Marauders Sweep Series; Locke Gets 10 K’s

The Marauders had an early game today, for the school kids.  The Curve and the Power play later:

Bradenton Marauders  8,  Palm Beach Cardinals  1
(box

The Marauders swept a series for the first time this season with today’s win over the Cardinals.  It was an early game following a late night, but the Marauders were awake and ready to go at 10 am, less than 12 hours after last night’s rain-delayed game.  For the second game in a row, every member of the line-up reached base at least once.  

Phillip Irwin made his first start after coming out of extended spring training.  He went 2 innings, and allowed a run in the 1st, as he had to work around an error in each inning.  The top of the 1st began with a walk, then a stolen base, and the runner moved up to third when C Carlos Paulino’s throw to second base went wild for an error.  That runner scored on the first of two singles, but Irwin closed down the inning with a strikeout and a ground out.  A fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez put another runner on base in the 2nd, and after a stolen base and a walk, the Cardinals had runners on the corners.  Irwin got out of the jam with a fly out.  

The Marauders took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning without posting a hit.  LF David Rubinstein was hit by a pitch, then 1B Cole White walked.  Two wild pitches let Rubinstein score and put White on third base.  After a walk to 2B Kelson Brown, the third wild p itch of the inning let White come in to score.   A passed ball and two more walks, to CF Robbie Grossman and 3B Elevys Gonzalez, loaded the bases, but a fly out ended that inning without any further scoring.  The Marauders led 2-1.  

Brett Lorin took over for Irwin to begin the 3rd inning.  Lorin pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 6 hits and a walk, plus 4 strikeouts.  Palm Beach had 2 singles in the 4th, though the first runner was tagged out trying to reach third base on the second single.  The Cardinals also had 2 singles in the 6th, but Lorin was not worried by either of those threats.

The Marauders picked up some insurance runs in the 5th, with DH Aaron Baker having his second big-hitting game in a row.  Elevys Gonzalez walked and went to second on a wild pitch.  He scored on Baker’s RBI double into center field.  After a walk to Rubinstein, Paulino singled in Baker.  A wild throw by the Cardinals’ catcher on a pick-off throw allowed Rubinstein to score the third run of the inning, and the Marauders were up 5-1.  They added 2 more runs in the 6th.  Grossman lined a double into left field, and Elevys Gonzalez singled, moving Grossman to third.  Baker plated Grossman with a single into right field.  When the Cardinals’ right fielder went to catch Rubinstein’s fly ball and had his feet slip out from under him, that was ruled an error, and Gonzalez scored as well.  That gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.  

The final run of the game came in the bottom of the 8th, when Grossman doubled into left field, Elevys Gonzalez singled, and RF Adalberto Santos brought in Grossman with a sacrifice fly.  Porfirio Lopez finished the game for Bradenton with a scoreless 9th inning, allowing just a single.  Lorin earned the win — his first win of the season.
 

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Thompson Is POW; Ngoepe Homers In Wild Power Game

It’s a rainy night for half of the Pirates’ minor leaguers:

The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain.  Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected.  The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.

Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.  

The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona.  They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.

Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week.  He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.  

Jupiter Hammerheads  1,  Bradenton Marauders  0
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The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today.  Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts.  Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st.   The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base.  An RBI ground out brought in the run.  A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.

Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score.  He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th.  After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.  

Unfortunately, the Hammerheads’ pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders’ batters.  Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera’s single.  The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base.  With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked.  But a ground out ended the threat and the game.  

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2011 Prospect Watching: Taillon, Von Rosenberg And More

Continuing to work our way up the Pirates’ minor league pitching ranks… Zacharys today…

Jameson Taillon  –   R/R,  6′ 6″,  225 lb
Everyone knows about Taillon, the Pirates’ #1 draft pick in 2010.   Taillon, who is 19 years old, has a mid-to-high 90′s fastball and a hard curve, plus a slider and changeup that both need some work.  He signed at the deadline, so did not make his pro debut in 2010, though he did report to Fall Instrux and did fine there.  Taillon got into a minor league spring training game today, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts.  Just fine for his first time out.  Taillon should be ready for A level West Virginia to begin the 2011 season, though Pirates’ Kyle Stark has suggested that Taillon might remain in Bradenton for some extended spring training if it is “too cold” in West Virginia in early April.  

Zack Von Rosenberg —  R/R,  6′ 5″,  205 lb
Zack’s full name is Zachary, and he was born and attended high school in Zachary, Louisiana.  The Pirates picked Von Rosenberg in the 6th round of the 2009 draft.  He signed in time to make just one start, one inning, for the GCL Pirates that year (no hits, no walks, one strikeout).  He made 13 starts for the State College Spikes in 2010.  He struggled in his first four starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 16 innings for a 6.75 ERA.  He had only 4 strikeouts over the first three games, but struck out 4 more in the fourth game, going into July.  His next two starts were better, as he allowed only one run in each of two 5-inning starts, and struck out 4 and 5 batters respectively in those two games.  On July 20th, he had another tough outing, as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings.  Von Rosenberg pulled it together for the rest of the season.  In his remaining 6 starts, he allowed 3 earned runs over 28 innings (0.96 ERA), and struck out 20 batters in those games.  The 20-year-old should start 2011 in West Virginia, where the Pirates would like to see more velocity develop on his fast ball (usually high 80′s to 90 or so), which could boost his strikeout rate.

