Owens Dominates In 9th Win; Spikes Are One-Hit

A few roster moves:� The Pirates have designated pitcher Steven Jackson for assignment, so that a roster space on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters will be available.� That will make room for reliefer Chris Resop, who the Pirates picked up off waivers from the Braves today.

1B/OF Steve Pearce’s surgery on his knee went fine, and he is expected to be out of commission for at least 4 months.� He has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, which frees up another spot on the 40-man roster.� That will be taken by reliever Chan Ho Park, who the Pirates claimed off waivers from the Yankees today.� The Pirates will still need to open a spot on the 25-man roster, but they will have a couple more days to do that, since Park won’t be joining the team until Friday.

And, today’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization…..� The Indianapolis Indians had a scheduled day off today; the West Virginia Power’s game against the Delmarva Shorebirds was rained out, so they’ll try again tomorrow.

Altoona Curve� 5,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)

Starter Rudy Owens pitched another stellar start, going 6 innings and allowing only a solo home run to the second batter he faced in the top of the 1st.� After that homer, Owens retired the next 17 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.� Tom Boleska relieved Owens and earned his second save with the Curve.� He pitched 3 scoreless innings and allowed only a triple and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.� The triple was hit by Jason Kipnis, the first batter Boleska faced.� After a short fly out, Kipnis tried to tag up and score on another short fly out to new Curve LF Andrew Lambo. Lambo’s throw to C Kris Watts was on target and on time, and Kipnis was thrown out at the plate.

The Curve posted 13 hits and gave Owens and Boleska 5 runs worth of support.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud had 3 of the hits, all singles, and four Curve batters, Lambo, Watts, 1B Matt Hague, and RF Miles Durham each had 2 hits.� The first Altoona run scored in the 2nd inning.� Durham singled, CF Anthony Norman walked, and a fielding error allowed Durham to score.� Lambo walked to lead off the 2nd inning rally.� A single by Hague and a double by Watts followed, with Watts picking up the RBI.� A sacrifice fly by Norman brought in Hague with the second run of the inning.

Singles by d’Arnaud and 3B Josh Harrison led off the 4th inning, and a double steal moved both into scoring position.� Hague’s RBI single plated d’Arnaud.� Watts walked to load the bases, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.� The Curve scored their final run of the game in the 7th inning without a hit.� SS Yung Chi Chen and DH Jose De Los Santos worked back-to-back walks, and both advanced a base on d’Arnaud’s sacrifice bunt.� Harrison’s sacrifice fly brought in Chen with the Curve’s 5th run of the game.

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Spikes Come From Behind; Morris Wins #5 With Curve

Not a lot of action for the lower minor league affiliates today.� The West Virginia Power and the GCL Pirates had a scheduled day off, and the Bradenton Marauders were rained out — they will play two games on Monday.

State College Spikes� 7,� Auburn Doubledays� 6 (box)

SS Walker Gourley and LF Pat Irvine led the Spikes with 3 hits each as they came from behind to erase a 6-run lead.� It was the largest deficit overcome for a win in the team’s history.

Zack Dodson pitched 4 innings and gave up 6 runs (5 earned) to give Auburn the early lead.� A triple, a single, and a 3-run homer gave Auburn a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.� Dodson retired the side in order in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, but got into trouble again in the 4th.� A double, a throwing error by 3B Andy Vasquez, a single, and a wild pitch brought in one run.� A passed ball and another single added two more runs, and Auburn had a 6-0 lead.

The Spikes had runners on base in 5 of the first 7 innings, but were not able to push any of their base runners around to score.� They had the bases loaded with one out in the 5th, on a single by Vasquez, a walk to CF Mel Rojas, and a single through the hole into right field by Gourley.� A strikeout and a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring.

Then the Spikes got going in the 8th.� RF Adalberto Santos led off with a triple, and 1B Matt Curry walked.� Pat Irvine singled, scoring Santos.� Curry had moved to second base on a wild pitch, then on to third on Irvine’s single, and he and Irvine both scored when DH Chase Lyles smashed the second triple of the inning.� C Matt Skirving doubled, bringing in Lyles, and Andy Vasquez brought in Skirving with a sacrifice fly.� The Spikes had moved to within one run of Auburn, 6-5.

Walker Gourley started the 9th inning rally with a bunt single.� In a strange play, Santos grounded up the middle and was safe at first base, but Gourley, who tried to reach third base on the play, was ruled out because he’d missed touching second base as he was running.� Spikes’ manager Gary Robinson argued, but to no avail, and he was ejected for his efforts.� Santos advanced to second base on a balk, and he scored the tying run when Irvine doubled into center field.

Sandobal Septimo had pitched one scoreless inning, and Trent Stevenson gave the Spikes 3 more scoreless frames.� Jhonatan Ramos came on to pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings.� With one out in the top of the 10th, Vasquez dropped down a bunt and beat it out to first base.� A wild pitch moved him to second base, and both Rojas and Gourley walked, loading the bases.� Santos popped up, and was called out on the infield fly rule, but Matt Curry was the hero, with a single to short that allowed Vasquez to score the go-ahead run.� Ramos kept the Doubledays from scoring in the bottom of the inning, and the Spikes had their come-from-behind win.

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Marauders On A Rampage

Thursday’s action…. I’ll be on the road for the next several days, and internet connections may be spotty.

Bradenton Marauders� 18,� Lakeland Flying Tigers� 5 (box)

The Marauders scored 13 runs in the final three innings of the game and posted a total of 19 hits, as they sent the Tigers flying.� Each member of the Marauders’ line-up had at least one hit, all but two walked at least once, and six recorded RBIs.� Four of them — 2B Shelby Ford, C Eric Fryer, DH Jordan Newton, and SS Adenson Chourio – had 3 hits each.� Of the 19 hits, only 5 were extra-base hits — 3 doubles, and 2 triples, but no home runs.

