Spikes’ and Pirates’ Bats Are Booming

Good news and bad news today…

The bad news is that OF Starling Marte has had some problems with his hand after surgery.� Marte had played in two rehab games last week, going 3-for-6, but has not played in over a week.� He’s going to need to rest the hand for awhile yet — a setback indeed.

The good news is that OF Mel Rojas Jr, the Pirates’ 3rd-round pick in the 2010 draft is reported to be on his way to Pittsburgh to sign a contract.� If all goes as expected, he could report to the State College Spikes by the weekend.

A few non-all-star-games going on today:

State College Spikes� 11,� Connecticut Tigers� 1 (box)

The Spikes posted 13 hits on their way to 11 runs this evening in Connecticut. 1B Matt Curry led the team with a 3-for-3 game and 2 RBI.� RF Adalberto Santos, DH Chase Lyles, LF Pat Irvine, and C Miguel Mendez each had 2 hits, and 3B Kelson Brown contributed 3 RBI.

The Spikes started off with 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� 2B Walker Gourley began the rally with a walk, and Santos reached base on a fielder’s choice that Gourley beat out.� Curry singled, scoring Gourley, and Lyles singled, bringing in Santos.� They added 4 runs in the 3rd inning, when Curry and Lyles both singled again.� Irvine followed with a double to plate Curry.� Brown’s single drove in both Lyles and Irvine.� Mendez made it runners on the corners with another single, and Brown scored when CF Kyle Saukko bounced into force out at second but beat the throw to first base.

The Tigers scored their lone run in the bottom of the 3rd, on two singles and a sacrifice fly.� It was the only run that Zack Von Rosenberg allowed in his 5 innings.� He gave up 5 hits and one run, and he struck out 5 batters.� Colton Cain, Casey Sadler, Teddy Fallon, and Jason Townsend all pitched one scoreless inning.� Townsend was the only one who allowed a hit, a single in the 9th.� Fallon was the only one to allow a walk, and he erased that runner with a double play.� Sadler struck out the side, all swinging, in the 7th.

The Spikes kept going after Connecticut scored their run.� Santos tripled with one out in the 4th.� Curry walked, and Lyles reached on a fielding error, as Santos scored.� A throwing error on the play put Curry on third and Lyles on second.� Irvine singled, and Curry crossed the plate, then Brown’s sacrifice fly brought in Lyles.� Spikes ahead, 9-1.� Back-to-back doubles by Santos (ground-rule) and Curry added the first run in the 6th.� A walk to Irvine and Brown being hit by a pitch loaded the bases.� Mendez singled, scoring Curry and giving the Spikes an 11-1 lead.� The Spikes’ bats slowed down after that.� They had only one base runner over the last three innings — Curry walked to begin the 8th, but was erased in a double play.

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Friday Begins Rehab; D’Arnaud Added To All-Star Squad

Losses for all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates today.

GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)

Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.

The Pirates cut the Tigers’ lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.

Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.

Indy Indians’�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.

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Spikes’ Walk-Off Win; Welker Makes A+ Debut

Bradenton catcher Eric Fryer, who was hit in the face by a pitch on Thursday night, has broken facial bones around his eye. �That will require surgery to fix — get the bones properly aligned and stabilized. �He’s going to be out of action for at least several weeks and possibly for the rest of the season. �This is the same type of injury that Paul Maholm had years ago, though his injury occurred when he was hit in the face by a line drive while on the mound.

Friday night’s action:

State College Spikes �5, �Williamsport Crosscutters �4 (box)

Late inning rallies gave the Spikes the walk-off win over Williamsport. � The Spikes got on the scoreboard in the 3rd inning when C Matt Skirving singled and SS Gift Ngoepe blasted his first home run of the season, a 2-run homer. �Williamsport tied it up in the top of the 5th. �The first run, off starter Tyler Waldron, came on a double and a single. �A throwing error and a sacrifice fly brought in an unearned run to tie the score.

Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed the two runs (one earned) on 6 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �He was relieved by Trent Stevenson, who pitched the next 3 innings. �He gave up a run in the 6th, on a single, a stolen base with a throwing error, and a double, to give the Crosscutters the go-ahead run. �The Spikes caught up and tied the score again in the bottom of the inning. �Singles by Ngoepe and LF Adalberto Santos and a walk to 3B Chase Lyles loaded the bases. �1B Gerlis Rodriguez drove in Ngoepe with a sacrifice fly.

