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Saturday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates.
Portland Sea Dogs 4, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 6 base runners — 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score. SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings. He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.
Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd. He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning. In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th. Portland’s third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th. Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.
The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out. But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning. Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play. Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.
Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla. He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded. Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.
Thursday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers…
Altoona Curve 5, Trenton Thunder 1
Starter Jeff Locke struck out 8 Trenton batters in his 5.1 innings of work, while getting plenty of run support — 3 home runs from his offense. The only run Locke surrendered came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Trenton loadd the bases on a walk, a hit batter, and a single. Another walk by Locke forced in the run, then a strikeout and a double play got him out of the inning. Locke allowed only a walk and a double over the next three innings. He began the 6th with a pair of walks and a strikeout before being relieved by Diego Moreno.
Meanwhile, the Curve were pounding out the hits — a total of 15, including 3 by 2B Brock Holt. Each Curve batter had at least one hit. 1B Matt Curry, who had two hits in the game, began the Curve scoring with a solo home run to lead off the top of the 2nd. Holt led off the 3rd with a line drive single to short, then moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s walk, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s RBI single.
Back-to-back solo homers by Latimore and Mercer added another 2 runs in the 5th inning. The Curve loaded the bases on three consecutive singles in the 6th — by RF Jose Hernandez, Holt, and CF Brad Chalk, but Latimore struck out to end the inning and leave all three runners on base. The final Curve run scored in the 8th. The inning began with back-to-back singles by DH Travis Scott and 3B Greg Picart. Picart was picked off first and caught stealing, but Scott advanced to third, and he was plated by Hernandez’s sacrifice fly. Holt also tripled in that inning.
Moreno finished the 6th inning for Locke with a strikeout and a pop out. Then he struck out the side in the 7th inning. Michael Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings to end the game. He loaded the bases with a double, a single, and a walk in the 8th, but got out of that jam with a strikeout and a force out. Then he worked around a single for a scoreless 9th.
The Curve played an early game on Wednesday afternoon, with the Marauders and the Power playing in the evening:
Trenton Thunder 7, Altoona Curve 3
A 4-run 6th inning by the Thunder was too much for the Curve to overcome, in an early afternoon game in New Jersey. The Curve posted 11 hits, with Brad Chalk, playing center field today, collecting 3 hits. LF Quincy Latimore, 1B Matt Curry, and 3B Jeremy Farrell all had 2 hits each.
Each team scored one run in the 1st inning. Chalk began the Curve rally with his first single, but was forced out at second on Latimore’s grounder force out at second. A throwing error by the second baseman on the play let Latimore reach second base. SS Jordy Mercer singled into right field, scoring Latimore. Two singles and a grounder force out gave the Thunder a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
Latimore also double in the 3rd inning, but didn’t score. Curry began a rally in the top of the 4th when he worked a walk. Farrell singled, pushing Curry to third base, and a passed ball let Farrell move up to second base. DH Tony Sanchez’s RBI ground out scored Curry to give the Curve a 2-1 lead. Trenton tied it up again in the bottom of the 5th, with a single, a throwing error by starter Aaron Thompson, and a sacrifice fly.
Chalk singled again in the 5th, but was out in a force play. The Curve threatened in the top of the 6th. Curry, Farrell, and Sanchez hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. C Kris Watts grounded to first for a fielder’s choice as a throw back to the plate forced Curry out at home. A ground out ended the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Trenton got to Thompson again in the bottom of the 6th. With one out, a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single gave Trenton a 3-2 lead. Matt McSwain relieved Thompson, but the first batter McSwain faced reached base on a fielding error by Curry. The next batter swatted a 3-run homer, giving Trenton a 6-2 lead.
The Curve got one run back in the top of the 7th. Chalk and Latimore hit back-to-back line drive singles with one out. Mercer popped up for an infield fly rule out, then Curry’s single through the hole and into left field brought Chalk in to score. That was all the Curve could get, though. Sanchez walked to begin the 8th inning, and was erased on a double play, and the next four Altoona batters went down in order.
McSwain gave up one more run in the bottom of the 7th, on a two-out triple and an RBI single. Thompson was charged with his 5th loss of the season.
