Tag: Brian Leach

Taillon’s First Loss; Marauders And Curve Bombarded

The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:

Lexington Legends  4,  West Virginia Power  2    Game 1 
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Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header.  Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st.  Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder's choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila.  Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring.  A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends' 4th run in the 4th inning.  Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.

The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning.  LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base.  The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit.  2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases.  CF Mel Rojas's grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends' shortstop let Mort and Noris score.  Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.  



Power  9,  Legends  3    Game 2
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Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game.  They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits.  DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.

The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st.  With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer.  Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead. 

Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai's double.  Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate.  Power up 8-0.  Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. 

Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2.  Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order.  He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame.  The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered.  Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th.  He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th.  A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington.  A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score.  Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.  

Homers And Wins For Everyone

Wins for everyone in the Pirates' minor league system on Saturday... and each of these winners scored 6 runs:

Altoona Curve  6,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve rallied with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, for a come-from-behind win, extending their winning streak to four games.  Starter Mike Colla went 5 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  Colla allowed only one hit over the first three innings.  The top of the 4th began with a single, a walk, and a single to load the bases.  After a strikeout, a single lined into left field drove in one run.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the frame.  CF Starling Marte had singled in the 1st inning, and the Curve had loaded the bases with two outs in the 2nd, on a walk by DH Kris Watts, and singles by 1B Miles Durham and RF Eric Fryer.  All four runners were left on base.  3B Jeremy Farrell started the 4th inning by being hit by a pitch.  C Tony Sanchez doubled into right field, scoring Fryer from first.  Watts' ground out moved Sanchez to third, then Durham lined a single into left field, bringing in Sanchez.  The Curve had a 2-1 lead.  

Brian Leach took over for Colla for the 6th inning, and retired the side in order.  Anthony Claggett came on for the 7th, which started well, with two outs.  Then a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single tied the game at 2-2.  Claggett remained in the game to begin the 8th inning, but he quickly got into trouble, allowing a pair of doubles and a single, for one run and one out.  Claggett was ejected after the single (no details, sorry), and Michael Dubee took over for him.  Dubee gave up an RBI single and an RBI double, to give Erie a 5-2 lead.

The Curve came charging back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and SS Jordy Mercer brought them both in with a 2-run homer.  Farrell singled after the homer, and Sanchez tied the score when he drove in Farrell with a triple.  Brad Chalk came in to pinch-hit for Sanchez, and he scored on Watts' RBI single, to give the Curve the lead.  

Noah Krol pitched the final inning.  He gave up a pair of singles, but kept the SeaWolves from scoring to hold on to the win.  Dubee was credited with the win, and Krol earned his 8th Save of the season. 

Grossman’s Lead-Off Homer; Power Are Two-Hit

Altoona Curve  8,  Erie SeaWolves  6
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Two big innings gave the Curve enough runs to withstand a late-inning rally by the SeaWolves and take the win to open this series.  The Curve got started with a two-out rally which scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  After a line out and a ground out, C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts both walked.  1B Miles Durham and RF Brad Chalk then hit back-to-back doubles, with Durham driving in one run and Watts adding two.  2B Brock Holt reached base on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Chalk to third base.  Chalk scored on a balk, giving the Curve a 4-0 lead.  They added 3 more runs in the 5th, beginning with Holt's lead-off single through the hole into right field.  CF Starling Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt to moved Holt to second base. Three consecutive singles, by LF Quincy Latimore, Mercer, and 3B Jeremy Farrell brought in one run (Mercer's RBI).  After a pitching change, Sanchez made it four straight singles with a liner into center field, scoring Latimore and Mercer.  The Curve added one more insurance run in the 7t, on a single by Latimore and an RBI double by Mercer.  

