The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….
West Virginia Power 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 8
Late inning rallies for a total of 7 runs gave the Power the win over Kannapolis. 1B Matt Curry got the scoring started with a solo home run to begin the bottom of the 2nd. That run was overwhelmed, though, when the Intimidators exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 3rd. Power starter Zack Von Rosenberg had allowed only one walk over the first two innings, but that fell apart in the 3rd inning. A single, a walk, and a triple brought in two runs. A sacrifice fly gave Von Rosenberg the first out of the inning, but it also scored the runner from third, for a 3-1 lead. Two more singles, another triple, and another single brought in 3 more runs, for a 6-1 lead, and sent Von Rosenberg to the showers. Zac Fuesser relieved Von Rosenberg, and Fuesser’s first move was to pick off the runner on first base and get him out in a run-down. A walk and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Power got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3B Eric Avila’s double and a fielding error on LF Dan Grovatt’s bouncer to short. Fuesser gave up a pair of walks and a single in the 4th, but a timely double play kept any runs from scoring. He also gave up a pair of singles in the 5th, but was aided by an outfield assist from Grovatt. Kannapolis scored again in the 6th, with a two-out ground-rule double and an RBI single. Two more doubles gave Kannapolis another run in the top of the 7th, for an 8-2 lead.
Then the Power burst out with 7 unanswered runs over their last two at-bats to take the lead and the win. With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a single into left field, and Avila drove him in with a triple. SS Drew Maggi’s ground out plated Avila. 2B Kevin Mort singled and pinch-hitter Rogelios Noris walked, but they did not score in that inning. The Power continued the surge right where they left off in the 8th. RF Justin Howard led off with a double and CF Mel Rojas was hit by a pitch. C Kawika Emsley-Pai loaded the bases with a walk. Marquez drove in Howard with a single grounded into right field, leaving the bases still loaded. Avila bounced to short, for a force out at second base, but Rojas scored the second run of the inning on the play. After an out, Mort singled, plating Emsley-Pai, then Noris tripled in both Avila and Mort, for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Zach Foster relieved Fuesser for the final two innings. Foster allowed a double and hit a batter with a pitch in the 8th, but two strikeouts left them stranded. He also walked a batter in the 9th, but got two more strikeouts to preserve the Power lead and earned his first win of the season.
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.
The Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.
Harrisburg Senators 3, Altoona Curve 2
Three walks and an RBI ground out in the bottom of the 9th gave the Senators a walk-off win against the Curve.
Altoona had scored first, on 3B Jeremy Farrell’s solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning. The Senators replied with a solo home run by 3B Tim Pahuta in the bottom of the inning. The Curve took the lead again in the top of the 4th, when LF Quincy Latimore singled, then Farrell picked up another RBI with his double into center field.
Mike Colla pitched 5 innings and struck out 5 batters in his start. He gave up that solo homer, plus two singles in the 1st inning. Colla walked two batters, and those were the only Harrisburg base runners over the last three innings of his outing. Tim Alderson struck out two batters in his scoreless 6th inning. Chris Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th inning. He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up Pahuta’s second solo home run, tying the game at 2-2.
The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single. Latimore grounded into a force out at second, replacing Marte at first. A fielding error by Pahuta let SS Jordy Mercer reach base safely. Former Indy Indian Jimmy Barthmaier came on in relief for Harrisburg, and he got Farrell to bounce into a double play, ending the rally. Barthmaier gave up a double to 1B Miles Durham with one out in the 7th, then walked pinch hitter Kris Watts, before being relieved himself. A strikeout ended that threat without a run scoring.
Each team put a runner on base in the 8th — Mercer walked and stole second for the Curve, and the Senators had a single, and the runner moved to second on a wild pitch by Leroux — but neither one scored. The Curve went down in order in the top of the 9th. Noah Krol replaced Leroux to begin the bottom of the 9th. He walked the first batter he faced, then a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base. Pahuta was intentionally walked, then the next batter was unintentionally walked to load the bases. A ground out to third looked like it might be a double play, but the 5-4-3 throw only got out the batter at first, while the runner going to second was safe. That allowed the runner from third to score, giving the Senators the win.
