Tag: Eliecer Navarro
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.
Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 2
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.
Continuing through the Pirates' minor league pitching ranks:
Gabriel Alvarado -- R/R, 6' 2", 175 lb
Alvarado is a Venezuelan native who made his US debut in 2008 after two seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League. He moved up to West Virginia for 2009, where he pitched mostly as a starter, with an additional 4 relief appearances. He earned a 6-10 record and a 5.05 ERA, and in 114 innings, he allowed 135 hits, 64 runs, and 33 walks (2.6 walks/ 9 innings), with 96 strikeouts (7.6 K/ 9 innings). Alvarado returned to West Virginia for 2010, but this time made just 4 starts and the rest of the time pitched in relief. He earned a 3-5 record, with 5 saves and a 4.21 ERA. He threw 83.1 innings, and allowed 86 hits, 39 earned runs, and 26 walks (2.8 walks/ 9 innings), with 60 strikeouts (6.5 K/ 9 innings, a bit down from the previous season). Alvarado is going to turn 24 years old in May. He did not shown a lot of progress last season, but he now has two seasons of A-level experience. With the crowd that is going to be looking for a spot in the West Virginia bullpen, Alvarado will probably begin the season at A+ Bradenton, due to that experience. He'll need to get going and get the strikeouts up.
Maurice Bankston -- R/R, 6' 4", 205 lb
Bankston was the Pirates' 8th round pick in the 2007 draft. He pitched for the GCL Pirates in 2007 and at State College in 2008, then moved up to West Virginia to begin the 2009 season. He struggled in 9 starts there (1-4 and 4.98 ERA, and 48 hits in 43.1 innings), and was moved back to State College later in the season. He made another 9 starts for the Spikes with better results: 2-4, 2.34 ERA, and 54 hits in 50 innings. He struck out 25 batters at both levels. Bankston returned to West Virginia for the 2010 season, but made just 2 starts, and like Alvarado, was moved to the bullpen. He began the season well, with a 2.93 ERA in 6 relief appearances and 13 hits in 15.1 innings in April. He slipped to a 4.41 ERA in 6 relief appearances and one start in June, with 16 hits in 18.1 innings. June was a horrible month for Bankston, with an exploding ERA over 11, and 31 hits in 17.1 innings. He settled back down for the rest of the season, as he earned a 3.29 ERA in July and finished the season with a 1.32 ERA for August. Bankston finished the season with a 4.68 ERA and a 7-4 record with 3 saves. In 82.2 innings, he allowed 43 earned runs and 85 hits. He walked 29 batters (3.2 walks/ 9 innings), and struck out 58 batters (6.3 K/ 9 innings). Bankston is in a similar position to Alvarado -- he'll turn 24 in the middle of the 2011 season, and despite not having made a lot of progress in the past couple of seasons, he will likely begin the 2011 season in Bradenton's bullpen.
Sunday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates... this is the season finale for the Spikes, and the regular season finale for the Marauders.
West Virginia Power� 4,� Hagerstown Suns� 3 ....��� (box)
Elevys Gonzalez was the hero in the bottom of the 10th inning with a blast over the right-center field wall for a walk-off homer.� The Suns had scored first with a solo home run off Power starter Eliecer Navarro to lead off the 2nd inning and another solo blast to begin the 4th inning.� Navarro scattered 5 more hits over the rest of the first 5 innings without allowing a run to score.� He began the 6th inning by giving up a walk, then an RBI double to give the Suns their third run.� Maurice Bankston relieved Navarro to finish the 6th inning, then went on to pitch 2 scoreless innings.
The Power got one run back in the bottom of the 4th, with the help of 3 consecutive walks.� CF Evan Chambers walked first, but was caught stealing second base.� Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and DH Jose Hernandez put two runners on base, then C Ramon Cabrera skipped a ground-rule double over the left-center field wall, scoring Baker.� A pop out ended the inning without any further scoring.
The bottom of the 7th began with the Power trailing 3-1.� Cabrera led off with a line drive single up the middle, then LF Rogelios Noris doubled, and 3B Andy Vasquez tripled, tying the score as both Cabrera and Noris scored.� Vasquez was cut down after rounding third base, on the throw in from the outfield.
Bankston hit a batter with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th, but left him stranded.� Jhonathan Ramos pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.� The Power went down in order in ther 8th.� Noris singled and stole second base in the bottom of the 9th, but could not come around to score, and the game went into extra innings.� Ramos gave up a one-out single in the top of the 10th, but then struck out the next two batters.� That set up the bottom of the 10th, when Elevys Gonzalez greeted the new Suns' reliever with the game-winning homer.