Aaron Pribanic
made the start for the Curve and earned his second win of the season.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and a walk.  Two of the hits, a single and a double, came in the 3rd inning, and were followed by a bouncer back to the mound, which Pribanic returned to Sanchez, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  Two more singles came in the 4th, and both of those runners were left on base.  Brian Leach pitched the 6th and 7th innings and gave up a run in each.  A walk and a triple plated the run in the 6th, and a walk, a single, and two ground outs brought in the run in the 7th.  Tom Boleska began the 8th inning, and got into trouble right away.  Two walks and a double loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly scored one run.  After another walk, Boleska was relieved by Noah Krol.  The first batter Krol faced doubled into left field for 2 runs, and a hit batter and an RBI ground out gave Erie the fourth run of the inning.  Krol ended the rally with a strikeout, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 9th to earn his 6th Save of the season.  

Marauders Sweep Series; Locke Gets 10 K’s

The Marauders had an early game today, for the school kids.  The Curve and the Power play later:

Bradenton Marauders  8,  Palm Beach Cardinals  1
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The Marauders swept a series for the first time this season with today's win over the Cardinals.  It was an early game following a late night, but the Marauders were awake and ready to go at 10 am, less than 12 hours after last night's rain-delayed game.  For the second game in a row, every member of the line-up reached base at least once.  

Phillip Irwin made his first start after coming out of extended spring training.  He went 2 innings, and allowed a run in the 1st, as he had to work around an error in each inning.  The top of the 1st began with a walk, then a stolen base, and the runner moved up to third when C Carlos Paulino's throw to second base went wild for an error.  That runner scored on the first of two singles, but Irwin closed down the inning with a strikeout and a ground out.  A fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez put another runner on base in the 2nd, and after a stolen base and a walk, the Cardinals had runners on the corners.  Irwin got out of the jam with a fly out.  

The Marauders took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning without posting a hit.  LF David Rubinstein was hit by a pitch, then 1B Cole White walked.  Two wild pitches let Rubinstein score and put White on third base.  After a walk to 2B Kelson Brown, the third wild p itch of the inning let White come in to score.   A passed ball and two more walks, to CF Robbie Grossman and 3B Elevys Gonzalez, loaded the bases, but a fly out ended that inning without any further scoring.  The Marauders led 2-1.  

Brett Lorin took over for Irwin to begin the 3rd inning.  Lorin pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 6 hits and a walk, plus 4 strikeouts.  Palm Beach had 2 singles in the 4th, though the first runner was tagged out trying to reach third base on the second single.  The Cardinals also had 2 singles in the 6th, but Lorin was not worried by either of those threats.

The Marauders picked up some insurance runs in the 5th, with DH Aaron Baker having his second big-hitting game in a row.  Elevys Gonzalez walked and went to second on a wild pitch.  He scored on Baker's RBI double into center field.  After a walk to Rubinstein, Paulino singled in Baker.  A wild throw by the Cardinals' catcher on a pick-off throw allowed Rubinstein to score the third run of the inning, and the Marauders were up 5-1.  They added 2 more runs in the 6th.  Grossman lined a double into left field, and Elevys Gonzalez singled, moving Grossman to third.  Baker plated Grossman with a single into right field.  When the Cardinals' right fielder went to catch Rubinstein's fly ball and had his feet slip out from under him, that was ruled an error, and Gonzalez scored as well.  That gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.  

The final run of the game came in the bottom of the 8th, when Grossman doubled into left field, Elevys Gonzalez singled, and RF Adalberto Santos brought in Grossman with a sacrifice fly.  Porfirio Lopez finished the game for Bradenton with a scoreless 9th inning, allowing just a single.  Lorin earned the win -- his first win of the season.
 

Three Hits For Rojas, But Losses All Around

Losses all around in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Augusta Green Jackets  5,  West Virginia Power  3
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A 4-run 2nd inning by Augusta had the Power trying to catch up for most of the game.  With Zack Dodson getting the start, Augusta scored on two singles, a throwing error by 3B Eric Avila, a 2 RBI triple, and an RBI ground out.  Only two of the runs were earned.  Dodson retired the side in two other innings, and walked two batters in the 4th.  The Power posted 8 hits (to Augusta's 5 hits), and put runners on base in each of their first four innings but could not bring any of them around to score.  The top of the 5th began with back-to-back singles by LF Rogelios Noris and SS Gift Ngoepe.  2B Drew Maggi dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but a missed catch error by the Augusta first baseman put Maggi safe on first, moved Ngoepe to third, and allowed Noris to score.  Ngoepe scored on an RBI ground out.  

