Tag: Bryan Morris

Cunningham Homers Twice; Power Hold On For The Win

Monday evening's games in the Pirates' lower minor leagues

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
(box)

The Curve were able to put runners on base but not push them across the plate tonight.  Starter Bryan Morris worked around a double in the 1st and a pair of walks in the 3rd to keep the Senators scoreless in the first three innings.  He got into trouble in the 4th, with a lead-off triple, followed by a walk and an RBI double.  A single drove in 2 more runs for a 3-0 Harrisburg lead.  The Curve had left CF Starling Marte stranded on third base in the 1st, after his single, stolen base, and a throwing error.  2B Brock Holt also singled in the 3rd and was left on base.  SS Jordy Mercer answered the Senators' 3-run inning with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but LF Quincy Latimore singled in that inning, and he was also left stranded.  

Tim Alderson
took over for Morris to begin the 5th inning, and he pitched 2 scoreless frames.  He loaded the bases in the 6th with a single and two hit batters, but ended the inning with a ground out.  Mike Colla allowed a triple in his scoreless 7th.  Then Noah Krol came on for the 8th, and gave up 3 more runs on a single, an RBI double, an RBI triple, and a wild pitch.  

The Curve put two runners on base in the 7th, when 1B Miles Durham singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell walked, but both were left on base.  Marte singled again in the 8th, and again could not come around to score.  The final Curve run scored in the 9th, when Durham tripled, then scored on Latimore's sacrifice fly.  


Morris Shines For Curve; Marauders Blast Jupiter

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


Altoona Curve  2,  Akron Aeros  0

(box score)

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.  


Two Hits Each For Latimore, Snyder, Rubinstein, And Power

All of the Pirates' minor league affiliates lost their season openers on Thursday night:

Erie SeaWolves  3,  Altoona Curve 2

One run in the bottom of the 9th made the difference, as the Curve lost in Erie, PA.  The SeaWolves were first onto the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the 5th inning.  Curve starter Bryan Morris had already escaped from two jams in the early innings.  In the 2nd, RF Brad Chalk threw out a runner who was trying to stretch a double into a triple, then Chalk ended the inning when he threw to C Tony Sanchez to nail a runner who was trying to score from second base on a single.  Morris loaded the bases in the 4th with a single and two walks, but a timely double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell to 2B Brock Holt, to 1B Miles Durham, ended that inning without a run scoring.  Morris' luck ran out in the 5th, though, when a walk and a 2-run homer gave Erie a 2-0 lead.  

The Curve missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the 2nd, when Sanchez singled into left field, and LF Quincy Latimore lined a double just out of the reach of the Erie left fielder.  But with runners on second and third, Erie starter Jacob Turner struck out both Farrell and DH Eric Fryer to end the inning.  Turner allowed only two base runners for the next 4 innings -- he walked Holt, and he hit Sanchez with a pitch.  (Sanchez has got to stop being a magnet for opposing pitchers' pitches.)  After Turner left the game, the Curve were able to put men on base again.  Farrell singled and Fryer walked in the 7th, though they didn't score.  The 8th inning began with back-to-back walks to Holt and CF Starling Marte.  SS Jordy Mercer bunted them over to second and third, then another walk to Sanchez loaded the bases.  Latimore came through again, with another double off the left field wall, missing a grand slam by inches, to plate both Holt and Marte and tie the game at 2-2.  

Reliever Anthony Claggett finished the 5th inning for Morris with a strikeout and a pickoff of one of the runners Morris had put on base.  Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes each pitched a perfect inning, with one strikeout for Pribanic and two for Hughes.  Michael Dubee struck out the side in the 8th inning to preserve the tie.  The Curve batters could not get anything going in the top of the 9th, though, and Dubee came back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position, and a ground out moved him to third base.  Then a sinking line drive, just inches away from the diving Latimore's glove, fell in for a hit, scoring the runner from third base for the walk-off win.  
Dubee was charged with the loss.  Morris got a no-decision, with 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, plus 3 strikeouts, in 4.1 innings.  The Curve had just 4 hits, two of them doubles by Latimore.  


2011 Prospect Watching: Owens, Morris, Locke, and More

Reaching the upper levels of the Pirates' minor league pitchers....

