Friday night’s action:
Altoona Curve 2, Akron Aeros 0
Three Curve pitchers combined to throw a 3-hit shutout of the Aeros. Starter Mike Colla had to work around runners on base in 5 of his 6 innings, but he held the Aeros scoreless and earned his second win. He scattered 3 hits, 2 walks, and one hit batter over those innings. The only inning in which Akron had 2 runners on base was the 3rd, when Colla walked two. Anthony Claggett also gave up two walks in the 8th, after a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but he did not allow a hit or a run. Noah Krol picked up his 9th Save with three quick ground outs in the 9th.
The Curve posted 11 hits, but scored only two runs (8 runners left on base). In the bottom of the 1st, with two outs, LF Quincy Latimore looped a single into right field, then scored from first on SS Jordy Mercer’s ringing double into center field. C Tony Sanchez singled and DH Kris Watts doubled in the 2nd inning, but Sanchez was out at the plate on the throw in from left field. The Curve added an unearned run in the 3rd. 2B Brock Holt led off the inning with a strikeout, but he reached first when strike three was a wild pitch. Holt stole second base, then scored when the Akron center fielder made an error on Mercer’s ball.
The Curve put runners on base in each inning after that, but could not bring any of them around to score. Sanchez and 1B Miles Durham both singled in the 4th inning, and that was the only inning after the 3rd when the Curve had two runners on base. CF Starling Marte singled twice, Watts singled, and Mercer doubled again.
As expected, the Pirates have called up righty�Jeff Karstens from Indianapolis to help them with their pitching woes. �Karstens will have to be added to the 40-man roster — he was removed from it back in November. �Over the past few weeks, Karstens had made 4 relief appearances for the Indy Indians, �for a total of 11 innings, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits. �He also made one start, last Thursday, and pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits.
In order to make room, Rule 5 Draft pick OF John Raynor has been designated for assignment. �If Raynor clears waivers, he will have to be offered back to the Marlins. �The Pirates are hoping they can work out a deal to keep him, like they did for Evan Meek a couple of years ago.
One late morning/early afternoon game today:
West Virginia Power 6, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)
The Power won the series over Kannapolis 3 games to one with today’s early-bird win. �Gabriel Alvarado made the start for the Power, and pitched 4 solid innings, allowing one run on 3 hits and 2 walks. �The run he gave up was a lead-off homer to Kannapolis RF Nicholas Ciolli, to begin the 2nd inning. �Alvarado worked around a base runner in each inning, but did not allow any of those batters to score. �He struck out one and erased one of the runners with a double play. �Ciolli had another hit off Alvarado in the 4th, and a third hit off Zach Foster in the 8th, accounting for 3 of Kannapolis’ 4 hits.
The Power answered the run in the bottom of the 2nd with 3 runs on 3 doubles in the top of the 3rd. �CF Evan Chambers walked with one out, and moved to third base when LF David Rubinstein doubled. �3B Jesus Brito brought Chambers in with a sacrifice fly. �Back-to-back doubles by 1B Aaron Baker and DH Rogelios Noris plated two more runs, giving the Power a 3-1 lead.
The Power were quiet over the next four innings, getting only one hit — a single by Aaron Baker, who was then caught stealing second base. �In the 8th, they utilized singles and errors instead of doubles to do their scoring. �With one out, Rubinstein and Brito both singled, and when the Kannapolis centerfielder made a fielding error, Rubinstein was able to make it all the way around to score. �Brito was left on second base, and a wild pitch moved him up to third. �Baker singled next, scoring Brito, and another fielding error, this one in left field, put Baker on third base. �Noris lifted a sacrifice fly, and Baker came in with the third run of the inning. �Power up, 6-1.
Duke Welker relieved Alvarado for the 5th inning. �He walked three and struck out three (S,W,W, S,W,S), but gave up no hits or runs. �In the eyes of the official scorer, that earned him his first win of the season. �Maurice Bankston pitched the next two innings and allowed only a walk. �Zach Foster gave up a walk and Ciolli’s third hit in the 8th, but left both runners on base, then retired the side in order to finish up the 9th.