Tag: Greg Picart

Curve All-Stars Named; Alvarez Homers

Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team.  RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte.  Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division's team :  manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino.  The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).  


Friday's action for the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates .... the GCL Pirates' game was postponed.   


Bradenton Marauders  3,  Palm Beach Cardinals  2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight.  The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game.  Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out.  He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks.  Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.  

The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez.  2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score.  All of the Marauders' runs came in the bottom of the 5th.  Marquez led off with a double lined into center field.  SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base.  Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third.  Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.  
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th.  He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.  Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.  

The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th.  It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.  


Harrison’s 5-For-5 Sparks Tribe’s Come-From-Behind Win

Indianapolis Indians 9,  Pawtucket Red Sox  7
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IMG_56883B Josh Harrison (photo) went 5-for-5 at the plate to lead the Indians in a come-from-behind win over the Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island tonight.  Harrison smacked two singles and three doubles, and contributed 2 RBI, as the the Indians scored 9 unanswered runs after trailing the PawSox 7-0.

Justin Wilson made the start for the Indians, but he lasted only two innings.  He was responsible for all 7 of Pawtucket's runs (6 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, with no strikeouts.  Home runs were the beginning of the end for Wilson, who gave up 3 in his briefest start of the season.  

With two outs in the bottom of the 1st, Wilson gave up the first homer, a solo blast by DH Hector Luna.  The trouble really got going in the 2nd, when the first four batters reached base safely.  C Michael McKenry led off with another solo home run.  2B Tory Thomas singled, then  3B Brent Dlugach made the score 4-0 with a 2-run homer.  SS Jose Iglesias singled, and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by RF Matt Sheely.  Then Wilson walked three consecutive batters --  CF Che-Hsuan Lin on four pitches, LF Daniel Nava on a 3-2 count, and Luna on a 3-1 count.  Luna's walk forced in Iglesias.  A grounder to 1B Matt Hague might have been an inning-ending double play, and Luna was forced out at second, but Harrison's throw back to first was wild, allowing 1B Lars Anderson to reach first safely, and allowing Nava to score from third base.  The inning finally ended with a ground out by McKenry, but the PawSox had a 6-run inning, and led the Tribe 7-1.  

Gallagher Loses #7 As Tribe Split Series

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  5,  Indinanapolis Indians  1
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IMG_4968The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees won their second game in less than 24 hours, to earn a series split with the Indianapolis Indians.  Today's game began at 10:35 am in Moosic, PA, and started on time, though a misty rain fell for a large part of the game.  For the second game in a row, the Yankees scored early, and for the second game in a row, the Indians were held to just one run.

Sean Gallagher (photo) suffered his 7th loss of the season.  The Indians' starter pitched 6 innings in this start.  He surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batter, with 4 strikeouts.  The first two Yankees' runs came in the bottom of the 1st.  With one out, SS Ramiro Pena singled through the hole and into left field.  A passed ball by C Wyatt Toregas let Pena move to second base.  Gallagher struck out the next batter, but then International League home run and RBI leader 1B Jorge Vazquez stepped to the plate and smacked a 2-run homer just in side the left field foul pole.  That increased his home run count to 17 and his RBI total to 43, and gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

Gallagher settled into a rhythm after the 1st inning.  He scattered 2 singles, a walk, and a hit batter over the next 4 innings, and kept all those base runners from scoring.  The Yankees did score another run off Gallagher in the 6th.  Vazquez began the rally with a walk.  A wild pitch by Gallagher moved him to second base, and LF Justin Maxwell's single lined into left field advanced him to third.  3B Brandon Laird collected the RBI when his sacrifice fly plated Vazquez.  

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Meanwhile, Yankees' starter Adam Warren was having a pretty easy time with the Tribe batters.  DH Dusty Brown was the only Indians' batter to reach base in the first three innings -- he singled to lead off the 3rd, but was left on base.  The Indians scored their only run against Warren and the Yankees in the 4th.  CF Gorkys Hernandez (photo) led off with a single lined along the right field line, then stole second base, sliding in ahead of a late throw from the Yankees' catcher.  After a strikeout by LF Alex Presley, RF John Bowker grounded toward second base, where the ball skipped off the glove of 2B Kevin Russo for a single.  Hernandez advanced to third base, then scored on 1B Matt Hague's sacrifice fly.  Hernandez crossed the plate standing when the CF Austin Krum's throw to the plate was a little short.

That was the Tribe's only run.  Warren walked Brown to lead off the top of the 5th, but then retired the next 12 batters he faced, taking him through the 8th inning.  