Rudy Owens  --  L/L,  6' 3",  215 lb
The Pirates selected Owens in the 28th round of the 2006 draft.  After so-so seasons with the GCL Pirates and State College, Owens suddenly had the light bulb go on for him at West Virginia in 2009.  He made 19 starts for the Power, and earned a 10-1 record.  In 100.1 innings, he allowed 19 earned runs and 71 hits, with 15 walks (1.3 walks/ 9 innings) and 91 strikeouts (8.1 K/ 9 innings).  Owens was promoted to A+ Lynchburg, where he made 6 more starts, though they were short starts as the Pirates were concerned about his total innings for the season.  He allowed more hits and runs in his 23.1 innings there, but still walked only 2 and struck out 22.  He was named the Pirates' Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2009.  Owens returned to Altoona for the 2010, and had another great season, again earning the award for Minor League Pitcher of the Year.  He began the season with a 3.57 ERA in April, allowing 9 earned runs and 22 hits in 22.2 innings, with a 2-0 record.  He dropped that ERA to 2.75 for May, with 11 earned runs on 23 hits in 36 innings, and a 3-2 record.  He gave up 5 runs and 4 runs in two games in one week, but also pitched 6 shutout innings in two other starts.  In June, Owens did even better, with 7 runs in 30 innings (2.10 ERA), but July was a tougher month, with another 5-run start, and a 3.49 ERA.  He stepped it back up in August, allowing just 3 runs on 20 hits in 33 innings (0.81 ERA).  That gave him a 2.46 ERA and 12-6 record for the season, with 150 innings, 41 earned runs, and 124 hits.  He also walked 23 (1.4 walks/ 9 innings) and struck out 132 (7.9 K/ ( innings.)  When the Curve got into the playoffs, Owens made one very un-Owens-like start in the first playoff series, but struggled, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks in 1.2 innings.  He pitched better in his start in the second series, against Trenton, and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings.  Owens also was named to the Eastern League All-Star team, and pitched one inning in the All-Star Game, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs.  Owens has a fastball in the low 90's, with good command, as well as a changeup and curve.  He should be ready for AAA to begin 2011, though the Pirates have indicated that they might hold him in AA for a little while, since they want more "major league ready" pitchers in Indianapolis.  The 23-year-old should still be pitching in Indy by later in the season, and has a chance at being called up to Pittsburgh by the end of the season.  


Jeff Locke  --  L/L,   6' 2",  180 lb
The Pirates obtained Locke from the Braves in the trade that sent Nate McLouth to Atlanta in 2009.  He'd had a shaky start to that season, and did only a little better after he came to A+ Lynchburg, where he earned a 4-4 record and 4.08 ERA in 17 starts.  His walk rate improved, but his strikeout rate dropped.  Locke began the 2010 season back in A+ at Bradenton, but started pulling it together.  In 17 starts for the Marauders, he earned a 9-3 record and a 3.54 ERA.  He began the season with a 2-1 record and a 2.89 ERA in April, with 6 runs and 14 hits in 18.2 innings, including one game in which he struck out 10 batters in 5 innings.  He went 5-2 in May and June, though his ERA rose to 3.81 for those two months, with an 8 strikeout game and two 7 strikeout games in June.  Overall, Locke struck out 83 batters in Bradenton (8.7 K/ 9 innings), while walking just 14 (1.5 walks/ 9 innings).  He was named to the Florida State League's All-Star team, and pitched a perfect inning in the All-Star Game.  Locke was promoted to AA Altoona in mid-July, and made another 10 starts there.  Two of the starts were rough, allowing 6 runs in 5 innings and 7 runs in 5 innings, but the rest were solid, and he finished the regular season with a 3-2 record and a 3.59 ERA for the Curve, allowing 23 runs on 57 hits in 57.2 innings.  He walked 12 batters (1.9 walks/ 9 innings) and struck out another 56 batters (8.7 K/ 9 innings).
Locke also pitched for the Curve in their playoff run.  In the first round, he gave up one earned run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings, but got a no-decision.  He won his game in the championship round, with on run on 6 hits in 7 innings, and struck out 8 Trenton batters.  Locke was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster last fall.  His control has improved as he continues to work on mechanics.  At 23 years of age, Locke should be ready for AAA in 2011, but like Owens, may be held back in Altoona for awhile, depending on what goes on with the Pirates' "major league ready" pitchers.  He also has a chance of being promoted as far as Pittsburgh by the end of the season.