Tuesday's action for the Pirates' lower minor leaguers....
Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)
The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League's Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.
Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague's two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning -- he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.
Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie's only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.
Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer's ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman's double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).
Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.
Back to full action in the Pirates' lower minor league organization:
Harrisburg Senators � 9,� Altoona Curve� 7 (box)
The 5 Curve players who participated in the Eastern League All-Star Game didn't have to do any extra travelling after the game, because the rest of the Curve joined them in Harrisburg to begin a series against the Senators.
The Senators jumped out to an early lead, with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and 2 more in the 3rd inning off Curve starter Jared Hughes. Hughes gave up two walks, a triple, a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 1st inning, and a 2-run homer in the 3rd.� After the homer, Hughes had a batter reach on a throwing error by SS Chase d'Arnaud, then gave up another single.� Then he settled down and retired the next 11 batters in a row.� He pitched 6 innings and allowed those 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.
The Curve bats were quiet over their first 5 innings, with only a walk to C Hector Gimenez and singles to CF Gorkys Hernandez and RF Miles Durham. They got going in the 6th inning, when Hernandez singled again and 3B Josh Harrison doubled, scoring Hernadez from first base.� 1B Matt Hague blasted a 2-run homer, and the Curve were back in the game, trailing 5-3.
Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman added another 2-run homer in the top of the 7th, after LF Brandon Jones had walked.� With the score tied at 5-5, D'Arnaud walked after the home run, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.� Hernandez's third single of the game put d'Arnaud on third base, and Harrison's sacrifice fly brought him in with the go-ahead run.� One more run came across in the top of the 8th.� 3B Jordy Mercer walked, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� Durham singled again, but Mercer had to hold at second base because the ball was just at shortstop.� Jones walked to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Yung Chi Chen's sacrifice fly brought in Mercer.
The Curve were looking good, with a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.� Anthony Claggett had relieved Hughes and struck out the side in the 7th.� Mike Dubee pitched the 8th, allowing a single and a walk, but striking out two more batters.� Ramon Aguero took the mound for the bottom of the 9th.� He got the first out... then everything fell apart.� A walk, a single, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third base.� A sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base, bringing the Senators closer, 7-6.� Another walk put two runners on, and a 3-run walk-off homer gave the Senators the 9-7 win.
Losses for all of the Pirates' minor league affiliates today.
GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)
Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.
The Pirates cut the Tigers' lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.
Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.
Indy Indians'�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.
Bradenton catcher Eric Fryer, who was hit in the face by a pitch on Thursday night, has broken facial bones around his eye. �That will require surgery to fix -- get the bones properly aligned and stabilized. �He's going to be out of action for at least several weeks and possibly for the rest of the season. �This is the same type of injury that Paul Maholm had years ago, though his injury occurred when he was hit in the face by a line drive while on the mound.
Friday night's action:
State College Spikes �5, �Williamsport Crosscutters �4 (box)
Late inning rallies gave the Spikes the walk-off win over Williamsport. � The Spikes got on the scoreboard in the 3rd inning when C Matt Skirving singled and SS Gift Ngoepe blasted his first home run of the season, a 2-run homer. �Williamsport tied it up in the top of the 5th. �The first run, off starter Tyler Waldron, came on a double and a single. �A throwing error and a sacrifice fly brought in an unearned run to tie the score.
Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed the two runs (one earned) on 6 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �He was relieved by Trent Stevenson, who pitched the next 3 innings. �He gave up a run in the 6th, on a single, a stolen base with a throwing error, and a double, to give the Crosscutters the go-ahead run. �The Spikes caught up and tied the score again in the bottom of the inning. �Singles by Ngoepe and LF Adalberto Santos and a walk to 3B Chase Lyles loaded the bases. �1B Gerlis Rodriguez drove in Ngoepe with a sacrifice fly.
Williamsport took the lead yet again in the top of the 7th with an unearned run. �A throwing error by Stevenson put the lead-off runner on base, and he scored on a triple. �Rodriguez tied it up again in the bottom of the 8th with a solo home run.
Justin Ennis took the mound for the Spikes for the 9th, and he mantained the tie with a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk while striking out two batters. �That gave the Spikes the chance in the bottom of the inning. �The first two Spikes' batters struck out. �CF�Kyle Saukko kept the inning going with a line drive into left field for a single. �A passed ball put Saukko on second base. �Ngoepe worked a walk, and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position. �2B Walker Gourley grounded towards first base, and when he was safe on a fielding error, Saukko scored to win the game.
Williamsport Crosscutters �5, �State College Spikes �3 (box)
The Spikes opened their season on the road tonight, unfortunately on the losing end. �Starter Zack Von Rosenberg, who had pitched just one inning in the 2009 season, was charged with the loss. �He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.
