McSwain’s AA Debut; Latimore Homers Twice

Pirates’ lower minor league action for Thursday:  the Curve had an early game, and the Marauders and the Power play in the evening

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
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Matt McSwain made his AA debut today with the Curve, after being promoted from A+ Bradenton to fill the roster spot opened when Bryan Morris went on the DL (oblique strain).   Unfortunately, it was not as happy a debut as McSwain and the Curve would have liked, as the Senators scored 4 runs over their last two at-bats to take the win.

Mike Colla made the start for the Curve, and retired the first 11 batters he faced in order.  Then he gave up back-to-back solo home runs in the 4th.   

The Curve batters were getting on base during those innings, but they weren’t scoring either.  CF Starling Marte and RF Eric Fryer both singled, and 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Kris Watts both doubled, but all were left on base. LF Quincy Latimore put the Curve onto the scoreboard in the 6th, when he led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall.  Then he gave the Curve their only other run with another solo home run (to left-center field) in the 8th.  

McSwain came on in relief of Colla to begin the 5th.   He retired the Senators in order in the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a run in the 7th on a walk, a single, and an RBI double.  With two runners in scoring position, McSwain ended the inning with a ground out and a fly out.  He got into trouble again in the 8th, with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI double, to bring in one run.  The next batter, 1B Tyler Moore, homered for the second time in the game, adding another 2 runs.  Colla was charged with his first loss of the season.  

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Taillon’s Debut Cut Short; Curve Win In 11

Wednesday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:

West Virginia Power  7,  Hagerstown Suns  1…… suspended in the 2nd inning
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Jameson Taillon made his pro debut tonight in West Virginia, but Mother Nature made it shorter than might have been planned.  Taillon’s first pitch was a strike, and the first batter singled to short.  He got a ground out, which moved the runner to second, then he walked the other phenom in the game — Suns’ RF Bryce Harper.  A double lined to right field brought in the lead runner and put Harper on third base.  Harper walked the next batter to load the bases, but a grounder to SS Drew Maggi started a double play, and Taillon was out of the inning, with only one run in.  

Maggi began the bottom of the inning with a walk, and a passed ball put him on second base.  2B Gift Ngoepe reached base on a throwing error, giving the Power runners on the corners.  DH Matt Curry’s single up the middle plated Maggi.  1B Justin Howard moved both the runners into scoring position with a grounder to second, and RF Dan Grovatt brought both in with a double lined into left field.  

With rain falling, Taillon returned to the mound for the second inning.  He gave up a lead-off single, then got two consecutive force outs at second base.  A fly out ended that inning, giving Taillon one run on 3 hits and 2 walks over 2 innings, with no strikeouts.  

The Power added to their lead with 4 more runs in the 2nd.  LF Andy Vasquez and Maggi began the frame with back-to-back walks, and both scored on Curry’s double.  Howard brought in Curry with a 2-run homer over the right field wall.  The Suns brought in a new pitcher, who gave up a walk to Gravatt and a double to CF Mel Rojas.  That’s when the rain got crazy, and the game was delayed, then suspended.  The two teams will try to resume the game tomorrow at 6 pm, and that will be followed by a 7-inning game.

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Marauders Pound Mets With 10-Run Inning

Bradenton Marauders  12,  St. Lucie Mets  6
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For the second time in three days, the Marauders put up a big first inning — and this one was even bigger than the 6-run inning two games ago.  Bradenton sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st, scoring 10 runs.  The fun began with back-to-back singles by RF Robbie Grossman and 2B Jarek Cunningham.  CF Evan Chambers loaded the bases with a walk, and 1B Aaron Baker brought in Grossman with a sacrifice fly (1).  After a strikeout by DH Adalberto Santos, C Ramon Cabrera walked to load the bases again, then LF David Rubinstein lined a single into left field, bringing in Cunningham and Chambers (2,3).  3B Elevys Gonzalez and SS Benji Gonzalez lined back-to-back doubles into center field, with Elevys driving in Cabrera and Rubinstein (4,5), and Benji plating Elevys (6).  That brought Grossman up again.  He walked, then Cunningham drove in Benji and Grossman with a 3-run homer (7,8,9).  Chambers walked again, and Baker lined a single into right field, and with the help of a throwing error that sent the ball into the stands, Chamber came in with the 10th run of the inning.  Santos’ second strikeout of the inning ended the rally

The Mets tried to come back, but fell far short.  Starter Nate Baker scattered 6 hits over 5.2 innings, and the only run he allowed came in the 5th, on a double and an RBI single.  Baker walked one and struck out 2.  With one on and two out in the top of the 6th, Duke Welker relieved Baker, finishing that inning with a strikeout.  Welker gave up 2 runs in the 7th, on two lead-off walks, a balk, and an RBI ground out, then an RBI single.  He also walked a batter in the 8th, and had a batter reach base on a fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez, but a timely double play got Welker out of that jam.  Jhonathan Ramos pitched the 9th inning, and he gave up back-to-back doubles and a 2-run homer, but even that was not enough for the Mets to catch up.

The Marauders added another run in the 4th inning on a pair of doubles by Rubinstein and Elevys Gonzalez.  Cunningham hit his second homer of the game (6th of the season) in the 7th inning to give the Marauders their final run.  

