Tag: Joe Martinez

Uviedo Wins, Gimenez Homers

Not many winter league playoff games today, but a few player moves:
LHP Wil Ledezma had been DFA'ed right before Christmas, and yesterday he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Both INF Delwyn Young and RHP Brian Bass signed minor league contracts with the Phillies today.  
Earlier in the week, RHP Joe Martinez, who had also been DFA'ed by the Pirates shortly before Christmas, was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  11,  Bravos de Margarita  3  --  
Los Leones posted 14 hits, which was enough to make up for their 3 errors.  Three singles and a Bravos' fielding error gave Los Leones their first 3 runs in the 2nd inning.  In the third, the first six Caracas batters reached base -- a double, two singles, and three walks (including a walk by LF Mike Ryan) -- then a sacrifice fly and another single gave Los Leones 5 runs.  A 3-run homer in the 8th capped their scoring.  Margarita scored one run in the 6th, with the help of one of those errors.  An error by Ryan in left field, plus a walk and two singles (one by C JR House) brought in two more runs in the 9th.  Ronald Uviedo earned the win for Caracas, going 6 innings and allowing only the unearned run in the 6th inning, on 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  

Caribes de Anzoategui  5,  Tigres de Aragua  4  --  New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma came into the game for Los Tigres in the 6th inning with one run in and runners on the corners.  Ledezma gave up a single, which broke a 4-4 tie, and eventually gave the win to Los Caribes.  Ledezma also retired the side in order in the 7th.  Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a double, an error, and a sacrifice fly.   Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, when 1B Hector Gimenez walked, then scored on an RBI double.  Gimenez added a 2-run homer in the 4th, and another homer in the 5th gave Aragua their 4 runs.  LF Lastings Milledge singled and stole second base in the 6th, and advanced to third base on another single, but he got no further.  C Raul Chavez went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres. 

Personnel Shuffles; Loss For Nieve

Several moves, shuffling personnel around:

RHP Joe Martinez, who came to the Pirates from the Giants (with John Bowker) in July, was removed from the Pirates' 40-man roster and designated for assignment.  That frees up a roster spot for newly signed starter Kevin Correia.  Martinez joined the Indy Indians after coming to the Pirate organization, and made 4 starts and 3 relief appearances for the Indians.  In 28 innings, he earned a 1-2 record and a 5.72 ERA.  Then he pitched 8.2 innings over 5 games for the Pirates, for a 3.12 ERA.  

Spring Training invitations for the big league camp were extended to pitchers Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, both of whom pitched in Altoona in 2010.  Tyler Yates, working his way back from elbow surgery, was signed to a minor league contract and also invited to major league spring training. Infielder Jeff Clement was also invited to big league camp.   

The Pirates have announced the new managers for their minor league teams:  Dean Treanor, who was the pitching coach in Indianapolis in 2010, will now be managing the Indians.  Frank Kremblas, who has managed in Indianapolis for two years, will move into the role of minor league field/instructional coordinator.  PJ Forbes, who managed the Bradenton Marauders in 2010, will manage the Altoona Curve in 2011.  Carlos Garcia will move from coaching first base for the Pirates to managing the Marauders.  Gary Robinson is moving up from managing the State College Spikes to managing the West Virginia Power, and Dave Turgeon, former coach at Virginia Tech, will become the manager at State College.   

And, some winter league action for some Pirates' players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina  4,  Indios de Mayaguez  2  --  
For the second night in a row, Benji Gonzalez came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Los Gigantes, then remained in the game on defense.  Gonzalez flied out in the top of the 6th, then played second base for one inning, and shortstop for 3 innings.  He also grounded out in the 9th.  Los Gigantes scored one run in the 2nd, 2 in the 4th, and one more in the 5th, while a triple and a double contributed to Los Indios' 2 runs in the 7th.

Criollos de Caguas  7,  Senadores de San Juan  2  --  Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had another big night, going 4-for-5 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI.  Figueroa flied out in the bottom of the 1st, and that was the only time he was retired.  His ground-rule double drive in Los Criollos' first run in the 3rd.  He doubled again (the conventional way) in the 4th, driving in 2 of that inning's 3 runs.  Then he homered to lead off the bottom of the 6th.  He also doubled in the 8th, but was left on base.  Los Criollos scored 2 runs in the 5th, without Figueroa's help:  three walks, including one by 3B Ramon Vazquez,  loaded the bases, then a double brought in two runs.  Vazquez also walked in the 2nd inning, but did not score.