Dodson was relieved by Brooks Pounders to begin the bottom of the 5th.  Pounders surrendered another unearned run, on two singles, a passed ball, and a wild pitch in the 5th.  He retired the side in order in both the 7th and 8th innings.  Ryan Beckman retired the side in order in the 8th inning.  

The Power continued to put runners on base in each inning, and they scored again in the 8th.  RF Dan Grovatt walked, moved to second base on a ground out, and scored on DH Justin Howard's line drive single into left field.  Ngoepe also singled in the 3rd inning.  CF Mel Rojas singled three times:  in the 1st, the 3rd, and the 7th.  He also stole second base in the 1st. 


Morris Shines For Curve; Marauders Blast Jupiter

Three wins for the Pirates' lower minor league teams on Tuesday:


Altoona Curve  2,  Akron Aeros  0

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Starter Bryan Morris threw 6 shutout innings to lead the Curve over the Aeros in Akron.  Morris scattered 4 hits and a walk, while striking out 3 for his first win of the season.  The only real trouble he had was in the bottom of the 1st, when rehabbing Grady Sizemore began the inning with a walk.  After two grounder force outs, a single, Akron had runners on first and second.  A single lined into center field had the runner from second charging for home, but CF Starling Marte fired in to C Eric Fryer, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Morris sailed through his remaining 5 innings, allowing just two more hits -- singles in the 2nd and the 5th.  Brian Leach, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.  Leach and Dubee each allowed one walk, but Dubee struck out the other three batters he faced.  Krol earned his second Save of the season.  

Both of the Curve's runs scored in the 3rd inning.  3B Jeremy Farrell began the rally by being hit by a pitch.  Fryer singled, and RF Jose Hernandez sacrifice bunted both runners into scoring position.  2B Brock Holt grounded to first, but a fielding error let him reach safely and gave Farrell the chance to score.  An RBI grounder by Marte brougth in Fryer with the second run.  Marte stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch, but the inning ended before he could come around to score.  

Marte singled after Holt walked in the 5th inning, and both Farrell and Fryer singled in the 7th, but neither of those threats yielded any runs.  Farrell lined into right field in the 9th, and rounded second easily, but was thrown out when he tried to stretch it into a triple.  He would have scored if he'd stopped at second, because Fryer followed with his own double.  Fryer was 3-for-4 in the game, and Farrell went 2-for-3.  


Thompson And Curve Get The Win

It's like they said in the movie "Bull Durham":  some days you win, some days you lose, some days it rains.  Again on Saturday, the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates experienced all three. 

It rained again in West Virginia.  The Power and the Savannah Sand Gnats will try for a double header again on Sunday.  As best as I can tell, Friday's game has been "cancelled" and won't be made up.

The win:
Altoona Curve  6,  Erie SeaWolves  2
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The Curve finally put one in the win column, as they out-hit the SeaWolves 14 - 3 on Saturday afternoon.  All but one member of the starting line-up had at least one hit, and while C Eric Fryer didn't smack a hit, he contributed two walks and scored a run.  CF Starling Marte, who had been hitless in the Curve's first two games, led the onslaught with 4 hits -- 3 singles and a double.  2B Brock Holt, DH Kris Watts, and 3B Jeremy Farrell all had two hits, and Holt and Farrell each drove in two runs.  

Erie scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st, on an infield single by the first batter of the game, followed by a bunt and a balk by starter Aaron Thompson, and an RBI ground out.  Thompson settled in after that, and did not allow another run nor another hit.  He walked one and struck out two in his 6 innings of work.  

The Curve tied the game in the 3rd inning.  Fryer walked, then came around to score on a wild pitch.  They took the lead in the 6th, when Marte doubled.  SS Jordy Mercer singled, driving in Marte.  Watts also singled, and he scored moments later when Farrell singled.  RF Brad Chalk added another run in the 7th -- he tripled, then came across the plate on Holt's RBI single.  The Curve rallied again in the 8th, for two more insurance runs.  Watts started with his second single.  Farrell brought him home with a double, and Holt followed up with an RBI single to plate Farrell.  