Two More Rounds Of Reassignments, Plus Game Notes

Catching up after being away for a few days...

On Saturday, the Pirates sent four pitchers to minor league camp:
RHP Bryan Morris and RHP Kyle McPherson, both on the 40-man roster, were optioned down, with Morris going to AAA Indianapolis and McPherson going to A+ Bradenton.   
Two lefties, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, were also sent to the minor league camp, and though their exact level is still not official, both should begin the season with the Indy Indians.  

More moves were made today:
From the 40-man roster--
LHP Jeff Locke, LHP Aaron Thompson, and RHP Ramon Aguero were optioned to AA Altoona 
LHP Daniel Moskos and LHP Tony Watson were optioned to Indianapolis
Outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley were optioned to Indianapolis
Moskos and Presley both spent part of 2010 with Indianapolis, while Watson and Hernandez will make their debut at the AAA level.  Locke, Aguero, and Thompson all spent part of 2010 with Altoona.

Not on the 40-man yet --
Infielders Chase d'Arnaud and Brian Friday and outfielder Andrew Lambo were reassigned to minor league camp.  Friday played in Indianapolis for most of 2010 and should return there.  D'Arnaud and Lambo were in Altoona for 2010;  Lambo is ready for AAA, though d'Arnaud may be asked to go back to Altoona for part of 2011.  


Pirates Fall To Phillies

Phillies  7,   Pirates  4

 3-run rally in the 7th inning was enough to push the Phillies over the Pirates at McKechnie Field this afternoon.  
Starter Kevin Correia had a shaky top of the 1st inning.  The first four batters he faced all singled, bringing in 2 runs.  Then with runners on the corners, Correia buckled down, getting a foul pop out then two strikeouts to end the inning.  The Pirates got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, SS Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field, and 2B Neil Walker moved him to third base with a line drive single into right.  1B Lyle Overbay also lined into right field, to drive in Ciriaco, though Walker was out when he tried to get from first to third.  DH Matt Diaz also singled, but he and Overbay were left on base at the end of the inning.  
Correia worked around a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the side in order in the 3rd inning.  The Pirates also went down in order in both the 2nd and 3rd.  Diaz tied the score in the 4th, with a walk and a stolen base, then a single by 3B Andy Marte.   
Brian Burres pitched the 4th and 5th innings, allowing only a double.   Fernando Nieve took the mound next.  The first batter he faced was Ryan Howard, who blasted a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.  Nieve gave up a walk and a single after the homer, but left them on base.  The bottom of the inning began with a walk by Walker.  Pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Walker to third.  RF Garrett Jones ground out to first, which let Walker score to tie it up again.  Marte hit the next ground rule double, driving in Sanchez with the go-ahead run.  
Nieve came back out for the top of the 7th, and that's when he got into even more trouble.  Two singles (one to former Pirate Brandon Moss) and a double tied the score again, at 4-4.  Nieve was relieved by Mike Dubee (whose dad is Phillies' pitching coach Rich Dubee).  Dubee gave up a ground out to second, which allowed Moss to score from third base.  A single brought in the third run of the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout to end the inning.  Bryan Morris pitched the 8th inning, and gave up the final Phillies' run with a double, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly.  Daniel Moskos pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th to wrap things up.
The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the 7th.  Singles by CF Alex Presley and LF John Bowker and a walk by 2B Corey Wimberly loaded the bases with one out.   All three were left standing there when both 1B Josh Fields and Tony Sanchez struck out.  

C Wyatt Toregas also singled for the Pirates.  SS Chase d'Arnaud, RF Andrew Lambo, and CF Gorkys Hernandez all got into the game as well.   

Durham And Atkins Both Homer For Pirates

The Pirates played two split-squad spring training games this afternoon (Monday):

Orioles  6,  Pirates  4
The Pirates were held to 5 hits at McKechnie field this afternoon, but one of the big ones was a 2-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th by RF Miles Durham, who was up from minor league camp.  1B Lyle Overbay also singled for the Pirates, scoring the first Pirates' run of the game in the 5th.  3B Pedro Alvarez knocked in the remaining run for the Pirates, in the 6th inning.  LF Jose Tabata led off the inning with a single, stole second base, then scored on Alvarez's single    Alvarez also doubled for the Pirates.

