Curve Win Home Opener; Four RBI For Baker

Altoona Curve 2,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  0
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The Altoona Curve put on a pitching demonstration in their home opener, as four pitchers combined for a shut-out and held the Squirrels to just 3 hits.  Aaron Thompson made the start, and he dominated Richmond.  Thompson retired the first 10 batters he faced.  He gave up a walk in the 4th inning, but left that runner on base.  He gave up a triple to lead off the 5th, but a grounder to third let 3B Jeremy Farrell fire the ball back to C Tony Sanchez, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Thompson had to work around a single and a fielding error in the 6th, but after a sacrifice bunt, two timely strikeouts got him out of that jam.   Thompson also struck out 5 batters in his second win of the season.  

The Curve posted 8 hits, and 3 of those were singles by RF Brad Chalk, who had been off to a slow start for the season (1-for-16).  He singled in the 3rd, the 6th, and the 8th, though he didn’t score.  Altoona scored their first run in the 4th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then scored all the way from first base on 1B Miles Durham’s double into center field.  SS Jordy Mercer belted a home run over the left field wall in the 5th inning for the Curve’s second run.  That was all the offense that was needed.  The Curve put two runners on base in the 6th, when Chalk singled and pinch-hitter Kris Watts was hit by a pitch, but both were left on base.  They threatened in the 7th, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single into right field and stole second base.  He moved to third on a ground out, and tried for home when Sanchez grounded to third, but was thrown out at the plate on a play similar to what the Curve did to the Squirrels in the 5th.  Sanchez and LF Quincy Latimore also had singles in the game.  

Mike Colla, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Curve.  Krol allowed one hit in the 9th, but left that base runner on, and earned his 3rd Save.

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Wins In The Lower Minors

Wins all around for the rest of the Pirates’ minor leaguers: 

Altoona Curve  10,  Erie Seawolves  7

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Three home runs and a 4-run 2nd inning sparked the Curve to their second win of the season on Sunday afternoon.  The scoring got started in the top of the 1st, when 2B opened the game with a single, moved to third on CF Starling Marte’s double, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s RBI ground out.  The Curve made it 5-1 with 4 more runs in the 2nd.  DH Eric Fryer led off with a walk, but was forced out at second on RF Jose Hernandez’s grounder, though they avoided the double play.  Holt singled, then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.  Hernandez scored on Marte’s RBI ground out, Mercer drove in Holt with a double, and C Tony Sanchez followed with his first homer of the season, driving in Mercer as well.  

The Curve tacked on another run in each of the next two innings.  3B Jeremy Farrell reached base on a throwing error in the 3rd, and scored on Hernandez’s double.  Marte led off the 4th with a solo home run.  They took a break for two innings, then Farrell added his 2-run homer in the 7th, bringing in Sanchez, who had singled.  Altoona’s final run came in the top of the 9th, with a two-out double by LF Quincy Latimore, an intentional walk by Farrell, and an RBI single by Fryer.
Holt had 3 hits in the game, raising his average to .400.  Marte (.375), Sanchez (.300), and Farrell (.313) each had 2 hits.

Jared Hughes made the start for the Curve.  He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 3 runs.  A double and a single gave Erie one run in the 2nd inning, then a walk, a double, and two ground outs scored two runs in the 3rd.  Mike Colla relieved Hughes to begin the 5th.  A hit batter and a triple gave the Sea Wolves one run in the 6th, but Colla kept Erie from scoring in his other two innings.  Anthony Claggett pitched the 8th inning and gave up two home runs — a solo homer to open the inning, then a 2-run homer after a single.  Noah Krol took the 9th, and loaded the bases with a walk and two singles, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a game-ending double play.  Colla earned the win, and Krol earned the Save.  

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Three Spikes Are All-Stars; Two Out 9th Inning Rally Gives Power The Win

News and action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates on Sunday.� The GCL Pirates and the Bradenton Marauders had scheduled days off today.

Three members of the State College Spikes have been named to the National League squad for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, which will be played on August 17th at the home of the Staten Island Yankees.� IF Matt Curry, the Pirates’ 16th round pick in the 2010 draft, has a .331 batting average, with 3 homers and 19 RBI.�� OF Adalberto Santos was the Pirates’ 22nd round pick in this year’s draft.� He is hitting .313 with 2 homers and 29 RBI, and is tied for second in the league with 37 runs scored.� Reliever Jhonathan Ramos has a 3-1 record and one save, with a 1.54 ERA.� He leads the league in lowest number of baserunners allowed at 6.56/9 innings.� Opposing batters are hitting just .169 against him.

Tri-City Valley Cats� 4,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)

Tri-City took the early lead and never gave it up in this evening’s game.� CF Mel Rojas and 2B Gift Ngoepe led the Spikes with 2 hits each, but the team managed only one run.� Starter Zach Fuesser got into trouble right away in his 5th start for the Spikes.� Two singles, a stolen base, and a 2-RBI single gave Tri-City 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� They added another run in the 2nd on a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.� After a single, a wild pitch, a balk, and a walk in the 4th, Fuesser was relieved by Ryan Beckman, who finished the inning.� Beckman also gave up a walk and a wild pitch in the 5th, but kept Tri-City from scoring in that inning, but he surrendered a run on a single and a double in the 6th.