Reliever Brian Leach pitched a scoreless 7th inning and began the 8th, allowing a single.  Michael Dubee took over for Leach, but the runner scored on an RBI single.  Dubee also pitched a perfect 9th, earning his first save.  Thompson earned the win.  

2011 Prospect Watching: Pribanic. Leach, And Friends

Moving on up, as we look at the Pirates' minor league pitchers....

Aaron Pribanic --
  R/R,  6' 4",  200 lb
Pribanic came to the Pirates in July 2009, as a part of the trade with the Mariners for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.  He was assigned to West Virginia, where he made 6 starts and one relief appearance to finish the season, earning a 4-2 record and a 2.15 ERA.  He didn't walk many 5 (1.2 walks/ 9 innings), but didn't strike out many either (18, 4.3 K/ 9 innings).  Pribanic was promoted to A+ Bradenton to begin 2010, and he spent the whole season there.  He was a starter for the whole season, making 27 appearances, and earning a 7-6 record with an overall 3.33 ERA.  He began the season slowly, with 4 starts in April, in which he gave up a total of 12 earned runs in 17 innings (6.35 ERA).  May was a little better, with 18 earned runs in 33.1 innings (6 starts), for a 4.86 ERA.  He gave up 11 runs in his first three starts in June, but by the second half of the month, things were beginning to turn around.  Pribanic gave up 4 runs over his last three starts in June (21 innings).  July was even better:  5 earned runs in 30 innings for a 1.50 ERA.  Pribanic finished up the season with 8 runs in 44.2 innings (1.61 ERA) in August/September.  Again in 2010, he did not walk many (33, 1.9 walks/ 9 innings) and did not strikeout many  (71, 4.2 K/ 9 innings).  Pribanic was assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where he made 11 appearances, all in relief, for the Mesa Solar Sox.  He threw 18 innings and allowed 4 earned runs on 18 hits (2.00 ERA), with 6 walks and 9 strikeouts.  The low strikeout rate has been attributed to Pribanic not having particularly strong breaking pitches.  He does get a lot of ground ball outs, though, which explains why he can allow 157 hits in 154 innings and still give up "only" 57 runs.  Pribanic needs to work more on those breaking pitches, as the Pirates would really like to see more strikeouts.  He should begin 2011, at age 24, as a starter for AA Altoona.

 
Brian Leach --  R/R,  6' 3", 195 lb
Leach was chosen by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 2008 draft.  He pitched as both a starter and a reliever in his first two seasons in the Pirates' organization, but in 2010, Leach pitched almost exclusively as a starter, with just 2 relief appearances.  He was promoted to Bradenton for the season, and like Pribanic, he got off to a slow start, leading the Marauders in earned runs (15) and walks (16) for the month of April, when he made one relief appearance and four starts, for 20.2 innings, for a 6.53 ERA.  He cut back on the walks in May (9), and did a little better with runs, for a 4.70 ERA in 23 innings.  Leach too turned things around in June, when he allowed 7 runs in 30 innings (2.10 ERA), with 7 walks.  That ballooned up to a 4.75 ERA in July, though he kept the walks down to 6, and slid back to 3.26 ERA in August/Sept, with 9 walks.  Overall, Leach earned a 9-9 record and a 3.85 ERA, with 144 hits in 138 innings.  He walked 44 (2.9 walks/ 9 innings), and struck out 98 (6.4 K/ 9 innings).  Leach also participated in the Arizona Fall League after the regular season.  He made 10 relief appearances for the Mesa Solar Sox, and while he allowed 11 hits and 7 walks in his 10 innings, he did not allow a run.  Leach has been somewhat on-again-off-again with his control -- it was better during the second half of the regular season, and not so great during the AFL.  He needs to work on that in 2011, when at age 25, he should be joining Pribanic in the Altoona starting rotation.

