Curve All-Stars Named; Alvarez Homers

Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team.  RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte.  Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division’s team :  manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino.  The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).  

Friday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates …. the GCL Pirates’ game was postponed.   

Bradenton Marauders  3,  Palm Beach Cardinals  2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight.  The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game.  Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out.  He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks.  Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.  

The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez.  2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score.  All of the Marauders’ runs came in the bottom of the 5th.  Marquez led off with a double lined into center field.  SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base.  Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third.  Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.  
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th.  He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.  Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.  

The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th.  It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.  

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Curve Finally Score; Spikes Lose in 12 Innings

Saturday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization… being thrown out at the plate seemed to be a recurring theme….

Harrisburg Senators  3,  Altoona Curve  1
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The Curve out-hit the Senators 8-4, but could only force one run across the plate, though that was one more run than they had scored in their last three games.  Aaron Pribanic suffered his 5th loss of the season (for a 5-5 record), allowing 2 runs on just 2 hits and a walk, while strikeout out 7 batters in 6 innings.  The walk gave the Senators their only baserunner over the first three innings.  The Senators began the 4th inning with a single, and a balk put the runner on second base.  Pribanic struck out the next two batters, but the next batter smacked a 2-run homer.  He retired the next 7 batters in order to finish his night.  

The Curve put at least one batter on base in 5 of the first 6 innings.  They came closest to scoring in the 4th, when SS Jordy Mercer led off with a single, and advanced to second on a balk.  He reached third when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled to first, but got hung up between third and home, and was tagged out in a run-down.  Altoona got onto the scoreboard in the 7th inning.  Farrell lined a single into right field, and after two outs, pinch-hitter Anthony Norman grounded to second, where the Harrisburg second baseman missed the play.  Farrell scored on the error.  CF Starling Marte doubled into left field, moving Norman to third, but a strikeout ended the inning with both of the runners in scoring position.  

Matt McSwain replaced Pribanic in the 7th.  He walked two batters, and loaded the bases with a single.  An RBI ground out brought in the runner from third, for the Senators’ third run.  Tim Alderson gave up a lead-off triple in the 8th, and hit the next batter with a pitch, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play — a line out to center field and an on-target throw by Marte to the plate let C Tony Sanchez tag him out at home.  

Former Pirate farmhand Jimmy Barthmaier walked Mercer to begin the 8th, but he was erased on a double play, and a strikeout ended the inning, the Curve went down in order in the 9th.  

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Allie’s Pro Debut; Miller’s 5th Win; GLC Pirates Begin

The Altoona Curve have a scheduled day off today (Monday), and the West Virginia Power are off for the first day of their All-Star Break.  The All-Star Game will be played in Delmarva on Tuesday, with Brandon Cumpton, Jameson Taillon, and Dan Grovatt representing the Power.  

Auburn Doubledays  7 ,  State College Spikes  6
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Pirates’ 2nd round draft pick from 2010, Stetson Allie, made his professional debut tonight, as the starting pitcher for the State College Spikes, though he did not factor into the decision.  Allie struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a single, struck out the next batter, and gave up an RBI double.  A line out ended the inning.  The second inning went better, as Allie retired three Auburn batters in order, including another strikeout.  

The third inning was another tough one for Allie.  A single and a walk opened the inning.  After a fly out, both runners stole the next base, and a walk loaded the bases.  Allie also walked the next batter, forcing in a run.  That signaled the end of his evening.  Cliff Archibald relieved Allie, but Archibald also walked in a run (charged to Allie), before getting the inning-ending double play.  Allie was responsible for 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts, in 2.1 innings.  
State College got onto the scoreboard with a run in the 3rd.  SS Kirk Singer led off with a double, then DH Carlos Mesa singled, moving Singer to third.  C Samuel Gonzalez’s RBI single brought in Singer, to cut the Auburn lead to 3-1.  The Spikes tied the game in the 4th.  1B Walker Gourley led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch, then to third on a ground out.  Singer walked, then CF Taylor Lewis’ sacrifice fly scored Gourley.  Singer stole second base, then scored on RF Justin Benscko’s RBI single.  

Archibald went on to pitch the 4th and 5th innings, allowing a walk and a single, but keeping Auburn scoreless.  Emmanuel De Leon relieved Archibald to begin the 6th inning, and gave up only a double in that inning.  With two outs in the 7th, De Leon gave up a double and a 2-run homer.  The Spikes got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, with a single by Benscko, a stolen base and a missed catch error to put Benscko onto third, and a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez.  