The Spikes had only one base runner over the first 3 innings, when Rojas walked to lead off the bottom of the 1st.� RF Adalberto Santos singled and stole second base in the 4th, and both C Miguel Mendez and DH Cole White singled with two outs in the 5th, but they were all left on base.� Ngoepe bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall to begin the 6th, and Santos walked, but three strikeouts left both of them stranded also.� The Spikes scored their only run in the 7th.� 3B Kelson Brown led off with a double, and he scored on Rojas’ single.� Ngoepe also singled, and Santos walked, loading the bases with two outs.� A grounder ended the inning, though, and the Spikes were held to just that one run.� They threatened again in the 9th, when White walked and Rojas singled, but could not push the runner across the plate.

Mitch Fienemann pitched the last 3 innings for the Spikes, and allowed only one hit, while striking out 3 batters.

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Morris Loses In Pre-Futures Start; Power Win In 10

Thursdays’ action in the Pirates lower minor league organization:

Binghamton Mets �4, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)

It only took two innings to get all the scoring done in this game, as Bryan Morris suffered his 4th loss with the Curve in what will be his last start before the All-Star break and his participation in the Futures Game. �Morris didn’t get past the 2nd inning, as he gave up all 4 Mets’ runs on 6 hits. �Morris got the first batter he faced to ground out, but then immediately got into trouble with a single and a ground-rule double, putting two runners in scoring position. �A ground out allowed the runner from third base to score. �A hit batter put runners on the corners, and two singles followed, with a second run scoring. �Morris struck out the last batter of the 1st inning and the first batter of the 2nd inning. �Then he gave up a solo home run, and the Mets had a 4-0 lead. �A walk, a single, and a wild pitch followed the home run, but Morris was able to leave them on base as the inning ended. �I suspect he had run into problems with his pitch count as well, because Derek Hankins came out to pitch the 3rd inning.

The Curve batters came back with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 2nd. �2B Jordy Mercer led off with a line drive double, and he scored when 1B Miles Durham and LF Anthony Norman hit back-to-back singles. �Bryan Morris sacrifice bunted Durham and Norman into scoring position, and both of them scored on SS Chase d’Arnaud’s RBI single. �The Curve were behind by just one run, 4-3.

But the Curve couldn’t erase that narrow margin. �They put runners on base in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them could come around to score. �Nine base runners were left stranded. �Two runners were left on base in the 3rd, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and RF Brandon Jones walked. �Mercer doubled again in the 6th, and Norman walked, again leaving two runners on. �In the top of the 9th, the Curve’s final effort, CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with two outs, but a fly out ended the game.

Derek Hankins pitched 6 scoreless innings after Morris hit the showers. �He retired the first 6 batters he faced in order, including striking out the side in the 4th. �He hit a batter in the 5th, but immediately erased him with a double play. �Another double play got Hankins out of a walk-and-single jam in the 7th. �Anthony Claggett pitched the final inning. �He gave up a single, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal second base.

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Marte Begins Rehab; Spikes’ Rookies Shine In Pro Debut

GCL Pirates 10, �GCL Yankees �1 (box)

The Pirates beat up on the Yankees this afternoon, and faced an old friend. �John Van Benschoten made a rehab start for the Yankees, and the Pirates did not treat him very nicely. �RF�Gregory Polanco singled and stole second base, and LF Exicardo Cayonez walked on Van Benschoten in the 1st inning, though he kept them from scoring. �3B Eric Avila began the 2nd inning with a solo homer off Van Benschoten, and C Joey Schoenfeld also walked.

Once Van Benschoten left (after 2 innings), the Pirates continued to pound at the Yankees. �They scored another run in the 3rd in two errors and an RBI single by Cayonez. �They added 3 more runs in the 4th. �After a walk to 1B Dylan Child, rehabbing CF Starling Marte, working his way back after hand surgery, singled. Child scored on 2B Jorge Bishop’s double, and Marte came in on a wild pitch. �Polanco’s RBI single brought in Bishop.

Colton Cain began the game by giving up one hit over his first two innings, then allowed a run on two singles and two walks in the 3rd inning. �He started the 4th inning and got two outs, then walked a batter, and was relieved by Yeyber Sanchez. Sanchez finished the 4th, then pitched a scoreless 5th, allowing two hits. �James Archibald made his pro debut with three ground outs in the 6th inning. �Bryce Weidman, Dovydas Neverauskas, and Fraylin Campos all added a scoreless inning for the Pirates.

The Pirates scored 2 more runs in the 7th. �Avila was hit by a pitch, then stole both second and third bases, and scored on DH�Luis Solano’s single. �A fielding error allowed Solano to score. �Back-to-back singles by Child and CF�Junior Sosa began the rally in the 9th. �two passed balls loaded the bases, and a ground out scored Child. �Cayonez doubled, driving in two more runs, to give the Pirates a total of 3 in the inning and 10 in the game.

Starling Marte went 2-for-4 for the day, with one run scored. �Cayonez was 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI, and Avila was 2-for-3 with 2 runs, a homer, and an RBI.

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