LF John Bowker, SS Brian Friday, CF Mel Rojas, 3B Andy Marte,  1B Steve Pearce, 2B Chase d'Arnaud, 2B Jim Negrych, and C Wyatt Toregas all got into the game for the Pirates.   

Paul Maholm took the loss for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the 1st inning on a double and a single, then another on a solo homer in the 2nd.  Jeff Locke allowed a run on two hits in the 6th.  He allowed a single and a walk, then with two outs, an RBI single brought in a run.   Justin Wilson got the first out, then walked the next three batters to load the bases in the 8th.  A double and a sacrifice fly drove in all three of the base runners.  Jeff Karstens pitched 2 scoreless innings, then Tyler Yates, and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless frame.   Cesar Valdez finished up the 8th for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 9th, facing only 4 batters.

Curve Hold Their Own Against Pettitte, But Lose Game One

Trenton Thunder� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 ...���� (box)

Curve starter Rudy Owens faced off against National's phenom pitcher Stephen Strasbourg at the beginning of the season, and held his own.� Now he winds down the season by facing off against New York Yankees' rehabbing star Andy Pettitte -- and again, Owens held his own.� Owens and Pettitte each pitched 5 innings in tonight's first game of the Eastern League Championship Series, held in Altoona.� Owens gave up 2 runs; Pettitte gave up 2 runs.� Owens gave up 7 hits and 3 walks; Pettitte gave up 6 hits and 2 walks, and he also threw a wild pitch.� Owens struck out 7; Pettitte struck out 4.

2B Chase d'Arnaud faced Pettitte three times and must not have been very impressed.� He put the first run of the game onto the scoreboard when he led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo home run off Pettitte.� In the 3rd inning, d'Arnaud worked a walk, and in the 5th, he singled off Pettitte.

The Curve took d'Arnaud's home run lead into the 3rd inning.� Rudy Owens gave up a walk and a single in the 2nd, but induced a double play to end the inning.� In the 3rd, he gave up three singles, including the RBI single that slipped past first base and down the right field line to tie the score at 1-1.

The Curve came right back in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 2-1 lead.� With one out, DH Yung Chi Chen lined a single into right field.� Pettitte's wild pitch put Chen on second base, and when d'Arnaud walked, ball four got past the Trenton catcher for a passed ball, allowing Chen to advance to third base.� 3B Josh Harrison grounded just out of reach of the Trenton shortstop and into left field for the single that scored Chen.

Owens retired the side in order again in the 4th.� Then he gave up two doubles in the top of the 5th, and Trenton had tied up the game again, at 2-2.

The Curve threatened in the bottom of the 5th.� Chen reached base on a fielding error by the Trenton third baseman.� Back-to-back singles by d'Arnaud and Harrison -- a line drive into right field by d'Arnaud and a bunt single by Harrison -- loaded the bases for Altoona.� But Pettitte got SS Jordy Mercer to bounce back to the mound, where he fired the ball back to the catcher, forcing out Chen at the plate, then on to first base to complete the double play.� A strikeout ended the inning.

Curve and Marauders Both Fall To Big Innings

Harrisburg Senators� 10,� Altoona Curve� 5 ....������ (box)

Two 5-run innings gave the Senators the advantage over the Curve in the first game of their Eastern League playoff series.

The Curve jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the 1st.� 2B Chase d'Arnaud led off with a walk, and 3B Josh Harrison followed by blasting a home run over the left-center field wall, to give the Curve a 2-0 lead before they even had recorded an out.� Two outs later, LF Andrew Lambo reached base on a fielding error by the Senators' 2B Steve Lombardozzi.� C Hector Gimenez worked a walk, and RF Miles Durham singled into left field to bring in Lambo from second base, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.