The Power had an early game today, while the Curve and the Marauders are scheduled for the evening:
West Virginia Power 3, Hickory Crawdads 2
Three Power pitchers combined to hold Hickory to just 4 hits in the late-morning start. Colton Cain earned his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs, only one of which was earned. He gave up 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5 batters. Two of those 3 hits came in the top of the 1st — a lead-off single, then after two outs moved the runner to second base, another single when the batter beat out the throw on a grounder to third base. But Power 1B Justin Howard was paying attention, and he was able to throw from first base back to the plate, where C Elias Diaz tagged out the runner who had rounded third and was trying to score.
Three consecutive hits began the bottom of the 1st for the Power: singles by SS Drew Maggi and CF Mel Rojas, and an RBI double by RF Dan Grovatt, who drove in Maggi. DH Cole White brought in Rojas with an RBI ground out, to give the Power an early 2-1 lead.
Cain retired the side in order in the 2nd, then began the 3rd by giving up a double. A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to third base. The next batter was hit by a pitch, giving Hickory runners on the corners. Then a wild pitch by Cain and a throwing error on Diaz as he tried to retrieve the ball, let both base runners score, to tie the game.
The Power put runners on base over the next two innings, but base running problems eliminated the runners — picked off and caught stealing, and being caught off base on a fly out for a double play. 2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 5th, and he too was doubled off first base when Maggi flied out. Rojas walked after Maggi was out, then Grovatt doubled for the second time in the game, and also drove in his second run, as Maggi gave the Power the lead.
Cain allowed only 2 walks over his last three innings of work. Vincent Payne made his first appearance for the Power this season, with 2 scoreless innings. He retired the side in order in the 7th, then gave up a walk in the 8th, but that runner was caught stealing. Zac Fuesser pitched the 9th. He gave up a single, but also picked the runner of first base, and was credited with his first Save.
The Power had only two base runners over the last 3 innings, when 3B Eric Avila walked and was erased in a double play, and a single by Grovatt, for his third hit of the game, in the 8th. Grovatt stole second base, but was left on base.
Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 8, Binghamton Mets 6
First, the Curve and the Mets had to finish up yesterday’s game, which had been suspended in the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6. Binghamton had scored 4 runs in the 1st, and one run in both the 4th and 5th. The Curve had tied the score with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. The big hit in the 5th was CF Starling Marte’s triple, and the big hit in the 6th was pinch-hitter Eric Fryer’s triple. Curve starter Aaron Thompson had allowed all 6 Binghamton hits on 9 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work. Tim Alderson came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a hit but maintained the tie.
The top of the 7th began with a single by LF Quincy Latimore, who was replaced at first base by SS Jordy Mercer on a grounder force out at second. Mercer stole second base, then took third on a wild pitch. 3B Jeremy Farrell walked to put runners on the corners, and that’s when the game was suspended. When they picked it up again this afternoon with a new relief pitcher, two quick outs left Mercer and Farrell still standing on the corners.
Anthony Claggett came on in relief of Alderson, and in a double switch, Shelby Ford took over at first base for Miles Durham. Claggett kept the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the 7th. Then Ford gave the Curve the lead with a solo homer in the top of the 8th. The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, when Mercer and Farrell led off with a pair of singles. Pinch-hitter Kris Watts moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, then RF Brad Chalk lined a single into left field. Mercer scored easily on the play, but Farrell was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.
Claggett held on to the lead with a scoreless bottom of the 8th, allowing just one hit. He was credited with his third win of the season. Noah Krol earned his 10th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th. He walked the first batter of the inning, then retired the next three batters with two fly outs and a pop out.
The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, and the Curve played a morning game. The Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 7, Bowie Baysox 1
After allowing a run in the top of the 1st, the Curve pitchers held Bowie scoreless for the rest of this morning’s game. The Curve posted a total of 14 hits, double the number they allowed the Baysox, and every hitter in the Curve lineup but one had at least one hit.
