A win, a loss, and a rainout in the rest of the Pirates’ minor league organization on Friday evening. The rainout was in West Virginia, where the Power were getting soggy. They will play a double header on Saturday.
Bradenton Marauders 13, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0
And a shutout win, at that. The Marauders blasted 13 runs on 13 hits, while the pitching staff held Charlotte scoreless on 6 hits. The scoring began in the bottom of the 1st, when CF Evan Chambers walked and rehabbing major league catcher Chris Snyder homered over the left field wall. LF David Rubinstein got the fun started in the 2nd inning with a line drive single into right field. A single by 1B Cole White and a walk to SS Benji Gonzalez loaded the bases, then another walk to RF Robbie Grossman forced in Rubinstein. 2B Jarek Cunningham drove in White and Gonzalez with a double, and Grossman scored on Chambers’ sacrifice fly. Snyder added a single, to drive in Cunningham with the 5th run of the inning. Walks to DH Calvin Anderson and Rubinstein loaded the bases again, but a ground out ended the rally.
Rubinstein also began the Marauders’ rally in the 5th. Three consecutive singles, by Rubinstein, White, and 3B Elevys Gonzalez, loaded the bases without an out. Benji Gonzalez’s ground out brought in Rubinstein, and a single by Grossman plated both White and Elevys Gonzalez. A walk to Cunningham and a single by Chambers loaded the bases again. That set up Snyder, who cleared the bases with a double into deep center field, and gave the Marauders 6 runs in that inning, for a 13-run lead. Rubinstein’s third single plus walks to both Gonzalez-es loaded the bases again in the 8th, but a strikeout ended that inning with all three still on base.
The Marauders’ pitching staff was having as much fun as the hitters. Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, pitched the first inning, and retired the side in order on three ground outs. After Beimel’s inning, Matt McSwain came on to pitch. He allowed only one single in his first 3 innings, and retired that runner with a double play. He allowed two singles to lead off the 5th inning, but another double play got him out of that small jam. McSwain finished his outing with 5 scoreless innings, three hits, no walks, and no strikeouts, earning the win. Jeff Inman pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, and Gabriel Alvarado also allowed a hit and a walk in the final inning.
Less than 24 hours until the Pirates begin 2011, and just a week until the minor leagues begin their season… and a few more pitchers to look at:
Tyler Cox — Bats Right/ Throws Left; 6′ 3″, 200 lb
Cox was the Pirates’ 35th round pick in the 2008 draft. He pitched well for the GCL Pirates that year, but struggled at West Virginia to begin 2009. He was moved to State College, and had better results: an 8-3 record and a 3.93 ERA in 10 starts and 5 relief appearances. The relief appearances seemed to be a good idea, and in 2010, Cox was moved to the bullpen and pitched exclusively in relief. It seemed to agree with him, as he earned a 6-2 record and one save, and an overall 3.32 ERA in 62.1 innings. Cox did not allow a run in his first 3 outings (6.2 innings), and he gave up only 2 runs and 8 hits in the month of April, for a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings. He struggled in May, though, allowing 12 runs and 15 hits in 12.1 innings (8 appearances), for an 8.76 ERA. But when the calendar turned to June, Cox turned over a new page too — he gave up 2 runs on 5 hits over 12.2 innings for a 1.42 ERA. In July it was more of the same: 2 runs on 8 hits in 12 innings, and a 1.50 ERA. Cox had a streak of 14 consecutive appearances over June and July in which he did not allow any runs at all, not even unearned runs. The season ended with 4 runs on 11 hits in 12 innings over August and September, which boosted his ERA a little bit. Cox also bumped up his strikeout rate with the move to the bullpen — 70 strikeouts (10.1 K/ 9 innings), though his walks were a little high too (33, 4.8 walks/ 9 innings) when his control got shaky. Cox will turn 25 in a few weeks. He should be ready to move to AA Altoona for 2011.
