Minor League Schedule: 7/3/12

Indianapolis is in first place in their division after their sixth straight win last night. They have an 11 game lead over second place Columbus. Altoona has also won five games in a row, moving their record within one game of the .500 mark. Bradenton is tied for first place in the race for the second half title in their division. All five probables for tonight are right-handed pitchers. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.

Creasy will be the first State College pitcher to make four starts this year.

Triple-A: Indianapolis (53-31) @ Louisville (31-55) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Rick VandenHurk (7-0 2.96)

Yesterday’s Result: Indianapolis 6 Louisville 4 in 14 innings

Rick VandenHurk will make his eighth start for Indianapolis tonight. He has won each of his last four starts, although in the last three he has given up a combined 12 runs in 17 innings. He is tied for fifth in the International League in wins, despite the fact he has made just seven starts and two relief appearances. On the road this year, he is 2-0 3.48 in 20.2 innings. Rick faced Louisville on 5/26, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings in relief. He also won a rehab start while with Bradenton, giving him a perfect 8-0 record overall.

Double-A: Altoona (40-41) @ Binghamton (36-45) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Kyle McPherson (1-2 4.76)

Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 6 Binghamton 2

Kyle McPherson will make his fourth start of the season tonight. He missed the beginning of the year with shoulder soreness. In his first start he went five innings, allowing one run on four hits, one walk and he struck out five batters. In his second start. McPherson went six innings, but was hit hard. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits and a walk. Kyle gave up four runs in six innings during his last start, recording just one strikeout. He split last season between Altoona and Bradenton, pitching a total of 161 innings, giving up 137 hits, 11 homers, 27 walks and he recorded 142 strikeouts.

High-A: Bradenton (36-46 overall 7-5 2nd half) @ Charlotte (33-45 overall 4-7 2nd half) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Matt Benedict (0-2 9.64)

Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 6 Charlotte 3

Matt Benedict will make his third start for Bradenton tonight. He made 14 starts for West Virginia prior to being promoted. For the Power, he pitched 76.1 innings, giving up 72 hits, three homers, 23 walks and he struck out 44 batters. In Matt’s first start with Bradenton, he went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks with no strikeouts. In his second outing he went five innings, surrendering six runs on five hits and four walks, with two strikeouts.

Low-A: West Virginia (29-53 overall 6-6 2nd half) @ Delmarva (30-50 overall 2-9 2nd half) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Ryan Hafner (0-5 6.46)

Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia 2 Delmarva 4

Ryan Hafner will make his 11th start of the season and his third since rejoining the rotation after a three week stint in the bullpen. He has pitched a total of 46 innings, allowing 55 hits, 46 walks and he has recorded 23 strikeouts. Hafner has allowed just four homers, thanks in part to his 1.54 GO/AO ratio. In his last start he went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks. He has a 3.42 road ERA this year in 23.2 innings.

Short Season A: State College (8-7) VS Batavia (7-8) 7:05pm
Probable Starter: Jason Creasy (0-1 5.73)

Yesterday’s Result: State College 3 Batavia 5 (Game story)

Jason Creasy will make his fourth start of the season tonight. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in 4.1 innings during his last start, picking up his first pro loss. In his first start, Jason went 2.2 innings, giving up three runs on three hits and two walks. He followed that up with four innings on 6/23, allowing one run on three hits, with four strikeouts. Jason was an eighth round draft pick in 2011, making his pro debut in the GCL last year, where he made three appearances, pitching a total of 5.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA.

Rookie: GCL Pirates (5-6) VS GCL Tigers (9-4) 12:00pm

Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 1 Tigers 10

DSL: Pirates1 (15-11) VS Red Sox (15-11) 10:30am

Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 15 Yankees 6

DSL: Pirates2 (14-12) VS Phillies (13-13) 10:30am

Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 10 Reds/DBacks 2

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Dean Lipperman

Thanks Tim to you and your staff for keeping us Pirates fans updated on our young Bucs. I check in several times during the day to get my Pirates fix.

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