De Leon started the top of the 8th by giving up a walk and a stolen base.  After two outs, a single, a throwing error by Singer, and a double gave Auburn 2 more runs, for a 7-4 lead.  Jesus Brito relieved De Leon and ended the 8th inning with a fly out.  Singer tried to make up for his error with an RBI double after a single by 3B Brian Sharp, bringing the score to 7-5.  Brito pitched a scoreless top of the 9th.  The Spikes tried for another rally in the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, Benscko singled, then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a second wild pitch.  After a walk to Mesa, Gonzalez brought in Benscko with a sacrifice fly.  But a strikeout ended the inning and the game without the Spikes being able to catch up.                                       

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Walker Goes 4-For-4 But Pirates Fall

Orioles  11,  Pirates  7
The Orioles pounded out 15 hits, including 3 homers, to the Pirates’ 8 hits (and 4 home runs) this evening, as the Pirates lost in Sarasota, Florida.  2B Neil Walker took care of half of the hits and half of the homers for the Pirates — he homered in the 1st inning, singled in the 3rd, homered again in the 6th (both solo homers), and singled in the 8th.  
The Pirates got onto the scoreboard in the top of the 1st, with back-to-back homers by 1B Lyle Overbay (2 runs) and Walker.  Starter Ross Ohlendorf worked around a single in the bottom of the 1st, but gave up two solo homers in the bottom of the 2nd, then an unearned run in the 3rd on an error, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  
The 3-3 tie lasted until the bottom of the 5th, when the Orioles got to Ohlendorf with a 2-run homer, a double, and a walk.  Evan Meek relieved Ohlendorf with two outs and runners on first and second.  The first batter Meek faced, former Indy Indian JJ Hardy, singled in a run, to give the Orioles a 6-3 lead.   The Pirates got one run back with Walker’s second homer in the top of the 6th, but the Orioles scored 2 more unearned runs off Meek in the bottom of the frame.  Garrett Olson came in to pitch the 7th inning and allowed 3 more Orioles’ runs, with a walk, a double, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.  
The Pirates rallied for a run in the 8th, on a lead-off walk by Overbay, and singles by Walker and 3B Pedro Alvarez.   They added another 2 runs in the top of the 9th when SS Josh Rodriguez blasted a 2-run homer.  
Chris Leroux pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning for the Pirates.  Pedro Ciriaco got another two innings in at center field, where he made some outs.  Also in the game:  pinch-hitter Steve Pearce, pinch-hitter/LF John Bowker.

The Indy Indians were scheduled to play a game against the Las Vegas 51’s in Bradenton this afternoon.  No results available at this point.  
Last season’s 2nd round draft pick Stetson Allie pitched in an intrasquad game at Pirate City this afternoon.  In two innings, he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.   

Other notes:
The Pirates released, then immediately re-signed OF Austin McClune.  Not sure what that was about.  

Former Pirate pitcher Oliver Perez, who was released by the Mets on Monday, signed a minor league contract with the Nationals yesterday.   

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2011 Prospect Watching: Allie, Archibald, Trepagnier, And Friends

Continuing to look at some of the pitchers in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization.  Today we consider five more of the Pirates’ 2010 draft picks.

Stetson Allie —  R/R,  6′ 4″,  225 lb
Allie was the second round pick in the draft, coming out of high school in Cleveland.  He signed at the last moment, so he did not get into any games in the regular season.  He did go to Fall Instrux, where he again impressed the Pirates’ management with his velocity and also with his maturity.  He has a fastball that reached into the 100’s several times toward the end of his high school career, but he has better control of it when it’s in the mid 90’s.  He also throws a slider and needs work on a changeup.  Control, along with the slider and the changeup, are what Allie is going to need to work on as he makes his pro debut.  He has been pitching in the minor league spring training camp and has struggled a bit as he faced more experienced players.  Allie seems to be slated to do more work in Extended Spring Training before beginning the 2011 season in State College.  

James Archibald  –  Bats L / Throws R,  6′ 1″, 190 lb
Archibald came to the Pirates in the 36th round of the draft.  He got signed and got down to business in the GCL, at first working out of the bullpen.  He did well in 3 relief appearances, allowing 5 hits and one run (a homer) in 5 relief innings, for a 1.80 ERA, with 3 strikeouts and no walks.  Archibald was moved to the starting rotation, and in 8 starts, he had more trouble.  His first two starts went well, as he allowed one run in 3 innings and one run in 5 innings.  The next three were a little shakier, with 5 runs on 15 hits over 12.2 innings.  His best game was on August 7th, when he struck out 7 batters in 5 innings.  Archibald’s last 3 starts were very tough.  He allowed 14 runs on 19 hits in 9.1 innings, ballooning his total ERA to 5.40 for the season.  Archibald will be 21 years old in May.  He might spend some more time in the GCL before heading to State College in 2011.  

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