Fun with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates on Thursday night…
Altoona Curve 7, Erie SeaWolves 2
A big 6-run 6th inning gave the Curve the win over Erie, despite the SeaWolves out-hitting the Curve 15 – 6.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. C Tony Sanchez reached base and got all the way to second on a throwing error by the Erie shortstop. A ground out by DH Kris Watts moved Sanchez to third, and a sacrifice fly by 1B Miles Durham brought Sanchez in to score.
Altoona starter Aaron Thompson gave up a single in both the 1st and 3rd innings, and both times erased the runners with a double play. He hit a batter and allowed two singles in the 2nd, but caught one runner stealing, and got out of the inning without a run scoring. The top of the 4th inning began with a lead-off homer to tie the score. After a fly out, Thompson gave up another solo homer, and Erie had a 2-1 lead.
After three hitless innings, the Curve erupted in the 6th, sending 10 batters to the plate. Holt started the rally with a double into right field. CF Starling Marte beat out a bunt for a single, moving Holt to third. LF Quincy Latimore lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Holt, and when the Erie center fielder’s throw back in went wild for an error, Marte moved to second base. That put Marte in position to score on SS Jordy Mercer’s single. 3B Jeremy Farrell and Watts both walked to load the bases, then Durham lined a single into left field, plating both Mercer and Farrell. A double by RF Brad Chalk scored Watts and Durham, and the Curve had a 7-2 lead.
Thompson was relieved after 5 innings, having allowed 2 runs on 9 hits and a walk. Chris Leroux took over and pitched the next two innings. He gave up three singles but did not let a run score, and he was the pitcher of record when the Curve scored their 6, so he earned the win. Michael Dubee began the top of the 8th with three consecutive singles, then got out of the mess with a strikeout and a double play. He retired the side in order in the 9th.
Saturday evening action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates:
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5, Altoona Curve 0
Strong pitching by Richmond and one big inning for the Squirrels’ batters combined for another Curve loss. The Curve were held to just two hits — one each by 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Tony Sanchez. Five walks did not help either, as the Curve left 7 runners on base. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona over the first 3 innings, when he walked in the 3rd. LF Quincy Latimore walked with one out in the 4th. He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer’s ground out. Mercer reached third base when Farrell slipped a single through the left side of the infield, but both runners were left stranded.
Farrell walked and Sanchez singled with one out in the 7th, but a double play ended that attempt at a rally. The Curve’s biggest threat came in the 9th inning, when with two outs, Mercer was hit by a pitch, then Farrell and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks. A pop up to the catcher in foul territory by Durham ended the game with all three still on base.
Three errors by the Curve fielders did not help out their pitchers, who gave up a combined 11 hits. Starter Aaron Thompson worked around a pair of two-out singles in the 1st, then struck out three batters around a walk in the 2nd. Then things fell apart in the 3rd. The inning began with three consecutive singles, loading the bass. The next batter grounded to short, but Mercer’s fielding fumble left everyone safe, and the lead runner scored. Thompson looked like he had a chance to get out of the inning without further damage when he got the next two batters with a fly out and a strikeout. But a bases-clearing double into left field made the score 4-0. The throw in from LF Latimore was relayed from the cutoff man Mercer to Farrell at third, who tagged out the batter at third as he tried to stretch the double into a triple.
Thompson kept the Squirrels from scoring in the 4th, despite a fielding error by CF Starling Marte and another single. A lead-off single began the 5th inning, and a throwing error by Sanchez on a steal attempt put the runner on third base. Thompson struck out two batters, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett, who ended the inning with a ground out, leaving that runner on third. Claggett pitched a scoreless 6th, but gave up a run in the 7th on a hit batter and an RBI double. Two walks after the double loaded the bases, but Claggett escaped the inning with a ground out. Chris Leroux took over for the bottom of the 8th. He also gave up a double and hit a batter, but did not allow a run. Thompson took the loss, going 4.2 innings with 4 runs (one earned) on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts.
The Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates wrap up the month of April:
Erie SeaWolves 5, Altoona Curve 0
The Curve were held to just 3 hits, plus two walks, as they were shut-out by the SeaWolves. Their first hit of the game came in the 2nd inning, when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. The inning ended with Farrell being forced out at third base. Altoona had their biggest threat with two runners on base in the 3rd inning — a line drive single into left field by RF Eric Fryer and a walk to DH Jose Hernandez. A ground out put both runners into scoring position, but they too were left stranded. The Curve went down in order until LF Quincy Latimore’s single in the 6th. 1B Miles Durham was the only base runner for Altoona in the last three innings, when he walked in the 7th.
Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve. He pitched 6 innings but was the victim of some errors in the field behind him. He gave up one earned run but 4 unearned runs, and was charged with the loss. Erie’s earned run came in the 2nd inning, on a double, a walk, and an RBI single. The second base runner who tried to score was gunned down at the plate on a throw in from Fryer in right field to C Tony Sanchez. The top of the 4th inning began with a single, and the next batter grounded to short for what should have been a double play. But a missed catch error by 2B Brock Holt left both runners safe. A walk loaded the bases, and a grounder allowed the lead runner to score. A triple drove in two more runs, to give Erie a 4-0 lead. Erie began the 6th inning with a double and a single, and with two outs, a fielding error by Farrell at third allowed another unearned run to score.
Tim Alderson relieved Locke and pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings. The only batter to reach base against Alderson was hit by a pitch, then erased in a double play.
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
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.
Both the Curve and the Power played early games today….
Altoona Curve 3, Harrisburg Senators 2
A fielding error by the Senators in the bottom of the 7th gave the Curve the win, and a split of this rain-shortened series with Harrisburg. Jeff Locke got the start for the Curve, and he buzzed through his first 6 innings. A runner who reached base on SS Jordy Mercer’s throwing error in the 1st was promptly picked off and caught stealing, and a runner who singled in the 2nd was erased with a double play. A hit batter in the 5th was left stranded.
The Curve also were quiet for most of the first 5 innings. 1B Miles Durham walked to lead off the 2nd, but was also eliminated in a double play. Their only threat was when three walks, to Locke, 2B Brock Holt, and CF Starling Marte, loaded the bases for the Curve in the 3rd. But a pop out ended the inning with all three left on base.
The Curve got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 6th. Holt led off the inning with a double into right field on a ball that was deflected off the Harrisburg pitcher Erik Davis. Holt moved to third base on a ground out by Marte. Then Mercer blasted a home run over the left field wall to give the Curve a 2-0 lead. The Curve loaded the bases after the homer, on singles by Durham and LF Quincy Latimore, then another single by 3B Jeremy Farrell off a new relief pitcher who is familiar: Jimmy Barthmaier. With the bases loaded, Barthmaier struck out C Eric Fryer, then ended the inning with a ground out by RF Brad Chalk.
The Senators returned the favor in the top of the 7th. Locke got one out, then gave up a double and a single, putting runners on the corners. He was relieved by Tom Boleska, who began by throwing a wild pitch, which allowed the runner from third to come across the plate. A single again gave Harrisburg runners on the corners, and a sacrifice fly brought in the tying run — both runs charged to Locke.
With two outs in the bottom of the 7th, Marte singled into left field. He stole second base, then came around to score when Harrisburg’s right fielder Archie Gilbert made a fielding error on Mercer’s fly ball. The Curve held on to that narrow lead for the next two innings. Michael Dubee retired the side in order with three grounders in the top of the 8th. Noah Krol gave up a single in the 9th, but got three more ground outs, earning his 4th Save of the season.