The game started out with some low-key scoring.� The Marauders put up one run in the top of the 1st, when Shelby Ford singled and scored on Eric Fryer’s triple.� Lakeland came back with 3 runs on 4 singles and a double in the bottom of the 2nd, to take a 3-1 lead.

The Marauders returned fire in the top of the 4th.� LF Quincy Latimore led off with a double.� After two outs, three consecutive singles by Newton, CF Austin McClune, and Chourio brought in two runs, and Ford doubled, plating two more runs.� Bradenton up, 5-3.

Brian Leach pitched the first 5 innings for the Marauders, allowing those 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.� He was relieved by Craig Hansen to begin the 6th, Hansen’s first time back on the mound in a live game situation in over a year.� Hansen gave up a single, then got a strikeout, but followed that with three consecutive walks, forcing in a run.� He was relieved by Casey Erickson, who gave up a sacrifice fly for another run (charged to Hansen), then a single.� The throw in from McClune in center field to Fryer at the plate was right on target, and Fryer was able to tag out another runner as he tried to score.� Erickson was charged with a Blown Save, as the game was now tied at 5-5.

At that point, the Marauders really got going.� They took the lead back again (and gave Erickson the win) with 2 runs in the top of the 7th.� Three walks, to Grossman, Fryer, and 1B Calvin Anderson, loaded the bases.� Newton singled up the middle, scoring both Grossman and Fryer.� The 8th inning began with a single by Chourio, a triple by Ford (one run in), and a single by Fryer, scoring Ford (2).� After a pitching change, Latimore and 3B Adam Davis both walked.� A wild pitch and a throwing error allowed Fryer and Anderson to score (3, 4), and a single by Newton brought in Davis (5).� Eight batters had come to the plate in the 8th, and the score was 12-5.

Twelve Marauders’ batters came to the plate in the 9th, and 6 more runs came in.� With one out, Chourio walked and Ford reached on a throwing error.� Grossman’s double scored Chourio and Ford (1,2).� Four singles follwed, by Fryer (Grossman scores — 3), Latimore, Anderson, and Adams.� Adams’ single brought in Fryer and Latimore (4, 5).� After a pop out, McClune and Chourio singled, plating Anderson (6).

Erickson pitched 2 more scoreless innings, and Noah Krol pitched a scoreless 9th inning, with a walk and a single, plus 2 strikeouts.

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Durham’s Grand Slam Sparks Curve; Marte Back With A Homer

Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues… the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.

Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)

RF Miles Durham’s grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.

Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d’Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d’Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d’Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.

Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.

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Irwin: 7 No-Hit Innings; Marauders Drop Two

A few roster notes:� RHP Teddy Fallon and LHP Justin Ennis were both promoted from State College to West Virginia.� Fallon was the Pirates’ 43rd pick in the 2009 draft, and Ennis was the 33rd round pick in this year’s draft.� RHP Tom Boleska has been promoted from Bradenton to Altoona.

Altoona’s Bryan Morris has skipped a start, which the Pirates are calling just a “breather”.� He has struggled in his last few starts, but has also stacked up the innings so far this season (103) and the Pirates want him to stay below 140 innings this season.

West Virginia Power� 9,� Hagerstown Suns� 1 (box)

Phillip Irwin pitched 7 no-hit innings for the Power tonight, before he had to be relieved due to his increasing pitch count.� Irwin struck out 8 batters in his 7 innings, and he allowed 2 walks.� He got off to a strong start when he struck out the side in the 1st inning, then struck out 2 more in the 2nd.� The first walk came in the 3rd inning, but that runner was immediately erased when the next batter lined right to 1B Aaron Baker, who stepped on first base for a double play.� The next 7 batters went down in order, until the 6th, when that same batter, C Sandy Leon, walked again.� This time Leon was forced out at second on a grounder, and another ground out ended the inning.� Irwin wrapped up his amazing evening with two more strikeouts in the 7th inning.

Ryan Kelly relieved Irwin and pitched the final two innings.� He allowed one hit, but it was a solo home run.� He also walked a batter in the 9th, and struck out 2 batters.

The rest of the team was busy giving Irwin and Kelly plenty of run support.� They piled up 16 hits, with everyone in the lineup reaching base at least one time, and all but SS Benji Gonzalez picking up at least one hit (Gonzalez had a walk).� 3B Elevys Gonzalez, Aaron Baker, and LF Rogelios Noris each had 3 hits.� Baker led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run.� CF David Rubinstein followed the homer with a double, and Noris added a single to put runners on the corners.� C Jairo Marquez lined a single into center field, scoring Rubinstein to give the Power an early 2-0 lead.

They boosted that lead in the 3rd inning, as they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 7 runs.� Six of the first seven batters reached base safely:� 2B Jarek Cunningham and RF Jose Hernandez began with back-to-back singles, and Baker’s double scored Cunningham (#1 run).� Rubinstein’s sacrifice fly brought in Hernandez (#2).� Noris and DH Kyle Morgan goth singled, and Baker scored (#3).� Marquez doubled in Noris and Morgan (#4, 5), and sent the Hagerstown pitcher to the showers.� Benji Gonzalez flied out, but Elevys Gonzalez singled, plating Marquez (#6).� A fielding error on that play moved Elevys G to second base, and a wild pitch put him on third.� Cunningham’s second single in the inning brought in Elevys G (#7), before a line out ended the inning.

The Power put at least one baserunner on in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them were able to come around to score.

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