The Confusing Case of Matt Walbeck

The confusing case of Matt Walbeck, the Eastern League Manager of the Year, now jobless since the Pirates have declined to renew his contract....� I have no direct knowledge, not being in or around Altoona.

From Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror:� "It's simple and complicated",�� and� it's going to give Walbeck the opportunity to find a AAA position elsewhere.�� And, "it was a communication issue", and maybe even a personality issue, with some players really liking Walbeck, and others not liking him at all.

From Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:� "not following the prescribed development programs and a lack of communication".

There are two sides to every story -- and there may even be more than two in this instance.� It does seem like there's more to this than we're going to hear about.

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Brad Lincoln needed 15 pitches (11 strikes) to strike out the side in the bottom of the 7th in last night's Pirates' game against the Marlins.� Joe Martinez pitched 2 innings in relief for Pittsburgh.� He gave up a 2-out double in the 5th, but left the runner on base.� Then he gave up another double and an RBI single in the 6th.

Brandon Moss was 1-for-19 when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th, but he added 2 hits in the game -- a slow dribbler down the third base line for an infield single to load the bases.� He came around to score in that inning, then doubled in the 9th, scoring again on Pedro Alvarez's homer.� John Bowker played both right field and first base, and went 1-for-4, with a walk in the 8th to force in a run.� Argenis Diaz also walked to force in the next run in the inning.� Alex Presley came in to play center field in the bottom of the 7th, but he struck out in the both of his plate appearances.� Pedro Ciriaco had a pinch-hit single in the 5th inning.

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Team USA begins their first game in the Pan American Games/World Cup Qualifying Tournament tomorrow at 7:30 pm in Ponce, Puerto Rico, facing the Puerto Rican team.

The Arizona Fall League, with the Pirates' farmhands playing with the Mesa Solar Sox, begins play in 11 days.

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.

Moss Takes IL RBI Title As Indians Win

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Louisville Bats� 3 ..��� (box)

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RF Brandon Moss's (photo) double in the top of the 7th inning gave the Indians the winning run and gave Moss his league-leading 96th RBI at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky this evening.� RBI #96 secured Moss' win of the International League's RBI title.� The second-place slugger, Durham's Dan Johnson, is now playing in the major leagues, and the third-place slugger, Gwinnett's Freddie Freeman, is also in the majors. Two players are tied for fourth, Lehigh Valley's Andy Tracy and Charlotte's Stefan Gartrell, are both still in this league, but one of them would have to get 16 RBI tomorrow to catch up to Moss.�


Tribe LF Kevin Melillo got down to business with the first pitch of the game, which he ripped on a line drive into right field for a triple.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a single into center field, allowing Melillo to score easily from third base.� After a strikeout by CF Alex Presley, Moss lined a single into right field, moving Ciriaco to second base.� Another strikeout to 1B Mitch Jones, then C Erik Kratz singled up the middle, driving in Ciriaco, and the Indians had the early 2-0 lead.

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IMG_4455Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he was happy to take the mound with two runs in his pocket.� Jakubauskas buzzed through the first three innings, allowing only a double -- to Bats' pitcher Jeremy Horst -- in the 3rd inning.� Jakubauskas began the 4th inning by giving up a single to SS Zack Cozart and a walk to Danny Dorn, but he retired the next three batters, and the two runners were left standing on base.

The Bats did get to Jakubauskas in the 5th.� Three consecutive singles opened the inning -- by 3B Eric Eymann, 2B Kris Negron, and pinch-hitter Mike Costanzo.� Eymann scored on Costanzo's grounder that just barely got past 2B Brian Friday and into right field. � CF Dave Sappelt followed with a grounder to Friday, who was able to get the force out at second base.� The speedy Sappelt beat out Pedro Ciriaco's relay throw to first base, as Negron scored the tying run from third base.� Zack Cozart grounded to 3B Doug Bernier, who also got the force out of Sappelt at second base, but Friday's thow to first base was not in time to get the out on Cozart.� The inning ended with a pop out by Danny Dorn.

Indians’ Bats Quiet Again

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Jason Jaramillo and Brad Lincoln try to reassure umpire Chad Whitson.

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Columbus Clippers� 4,� Indianapolis Indians� 1 .....��� (box)

IMG_4546Pitchers Brad Lincoln (photo) and Joe Martinez piggy-backed through 7 innings at Victory Field tonight, but the Indianapolis Indians' batters could not provide them with much run support, and the Columbus Clippers took the win in the last meeting between the two teams for the 2010 season.