Presley’s Inside-The-Park Homer Not Enough

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  2,  Indianapolis Indians  1
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IMG_5603LF Alex Presley made the most exciting hit of the game, an inside-the-park home run, but that was the only run the Indians would score, as they lost to the Yankees at PNC Field in Moosic, PA this evening.   1B Matt Hague punched 3 hits for the Tribe, and starter Brad Lincoln struck out 7 batters in 6 innings, but even those were not enough.

The game got off to a late start, due to a nearly two-hour rain delay.  Lincoln (photo) got off to a bit of a shaky start in the bottom of the 1st, when he walked the first batter he faced, LF Austin Krum, then gave up a single to SS Ramiro Pena.  Then Lincoln got C Jesus Montero to bound to the newest Tribe player, SS Greg Picart, who started a 6-4-3 double play (Picart to 2B Josh Harrison to Hague).  A strikeout ended the inning without a run scoring.

Lincoln was not so lucky in the 2nd inning.  CF Justin Maxwell led off with an "oops" swing bunt along the third base line, which 3B Andy Marte was able to get to, but he did not have a play at first, and Maxwell was safe with a single.  Maxwell stole second base, then moved to third on 3B Brandon Laird's ground out.  2B Kevin Russo grounded a slow roller to second, where Harrison made the scoop and fired back to the plate, but the ball reached the plate after Maxwell did, for the Yankees' first run.  RF Dan Brewer walked, pushing Russo to second base.  DH Gustavo Molina grounded to second for what should have been an inning-ending double play.  Harrison got the ball to second base, for the force out on Brewer, but Picart was disrupted by Brewer's slide, and his throw to first base was wide on the outfield side of the bag. That allowed Russo to round third and score on the error, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.  

2011 Prospect Watching: Cunningham, Gonzalez, And Friends

Continuing to look at the middle infielders in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Jarek Cunningham --  R/R,  6' 1",  185 lb
Cunningham was the Pirates' 18th round pick in the 2008 draft.  After a solid debut with the GCL Pirates (.318 average with 5 homers and 22 RBI), he missed the entire 2009 season due to knee surgery.  He returned with a healthy knee in 2010, assigned to West Virginia.  Cunningham jumped right out to a good start, hitting .304 in April, with a homer and 5 RBI.  He slumped in May to just .194, with 2 more homers and 5 RBI.   Then he popped up again in June, with a .317 average, 3 homers, and a big 17 RBI.  The average slipped a little in July, to .279, though the power production continued, with 4 homers and 14 RBI.  The slip continued into August, as he dropped to .214 with 2 homers and 6 RBI.  He finished the season with a .258 average, and not much left-right difference (.265 against lefties and .256 against righties).  He had 37 doubles, 7 triples, 12 homers, and 49 RBI.  He struck out a lot -- 132 times in 121 games (27%), and that rate was highest in July and August.  He walked just 30 times (5.6%), and that was best in June and July.  Cunningham played entirely at second base during the 2010 season (2008 was split between shortstop and third).  Now that there is less concern about his knee, and with his good range and arm, he could spend time at shortstop too.  The 21-year-old should be ready for A+ Bradenton for 2011.  He'll need to work on plate discipline and cutting back on the strikeouts.  

Benji Gonzalez  --  R/R,  5' 11",  160 lb
Gonzalez was picked in the 7th round of the 2008 draft, coming out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy.  After two seasons in the GCL, Gonzalez was promoted to West Virginia for the 2010 season.  He had hit a solid .286 in the GCL in 2009, but that did not carry over to 2010 with the Power.  He hit .196 in the first half of the season, then he improved to .279 for the second half, for a .236 average overall.  Gonzalez has limited power, with just 12 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 35 RBI in 2010.  He stole 18 bases, but was also thrown out 14 times, so that needs some improvement.  Gonzalez was the main shortstop for West Virginia in 2010, and showed strong defensive play with good range and a strong arm.  He'll need to work on cutting back on the errors (32) of course.  After the regular season, Gonzalez went back to Puerto Rico and played in 19 games for the Puerto Rican Winter League's Gigantes de Carolina.  He did not hit well there either, just .184 with 2 doubles.   Despite the low hitting, Gonzalez will likely be assigned to A+ Bradenton for 2011, where his hitting will need to improve.

Roster Updates

Gone for a few days, and all kinds of changes going on....

006_06The Pirates have removed starting pitcher Zach Duke, infielder Andy LaRoche, and outfielder Delwyn Young from their 40-man roster.  

Duke (photo) was the starting pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians on Opening Day in 2005, the beginning of the Pirates' affiliation with the Indians.  Duke faced the rehabbing Curt Schilling, and he and the Indians beat Schilling pretty easily.  

