Live Blog: Altoona-Trenton 9/15

Locke will look to even the series tonight.

Jeff Locke is on the mound tonight for the Altoona Curve, trying to tie the series at 1-1.  Altoona was able to fight back from losing the first game in the first round.  Hopefully they can do the same tonight.  Check the lineups post for information on the game tonight, and keep checking back here for updates.

6:40 PM: Locke struck out the first batter, got a soft liner to Josh Harrison at third, allowed a looping single to left, and got Austin Romine looking with a nice curveball.  16 pitches thrown, 12 for strikes.

6:44 PM: Josh Harrison crushes a solo homer to left to make the score 1-0 Altoona.

6:48 PM: Harrison’s homer was the only hit for Altoona in the inning.  1-0 Curve after the first inning.

6:55 PM: Locke with an easy second inning.  Strikes out the first batter on three pitches, gets a nice play from Chase d’Arnaud on a hard grounder to second.  The ball was hit hard at d’Arnaud, and almost ate him up.  D’Arnaud made a nice move to field the play and avoid it skipping in to right field.  Locke then got a strike out looking on a full count, his fourth strikeout of the game and third looking.

7:00 PM: Chase d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison are literally powering Altoona’s playoff run this year.  Coming in to tonight, d’Arnaud is hitting for a .400/.520/.900 line in 20 at-bats, with three homers.  Harrison was hitting for a .261/.292/.565 line with two homers.  After Harrison’s homer in the first, D’Arnaud and Harrison have combined for six of Altoona’s ten homers in the playoffs, and nine of Altoona’s 18 extra base hits.

Altoona gets a leadoff walk from Andrew Lambo.  Hector Gimenez pops out, and Jim Negrych grounds in to a 6-3 double play to end the inning.  1-0 Altoona after two.

7:06 PM: Locke allows three hard hit balls to start the inning.  The first goes for a double to the left field gap.  The second is hit right to Miles Durham for an out, with Luis Nunez moving up to third base.  The third goes for an RBI double to the right field gap, making the score 1-1.

7:11 PM: Two more fly outs for Locke, both somewhat hard hit balls.  He escapes with a runner stranded in scoring position and the score tied 1-1.  Great start by Locke in the first two innings, but he definitely didn’t look good that last inning.

7:16 PM: Miles Durham leads off with a walk, then moves to second on a stolen base.  Anthony Norman follows with a walk, bringing up Chase d’Arnaud with no outs and runners at first and second.

7:18 PM: Typical Pirates fashion, d’Arnaud lays down a sacrifice bunt to move to runners over.  However, the throw from Dellin Betances goes wild, bringing in Durham, and allowing d’Arnaud and Norman to advance to second and third.  2-1 Altoona.  Still no outs, and Josh Harrison is up with two runners in scoring position.

7:22 PM: Harrison grounds out to third.  A wild pitch to Jordy Mercer brings in another run.  Mercer follows with a two run shot on the next pitch, making it 5-1 Altoona.  That’s the second homer for Mercer in the playoffs.

7:25 PM: Altoona did a great job capitalizing on mistakes that inning.  Two leadoff walks, followed by an error and a wild pitch.  They got four runs, and only one hit.  That should give Locke some breathing room, up 5-1 after three innings.

7:31 PM: Jeff Locke strikes out the side.  Now has seven strikeouts on the night.  56 pitches, 39 for strikes tonight.  5-1 Altoona heading to the bottom of the fourth.

7:38 PM: Trenton pitcher Dellin Betances responds to Locke by striking out the side.  We’re through four innings and these two pitchers have combined for 13 strikeouts.  Still 5-1 Altoona.

7:45 PM: Locke gets a one hopper to Jordy Mercer, and a one pitch flyout to right field.  Almost gets a 1-2-3 inning on a hard grounder up the middle.  Mercer ranged over to make the play behind the second base bag, but dropped the ball on the change over while trying to make the throw.  Ruled an error.  Locke allows a single through the right side to put runners at first and second, then a broken bat single down the right field line to bring in a run.  5-2 Altoona.

