Thursday evening’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers…
Altoona Curve 5, Trenton Thunder 1
Starter Jeff Locke struck out 8 Trenton batters in his 5.1 innings of work, while getting plenty of run support — 3 home runs from his offense. The only run Locke surrendered came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Trenton loadd the bases on a walk, a hit batter, and a single. Another walk by Locke forced in the run, then a strikeout and a double play got him out of the inning. Locke allowed only a walk and a double over the next three innings. He began the 6th with a pair of walks and a strikeout before being relieved by Diego Moreno.
Meanwhile, the Curve were pounding out the hits — a total of 15, including 3 by 2B Brock Holt. Each Curve batter had at least one hit. 1B Matt Curry, who had two hits in the game, began the Curve scoring with a solo home run to lead off the top of the 2nd. Holt led off the 3rd with a line drive single to short, then moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s walk, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s RBI single.
Back-to-back solo homers by Latimore and Mercer added another 2 runs in the 5th inning. The Curve loaded the bases on three consecutive singles in the 6th — by RF Jose Hernandez, Holt, and CF Brad Chalk, but Latimore struck out to end the inning and leave all three runners on base. The final Curve run scored in the 8th. The inning began with back-to-back singles by DH Travis Scott and 3B Greg Picart. Picart was picked off first and caught stealing, but Scott advanced to third, and he was plated by Hernandez’s sacrifice fly. Holt also tripled in that inning.
Moreno finished the 6th inning for Locke with a strikeout and a pop out. Then he struck out the side in the 7th inning. Michael Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings to end the game. He loaded the bases with a double, a single, and a walk in the 8th, but got out of that jam with a strikeout and a force out. Then he worked around a single for a scoreless 9th.
Saturday evening with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Altoona Curve 8, Binghamton Mets 6
First, the Curve and the Mets had to finish up yesterday’s game, which had been suspended in the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6. Binghamton had scored 4 runs in the 1st, and one run in both the 4th and 5th. The Curve had tied the score with 3 runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. The big hit in the 5th was CF Starling Marte’s triple, and the big hit in the 6th was pinch-hitter Eric Fryer’s triple. Curve starter Aaron Thompson had allowed all 6 Binghamton hits on 9 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work. Tim Alderson came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a hit but maintained the tie.
The top of the 7th began with a single by LF Quincy Latimore, who was replaced at first base by SS Jordy Mercer on a grounder force out at second. Mercer stole second base, then took third on a wild pitch. 3B Jeremy Farrell walked to put runners on the corners, and that’s when the game was suspended. When they picked it up again this afternoon with a new relief pitcher, two quick outs left Mercer and Farrell still standing on the corners.
Anthony Claggett came on in relief of Alderson, and in a double switch, Shelby Ford took over at first base for Miles Durham. Claggett kept the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the 7th. Then Ford gave the Curve the lead with a solo homer in the top of the 8th. The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, when Mercer and Farrell led off with a pair of singles. Pinch-hitter Kris Watts moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, then RF Brad Chalk lined a single into left field. Mercer scored easily on the play, but Farrell was out at the plate on the throw in from left field.
Claggett held on to the lead with a scoreless bottom of the 8th, allowing just one hit. He was credited with his third win of the season. Noah Krol earned his 10th Save of the season with a scoreless 9th. He walked the first batter of the inning, then retired the next three batters with two fly outs and a pop out.
Lakewood BlueClaws 6, West Virginia Power 5
The Power played an early game today, but fell to the BlueClaws in the 10th inning. Starter Jameson Taillon did not factor into the decision, though he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 2 batters. The first two runs Taillon allowed came in the first two innings of the game. In the top of the 1st, a single, a ground out, and another single gave the Claws their first run. Two more singles, a double steal, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the top of the 2nd.
The Power tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd. 1B Matt Curry walked, and DH Justin Howard moved Curry to third with a double lined into left field. C Kawika Emsley-Pai brought in Curry with an RBI single, and LF Rogelios Noris plated Howard with a sacrifice fly.