Starter Mike Colla began the game by giving up a double into center field to the Bowie lead-off hitter. A ground out moved the runner to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him in with the first run of the game. The Curve managed only a single by CF Starling Marte in the bottom of the 1st, but they got things going in the bottom of the 2nd. 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Eric Fryer led off with back-to-back singles. DH Kris Watts dropped down a bunt, but a quick move by the Bowie catcher forced out Farrell at third and left Fryer on second and Watts on first. After a pop out by 1B Miles Durham, RF Brad Chalk lined a single into right field, scoring Fryer. Watts advanced to third base and Chalk moved up to second base on the throw. 2B Brock Holt brought in both Watts and Chalk with a triple into right field, giving the Curve a 3-1 lead.
Four consecutive singles began the bottom of the 3rd for the Curve. LF Quincy Latimore, SS Jordy Mercer, Farrell, and Fryer all singled, adding 2 more runs as Latimore and Mercer scored. A ground out by Watts moved both Farrell and Fryer into scoring position, and after another out, Chalk singled to first base, plating Farrell and chasing the Bowie starter to the showers. The Curve had a 6-1 lead.
Colla worked around at least one runner on base in each of his 5 innings. The biggest threat he faced after the 1st inning came in the 4th, when he gave up a ground-rule double and a single, to put runners on the corners with one out. Colla got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to end the inning. Colla pitched 5 innings, throwing 76 pitches (53 strikes). He gave up the one run on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters, to earn his 3rd win of the season. Tim Alderson took over for Colla for the 6th inning. Alderson pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. Bryan Morris came on for the last 3 innings. He earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and a single in the 8th.
The Curve added their final run in the 7th. Marte led off with a double, moved to third on Latimore’s ground out, then scored on Mercer’s sacrifice fly. Marte, Holt, Farrell, and Chalk each had 2 hits in the game, and Fryer went 3-for-4.
The Curve play another morning game on Thursday.
Lakewood BlueClaws 6, West Virginia Power 5
The Power played an early game today, but fell to the BlueClaws in the 10th inning. Starter Jameson Taillon did not factor into the decision, though he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 2 batters. The first two runs Taillon allowed came in the first two innings of the game. In the top of the 1st, a single, a ground out, and another single gave the Claws their first run. Two more singles, a double steal, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the top of the 2nd.
The Power tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd. 1B Matt Curry walked, and DH Justin Howard moved Curry to third with a double lined into left field. C Kawika Emsley-Pai brought in Curry with an RBI single, and LF Rogelios Noris plated Howard with a sacrifice fly.
Taillon walked a batter in the 3rd, and with a stolen base and a missed catch error by 2B Andy Vasquez on the throw to second, the runner reached third base. Taillon escaped without a run scored, though, when the next batter flied out and RF Dan Grovatt made an on-target throw to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the runner at the plate. Taillon worked around a single in the 4th, but got into trouble again in the 5th. A single and two ground outs again put a runner on third base, and an RBI single broke the tie, giving the Claws a 3-2 lead.
The Power tied the score again in the bottom of the 5th. 3B Eric Avila led off with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mort sacrifice bunted Avila to third base, and SS Drew Maggi’s single through the hole into left field let Avila score.
Tyler Waldron relieved Taillon to begin the 6th inning. Waldron gave up a double in both the 6th and 7th innings, but both times left that runner on base for two scoreless innings. Avila was next to break the tie with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 7th. But back-to-back solo homers in the top of the 8th gave the lead right back to the Claws. Noris was the next to homer, tying the score again, 5-5, in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extras.
With Waldron still on the mound in the top of the 10th, the Claws made two outs, then began a rally with a walk. Waldron struck out the next batter, but strike three was a wild pitch, and the Claws got a second chance with the batter reaching first base safely. They took advantage of the opportunity, with an RBI single to score the runner from second base. Casey Sadler relieved Waldron and struck out the next batter to end the inning. The Power had a chance in the bottom of the 10th, when Curry doubled with two outs. Lakewood also brought in another reliever, who also got a strikeout (of Howard) to end the Power’s threat and the game.