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Gonzalezes Power Up With Homers

The West Virginia Power had their last late-morning game of the season today.� The rest of the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates play this evening.

West Virginia Power� 12,� Rome Braves� 4 …��� (box)

The Power hammered away at the Braves, scoring in every inning after the 1st, doubling up the Braves in hits.� Jarek Cunningham and LF Rogelios Noris led the way with 3 hits each.� 2B Rome got off to a good start with a solo home run to begin the 2nd inning.� The Power came right back in the bottom of the inning, when 1B Aaron Baker walked and scored on RF Jose Hernandez’s double off the right field wall.� A ground out pushed Hernandez to third base, and he scored on Noris’ line drive single inot left field.� 3B Elevys Gonzalez added another run with a lead-off homer on the first pitch of the 3rd inning (his 4th of the season).� Noris crushed a ball off the top of the left field wall with one out in the 4th inning, cruising into third base for a stand-up triple.� He scored moments later on SS Benji Gonzalez’s first home run of the season.

Power starter Brett Lorin had allowed that homer in the 2nd, and gave up singles in the 1st and 3rd, plus two walks in the 4th.� The Braves got to him in the top of the 5th, though.� With two outs, Lorin hit a batter, then gave up a double and a 3-run homer.� That brought Rome within one run of the Power, 5-4. But that was all the scoring the Power pitchers intended to let the Braves do.� Maurice Bankston relieved Lorin to pitch 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 7th.� Jhonathan Ramos, just promoted from State College, celebrated his return to the Power with two perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts.

The Power added some insurance runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.�� Jarek Cunningham led off with a single, and he advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� CF Evan Chambers walked, then when the Braves changed pitchers, Cunningham and Chambers greeted the new hurler by pulling off a double steal.� Hernandez lined a single into right field, scoring Cunningham, and C Ramon Cabrera’s sacrifice fly brought in Chambers.� Noris lined into center field, and when Hernandez tried to make it to third base, the throw in from the outfield got past the Rome third baseman.� Hernandez scrambled for the plate, but the third baseman recovered the ball quickly, and Hernandez was out at the plate.� Noris was credited with only a single on the play, and the Power had a 7-4 lead.

Three more runs scored in the 6th.� Benji Gonzalez singled and stole second base, and Cunningham tripled off the center field wall to bring him in.� Chambers walked and also stole second base, then Baker doubled, plating both Cunningham and Chambers.� DH Andy Vasquez added a solo home run in the 7th inning.� Then the Power loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk to Cunningham, Chambers being hit by a pitch, and a single by Baker.� A sacrifice fly by Hernandez brought Cunningham across the plate for the Power’s 12th run of the game.

The South Atlantic League announced their post-season All-Star Team today, but no Power players were named to the team.

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Owens Wins #10

Pirates’ lower minor leaguers on Saturday…

Altoona Curve� 10,� Binghamton Mets� 4 (box)

The Curve posted 14 hits, with two big innings, as all but one member of the starting line-up had at least one hit in the game, as starter Rudy Owens earned his 10th win of the season.� SS Jordy Mercer doubled three times and 1B Matt Hague doubled twice, with 4 RBI.� Even Owens doubled, walked, and scored twice.

Owens got off to a little bit of a shaky start on the mound.� He gave up a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly to begin the bottom of the 1st.� A single and a double gave the Mets a second run in the 3rd.� Owens settled in after that, and allowed just one hit in each of the 4th and 5th.

The Curve got one run back in the top of the 4th, after putting runners on base in each of the first three innings but failing to score.� In the 4th,� Mercer hit his first double, and he scored on RF Miles Durham’s RBI single.� Then they broke through in the 5th.� Owens led off the inning with a walk.� LF Jose De Los Santos singled, then 3B Josh Harrison bunted both runners into scoring position.� 2B Jim Negrych was intentionally walked to load the bases.� Hague cleared the bases with a double into left field, then Mercer hit his second double (this one was a ground-rule double), plating Hague.� The Curve had a 5-2 lead.

The next inning began with a solo home run by Miles Durham.� One out later, Owens doubled, and De Los Santos singled.� A fielding error on a ball hit to third by Harrison let Owens score.� Negrych brought in both Owens and De Los Santos with another double, and Hague made it three doubles in the inning with his 26th of the season, bringing in Negrych with the fifth run of the inning.� The Curve were up, 10-2.

Mike Colla relieved Owens to begin the 6th.� He gave up a solo homer in that inning, and another solo homer in the 8th, but retired the other 12 batters he faced in 4 innings.� Owens earned his 10th win of the season, and Colla earned his first save.

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