Taillon walked a batter in the 3rd, and with a stolen base and a missed catch error by 2B Andy Vasquez on the throw to second, the runner reached third base. Taillon escaped without a run scored, though, when the next batter flied out and RF Dan Grovatt made an on-target throw to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the runner at the plate. Taillon worked around a single in the 4th, but got into trouble again in the 5th. A single and two ground outs again put a runner on third base, and an RBI single broke the tie, giving the Claws a 3-2 lead.
The Power tied the score again in the bottom of the 5th. 3B Eric Avila led off with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mort sacrifice bunted Avila to third base, and SS Drew Maggi’s single through the hole into left field let Avila score.
Tyler Waldron relieved Taillon to begin the 6th inning. Waldron gave up a double in both the 6th and 7th innings, but both times left that runner on base for two scoreless innings. Avila was next to break the tie with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 7th. But back-to-back solo homers in the top of the 8th gave the lead right back to the Claws. Noris was the next to homer, tying the score again, 5-5, in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extras.
With Waldron still on the mound in the top of the 10th, the Claws made two outs, then began a rally with a walk. Waldron struck out the next batter, but strike three was a wild pitch, and the Claws got a second chance with the batter reaching first base safely. They took advantage of the opportunity, with an RBI single to score the runner from second base. Casey Sadler relieved Waldron and struck out the next batter to end the inning. The Power had a chance in the bottom of the 10th, when Curry doubled with two outs. Lakewood also brought in another reliever, who also got a strikeout (of Howard) to end the Power’s threat and the game.
The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:
Lexington Legends 4, West Virginia Power 2 Game 1
Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header. Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st. Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder’s choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila. Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring. A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends’ 4th run in the 4th inning. Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.
The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning. LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base. The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit. 2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases. CF Mel Rojas’s grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends’ shortstop let Mort and Noris score. Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.
Power 9, Legends 3 Game 2
Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game. They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits. DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.
The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st. With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer. Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead.
Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai’s double. Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate. Power up 8-0. Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th.
Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2. Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order. He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame. The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered. Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th. He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th. A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington. A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score. Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.
Friday the Thirteenth was lucky for the Curve and the Power….
Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 2
The Curve posted a lucky 12 hits, as CF Starling Marte led the charge with 3 singles. Marte, along with 2B Brock Holt got the scoring started with back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the 1st. LF Eric Fryer’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and SS Jordy Mercer’s sacrifice bunt plated Holt.
Erie came right back with a pair of doubles off Curve starter Jared Hughes to tie the game at 1-1. Hughes allowed only one walk over the next three innings. In the top of the 6th, he gave up a 2-out single, followed by a ground-rule double. Because it was ground-rule, the lead runner had to stop at third base, and Hughes was able to get out of the inning with a ground out, keeping the SeaWolves from scoring again.
The Curve missed out on scoring opportunities in two innings. Holt doubled and Marte singled in the 3rd, but both were left in scoring position. Both C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts singled in the 4th, and they were also left on base. A pair of doubles got the scoring re-started in the 5th. Marte walked and Fryer singled with one out. Marte advanced to third base on a fly out by Mercer, then scored on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s double into left field. Sanchez bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall to bring in both Fryer and Farrell, giving the Curve a 4-1 lead.
Marte started another rally in the 7th with a liner to second base for a single. He stole second base, then scored on Fryer’s grounder into right field. That chased the Erie starter, but their reliever did not have any better success. Fryer had gone to second base on the throw in from the outfield, and he advanced to third when the new reliever balked. Farrell doubled in Fryer for a 6-1 lead.
Hughes finished his evening with a scoreless 7th inning, having allowed one run on 6 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. Tim Alderson pitched a perfect 8th, then Noah Krol gave up one run in the top of the 9th on three singles, one of which ricocheted off Krol and into center field.