The Curve played an early game on Wednesday afternoon, with the Marauders and the Power playing in the evening:
Trenton Thunder 7, Altoona Curve 3
A 4-run 6th inning by the Thunder was too much for the Curve to overcome, in an early afternoon game in New Jersey. The Curve posted 11 hits, with Brad Chalk, playing center field today, collecting 3 hits. LF Quincy Latimore, 1B Matt Curry, and 3B Jeremy Farrell all had 2 hits each.
Each team scored one run in the 1st inning. Chalk began the Curve rally with his first single, but was forced out at second on Latimore’s grounder force out at second. A throwing error by the second baseman on the play let Latimore reach second base. SS Jordy Mercer singled into right field, scoring Latimore. Two singles and a grounder force out gave the Thunder a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
Latimore also double in the 3rd inning, but didn’t score. Curry began a rally in the top of the 4th when he worked a walk. Farrell singled, pushing Curry to third base, and a passed ball let Farrell move up to second base. DH Tony Sanchez’s RBI ground out scored Curry to give the Curve a 2-1 lead. Trenton tied it up again in the bottom of the 5th, with a single, a throwing error by starter Aaron Thompson, and a sacrifice fly.
Chalk singled again in the 5th, but was out in a force play. The Curve threatened in the top of the 6th. Curry, Farrell, and Sanchez hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. C Kris Watts grounded to first for a fielder’s choice as a throw back to the plate forced Curry out at home. A ground out ended the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Trenton got to Thompson again in the bottom of the 6th. With one out, a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single gave Trenton a 3-2 lead. Matt McSwain relieved Thompson, but the first batter McSwain faced reached base on a fielding error by Curry. The next batter swatted a 3-run homer, giving Trenton a 6-2 lead.
The Curve got one run back in the top of the 7th. Chalk and Latimore hit back-to-back line drive singles with one out. Mercer popped up for an infield fly rule out, then Curry’s single through the hole and into left field brought Chalk in to score. That was all the Curve could get, though. Sanchez walked to begin the 8th inning, and was erased on a double play, and the next four Altoona batters went down in order.
McSwain gave up one more run in the bottom of the 7th, on a two-out triple and an RBI single. Thompson was charged with his 5th loss of the season.
The Power had an early game today, while the Curve and the Marauders are scheduled for the evening:
West Virginia Power 3, Hickory Crawdads 2
Three Power pitchers combined to hold Hickory to just 4 hits in the late-morning start. Colton Cain earned his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs, only one of which was earned. He gave up 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5 batters. Two of those 3 hits came in the top of the 1st — a lead-off single, then after two outs moved the runner to second base, another single when the batter beat out the throw on a grounder to third base. But Power 1B Justin Howard was paying attention, and he was able to throw from first base back to the plate, where C Elias Diaz tagged out the runner who had rounded third and was trying to score.
Three consecutive hits began the bottom of the 1st for the Power: singles by SS Drew Maggi and CF Mel Rojas, and an RBI double by RF Dan Grovatt, who drove in Maggi. DH Cole White brought in Rojas with an RBI ground out, to give the Power an early 2-1 lead.
Cain retired the side in order in the 2nd, then began the 3rd by giving up a double. A sacrifice bunt moved that runner to third base. The next batter was hit by a pitch, giving Hickory runners on the corners. Then a wild pitch by Cain and a throwing error on Diaz as he tried to retrieve the ball, let both base runners score, to tie the game.
The Power put runners on base over the next two innings, but base running problems eliminated the runners — picked off and caught stealing, and being caught off base on a fly out for a double play. 2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 5th, and he too was doubled off first base when Maggi flied out. Rojas walked after Maggi was out, then Grovatt doubled for the second time in the game, and also drove in his second run, as Maggi gave the Power the lead.
Cain allowed only 2 walks over his last three innings of work. Vincent Payne made his first appearance for the Power this season, with 2 scoreless innings. He retired the side in order in the 7th, then gave up a walk in the 8th, but that runner was caught stealing. Zac Fuesser pitched the 9th. He gave up a single, but also picked the runner of first base, and was credited with his first Save.
The Power had only two base runners over the last 3 innings, when 3B Eric Avila walked and was erased in a double play, and a single by Grovatt, for his third hit of the game, in the 8th. Grovatt stole second base, but was left on base.
The Pirates and all four of their minor league affiliates lost in Sunday’s play:
Hickory Crawdads 4, West Virginia Power 3
Jameson Taillon pitched well in his 5-inning start this afternoon. He surrendered one run on two hits, with no walks, and he struck out 4 batters. Taillon zipped through the first two innings, retiring the Crawdads in order. He gave up the only run in the 3rd inning, when the first Hickory batter of the inning homered. Taillon set down the next three batters, then gave up a ground-rule double to the first batter in the 4th. He retired three more batters in the 4th, then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th. Taillon was on the short end, 1-0 when he left the game.
The Power put one runner on base in each of the first three innings — singles by CF Mel Rojas in the 1st and 3rd, and C Elias Diaz in the 2nd. Each time they were left on base. 2B/CF Andy Vasquez got as far as third base in the 5th inning, with a single, a stolen base, and a throwing error, but he too was left stranded.