Odd line score right now.  Trenton has two runs on five hits.  Altoona has five runs on two hits.

7:50 PM: Locke with a four pitch walk to load the bases.  Then gets a ground out to Mercer to get out of the inning.  The run allowed was unearned.  5-2 Altoona going to the bottom of the fifth.

8:01 PM: Anthony Norman leads off with a walk, steals second, then moves to third on a balk as Trenton pitcher Betances trips over the mound in the process of trying to throw a pitch.  Betances held on to the ball through the process.  Chase d’Arnaud struck out, Josh Harrison grounded out to third, then Jordy Mercer was robbed of an RBI single through the right side after a nice diving stop by second baseman Matt Cusick.  Still 5-2 Altoona after five innings.

8:08 PM: Locke allows a single past a diving Josh Harrison to lead off the inning.  Gets Rene Rivera to fly out to right field, followed by a strikeout looking on three pitches, and a fly out to center.  Locke looks to be done after six innings, with Derek Hankins warming up in the bullpen.  Locke threw 84 pitches, with 58 going for strikes.  He also recorded eight strikeouts on the night, assuming his night is over.

8:15 PM: Matt Hague leads off with a single.  Andrew Lambo follows with a hard hit grounder off the diving first baseman’s glove, which was ruled a single.  Gimenez grounds in to a 6-4-3 double play.  That’s it for Dellin Betances.  Trenton is bringing in Wilkins Arias, a left hander, to face Jim Negrych with a runner at third and two outs.

8:18 PM: Arias gets Negrych to strike out.  5-2 Altoona after six innings.  Locke is coming out for another inning, but Hankins gets back up in the bullpen.  Three left handers in a row due up.  If Locke doesn’t go 1-2-3 here I’m guessing he’s done.

8:26 PM: Matt Cusick out on a hard bunt to first base.  Locke follows up with a walk to Austin Krum.  Krum is 2-for-3 tonight against Locke with the walk, a double, and a strikeout.  Locke then gets a great 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.  D’Arnaud fielded the grounder up the middle on a back hand, flipped it to Mercer with his glove, and Mercer completed the throw to get out of the inning.  That should be all for Locke.

8:32 PM: Josh Schmidt comes in to pitch for Trenton.  Gets Miles Durham to strike out looking, strikes Anthony Norman out swinging, then gets d’Arnaud swinging on a full count to strike out the side.  Altoona has struck out 11 times tonight.  Derek Hankins is coming on to pitch for Altoona in the top of the eighth.  Altoona still up 5-2.

8:34 PM: Final line for Locke: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 pitches, 64 strikes.

8:36 PM: Derek Hankins’ first pitch: home run to left field.  Second pitch: home run to deep center.  Not a good start.  Then walks the next batter.

8:46 PM: Hankins gets two strikeouts, then walks a batter, putting runners on first and second with two outs.  That’s all for Hankins, with Daniel Moskos coming on to face the left hander and try for the four out save.

8:50 PM: Moskos gets out of the jam with a strikeout.  5-4 Altoona going to the bottom of the 8th inning.

8:55 PM: Jordy Mercer adds some insurance, crushing a solo homer to left field to make it 6-4.

8:59 PM: Hague pops out to third, and Lambo strikes out swinging.  Moskos on for the save in the ninth.  Altoona up 6-4 after the homer from Mercer.

9:06 PM: Moskos allows a leadoff single, gets a fly out to center, then allows a stolen base.  Austin Krum is having a great night, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base so far.

9:08 PM: A liner to center is caught by Anthony Norman, who made the play look easy with his speed.  One out to go, Austin Romine is up.  Romine is 1-for-4 with a homer and two strikeouts tonight.

9:10 PM: Moskos with a three pitch strikeout, completed with a throw out to first by Gimenez.  Altoona wins 6-4, tying the series at 1-1.  The series now heads to Trenton for the remaining games.

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