Like last night, the Indians cracked the scoreboard first.� RF Brandon Moss led off the 2nd inning with a smooth line drive into left field for a single.� DH Jeff Clement, with the Indians on a rehab assignment, took a 4-pitch walk, moving Moss to second base.� 1B Mitch Jones made the first out of the inning by swinging at an outside pitch for strike three.� C Jason Jaramillo brought in Moss from second with a line drive just over the leaping Clippers' 2B Cord Phelps, to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.� The inning ended with a strike out-throw out double play, when Clement took off for third base as SS Doug Bernier swung at strike three.

And like last night, the lead did not last long.

Brad Lincoln began the game by giving up a dribbly infield single along the third base line to RF Jose Constanza.� Lincoln got the next two batters to fly out, then picked Constanza off first base to end the inning.� He retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd inning, including two strikeouts.� The third inning began with a solo home run by LF Matt McBride, to tie the score at 1-1.

IMG_4563Next to the plate was former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin.� Carlin and Lincoln, former battery mates decided to have a little fun with one another.� On Lincoln's first pitch, a ball, Carlin feinted a bunt -- something he knows irritates Lincoln.� Lincoln responded by throwing the second pitch about 3 feet behind Carlin -- not close to him so that Carlin had any chance of jumping back and getting hit.� Both players grinned at one another, and prepared to get down to the real business at hand.� Unfortunately, the umpiring crew did not see the same humor in the exchange.� 2B Umpire Alan Porter walked in to the mound and motioned to home plate umpire Chad Whitson.� The two conferred and talked to Lincoln, who appeared to be reassuring them that he had no intention of hurting his former teammate.� But the umpires were still not impressed.� Whitson warned both dugouts and managers, as Carlin turned away with a grimace on his face (photo).� Jason Jaramillo and Brad Lincoln continued to try to reassure Whitson (photo at top), but they did not seem to be making any progress.

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Tough First Inning Sinks Indians

Toledo Mud Hens� 8,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 ..����� (box)

IMG_4387Five runs in the 1st inning gave the Toledo Mud Hens a lead they would not give up, as they defeated the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field tonight.

Joe Martinez (photo) had to work through a tough 1st inning on this start.� The first batter of the game, 2B Justin Henry, fouled off the first two pitches for an 0-2 count, then took 4 straight balls, for a walk.� SS Cale Iorg grounded to third, forcing Henry out at second, but Iorg was safe at first.� 1B Max Leon dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Iorg to second base.� Then, with two outs, LF Jeff Frazier smacked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.� CF Ben Guez followed the homer with a single, and former Indy Indian C Robinzon Diaz reached on an error when Martinez could not handle the tapper back to the mound.� DH Michael Bertram belted a 3-run homer over the right-center field wall, and the Mud Hens had a 5-0 lead.

The Indians got one run back in the bottom of the 2nd when four consecutive batters reached base. With one out, LF Mitch Jones lined a single into left field, then advanced to second base when Robinzon Diaz let a pitch get past him.� C Erik Kratz and DH Brian Myrow both ran the count full then took a walk, loading the bases.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined another single into left field, scoring Jones from third base.� A foul pop and a grounder back to the mound ended the inning with three base runners still on.

Martinez got through the 2nd and 3rd innings without allowing a run to score, though he gave up back-to-back singles (Henry and Iorg) in the 2nd, and a walk to Bertram in the 3rd.� The Mud Hens picked up another run in the top of the 4th, when RF Christopher White led off with a solo home run.� Henry and Iorg singled again after the home run, but a double play and a ground out got Martinez out of that jam.

The Mud Hens went down in order for Martinez in the 5th, but came right back at him in the 6th.� RF Shawn Roof and Christopher White led off with back-to-back singles.� A ground out to first moved both runners into scoring position, and Cale Iorg's line drive double into left field brought both Roof and White in to score, giving the Mud Hens an 8-1 lead.� That was the end of Martinez's night.� He had allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 11 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.� He threw 93 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Presley And Indians Capitalize On Bats’ Mistakes

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Alex Presley is congratulated after his home run





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Indianapolis Indians� 4,� Louisville Bats� 2 (box)

IMG_4435The Indians were able to take advantage of physical and mental mistakes by the Louisville Bats and earn a win at Victory Field this afternoon.� In their last Sunday afternoon home game of the season, the Indians came from behind, taking the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning.� Tribe CF Alex Presley led the charge with a solo home run and a key double that began the 8th inning rally.