The open spots on the 40-man roster, plus two other already open spots, went to a group of minor league pitchers:  

Mike Crotta, a righty who made 4 starts for Altoona before he was promoted to Indianapolis.  He made 24 starts for the Indians and pitched 131.1 innings, with a 4.93 ERA.
Daniel Moskos,
who split the season between the Indy Indians and the Altoona Curve.  The lefty was outstanding for the Curve, with a 1.52 ERA and 21 saves, though he struggled for the Indians, where he earned a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings of relief.
Tony Watson, another lefty who spent the season with the Curve.  He made a few starts (9) but mostly worked in relief, earning a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings.  
Jeff Locke, split the season between Altoona and the Bradenton Marauders.  After earning a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for Bradenton, Locke was promoted to AA, where the southpaw made an additional 10 starts and earned a consistent 3.59 ERA.   
Kyle McPherson, a right-hander who spent most of the season with A-level West Virginia.  McPherson made 21 starts and 5 relief appearances for the Power, with a 3.59 ERA in 117.2 innings, though he had some hot and cold swings.  McPherson also pitched 4 scoreless innings for Bradenton in September.  

Baker Pitches 8 No-Hit Innings; Cayonez’s Perfect Afternoon

Lots of action in the Pirates' lower minors on Tuesday, partly because of two double headers making up for the two postponements yesterday.

West Virginia Power �7, �Hagerstown Suns �3 (box)

Power starter Nate Baker pitched 8 no-hit innings tonight in Hagerstown, to earn his 6th win of the season. �He was not perfect, though. �After striking out the first two batters he faced, a batter reached base on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez. A grounder force out ended the inning. �With one out in the 2nd inning, Baker hit a batter with a pitch, though he left that runner stranded on base. �From there, Baker retired the next 20 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts. �Only three of those batters got the ball out of the infield.

Baker did not come out to pitch the 9th inning, probably due to pitch count. �Reliever Gabriel Alvarado took the 9th, and he was the victim of the Suns' pent-up frustration and stifled hits. � Alvarado struck out the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a line-drive single, a triple, and a home run, as the Suns avoided both the no-hitter and the shut-out.

The Power batters provided Baker with plenty of run support, though not until the later innings. �C Ramon Cabrera had 3 hits and 2 RBI, while CF Evan Chambers, 2B Jarek Cunningham, and 1B Aaron Baker all had 2 hits. �The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when Cabrera singled, Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Chambers walked, but a strikeout ended the inning. �They got going in the 6th inning, with a single by Aaron Baker, a walk to LF Jose Hernandez, and a 2-RBI triple by Cabrera. �DH Elevys Gonzalez followed with a double, scoring Cabrera, for a 3-0 lead. �They added another run in the 7th, when Chambers led off with a single and scored on Aaron Baker's double.

Two walks, to 3B Jesus Brito and Cabrera, began the 8th inning, and a fielding error on Elevys Gonzalez's sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Power. �Benji Gonzalez brought in Brito on a grounder force out, then Chambers doubled, scoring Cabrera. �Benji Gonzalez tried to score from first base, but he was thrown out at the plate. �Cunningham also singled, plating Chambers for the Power's final run of the game.

Marauders and Spikes Win Big

Bradenton Marauders �11, �Ft. Myers Miracle �1 (box)

The Marauders scored early, then poured it on with two late-inning rallies to take a big win over Ft. Myers tonight. �Starter Aaron Pribanic earned his 4th win for the Marauders with 6 innings of work, allowing one run on 7 hits, no walks, and 2 strikeouts. �He scattered 4 of the hits over the first 5 innings, then gave up the lone run in the 6th, on a double and an RBI single, plus one more single. � Mike Colla earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, in which he scattered 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters.

The Marauders began scoring in the 2nd inning. �CF Austin McClune walked, then scored on 3B Adam Davis' double. �A wild pitch moved Davis to third base, and after a walk, SS Greg Picart brought in Davis with an RBI single. �McClune also walked to led off the 4th inning. �Davis was hit by a pitch, and DH James Skelton moved both runners up one base with a sacrifice bunt. �Picart's RBI ground out brought McClune across the plate. �In the 5th, it was RF �Robbie Grossman who led off with a walk. �Singles by C Eric Fryer and LF Quincy Latimore brought in Grossman, and Bradenton was up 4-0.

Two errors by the Miracle got the Marauders' 8th inning rally started. �Picart reached on a fielding error and a throwing error let 2B Jose De Los Santos reach base on a sacrifice bunt and moved the runners to third and second bases. �Picart scored on a wild pitch, then C Eric Fryer walked and stole second base. �Latimore's grounder fielder's choice brought in De Los Santos, and McClune's single plated Fryer. �Those three runs gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.

