Curve Split Double Header; Homers For Diaz, Baker, And Grossman

Thursday night’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league teams…..

Akron Aeros  6,  Altoona Curve  1      (Game 1)
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The Aeros began today’s double-header with a 5-run 1st inning, and the Curve could not catch up in Game 1.  2B Brock Holt went 3-for-3 with a triple and two singles.  

Curve starter Aaron Thompson did not get out of the first inning.  With one out, A pair of doubles drove in one run.  A catchers’ interference call on C Eric Fryer put the next batter on first base, and a single loaded the bases.  Thompson got a strikeout, but then walked in a run.  Two more singles drove in three more runs for a 5-0 lead.  Tim Alderson relieved Thompson, and Alderson ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound.  
 
Alderson gave up a double and a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the next three batters to get out of the inning without further runs scoring.  He went on to retire the next 11 batters in order (14 in order overall), before giving up a solo home run in the 6th.  

Holt recorded his first single in the top of the 1st, and CF Starling Marte reached base on an error, but they were not able to come around to score.  Holt singled again in the 3rd, with two outs.  That time he was out at second on a grounder force out.  SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 4th, and was left on base.  The Curve scored their only run in the 5th.  1B Miles Durham walked in the 5th, and moments later, Holt drove Durham in with his triple.  

Altoona Curve  2,  Akron Aeros  1     (Game 2)
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Jared Hughes pitched into the 6th inning, and kept the Aeros scoreless in the night-cap.  Hughes gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, and worked around runners on base in four of the innings he pitched.  He left two runners in scoring position in the 1st, and allowed another single in the 2nd.  In the 4th, the Aeros doubled, and the runner advanced to third on a bunt.  A grounder to 3B Shelby Ford became a fielder’s choice when Ford’s throw home let C Kris Watts tag out the runner at the plate.  Hughes gave up another single and a walk in the 6th, and was relieved by Michael Dubee.  Dubee moved both runners into scoring position with a wild pitch, but ended the inning with a strikeout.  

The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning.  DH Jeremy Farrell doubled into center field, and 1B Miles Durham walked.  Ford lifted a single into left field, allowing Farrell to score from second base.  A pair of doubles added another run for the Curve in the 3rd.  With one out, CF Starling Marte doubled into center field.  Marte scored on LF Quincy Latimore’s double into left.  Latimore also singled and Farrell walked in the 6th, but the Aeros changed pitchers, and two strikeouts ended the inning.  

Akron’s only run came in the bottom of the 7th.  Dubee gave up a lead-off double and a walk, and with two outs, an RBI single up the middle brought in the lead runner.   

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Taillon’s First Loss; Marauders And Curve Bombarded

The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:

Lexington Legends  4,  West Virginia Power  2    Game 1 
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Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header.  Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st.  Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder’s choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila.  Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring.  A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends’ 4th run in the 4th inning.  Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.

The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning.  LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base.  The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit.  2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases.  CF Mel Rojas’s grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends’ shortstop let Mort and Noris score.  Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.  

Power  9,  Legends  3    Game 2
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Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game.  They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits.  DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.

The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st.  With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer.  Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead. 

Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai’s double.  Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate.  Power up 8-0.  Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. 

Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2.  Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order.  He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame.  The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered.  Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th.  He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th.  A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington.  A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score.  Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.  

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Pribanic Pitches 6 Scoreless; Marauders Are One-Hit

After wins for everyone on Saturday, it’s losses for everyone on Sunday:

Erie SeaWolves  2,  Altoona Curve  1  
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It took 13 innings to finish this pitching duel, when the Curve could not respond to a run scored by the SeaWolves in the top of the inning.  

The Curve had put a runner on base in three of the first four innings:  a double by SS Jordy Mercer in the 2nd, a single by 2B Brock Holt in the 3rd, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore in the 4th.  The Curve scored first, with a run in the bottom of the 5th.  C Eric Fryer led off with a single, and he scored on 1B Miles Durham’s double to center field.  

Starter Aaron Pribanic mowed down the SeaWolves with 6 scoreless innings.  He struck out 4 batters and did not walk any, and had to work around only 2 hits, plus a batter reaching base on a throwing error.  After a single in the 2nd, Pribanic retired 13 consecutive Erie batters.  He gave up another single to begin the 7th inning, then was relieved by Matt McSwain.  Pribanic had thrown 79 pitches, with 53 strikes.

McSwain gave up a double, but got out of the 7th inning without a run scoring.  RF Brad Chalk helped out with a timely double play, when he made the catch on a fly ball, then threw out a base runner at third.  Tim Alderson took the mound to begin the 8th inning, and he retired the side in order.  But in the 9th, Alderson gave up a run on a single, a throwing error by 3B Jeremy Farrell on a bunt play, and an RBI double.  

The Curve had only one base runner in the 6th – 8th innings, when Holt was hit by a pitch in the 8th.  DH Tony Sanchez singled in the bottom of the 9th, but got no further, and the game moved into extra innings.  