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Marauders Sweep Series; Locke Gets 10 K’s

The Marauders had an early game today, for the school kids.  The Curve and the Power play later:

Bradenton Marauders  8,  Palm Beach Cardinals  1
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The Marauders swept a series for the first time this season with today’s win over the Cardinals.  It was an early game following a late night, but the Marauders were awake and ready to go at 10 am, less than 12 hours after last night’s rain-delayed game.  For the second game in a row, every member of the line-up reached base at least once.  

Phillip Irwin made his first start after coming out of extended spring training.  He went 2 innings, and allowed a run in the 1st, as he had to work around an error in each inning.  The top of the 1st began with a walk, then a stolen base, and the runner moved up to third when C Carlos Paulino’s throw to second base went wild for an error.  That runner scored on the first of two singles, but Irwin closed down the inning with a strikeout and a ground out.  A fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez put another runner on base in the 2nd, and after a stolen base and a walk, the Cardinals had runners on the corners.  Irwin got out of the jam with a fly out.  

The Marauders took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning without posting a hit.  LF David Rubinstein was hit by a pitch, then 1B Cole White walked.  Two wild pitches let Rubinstein score and put White on third base.  After a walk to 2B Kelson Brown, the third wild p itch of the inning let White come in to score.   A passed ball and two more walks, to CF Robbie Grossman and 3B Elevys Gonzalez, loaded the bases, but a fly out ended that inning without any further scoring.  The Marauders led 2-1.  

Brett Lorin took over for Irwin to begin the 3rd inning.  Lorin pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 6 hits and a walk, plus 4 strikeouts.  Palm Beach had 2 singles in the 4th, though the first runner was tagged out trying to reach third base on the second single.  The Cardinals also had 2 singles in the 6th, but Lorin was not worried by either of those threats.

The Marauders picked up some insurance runs in the 5th, with DH Aaron Baker having his second big-hitting game in a row.  Elevys Gonzalez walked and went to second on a wild pitch.  He scored on Baker’s RBI double into center field.  After a walk to Rubinstein, Paulino singled in Baker.  A wild throw by the Cardinals’ catcher on a pick-off throw allowed Rubinstein to score the third run of the inning, and the Marauders were up 5-1.  They added 2 more runs in the 6th.  Grossman lined a double into left field, and Elevys Gonzalez singled, moving Grossman to third.  Baker plated Grossman with a single into right field.  When the Cardinals’ right fielder went to catch Rubinstein’s fly ball and had his feet slip out from under him, that was ruled an error, and Gonzalez scored as well.  That gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.  

The final run of the game came in the bottom of the 8th, when Grossman doubled into left field, Elevys Gonzalez singled, and RF Adalberto Santos brought in Grossman with a sacrifice fly.  Porfirio Lopez finished the game for Bradenton with a scoreless 9th inning, allowing just a single.  Lorin earned the win — his first win of the season.
 

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Grand Slam By Baker Fires Up Marauders

Happy Easter!

The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power have scheduled days off today.

Bradenton Marauders  6, Palm Beach Cardinals  3
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1B Aaron Baker gave the Marauders a boost with his grand slam in the 1st inning, and Jason Erickson won his first game of the season.  
 
Starter Quinton Miller began the game with two outs, then gave up a double and a single, to give the Cardinals one run.  The Marauders thundered back with 6 runs in the bottom of the frame, as the first 6 batters reached base before an out was recorded.  RF Robbie Grossman led off with a walk, then went to third when 2B Adalberto Santos doubled.  CF Evan Chambers walked to load the bases and set up Baker, who blasted a grand slam over the right field wall.  DH Calvin Anderson followed the home run with a single, then he advanced to third on C Ramon Cabrera’s double.  After a ground out and a strikeout, SS Benji Gonzalez sent the Palm Beach starter to the showers with a 2-RBI single.  Grossman singled also, but a pop out ended the inning with the Marauders ahead 6-1. 

Then it started raining…. and the game was delayed for more than 2 hours.  When they did get back to business, Erickson took over on the mound for Miller.  Erickson pitched 4 innings, and had trouble in only one, the 4th.  He gave up a single, a double, a single, and a double, to give the Cardinals 2 runs.  With two runners in scoring position, Erickson maintained his composure to strike out the next two batters and get out of the inning.  Diego Moreno pitched the next two innings for Bradenton, allowing a walk and a wild pitch.  He also had a runner reach base due to a throwing error by Gonzalez, but erased that runner with a double play.  Ryan Beckman took the final two innings, and earned his 2nd save of the season, as he retired all 6 batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts.

Baker did not stop hitting after the 1st inning, though the Marauders did not score again in the game.  He singled in the 2nd, and Anderson doubled behind him, but Baker was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice play.  LF David Rubinstein reached on a fielding error at short, loading the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without a run scoring.  Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice in the 3rd inning, after a walk, a stolen base, and a fly out.  The Marauders had two runners on base due to a single and a walk in both the 4th and 5th innings.  In the 4th, Rubinstein walked and 3B Elevys Gonzalez singled; in the 5th, Santos singled and Chambers walked.  Baker’s third hit came in the 8th, when Chambers drove a ball off the glove of the Palm Beach right fielder.  Chambers rounded second and headed for third, but the center fielder was able to pick up the ball and fire it in to third, where Chambers was tagged out.  Baker singled after Chambers’ hit, but was left on base.  

The Marauders posted a total of 12 hits.  Each member of the lineup reached base at least once, and Rubinstein was the only one without at least one hit.  

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