Justin Meis had a great start and Luis Ortiz a good one. Meanwhile, Greensboro stayed in a rut.
TRIPLE-A: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS
Game Time: 7:05pm
Starting Pitcher: Max Kranick
- Final Line: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Oneil Cruz 2-5, SB
- Travis Swaggerty 0-2, 2 BB, SB
- Cody Bolton 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Indianapolis (7-8) dropped a 4-3 game to Columbus. Max Kranick made a rehab start and it lasted only an inning and two-thirds. He allowed two runs on a pair of solo home runs. Cody Bolton followed and gave up two more runs in two and two-thirds innings. He had trouble throwing strikes, walking three. Four relievers followed — John O’Reilly, Austin Brice, Matt Eckelman and Cristofer Melendez — and gave up just a hit and a walk over four and two-thirds scoreless innings. Indy could only counter with three runs on seven hits, all singles. Oneil Cruz, Jared Oliva and Michael Perez each had two hits. Indy’s three hottest hitters — Rodolfo Castro, Mason Martin and Cal Mitchell — went a combined 0-for-10. Travis Swaggerty and Ji-Hwan Bae combined for another 0-for-6, so it was a tough prospect day.
DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE
Game Time: 6:00pm
Starting Pitcher: Luis Ortiz
- Final Line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
- Connor Scott 0-4, BB
- Blake Sabol 2-4, 3B, BB
- Jack Suwinski 2-4
- Aaron Shackelford 1-2, HR (2), BB, SF
- Jared Triolo 2-4
- Tucupita Marcano 1-4, HR (1)
- Matt Fraizer 2-3, 2B, BB
Altoona (6-7) took an 8-2 lead into the ninth against New Hampshire, then nearly gave the game away before holding on, 8-7. Luis Ortiz had another strong start, giving up two runs over five innings while fanning six. Noe Toribio was even better in relief, throwing three scoreless innings while striking out five. The Curve got the first run on Tucupita Marcano’s first home run of the year, an opposite field shot in the second. Aaron Shackelford added a two-run homer, his second longball of the year, in the third. Shackelford finished with three RBIs, while Blake Sabol, Jack Suwinski, Jared Triolo and Matt Fraizer each had two hits. Fraizer broke an 0-for-23 skid in the process. The ninth inning was a slapstick routine, as New Hampshire got only one hit, but plated five runs. Will Kobos made his first appearance of the year and managed to retire only two while walking four. Enmanuel Mejia came on with the bases loaded and the score 8-3, but a two-error play let in three runs. A hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases back up, then Triolo, playing short, made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle, holding it to an infield single. That made it 8-7, but the runner on second ventured too far around third and Triolo alertly threw him out to end the game. The final carnage for the inning was five runs, one hit, five walks, one hit batsman, one passed ball and one wild pitch, but the Curve prevailed.
HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
Game Time: 6:30pm
Starting Pitcher: Santiago Florez
- Final Line: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Hudson Head 3-4
- Endy Rodriguez 2-4
- Henry Davis 2-3, 2B, HBP
- Matt Gorski 1-4, HR (4)
Greensboro (4-9) lost to Aberdeen, 7-4, in a game that followed a pattern that’s developing for the Grasshoppers. They scored some runs early, but the offense petered out, while starter didn’t do well and the bullpen gave up more runs. Matt Gorski hit his fourth home run of the year in the second inning after Henry Davis, you guessed it, got plunked for the seventh time in a dozen games. Hudson Head went 3-for-4 and scored the other two runs. Davis drove in one with a double and Endy Rodriguez the other. Those two each had two hits. Santiago Florez started, but needed 36 pitches to get through the first inning, so that was it for him. He allowed two runs and reliever Wandi Montout allowed one over three innings. Jack Carey gave up three runs over three innings, and Oliver Mateo allowed one in two innings. The Hoppers managed to whiff “only” 11 times in this game, with Sammy Siani and Maikol Escotto each going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
LOW-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS
Game Time: 7:05pm
Starting Pitcher: Justin Meis
- Final Line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K
- Tsung-Che Cheng 2-5
- Jase Bowen 2-4
- Luke Brown 2-3, BB
- Cristian Charle 1 IP, 2 K
Justin Meis had a rough time in his first game, but he’s thrown nine shutout innings over two outings since then. This was his best one yet, as he shut Daytona out over five innings while fanning ten in a 4-1 Bradenton (8-5) win. He allowed just two hits and walked nobody. Wilkin Ramos followed and allowed an unearned run in two innings. Cristian Charle and Carlos Lomeli each threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The Marauders had nine hits, but none for extra bases. Luke Brown had a good day, with two hits and a walk, along with two runs and two RBIs. That raised his average to .333. Tsung-Che Cheng, Jase Bowen and Randy Romero each had two hits.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.