Williamsport took the lead yet again in the top of the 7th with an unearned run. �A throwing error by Stevenson put the lead-off runner on base, and he scored on a triple. �Rodriguez tied it up again in the bottom of the 8th with a solo home run.

Justin Ennis took the mound for the Spikes for the 9th, and he mantained the tie with a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk while striking out two batters. �That gave the Spikes the chance in the bottom of the inning. �The first two Spikes’ batters struck out. �CF�Kyle Saukko kept the inning going with a line drive into left field for a single. �A passed ball put Saukko on second base. �Ngoepe worked a walk, and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position. �2B Walker Gourley grounded towards first base, and when he was safe on a fielding error, Saukko scored to win the game.

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Curve Fall Apart in 9th; Grossman and Huber With 4 Hits Each

Binghamton Mets �7, �Altoona Curve �6 (box)

The Curve thought they were in the drivers’ seat going in to the bottom of the 9th. �They were leading the Mets, 6-1. �Their starter Bryan Morris had pitched 7 innings and allowed only that one run on two walks and a single in the 5th, and he had scattered 2 other hits. �Reliever Mike Dubee had retired the Mets in order in the 8th. �Curve batters had scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning, on singles by newcomer LF Brandon Jones and C Kris Watts, an RBI force out by RF Anthony Norman, Morris reaching base on a wild pitch for strike three, and a huge triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud. They scored again in the 3rd on 1B Matt Hague’s 2-run homer after 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch. �Harrison also doubled in the 7th and scored on Mercer’s RBI single. �So, the Curve thought things were going just fine.

Then the bottom of the 9th. �Diego Moreno came on to relieve Dubee. �He gave up a walk, then a wild pitch put that runner on second base. �After a strikeout, a single and a 3-run homer brought the score to 6-4. �Another walk and a single, and Moreno was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single and a walk. �Now the tying run was on first base, and the winning run was coming to the plate. �Mets’ SS Luis Hernandez doubled into left field, scoring two runs to give the Mets the win.

Brandon Jones, who was removed from the Indianapolis Indians’ roster when Aki Iwamura was assigned to Indianapolis, was sent to the Curve “on paper” last week. �Now he’s there in body too. �Righty reliever Ramon Aguero, who has had an elbow injury, was promoted to the Curve from the Bradenton Marauders. �INF James Skelton was sent to Bradenton to make space on the roster.

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Jakubauskas Makes Rehab Start; Sanchez’s Jaw Broken

Tuesday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization

GCL Yankees �11, �GCL Pirates �4 (box)

Chris Jakubauskas, who suffered a concussion while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates back in April, made his first appearance in a real game today, with the GCL Pirates. �He pitched 3 innings, and suffered the loss as he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk. �He did strike out 5 batters. �Jakubauskas retired the Yankees in order in the 1st inning, then gave up a run on a triple and a sacrifice fly in the 2nd. �He allowed a lone walk in the 3rd inning, but began the 4th with a single, a double, and a 3-run homer, followed by another single.

Joan Montero finished the 4th for Jakubauskas, then gave up a run on a single, a wild pitch, and four walks in the 5th. �Dovydas Neverauskas completed the 5th, and gave up 2 runs in the 6th, ona double, a walk, and a 2-RBI single. �The Yankees scored 4 runs in the 8th, though only one was earned. �The inning began with a throwing error b 2B Luis Solano, then a double and a single both brought in a run. �Another fielding error and two more singles gave the Yankees a total of 11 runs. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th inning for the Pirates, allowing a single and a walk, then getting a line-out into a double play before ending the inning with a strikeout.

The Pirates’ bats could not keep up with the Yankees. �They scored one run in the 2nd, when C Elias Diaz led off with a double, was sacrifice bunted to third, and scored on a fielder’s choice by Solano. �The Pirates added a run in the 4th. �RF Gregory Polanco led off with a single up the middle. �A grounder by LF Exicardo Cayonez forced Polanco out at second but left Cayonez at first. �Cayonez stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Yankees’ catcher. �He scored on a wild pitch. �Another error contributed to the Pirates’ run in the 6th. �SS Kevin Mort singled and 3B Eric Avila and Diaz both walked. �The fielding error on Solano’s ball to short allowed Mort to score. �Polanco scored the Pirates’ final run in the 8th, when he doubled, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on Cayonez’s RBI single.

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