After wins for everyone on Saturday, it’s losses for everyone on Sunday:
Erie SeaWolves 2, Altoona Curve 1
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.
Wins for everyone in the Pirates’ minor league system on Saturday… and each of these winners scored 6 runs:
Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 5
The Curve rallied with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, for a come-from-behind win, extending their winning streak to four games. Starter Mike Colla went 5 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts. Colla allowed only one hit over the first three innings. The top of the 4th began with a single, a walk, and a single to load the bases. After a strikeout, a single lined into left field drove in one run. A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the frame. CF Starling Marte had singled in the 1st inning, and the Curve had loaded the bases with two outs in the 2nd, on a walk by DH Kris Watts, and singles by 1B Miles Durham and RF Eric Fryer. All four runners were left on base. 3B Jeremy Farrell started the 4th inning by being hit by a pitch. C Tony Sanchez doubled into right field, scoring Fryer from first. Watts’ ground out moved Sanchez to third, then Durham lined a single into left field, bringing in Sanchez. The Curve had a 2-1 lead.
Brian Leach took over for Colla for the 6th inning, and retired the side in order. Anthony Claggett came on for the 7th, which started well, with two outs. Then a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single tied the game at 2-2. Claggett remained in the game to begin the 8th inning, but he quickly got into trouble, allowing a pair of doubles and a single, for one run and one out. Claggett was ejected after the single (no details, sorry), and Michael Dubee took over for him. Dubee gave up an RBI single and an RBI double, to give Erie a 5-2 lead.
The Curve came charging back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and SS Jordy Mercer brought them both in with a 2-run homer. Farrell singled after the homer, and Sanchez tied the score when he drove in Farrell with a triple. Brad Chalk came in to pinch-hit for Sanchez, and he scored on Watts’ RBI single, to give the Curve the lead.
Noah Krol pitched the final inning. He gave up a pair of singles, but kept the SeaWolves from scoring to hold on to the win. Dubee was credited with the win, and Krol earned his 8th Save of the season.
Tuesday night’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues:
West Virginia Power 5, Charleston RiverDogs 1
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.
Saturday evening action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 0
Strong pitching by Richmond and one big inning for the Squirrels’ batters combined for another Curve loss. The Curve were held to just two hits — one each by 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Tony Sanchez. Five walks did not help either, as the Curve left 7 runners on base. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona over the first 3 innings, when he walked in the 3rd. LF Quincy Latimore walked with one out in the 4th. He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s ground out. Mercer reached third base when Farrell slipped a single through the left side of the infield, but both runners were left stranded.
Farrell walked and Sanchez singled with one out in the 7th, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. The Curve’s biggest threat came in the 9th inning, when with two outs, Mercer was hit by a pitch, then Farrell and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks. A pop up to the catcher in foul territory by Durham ended the game with all three still on base.
Three errors by the Curve fielders did not help out their pitchers, who gave up a combined 11 hits. Starter Aaron Thompson worked around a pair of two-out singles in the 1st, then struck out three batters around a walk in the 2nd. Then things fell apart in the 3rd. The inning began with three consecutive singles, loading the bass. The next batter grounded to short, but Mercer’s fielding fumble left everyone safe, and the lead runner scored. Thompson looked like he had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage when he got the next two batters with a fly out and a strikeout. But a bases-clearing double into left field made the score 4-0. The throw in from LF Latimore was relayed from the cutoff man Mercer to Farrell at third, who tagged out the batter at third as he tried to stretch the double into a triple.
Thompson kept the Squirrels from scoring in the 4th, despite a fielding error by CF Starling Marte and another single. A lead-off single began the 5th inning, and a throwing error by Sanchez on a steal attempt put the runner on third base. Thompson struck out two batters, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett, who ended the inning with a ground out, leaving that runner on third. Claggett pitched a scoreless 6th, but gave up a run in the 7th on a hit batter and an RBI double. Two walks after the double loaded the bases, but Claggett escaped the inning with a ground out. Chris Leroux took over for the bottom of the 8th. He also gave up a double and hit a batter, but did not allow a run. Thompson took the loss, going 4.2 innings with 4 runs (one earned) on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts.
Pirates’ lower minor leaguers in action on Thursday:
Richmond Flying Squirrels 7, Altoona Curve 3
The Curve had a good start to their game, but lost their early lead in the 6th inning. LF Quincy Latimore drove in 2 runs in the top of the 1st. 2B Brock Holt and C Tony Sanchez had both walked, and with 2 outs, Latimore grounded to shortstop, where a throwing error let both runs score. Sanchez and Latimore both singled in the 3rd, with Latimore driving in Sanchez, who had moved up to second base on a ground out.
Curve starter Aaron Thompson allowed just 2 singles over the first 5 innings of the game. Things changed in the 6th inning, though. A single, a bunt, and another single gave the Squirrels runners on the corners. Thompson balked, allowing the runner from third to score. A stolen base and a walk put Squirrels on the corners again. This time, Thompson threw a wild pitch to let the runner from third score. Another walk and a single loaded the bases, and sent Thompson to the showers. Anthony Claggett came in from the bullpen to relieve Thompson. The first batter Claggett faced grounded to second, forcing out the runner coming from first base, as the runner from third scored. A walk loaded the bases again, and a fielding error by 1B Miles Durham let the fourth run of the inning score. Thompson was responsible for all 4 runs, 3 of which were earned.
Mike Colla took over for the 7th inning, when he gave up a lone single. Then in the bottom of the 8th, Colla gave up a walk and a single, and the lead runner scored when Sanchez made a throwing error on a steal attempt. Another walk and two singles drove in two more runs.
After the 3rd inning, the Curve could not push another run across the plate. They hurt themselves on base running plays, when Holt singled and was caught stealing in the 4th, and Sanchez walked and was caught stealing in the 5th. SS Jordy Mercer doubled in the 5th, and Durham singled in the 8th, but were left on base. Pinch hitter Kris Watts singled in the Curve’s last chance in the 9th, but he was left stranded when a ground out ended the game.