Prospect Watch: Cruz and Gonzales Homer; Greensboro Gives Up Ten Homers (In One Game!)

Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as an ebook or a limited edition paperback.

INDIANAPOLIS

Season preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  James Marvel 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Tucupita Marcano 1-for-3, BB, SB

Diego Castillo 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Jared Oliva 0-for-3

John Nogowski 0-for-2, BB

Game Recap:  Indianapolis won the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday by a 4-3 score. James Marvel got the start and he went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. Blake Weiman picked up the win with a scoreless seventh inning. The Indians went down 3-0 early, then Bligh Madris chipped away with an RBI single that scored Diego Castillo in the third inning. In the seventh, Madris drew a bases loaded walk to make it 3-2. Christian Bethancourt then hit a two-run single to make it 4-3, which held for the victory. Tucupita Marcano had a single, walk and his fifth stolen base since joining the Pirates.

GAME TWO

Boxscore

Pitcher: Miguel Yajure 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO

Notables:

Tucupita Marcano 2-for-4

Diego Castillo 0-for-2, 2 BB

Ka’ai Tom 0-for-4

John Nogowski 1-for-2, BB

Fabricio Macias 0-for-3

Recap: Miguel Yajure had a bit of a rough outing in game two of the doubleheader. He allowed three runs (two earned) in three innings, on two hits and four walks, with three strikeouts. He threw 65 pitches, with 36 going for strikes. John O’Reilly followed with two shutout innings before Iowa broke this game open against Keury Mella, who allowed five runs in the sixth. Joe Jacques gave up a home run to cap off a six-run inning. Iowa won 9-0. The Indians had four hits, all singles. The top of the lineup did a good job getting on base, with two singles from lead-off hitter Tucupita Marcano, and two walks from second place hitter Diego Castillo. John Nogowski had a single, walk and stolen base.

ALTOONA

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Trey McGough 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Oneil Cruz 1-for-4, HR, RBI, BB

Ji-hwan Bae 1-for-3, BB, HBP

Rodolfo Castro 0-for-4, BB

Mason Martin 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Matt Fraizer 0-for-2, 3 BB

Cal Mitchell 1-for-4, RBI

Jack Suwinski 1-for-3, BB

Carter Bins 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

Game Recap: Trey McGough started earlier this week and gave up five runs in two innings. He got to make a second start on Sunday and he tossed four shutout innings on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts. He now has a 3.84 ERA in 82 innings with Altoona. Noe Toribio followed with one unearned run over 1.2 innings. Nathan Kirby finished out the sixth inning by recording the final out. He tossed a scoreless seventh, which allowed him to pick up the win while recording four outs on four strikeouts. Shea Murray threw a scoreless eighth and Cristofer Melendez allowed a run in the ninth during the 7-2 win.

The Curve scored solo runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Cal Mitchell made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly. Oneil Cruz made it 2-0 with his tenth homer. Carter Bins made it 3-0 with an RBI single. The Curve added a run in the seventh on a wild pitch, then Mason Martin drove in a pair with a single. The final run scored in the ninth on a passed ball. Martin hit his 28th double. Matt Fraizer continued to see his average slide, but he had a strong game anyway, with three walks and two runs scored. He’s 4-for-33 in his last ten games. Carter Bins and Ji-hwan Bae each reached base three times.

GREENSBORO

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Tahnaj Thomas  4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Nick Gonzales 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Jared Triolo 0-for-4, BB

Lolo Sanchez 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB

Matt Gorski 0-for-4

Eli Wilson 0-for-3, BB

Game Recap: Tahnaj Thomas has had inconsistent results this season, but Sunday’s game was one of his toughest career outings. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits, with four of those hits being home runs. He now has a 5.19 ERA in 60.2 innings, with 62 strikeouts. As bad as things were for Thomas, he pitched an absolute gem compared to the ninth inning. Oliver Garcia started the final inning and infielder Andres Alvarez finished the inning. They faced 18 batters and 14 of them scored. Hudson Valley hit five homers in the inning, including two grand slams. There was a positive in this game and that was the hitting of Nick Gonzales. He hit his 21st doubles, 17th homer and drew a walk. He now has a .946 OPS. Lolo Sanchez hit his 15th homer.

BRADENTON

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Po-Yu Chen 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 SO

Notable Performances:

Endy Rodriguez 1-for-5, 2B

Dariel Lopez 1-for-3, RBI, BB

Jack Herman 0-for-3, BB

Hudson Head 1-for-2, 2 BB

Jase Bowen 0-for-4

Alexander Mojica 0-for-4

Game Recap: Po-Yu Chen had an odd outing on Sunday. He didn’t walk a single batter during his time in the FCL this year, then ended up walking five batters in 2.1 innings in this contest. He also managed to strike out six batters in his short outing, in which he gave up three runs on two hits, both of them being homers. One of those pitches was a fastball right down the middle on a 3-0 pitch, the other was a breaking ball outside and nearly in the dirt that had no business being hit as far as it went. The was the first time seeing Chen and his velocity seemed to be down from reports, as he topped out at 89 MPH a few times. He went heavy heavy heavy with off-speed pitches and mixed them well, which works well at the lower levels if you throw strikes. At 19 years old, it’s clear that he has both some polish and some work to do, along with a frame that has filling out to do. Five relievers worked the final 6.2 innings, with Wandi Montout standing out for 2.2 scoreless on five strikeouts, but Bradenton lost 8-5 to end the week with a 65-41 record.

Bradenton got their first run on a sacrifice fly and their second and third runs on an awful player by the Tampa defense. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alexander Mojica struck out on a ball in the dirt which should have ended the inning. The catcher didn’t catch in cleanly, so he just needed to pick it up, and step on home plate to end the inning. The ball rolled about 4-5 feet up the first base line, so he decided to throw it to first instead. That was the first mistake. His throw to first base was a good throw and the first baseman just dropped it. The catch was as routine as possible. Second mistake. Jack Herman would then score all the way from second base because the pitcher, who came in to cover home plate, walked away from home plate as the throw went to first base, so when the first baseman wanted to throw home to stop Herman, he couldn’t because no one was there. Third mistake. It was basically the minor league version of the Baez tag play. Just as bad overall, except two runs scored. Tampa still won, as all Bradenton could do after the first inning was an RBI single by Maikol Escotto and an RBI ground out by Jackson Glenn.

*** The four short-season teams are off on Sundays.

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