Victor Black pitched a scoreless inning for the Power in the 6th, taking over for Taillon. It was only his second appearance this season, and his second scoreless and hitless inning.
Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th. He walked the first batter he faced, then got two outs. A single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Hickory. A ground-rule double brought in two runs, to give Hickory a 3-0 lead. The Power tied the score in the bottom of the frame. RF Justin Howard started the rally with a single up the middle. C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Diaz lined a single in to right field, scoring both Howard and Emsley-Pai. 3B Eric Avila singled on a liner into left field, then a bunt by Vasquez again moved two runners into scoring position. SS Drew Maggi singled, driving in Diaz from third base. The rally ended when Avila was caught trying to steal home and Rojas struck out.
The tie did not last long. Sadler struck out the first two batters in the top of the 8th, then gave up a walk and a double, which brought the lead runner racing around from first to score, to give Hickory a 4-3 lead. Jason Townsend pitched the top of the 9th, giving up two singles, but no runs. RF Dan Grovatt led off the bottom of the 8th with a single, but he was the only Power batter to reach base in the final two innings.
Friday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 6, Binghamton Mets 6
Rain halted the game between the Curve and the Mets in Binghamton, NY in the top of the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6. Starter Aaron Thompson got into trouble early in the game, when he gave up 4 runs to the B-Mets in the bottom of the 1st. A single and a hit batter led off the inning, then two fly outs and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Three singles brought in a run each, and a double added the 4th run of the inning. Thompson gave up a hit in each of the next two innings, but erased one with a double play, and left the other stranded. A solo homer in the bottom of the 4th gave the Mets a 5-0 lead, then a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave the Mets their 6th run in the 5th.
The Curve put one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but none of those runners came around to score. 2B Brock Holt walked in the 1st, but was out in a double play. C Tony Sanchez singled in the 2nd and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Holt smacked a ground-rule double in the 3rd, and SS Jordy Mercer walked and got as far as third base in the 4th.
1B Miles Durham got the Curve going with a rally in the top of the 5th, when he was hit by a pitch. Thompson tried for a sacrifice fly, but it turned into a forcer out of Durham at second base, leaving Thompson on first. Holt singled, then CF Starling Marte tripled into right field, scoring both Thompson and Holt. LF Quincy Latimore singled into left field, bringing in Marte, to cut the B-Mets’ lead to 5-3.
The Mets made it 6-3 in the bottom of the 5th, but the Curve came right back with another 3 runs in the top of the 6th to tie the game. A fielding error at shortstop put 3B Jeremy Farrell on base, and Sanchez’s double let Farrell came around to score from first base. RF Brad Chalk walked, then pinch-hitter Eric Fryer drove in base runners with the second triple of the game.
Tim Alderson came on to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and he worked around a single, to maintain the tie. The top of the 7th began with a single by Latimore, and a grounder force out by Mercer, leaving Mercer on first base. Mercer stole second and then moved to third base on a wild pitch. Farrell walked, to give the Curve runners on the corners — and that’s when the storms halted the game.
The game will resume on Saturday prior to the regularly scheduled game. This game will finish as a 9-inning game, but the regularly scheduled game will probably be a 7-inning game.
The Curve had another morning game today. The Marauders and the Power play on Thursday evening.
Bowie Baysox 4, Altoona Curve 2
Starter Aaron Pribanic struggled in this morning’s game, allowing 4 runs on 10 hits and a walk, with only one strikeout in 5 innings. He suffered his second loss of the season as the Curve lost the series with Bowie, 3 games to 1.
Pribanic had trouble right from the start, when the first Baysox batter of the game tripled into right field. He scored on a sacrifice fly. The Curve got the run back in the bottom of the 2nd inning on C Tony Sanchez’s solo home run.
The Baysox struck again in the top of the 3rd, opening the inning with back-to-back singles. A grounder to first erased the second runner and left Baysox on the corners. The runner on first stole second, and when Sanchez’s throw sailed into center field, the runner on third scored on the error. A walk to former Pirate farmhand C Steve Lerud and a single loaded the bases. Pribanic then gave up an RBI single to bring in the lead runner. A double play ended the rally, and Bowie had a 3-1 lead.
Pribanic gave up a single in the 4th, but left that runner on base. The 5th inning began with a double into right field. Lerud followed with an RBI single, to boost Bowie’s lead to 4-1. Another double play helped Pribanic get out of the 5th.
After that, the Curve bullpen shut down the Baysox. Matt McSwain pitched 3 scoreless innings of relief, working around a single in the 6th and another in the 7th. He retired the side in order in the 8th. Noah Krol pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.
Unfortunately, after scoring in the 2nd inning, the Curve batters were also shut down for most of the rest of the game. 2B Brock Holt had singled and stole second base in the 1st inning, then moved to third base on a throwing error by Lerud. Holt was left standing there on third base when the inning ended. SS Shelby Ford singled in the 5th but was erased in a double play. RF Jose Hernandez also singled in the 5th. CF Starling Marte led off the 6th with a double, and he also doubled in the 8th inning, but both times he was left stranded.
The Curve rallied again in the bottom of the 9th. DH Eric Fryer led off with a walk, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Fryer scored on a sacrifice fly. The game ended with a strikeout, before the rally could gain any more momentum.