A few roster moves before we get to the games:
The Pirates have signed 1B Gerlis Rodriguez to a minor league contract. Rodriguez, a Dominican native, played for State College in 2010. He played about half of his 48 games at first base, and did some DH’ing. Rodriguez hit .201, with 8 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 24 RBI. He walked 11 times and was struck out 34 times. Rodriguez will probably be back with the Spikes when their season begins next month.
Two minor league pitchers have been released: RHP Gabriel Alvarado and RHP Maurice Bankston. Alvarado was with the West Virginia Power for the past two seasons, mostly as a starter in 2009 and then as a reliever in 2010. Bankston also spent most of the last two years with the Power, and he also started in 2009 then moved to the bullpen in 2010.
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 3
Jeff Locke gave up 4 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings, but got out of jams with timely double plays in his start for the Curve. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up 4 more runs and the Squirrels took the win. The only run Locke gave up came in the bottom of the 1st. After a lead-off single, Locke got two fly outs, then gave up a walk and an RBI single. Another walk followed, before Locke ended the inning. A double play ended the 2nd inning with two runners left stranded (walk and hit batter), and a second double play eliminated a lead-off single in the 3rd. Locke also worked around a double and a walk in the 4th, then retired the side in the 5th.
The Squirrels’ starter retired the first 10 Curve batters in order. The first hit he gave up was a big one — a solo home run over the left field wall by CF Starling Marte. The Curve took a 2-1 lead in the 5th inning, on a line drive double by 3B Jeremy Farrell, a passed ball, and an RBI single lined into center field by C Tony Sanchez.
The lead lasted only one inning. Tom Boleska relieved Locke to begin the bottom of the 6th He allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base — two walks and a single back to the mound. Boleska struck out the next batter, then a grounder force out at second (but not the double play) let the tying run score. An RBI single gave Richmond a 3-2 lead. Boleska pitched a scoreless 7th inning, then Matt McSwain took over for the 8th. The first two batters McSwain faced both smacked solo home runs, and Richmond was up 5-2.
The Curve scratched out one more run in the top of the 9th. With two outs, LF Quincy Latimore worked a walk, then SS Jordy Mercer and Farrell hit back-to-back singles, plating Latimore. But that was all they were able to get, as Sanchez’s line out ended the game.
Pirates’ lower minor league action for Thursday: the Curve had an early game, and the Marauders and the Power play in the evening
Harrisburg Senators 6, Altoona Curve 2
Matt McSwain made his AA debut today with the Curve, after being promoted from A+ Bradenton to fill the roster spot opened when Bryan Morris went on the DL (oblique strain). Unfortunately, it was not as happy a debut as McSwain and the Curve would have liked, as the Senators scored 4 runs over their last two at-bats to take the win.
Mike Colla made the start for the Curve, and retired the first 11 batters he faced in order. Then he gave up back-to-back solo home runs in the 4th.
The Curve batters were getting on base during those innings, but they weren’t scoring either. CF Starling Marte and RF Eric Fryer both singled, and 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Kris Watts both doubled, but all were left on base. LF Quincy Latimore put the Curve onto the scoreboard in the 6th, when he led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall. Then he gave the Curve their only other run with another solo home run (to left-center field) in the 8th.
McSwain came on in relief of Colla to begin the 5th. He retired the Senators in order in the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a run in the 7th on a walk, a single, and an RBI double. With two runners in scoring position, McSwain ended the inning with a ground out and a fly out. He got into trouble again in the 8th, with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI double, to bring in one run. The next batter, 1B Tyler Moore, homered for the second time in the game, adding another 2 runs. Colla was charged with his first loss of the season.