The Curve were making up a rained out game with a double header:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0 (Game 1)
After shutting out the Aeros last night, the Curve pitching staff continued their dominance with another 7 shutout innings in Game 1 of the double header. Tonight it was Aaron Pribanic who earned his 4th win with 7 scoreless innings, for a (shortened) complete game. He gave up 6 hits, no walks, and also worked around two errors by his fielders. Pribanic had at least one base runner on in all but one inning. Akron had a small threat going in the 6th, when Pribanic gave up back-to-back singles with one out, but a foul pop ended that inning. With one out in the 7th, Pribanic gave up a hit, then another batter reached on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s throwing error. Pribanic got a grounder force out and a fly out to end that inning.
The Curve also posted just 6 hits, but they made them count. Farrell singled in the bottom of the 2nd, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. He scored on DH Eric Fryer’s single up the middle. Fryer also advanced to second on another wild pitch, and 1B Miles Durham walked, but they were left on base. CF Starling Marte contributed the Curve’s only other run with a solo home run in the 3rd. Marte also singled in the 1st inning. SS Jordy Mercer singled in the 2nd, but was picked off and caught stealing, and singled again in the 6th. C Tony Sanchez walked in the 4th and stole second base.
Aeros 8, Curve 1 (Game 2)
Curve starter Bryan Morris continued the streak with 3 scoreless innings, in which he gave up only a walk, and struck out 3 batters. But the streak ended in the 4th, when Morris started out by giving up a single and a walk. He was relieved by Matt McSwain. The first batter McSwain faced dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. McSwain then walked the next two batters, forcing in a run, before striking out two batters to end the inning. McSwain came back out in the 5th and began with a hit batter and a walk. The lead runner stole third base, then scored on an RBI single. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Akron a 4-0 lead.
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, and two of those were by LF Quincy Latimore. Latimore singled in the 1st but was thrown out trying to steal second base. He singled again in the 4th and was left on base. The only other hit was a solo home run by C Eric Fryer in the 5th inning, for the only Curve run of the game. The last 7 Curve batters were retired in order.
Brian Leach took the mound in relief of McSwain in the 6th and retired the side in order. The Aeros rallied again in the top of the 7th. The inning began with a double, a single, and a walk to load the bases. A triple cleared the bases for 3 runs. After a walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the 4th run of the inning. Leach surrendered another single, then was relieved by Noah Krol, who ended the inning with a grounder force out.
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
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
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.
A rainy Tuesday night in the Pirates’ minor league organization. The Indianapolis Indians played their entire game in the rain. The Altoona Curve’s game against the Akron Aeros (in Akron) was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a double-header on Thursday. The West Virginia Power and the Lexington Legends were also rained out in Lexington. They’ll try for two tomorrow, beginning at 10 am. The Marauders might have wished it was raining in Bradenton.
Clearwater Threshers 3, Bradenton Marauders 2
LF Adalberto Santos hit his first homer of the season and contributed to the Marauders’ 9th inning rally, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Threshers. Quinton Miller made the start for Bradenton. He pitched 5 scoreless innings, though had to work around runners on base in each of them:
– two singles in the 1st
– a hit batter, a single, and a walk in the 2nd
– a single in the 3rd (erased by a double play)
– a triple in the 4th (out at the plate on a fielder’s choice)
– a fielding error in the 5th.
But Miller’s luck ran out in the 6th, when the inning began with a double and a single to put two runners into scoring position. A suicide bunt scored the lead runner, and with two outs, a single loaded the bases. Miller was relieved by Jason Erickson, who threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to score. Erickson gave up an unearned run in the 8th, which would prove to be the winning run. With two outs, a fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham put a runner on second, and an RBI double brought that runner around to score. Duke Welker pitched the top of the 9th, and retired the Threshers in order — the only 1-2-3 inning for the Marauders’ pitchers.
The Marauders got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning, with Santos’ solo blast over the right field wall. They put two runners on base in the 4th, when C Ramon Cabrera walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, but a double play ended that inning. Santos reached base again in the 5th on a walk, then stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball, but that was as far as he got.
The second Marauders’ run came in a rally in the 9th. With one out, CF Evan Chambers walked, and Santos singled, moving Chambers to second base. DH Cole White grounded to third, and the Threshers’ third baseman went for the fielders’ choice, but didn’t get it — leaving the bases full of Marauders. An RBI ground out by SS Benji Gonzalez let Chambers score from third. Another ground out ended the inning and the game.