The 9th inning brought another rally, again started with a lead-off single. �It was Skelton who walked, then Picart singled and De Los Santos grounded into a force out at second, which was probably hoping to be a double play, but De Los Santos is too speedy. �The grounder force out brought in Skelton. �Grossman doubled and Fryer tripled, for two more runs, then 1B Calvin Anderson doubled, driving in Fryer with the 4th run of the inning.

Morris Wins For Curve, Cain Debuts

Wednesday's action in the rest of the Pirates' minor league organization. �The West Virginia Power had the day off, wrapping up the South Atlantic League's All-Star break

Altoona Curve �8, �Portland Sea Dogs �1 (box)

Bryan Morris pitched into the 7th inning in his 4th win of the season, allowing only one run on 6 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 for the Curve. �The first batter Morris faced doubled to open the gam, and Portland's second batter lined a single into center field, complicated by a fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez, to score a run. �Morris gave up a walk, but ended the inning with 2 strikeouts, and put up zeros after that. �He retired the next 7 batters, before allowing two singles in the 4th, then getting out of that jam with a double play. �He breezed through the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a single and a walk in the 7th, and was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues finished the 7th inning, but loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk and two singles (one by former Curve Ray Chang). �He got out of that mess with two pop outs (all three of the outs that inning were pop outs). Diego Moreno, fresh off the Disabled List, pitched the 9th inning, allowing a walk amid three strikeouts.

The Curve batters provided Morris with plenty of run support, beginning with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, the next 5 batters reached base on hits. �Singles by Gorkys Hernandez and 3B Josh Harrison were followed by a double by 1B Matt Hague, which brought in two runs. �2B Jordy Mercer singled, scoring Hague. �C Hector Gimenez doubled, moving Mercer to third base. �LF Alex Presley bounced to first base for a fielder's choice, as Hague was tagged out at the plate. �Gimenez scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball. �RF Miles Durham got in on the act in the 4th inning with a 2-run homer, after a walk by Presley. �Gimenez led off the 6th with a solo homer, then Presley scored on a double and a fielding error on DH Shelby Ford's ball to first.

GCL Season Opens; Spikes Find First Win

The Altoona Curve and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off on Monday. �The Power are starting their 3-day All-Star break, with the South Atlantic League's All-Star Game scheduled for Tuesday.

GCL Yankees 10, �GCL Pirates 8 (box)

The Pirates posted a 4-run 5th inning and scored their 8 runs on only 5 hits, taking advantage of 5 errors by the Yankees. �But the Yanks made up for their errors with two 4-run innings to take the win.

CF Junior Sosa began the game with a walk and a stolen base for the Pirates. �He moved to third on a ground out, and scored the Pirates' first run on a wild pitch -- no hits involved. �The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, as their first batter homered off rehabbing Pirates' starter Brett Lorin. �Lorin then retired the next 6 batters he faced, including 4 strikeouts.

Joely Rodriguez took the mound to begin the 3rd for the Pirates. �He gave up a single, two walks, and a grand slam, then another single, to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. �Yomar Pacheco rescued Rodriguez, to finish that inning, then pitch 3 more. �He gave up a run in the 4th on another lead-off homer, along with 2 more hits and 2 walks, but struck out 3 batters.

The Pirates came charging back in the 5th. �LF Exicardo Cayonez led off with a double, and went to third on a ground out. �DH Daan Cornelissen walked, and Sosa loaded the bases when he reached on a fielding error. �SS Kevin Mort singled, driving in Cayonez, and 1B Michaelangel Trinidad cleared the bases with a double into right field. �Trinidad injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. �Yankees 6, Pirates 5.

The Pirates took the lead with 2 runs in the 7th. �Sosa walked, and moved to second base when Mort reached on a throwing error. �A double steal put both into scoring position, and they both crossed the plate on another Yankee error. �Cayonez was hit by a pitch to begin the 8th inning, and after a ground out, he scored on Sosa's RBI double, to give the Pirates an insurance run, 8-6.

It was not enough insurance, though, as the Yankees scored 4 again in the bottom of the 8th. �After a scoreless 7th inning by reliever Yeyber Sanchez, Oscar Verdugo took the mound for the 8th. �With one out, he gave up a single, hit a batter, and gave up a walk and another single, bringing in one run. �A runner was out at the plate on what appears to have been an attempt to score on a wild pitch, but that was all for Verdugo. �Sheng-Cin Hong relieved Verdugo, but he gave up a double and a single, scoring 3 more runs (3 charged to Verdugo and one to Hong). �Verdugo was charged with the loss, and Hong with the Blown Save.

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