Arizona Fall League Wrap

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up with the Championship Game on Saturday.  The Scottsdale Scorpions beat the Peoria Javelinas 3-2.  Each team posted 7 hits, with RF Adam Loewen (Blue Jays) going 3-for-3 for the Javelinas.  Loewen's first single contributed to the Javelina's first run in the top of the 2nd, but the Scorpions came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning, which included an RBI single by RF Bryce Harper (Nationals).  Loewen also singled in Peoria's 4th run rally, when they tied the score at 2-2.  Scottsdale took the lead again in the bottom of the frame, with a pair of doubles.  Starter Sammy Solis (Nationals) earned the win for Scottsdale with 4 innings of work, and reliever Cole Kimball (Nationals) earned the save.

The Mesa Solar Sox played their second-to-last game on Wednesday, losing to Scottsdale by a score of 6-0.  The Solar Sox were held to just 3 hits.  2B Josh Harrison had one of them -- a double to lead off the 4th inning.  CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) and 1B Josh Satin (Mets) each had a single.  Harrison was the first Mesa player to reach base in the game, after they went down in order for the first 3 innings.  But he was left on base when Scottsdale's Josh Collmenter (Diamondbacks) struck out the next three batters.  Nieuwenhuis singled and stole second base in the 5th, but the other three batters in that inning struck out too.  Satin singled in the 8th, but was left on base.  The Solar Sox had their best chance in the 7th inning, when with one out, DH Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) reached base on a fielding error and RF Andrew Lambo walked (the only walk for the Solar Sox.  But C Tony Sanchez bounced into a force out, and a line out ended the inning.  

Tie Eliminates Solar Sox From Playoffs

MESA SOLAR SOX  5,  PHOENIX DESERT DOGS  5   (TIE)
 
Starter Justin Wilson pitched into the 4th inning and allowed 2 runs, but the game ended in a tie.  That means that the Solar Sox will not be able to catch up to the Scottsdale Scorpions, who have clinched the Arizona Fall League's Eastern Division.  The Solar Sox have three games remaining.  The Scorpions will play the championship game on Saturday, against either the Peoria Javelinas (1st place in the AFL West) or the Surprise Rafters (2nd place, 3 games behind with 3 games to play).

The Solar Sox got the early lead, with a run in the 1st inning.  2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) singled up the middle, and a wild pitch put him on second base.  1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) also singled up the middle, and Flaherty raced around from second base to score.  
Wilson worked around a pair of singles in both the 1st and 2nd innings, to hold onto the slim lead.  But in the top of the 3rd, Wilson hit the first batter of the inning.  Then with two outs, he gave up a 2-run homer to LF Brandon Laird (Yankees), and the Desert Dogs had a 2-1 lead.  

A pair of doubles, by 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) and RF Andrew Lambo, drove in a run for the Solar Sox in the 4th inning, to tie the score.  A hit batter and a ground out by C Tony Sanchez moved the runners to second and third bases, but SS Jordy Mercer struck out to end the inning and leave both runners in scoring position.

Wilson began the 4th with a fly out and a walk, then was relieved by David Cales (Cubs), who got out of the inning without a run scoring.  Nicholas Carr (Mets) pitched a scoreless 5th inning for Mesa, then gave up two lead-off singles in the 6th.  A fielding error by Mercer brought in one run for Phoenix, and another single added a second run, giving the Desert Dogs a 4-2 lead.  

Jordy Mercer made up for his error in the 7th, when he led off with a solo home run.  DH Andrew Romine (Angels) singled following the homer, but was erased in a double play off the bat of Flaherty.  LF John Tolisano (Blue Jays) doubled and Rizzotti walked, but that attempt at a rally ended with a ground out.  The Solar Sox were closer, at 4-3.

Eric Neisen (Mets) finished the 6th inning for Carr, then pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning.  Brian Leach extended his perfect ERA streak with a perfect 8th inning -- two ground outs and a strikeout.  Eddie McKiernan (Angels) took over for Leach to begin the top of the 9th, and he gave up a double, then a fielding error by Rizzotti allowed that runner to score, and the Desert Dogs were back to a 2-run lead.  

Mercer began the bottom of the 9th with a line drive single into center field.  Romine walked, and Flaherty moved both up a base with a sacrifice bunt.  Mercer scored on Tolisano's RBI ground out, and Romine scored on a wild pitch.  But a strike out ended the inning and cut the rally short, and the game ended in a tie.  




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