead back again in the bottom of the inning. �Benji walked and advanced to second base on a balk. �Elevys singled, moving Benji to third base. �Both Gonzalezes executed a double steal, with Benji stealing home to break the tie. �Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases, but the Power could not push another run across.
Power starter Jason Erickson had kept the Legends from scoring in the 4th and 5th innings, but in the 6th, he gave up a solo homer to tie the score. �He walked the next batter after the home run, and was relieved at that point by Gabriel Alvarado. Alvarado gave up back-to-back singles to the first two runners he faced, and the batter Erickson had put on base came around to score, giving the Legends a 4-3 lead.
3B Jesus Brito homered for the second time in two days to lead off the 7th inning and tie the score again, at 4-4. �But in the top of the 8th, with Zach Foster on the mound, two singles and a fielding error by RF David Rubinstein put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out brought the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Power had a chance to tie the score again in the 8th, when Baker walked, then moved to second base on a passed ball. �Cabrera’s single brought Baker racing around third base and heading for the plate, but he was thrown out by the Legends’ left fielder. �Rubinstein got as far as third base in the 9th inning, on a walk, a stolen base, and a ground out, but that inning ended before he could go any further.
Elevys Gonzalez also singled in the 5th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Foster was charged with the loss, his first of the season.
Two games, each with one team collecting only 3 hits… which can be good or bad
Bradenton Marauders �2, �Clearwater Threshers �0 (box)
In this game, “only 3 hits” was good, because it was the Marauders’ pitching staff who held the Threshers to just 3 hits. �Nate Adcock made the start and pitched 6 shutout one-hit innings, with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. �He worked around a walk in the 1st and worked around a hit batter in the 2nd. �The single and another walk came in the 4th, with the lead runner reaching 3rd base on a throwing error by C Eric Fryer. That was the only time in the game that the Threshers had a runner get as far as third base. �Adcock retired the next 7 batters, to finish his day’s work.
Mike Colla relieved Adcock to begin the 7th inning, and he also gave up just one hit, but left that batter on first base. �Colla retired the side in order in the 8th, and began the 9th with a line out and a walk. �Tyler Cox replaced Colla on the mound, and he gave up a single to the first batter he faced, then got a double play to end the threat and the game.
The Marauders themselves put up just 6 hits, but they put their hits to good use. �In the top of the 7th, LF Quincy Latimore singled with two outs, and then scored on DH Tony Sanchez’s RBI double. �In the 8th, 1B Calvin Anderson blasted a solo home run to give the Marauders some insurance. �It was Anderson’s second homer in two days. �2B James Skelton also doubled in that same inning, but was left on base. �The other two Bradenton hits were a single by SS Brock Holt to open the game, and a lead-off single by Sanchez in the 2nd inning.
Lakewood Blue Claws �3, �West Virginia Power �0 (box)
This was the game where “only 3 hits” was not good — those three were all the Power could muster up. �RF David Rubinstein and 3B Jose Brito each had a single, and C Ramon Cabrera hit a triple. �1B Aaron Baker and SS Benji Gonzalez each walked, but 4 of those base runners were left on base, and the other was erased in a double play. �CF Evan Chambers reached base on a throwing error, and got as far as second, but he too was left on.
Brandon Holden made his second start (7th appearance overall) for the Power. �He pitched 5 innings, allowing one run on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. �That run came on back-to-back doubles by Lakewood in the bottom of the 1st inning. �Holden had to work around runners on base in each of his remaining innings, but did not let the Blue Claws score again. �Gabriel Alvarado pitched the last 3 innings of the game. �He gave up 2 more runs, on a walk followed by back-to-back doubles, in the bottom of the 8th inning. �Alvarado also struck out 4 batters.