It didn't last long, as the Senators sent 10 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs in the top of the 2nd.� Curve starter Rudy Owens had worked around a walk to Lombardozzi in the 1st inning, but got into trouble quickly in the 2nd.� A walk and a single began the inning, then a grounder to the diving 1B Matt Hague produced a force out at second base.� A double into right-center field brought in both base runners, and the Senators had made it a one-run game, 3-2.� A bunt attempt by the Senators' pitcher, Tom Milone, went right to Owens on the mound, and he turned it into a fielder's choice out at third, leaving Milone on first base.� But Lombardozzi walked again, then a single loaded the bases.� Owens had two outs with those bases loaded, and he got an 0-2 on the next batter -- and another single drove in two more runs, and the Senators had the lead.� That sent Owens to the showers after just 1.2 innings.� Jared Hughes came out of the bullpen, and he loaded the bases again by walking the first batter he faced.� A passed ball by Gimenez allowed the runner in from third base (unearned run, charged to Owens), and when a ground out ended the inning, the Senators had a 5-3 lead.

Milone had the Curve bats under control for the next 6 innings.� D'Arnaud doubled in the 2nd inning, but was left on base when three other Curve batters struck out.� Hughes reached base in the 4th on a fielding error, but was also left stranded. � Durham singled in the 6th, but was also left on base.� Harrisburg's reliever Hassan Pena pitched the 7th inning, and he also retired the Curve in order.

Hughes did even better than Milone over his next 3 innings -- he retired those 9 Harrisburg batters in order.� Bryan Morris was next out of the bullpen.� He retired the side in order in the 6th, and worked his way out of a jam in the 7th.� That inning began with a single, then Lombardozzi reached on fielding error, when his grounder bounced off 3B Harrison's glove.� With two on and none out (instead of one on and one out), Morris got a strikeout.� Another single loaded the bases, then Morris ended the inning with a three-pitch strikeout and a blazing line drive that went straight to Harrison's glove.

Mike Dubee took the mound for the Curve to begin the 8th inning, and he found trouble quickly.� Back-to-back singles opened the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout.� An RBI single followed, then Lombardozzi drove a liner down the right field line and into the bullpen, plating the second run of the inning.� An intentional walk loaded the bases, and a grounder to third yielded a force out at third, but Harrison's throw to first rolled away from 1B Hague, and instead of an inning-ending double play, two more runs scored and the inning continued.� Another single dropped in, in short left field, to drive in the fifth run of the inning.� Craig Hansen relieved Dubee, and he got the pitcher Pena to fly out to end the inning.

Losses All Around

Losses for all of the Pirates' affiliates on Friday night:

Reading Phillies� 9,� Altoona Curve� 4 ...������� (box)

The R-Phils attacked Curve starter Jared Hughes early, and the Curve bats could not keep up.� Hughes retired the side in order in the 1st inning, but gave up 3 unearned runs on a walk, a single, and two errors in the 2nd inning -- the throwing error was by Hughes.� A walk, a double, and a single added 2 more runs in the 3rd inning.� In the 4th inning, Hughes gave up another 3 runs on two singles, a triple, and a double by former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied.� Hughes was done after those 4 innings, having allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, though he struck out 6 batters.

The Curve hitters were hitless in the first 4 innings.� The only batter to get on base was CF Anthony Norman, who reached in the 3rd on Bozied's fielding error at first.� Two home runs, one by C Kris Watts in the 5th, and one by 2B Chase d'Arnaud in the 6th, got the Indians onto the scoreboard, but they were still trailing 8-2.

Each team scored in the 7th.� Tom Boleska had relieved Hughes to begin the 5th inning, and he retired the first 7 batters he faced in order.� Then in the 7th, he walked Bozied, then gave up a single and a double, allowing Bozied to score.� In the bottom of the frame, 1B Matt Hague led off with a single, then scored on singles by Watts and Norman, to make it 9-3.� The Curve added one more run in the bottom of the 9th, when SS Jordy Mercer, Hague, and RF Miles Durham led off the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases.� Watts' sacrifice fly plated Mercer, but two ground outs ended the inning without any further scoring.� Bryan Morris pitched two perfect innings to wrap it up for the Curve.

The Curve have won the Eastern League's Western Division title, and will begin the first round of playoffs on Wednesday.� None of the other playoff slots have been settled yet.� The Bowie Baysox and the Harrisburg Senators are tied for second place in the Western Division.� The Trenton Thunder are in first place in the Eastern Division, with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 2.5 games behind, with 3 games left to play.

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