Alderson pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, and the Curve went down in order in the bottom of the inning.  Michael Dubee took over for Alderson in the top of the 11th.  Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 12th.  The Curve went down in order again in the bottom of the 11th, but threatened in the 12th.  Farrell was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, then Fryer walked.  A double play ended the inning without a run scoring.  

Chris Leroux came on to pitch the top of the 13th, which began with a triple lined into right field.  Chalk threw the ball in to the cut-off man Durham, whose relay throw went wild for an error, letting the runner score the go-ahead run.  Leroux retired the next three batters, and the Curve had one more chance.  

Pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez led off the bottom of the 13th with a line drive double into left field.  Holt put down a sacrifice bunt to move Hernandez to third base.  CF Starling Marte popped out to first base, and Latimore was hit by a pitch, and advanced to second on defensive indifference.  But a strikeout by Mercer ended the game with the two runners in scoring position, and Erie had the win.

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Curve Have An Exciting Morning

The Curve played a (mostly) morning game today; the Marauders and the Power play in the evening.

Altoona Curve  13,  Harrisburg Senators  2
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The Curve had a great morning today, blasting away at the Senators with 13 runs on 18 hits.  All but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit, and that one was not starting pitcher Jeff Locke.  Locke singled twice and came around to score, doing his share, and reliever Anthony Claggett also had a hit.  CF Starling Marte, SS Jordy Mercer, and 1B Miles Durham each had 3 hits, and two of Mercer’s hits were home runs.  Mercer contributed 5 RBI, while Durham and RF Jose Hernandez each had 3 RBI.

The game actually began in Harrisburg’s favor.  Marte doubled in the top of the 1st, then moved to third base on a wild pitch, but got no further.  In the bottom of the inning, Locke began by hitting the lead-off man with a pitch, then gave up a single to give Harrisburg runners on the corners.  An RBI ground out brought in the first run, then an RBI single added a second run.  After another single, Locke finished the inning with a tapper back to the mound.  

After that inning, it was all Altoona.  Locke shut down the Senators, retiring the next 12 batters in order.  He gave up a single and a double in the 6th, but left both runners in scoring position.  Locke threw 79 pitches (57 strikes) in earning his second win of the season.  

The Curve put their hitting shoes on in the 3rd.  Locke and 2B Brock Holt led off with back-to-back singles.  That chased the Senators’ starter, and brought in former Indy Indian and Curve Jimmy Barthmaier.  Barthmaier got Marte to ground into a force out at second, but could not get the double play.  Marte stole second base, then Mercer blatsed his first homer, a 3-run shot over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 3-2 lead.  

Locke singled again in the 4th inning, though he was left on base.  Marte singled to begin the 5th, and was moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s sacrifice bunt.  Mercer singled, and Marte came around from second base to score.  Mercer stole second, and he scored on C Eric Fryer’s double.  Then Fryer scored on Durham’s 2-run homer for a 4-run inning, giving the Curve a 7-2 lead.  Holt singled and came around to score on Latimore’s RBI single in the 6th.  

The Curve put up another 4-run inning in the 7th.  3B Jeremy Farrell, the only Curve position player without a hit in the game, was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Fryer reached base on a fielding error.  Durham doubled, driving in Farrell, then Hernandez’s 3-run homer gave the Curve a 12-2 lead.  Mercer’s second home run, a solo homer, provided the Curve with their final run in the 8th.  

Anthony Claggett relieved Locke in the 7th inning.  He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, then worked around a hit batter and a single in the 8th, to keep the Senators from scoring again.  Tim Alderson finished the game for the Curve, with a perfect 9th inning.  

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Cain Wins #2, Pribanic Loses His First

Tuesday night’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:

West Virginia Power  5,  Charleston RiverDogs  1
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Colton Cain took his second win of the season, allowing 3 hits and one run over 5 innings, with one walk and 3 strikeouts.  Cain had some trouble in the 1st inning, when a lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single drove in a run for Charleston.   After a walk, Cain got the next batter to fly out to center, where a nice throw from CF Mel Rojas to 3B Eric Avila ended the inning.  Cain retired the next 10 batters in order, then gave up a double in the 5th inning.  He struck out two batters to end his evening’s work.  

The Power batters gave Cain all the run support he needed in the top of the 2nd.  With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a double into right field, then went to third base when C Elias Diaz reached base on a fielding error.  Diaz stole second base, then LF Rogelios Noris singled into right field, plating Marquez.  Noris advanced to second base on the throw in from the outfield, which put him into position to score behind Diaz on Avila’s 2-RBI single.  The Power added a run in the 3rd for a 4-1 lead.  RF Dan Grovatt singled, then 1B Justin Howard’s double advanced Grovatt to third.  Rojas picked up the RBI with a ground out, scoring Grovatt.  

Kevin Decker relieved Cain to begin the 6th inning.  He pitched 3 perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts.  Brooks Pounders took the 9th inning and allowed only a single in his scoreless inning.  

Charleston committed errors in both the 4th and the 5th innings, but the Power were not able to take advantage of those errors to score.  The Power scored one more run in the 9th, when Marquez bed off with a single, and was bunted to second by Diaz.  Noris’ ground out moved Diaz to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.   

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