Williamsport struck first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st inning, on two doubles. �The Spikes took the lead in the top of the 3rd, with a 2-out rally. �SS Walker Gourley doubled, and 2B Gift Ngoepe singled, driving in Gourley. �Ngoepe stole second base, and he scored on 3B Chase Lyles' RBI single (his first professional hit), giving the Spikes a 2-1 lead.
A 2-run homer, followed by a walk and an RBI double gave the Crosscutters 3 more runs and the lead in the 4th inning. �Another single nearly brought in another run, but RF Andury Acevedo's throw in to the plate to C Miguel Mendez had the lead runner out at the plate. �Those 4 Williamsport runs were all charged to Von Rosenberg.
The Spikes got within one run again in the 6th. �DH Kelson Brown and CF Justin Bencsko's each collected his first professional hit -- a single for Brown, and an RBI triple for Bencsko.
Ryan Beckman took over on the mound for Von Rosenberg for the 5th inning. �He gave up a single and hit a batter, but did not allow a run to score. �Eliecer Navarro pitched the next 2 innings. �He loaded the bases in the 6th with a walk and two singles, but struck out the next batter to end the inning without a run scoring. �Navarro gave up a solo home run in the 7th, giving the Crosscutters an insurance run. �Justin Ennis made his pro debut with a perfect 8th inning -- a strikeout and two ground outs.
Friday night business.... the State College Spikes (Short-season A level) begin their season two weeks from today. �The Gulf Coast League Pirates, who will share McKechnie Field with the Marauders, begin their season on June 21st.
While the team rosters have not been formally announced yet, there have been some player moves: �C/INF Andrew Walker and INF Anthony Norman have been moved from the Marauders to the State College roster. � LHP Eliecer Navarro has been moved onto the Marauders' roster from the GCL Pirates' roster. �Also, Marauders' INF Greg Picart has been reactivated from the disabled list (hand injury).
Altoona Curve �6, �New Hampshire Fisher Cats �1 (box)
The Curve began their series in New Hampshire with a win, boosting their lead in the Eastern League Western Division to 9 games over Bowie, Harrisburg, and Richmond, who are all tied for second place.
SS Chase d'Arnaud and CF Gorkys Hernandez got the Curve off to a good start with back-to-back singles in the top of the 1st. �3B Josh Harrison grounded into a double play which erased Hernandez but moved d'Arnaud to third base, and 1B Matt Hague's single through the hole into left field scored d'Arnaud with the first run of the game. �They added another run in the 2nd on a one-out triple by LF Alex Presley and a double by DH Shelby Ford.
The game picked up some controversy in the 4th inning, when Fisher Cats' 3B Shawn Bowman led off with a long fly ball that seemed to fly over the left field wall... but then bounced back onto the field of play. �Home run or a bounce off the top of the fence? �The umpires ruled it a homer, and Curve manager Matt Walbeck was ejected when he argued a little too vociferously. �Walbeck got his revenge in the 5th, when CF Danny Perales hit another long fly, this one to right field, for what he thought was a game-tying home run. �But while Perales had slowed to a home-run trot, the umpires ruled that this ball had hit the wall and so was still in play. �Curve RF Miles Durham threw the ball in to the infield, catching Perales by surprise between second and third bases, where he was tagged out after a brief run-down.
After that, it was all Altoona. �The Curve loaded the bases in the 6th on walks to Hague and 2B Jordy Mercer, and a single by C Hector Gimenez. Presley's RBI ground out brought in Hague, and Durham walked to load the bases again. �Ford greeted the New Hampshire reliever with a line drive into center field, driving in both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 5-1 lead. �After another grounder force out, Hernandez walked, loading the bases for the third time in the inning. �The third time was not a charm, though, as a fly out ended the inning.
Hernandez added an insurance run in the top of the 9th when he led off with his first home run of the season. �The Curve recorded 12 hits, including 2 each from d'Arnaud (single and double), Hernandez (single and homer), Gimenez, Presley (single and triple), and Ford (single and double).
Rudy Owens earned his 6th win for the Curve, going 6.1 innings and allowing only that solo home run plus 4 other hits and 3 walks. �He did not have more than one Fisher Cats' base runner on base at one time until the 7th inning, when he struck out the first batter, then gave up a walk and a single. �That was the point at which he was relieved by Derek Hankins. Hankins threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third bases, then walked a batter to load the bases with two outs. �But he got a ground out to first to end the inning without letting any of those three runners to score. �Hankins allowed just one single over the next two innings, as he earned his first save of the season.