Rodolfo Nolasco went inside-the-park, and Cal Mitchell and the red-hot Aaron Shackelford went back-to-back. The Pirates’ affiliates managed to survive a lot of very rough bullpen work to pick up four wins.
Prospect Watch: Altoona Wins Behind Homers from Liover Peguero and Matt Gorski
TRIPLE-A: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS
INDIANAPOLIS @ TOLEDO
Final Score: Indianapolis (12-17) 5, Toledo 2
Indianapolis Starter: Quinn Priester
Pitching Line: 6 IP, 2 H, 4 K
- Josh Palacios 2-5
- Cal Mitchell 1-4, HR (2)
- Aaron Shackelford 3-4, 2B, HR (2)
- J.C. Flowers IP, H, K
- Angel Perdomo IP, K
- Colin Selby IP, BB, K
Indianapolis got a strong start from Quinn Priester and beat Toledo, 5-2.
Priester has been up and down this year, but today he was up. He threw six shutout innings, allowing two hits and no walks. He needed just 74 pitches and fanned four. J.C. Flowers followed with a scoreless inning.
The Indians got Priester some runs early. In the second, Cal Mitchell and Aaron Shackelford homered on consecutive pitches, the second of the season for each. Shackelford finished a triple shy of a cycle. Since starting the season 2-for-20, he’s gone 16-for-46 with seven extra base hits. Indy got three more in the fourth, two on a double by Chavez Young.
That was all the scoring for Indy. They had a dozen hits, but went 1-for-12 with RISP. Josh Palacios had two hits, while Young, Canaan Smith-Njigba and Grant Koch each had a double.
The shutout lasted until recent waiver claim Eli Villalobos got into the game in the eighth. He failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. After he walked in a run, Angel Perdomo got out of the inning while allowing only one more run to score. Colin Selby pitched the ninth to pick up the save.
DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE
ALTOONA @ RICHMOND
Final Score: Altoona (12-10) 6, Richmond 3
Altoona Starter: Sean Sullivan
Pitching Line: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
- Liover Peguero 2-4
- Henry Davis 1-2, BB, HBP, SB
- Jacob Gonzalez 1-3, HR (2), BB
Sean Sullivan finally gave up a run, actually three, but Altoona beat Richmond, 6-3.
Sullivan hadn’t been scored upon in his first three starts, although he’s only slowly building up his innings. He started this one with two scoreless innings, but gave up a solo home run in the third. In the fifth he left after the first two batters reached. Oliver Garcia let both score, but lasted two innings without allowing anything else. Juan Minaya also threw two scoreless innings. Braeden Ogle got the save despite walking two in the ninth.
The Curve got a run without a hit in the first, as Henry Davis eventually scored after reaching on . . . what else. On the day, he reached three times, the other two on a single and a walk, and he stole third to set up the first run.
Altoona got four in the fourth. The big blow was a two-run shot by Jacob Gonzalez, his second longball of the year. The Curve had only seven hits and went 1-for-10 with RISP, but got two unearned runs. Liover Peguero was the only player with two hits. He has his average up to .267 after a bad start.
HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
GREENSBORO @ WINSTON-SALEM
Final Score: Greensboro (14-9) 6, Winston-Salem 4
Greensboro Starter: Braxton Ashcraft
Pitching Line: 3 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, K
- Tsung-Che Cheng 1-4, 3B, BB
- Jackson Glenn 1-2, 2 BB, SF
- Hudson Head 2-4
- Luke Brown 1-2, BB, SF
Greensboro took a five-run lead into the ninth, then survived some serious bullpen follies to beat Winston-Salem, 6-4.
Braxton Aschcraft started and went three innings on 44 pitches. He got through two innings easily, but gave up a home run in the third, then had to work out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam. That ended his night.
The Hoppers picked up three runs each in the third and sixth, helped by some walks. They finished with seven on the day, along with eight hits. Tsung-Che Cheng had a triple for the only extra base hit. Jackson Glenn reached three times on a single and two walks. Hudson Head was the only player with two hits. He has nine hits in his last ABs.
Greensboro had a 6-1 lead after eight. Mitchell Miller and Dante Mendoza each contributed two scoreless innings and Eddy Yean one.
The ninth inning, though, quickly turned farcical. Cy Nielson hit the first two batters and walked the next. Catcher’s interference on Eli Wilson forced in a run and brought Jack Carey into the game. He immediately gave up a two-run double, but fortunately the third runner was thrown out at home. With the tying run up, Carey finally got a ground out and a strikeout to end the game.
LOW-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS
BRADENTON @ TAMPA
Final Score: Bradenton (15-9) 7, Tampa 6
Bradenton Starter: Alessandro Ercolani
Pitching Line: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
- Jesus Castillo 2-4, 2B, BB
- Jared Triolo 2-4, 2B
- Rodolfo Nolasco 1-4, HR (1), BB, SB
- Shalin Polanco 1-4, HR (2), BB
Bradenton had leads of four and three runs, but a very shaky bullpen just barely hung on for a 7-6 win over Tampa.
Alessandro Ercolani did well to get through five innings, as he allowed seven hits. In fact, the first three hitters he faced hit singles. They all came with nobody on, though, because the first guy got caught stealing and the second guy got picked off. Ercolani gave up two runs in the third, but that was all.
The Marauders had nine hits and six walks in the game, but went 2-for-11 with RISP. They especially had trouble with runners on third and fewer than two outs. Geovanny Planchart, for instance, twice took called third strikes in such situations. Fortunately, the Marauders got some help from shoddy defense, a wild pitch and a balk.
Bradenton also got an inside-the-park home run from Rodolfo Nolasco. It was his first home run of the year. Since missing the early season with an injury, he has eight hits, six of them for extra bases. Shalin Polanco later added his second home run of the year with a man on. At the top of the order, Jesus Castillo reached three times on a single, double and walk. Jared Triolo had a single and double.
The bullpen managed to hold on, but not easily. Carlos Lomeli threw one scoreless inning with the help of a line-drive double play. Yunior Thibo allowed two runs in his one inning. Elijah Birdsong was next up, but he couldn’t finish it. He got only five outs and let six batters reach base. He gave up two runs in the ninth and left with two on, two out and a one-run lead. Mike Walsh finally got a strikeout to end it.
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.
Call it the Statcast curse, but I’m still struggling to come to terms with how far Quinn Priester’s stuff has sunk.
Stoked to see Liover start putting it together.
Good to see Triolo back.
If he can get some offense going in the next month his defense would be welcome in Pittsburgh.
Where? 1st and 3rd base are not the problem….I had hope all off season that he play SS this year, and was hoping that because I thought he will pair well with Cruz and we had/have no back up SS. Who knows, maybe they have tried him there and he wasn’t an option.
He played second last night and that was my thought along with ss till Cruz gets back. I’m totally satisfied with 1st and 3rd defense. I thin it’s fairly obvious that ss and 2nd are problems right now.
Nolasco picking up where he left off