Diego Moreno – R/R, 6′ 1″, 177 lb
Moreno is a 24-year-old Venezuelan, who has played only two seasons in the US. He pitched very effectively in two games in State College and 18 games in West Virginia in 2009, for a combined 1-3 record and 5 saves, with a 2.60 ERA in 50 innings. He was assigned to Bradenton to begin the 2010 season, and had great success against the Florida State League. He allowed one run in April, on 5 hits and one walk, in 13 innings, for a 0.69 ERA. He also struck out 19 batters in the month, including one outing on April 26th when he struck out 7 batters in 3 hitless and scoreless innings. He buzzed through May also, and didn’t get his ERA above 1.00 until his last game with the Marauders on May 22nd, when he allowed 2 runs on 2 hits (one was a home run). He gave up 3 runs total in May, on 6 hits in 13.1 innings, and finished his time in Bradenton with a 1.37 ERA in 26.1 innings. He’d walked two batters and struck out 39. Moreno was promoted to Altoona, and made his first AA appearance on May 24th (one hit and two strikeouts in one inning) — then went onto the DL with a shoulder strain. When he returned, Moreno made another 6 appearances for Altoona. He gave up 6 runs in that time, but 5 came in one game. His totals in Altoona, in 7 games were 6 runs on 10 hits in 7.2 innings and a 7.04 ERA. At that point, Moreno had an unfortunate incident with the Altoona staff, and was first suspended, then demoted to Bradenton. He made another 12 relief appearances for the Marauders, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits over 12 innings for a 1.50 ERA, and 18 strikeouts. Moreno should have another chance in Altoona to begin 2011.
Orioles 13, Pirates 3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates’ pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI. The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates’ starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer. Fox struck again in the 7th — Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox’s second homer. Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee. Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out. The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs. Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher. Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.
While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8. Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates’ only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double. That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk. He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez’s double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule. Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning. 1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field. RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles’ shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base. Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo’s RBI single. LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker’s ground out. CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle. Overbay reached base on a catcher’s interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.
Also getting into the game: LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez. Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th. In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple. Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power. Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning. Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.
On Friday night, all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost.� On Saturday night, all but State College won….
Bradenton Marauders� 4,� Charlotte Stone Crabs� 2 …���� (box)
The Marauders assured themselves at least a spot in the playoffs with this win tonight.� Nate Adcock won his 11th game of the season with 2 runs allowed in 5.2 innings of work.� He gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st, with a 2-out walk, a wild pitch, and two singles.� He surrendered another run on a walk and a double to lead off the 3rd inning.� He scattered 4 more hits, but left two stranded and erased two with double plays.� In the top of the 6th, Adcock got two outs and gave up a single, then that runner stole both second and third base.� He was relieved by Kyle McPherson, who finished that inning with a strikeout, then gave up just one hit over the next 2 innings, including 3 more strikeouts.� Noah Krol earned his league-leading 34th save of the season with a scoreless 9th inning, working around a missed catch error.
Bradenton picked up one run in the 2nd inning, when C Eric Fryer singled, then moved to second base on a groundout.� 3B Adam Davis’ RBI single brought in Fryer.� The Marauders were on the receiving end of several walks over the next few innings — one in the 3rd to SS Shelby Ford, one in the 4th to Fryer, three in the 5th to DH Jordan Newton, 2B James Skelton, and RF Robbie Grossman to load the bases — but all were left on base.� They did score again in the 6th, when LF Quincy Latimore led off with a single.� He was forced out at second on Fryer’s grounder, leaving Fryer at first.� Davis singled again, advancing Fryer to third bse, then Newton doubled in both Fryer and Davis, to take a 3-2 lead.� They added an insurance run in the 4th.� Grossman singled with one out, then scored on CF Starling Marte’s double.� The Marauders threatened again in the 8th, as Davis was hit by a pitch and Newton walked, then Skelton bunted them both into scoring position.� A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning, but it turned out to not matter, and the Marauders season is going to continue beyond the weekend.
Tuesday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers….
Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)
The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League’s Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.
Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague’s two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning — he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.
Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie’s only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.
Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer’s ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman’s double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).
Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.