Joe Martinez (photo) made his third start for the Indians, and the Bats kept him hopping in his 5 innings.� He worked around a one-out line drive single by SS Zack Cozart in the 1st inning.� With one out in the 2nd, he gave up three consecutive singles, which put the Bats onto the scoreboard.� LF Todd Frazier drove a long fly off the wall in the right field corner for a double, and a single by 2B Chris Valaika brought in Frazier from second base.� C Corky Miller added a single into short left-center, moving Valaika up to second base.� Martinez ended that inning with a strikeout of his counterpart Ben Jukich and a fly out by yesterday's Bats' hereo, CF Dave Sappelt.

After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, Martinez had to work around two runners on base in the 4th.� 3B Juan Francisco reached base when his grounder right over the second base bag hit SS Pedro Ciriaco's glove or foot and glanced off to his left.� Luckily, 2B Doug Bernier was right there to back him up, but by the time the ball got to him, Bernier had no play on Francisco.� Chris Valaika lined a double into center field, and Francisco raced around to third base.� Martinez left both of them in scoring position, with a strikeout by Miller and a tapped grounder by Jukich.

Stolen Bases Hurt Indians

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Pedro Ciriaco, airborne over Brian Bixler

Syracuse Chiefs� 11,� Indianapolis Indians� 4 (box)

IMG_4386Six stolen bases by the Chiefs, wild pitches, and double plays that weren't turned made the difference as Syracuse defeated the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field tonight.� Starter Joe Martinez (photo) made his second start for the Indians, giving up 8 of the Chiefs' 17 hits.� The Indians were held to 6 hits, including two home runs, by LF Kevin Melillo and 1B John Bowker.

Lead-off batter Kevin Melillo got the Indians off on the right foot, by taking the second pitch thrown by Syracuse starter Erik Arnesen down the right field line and over the fence just inside the foul pole for a solo home run.� The Indians went on to score one run in four of the first five innings.

RF Brandon Moss nearly had a double moments after Melillo's homer.� Moss lifted a long fly to the deep part of left-center field, with both Syracuse LF Leonard Davis and CF Michael Martinez chasing after it.� Martinez called off Davis and had slowed, reaching up for the ball -- when the ball bounced into and out of his glove and dropped to the ground for a two-base error.� John Bowker worked a walk, putting two Tribe runners on base, but a strikeout ended the inning.

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C Jason Jaramillo led off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a single grounded off Arnesen's glove and up the middle, and 2B Brian Friday lined a single into left field, again giving the Indians two base runners.� Joe Martinez did what every good pitcher should be able to do in this situation:� he dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt (photo).� But the Chiefs put on the wheel play, with 3B Seth Bynum charging in to field the bunt.� Bynum fired the ball to former Indy Indian SS Brian Bixler, who was covering third base, forcing out the lead runner Jaramillo.� Friday was safe at second base, and Martinez safe at first.� Kevin Melillo grounded to second, which also resulted in a force out.� Martinez was out at second base, but Bixler took a tick too long getting the ball out of his glove after he fielded it, and there was no time for 2B Danny Espinosa to get Melillo out at first.� Friday advanced to third on the play, and when Arnesen hit 3B Mitch Jones with a pitch, the Indians had the bases loaded with two outs and Alex Presley at the plate.� The first pitch from Arnesen to Presley hit the dirt about 3 feet in front of home plate and bounced all the way to the backstop, and Friday was easily able to score from third base, to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

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Indians Turn The Tide

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Indianapolis Indians� 10,� Norfolk Tides� 6 (box)

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Joe Martinez made his home debut and his first start for the Indianapolis Indians tonight at Victory Field, and he earned his first win as the Tribe halted a 3-game losing streak by beating the Norfolk Tides.� Each team recorded 12 hits in the game, and the two teams traded the lead back and forth before the Indians settled in with a big enough lead to hold on.

The game began in an unfortunate way for Norfolk.� They had one base runner in the top of the inning, when DH Michael Aubrey doubled, but he was left on base.� Then with one out in the bottom of the inning, Tides' starter Chris George was hit by a screaming line drive off the bat of the second batter he faced, 3B Akinori Iwamura. The ball hit George on his upper body, though it was not clear exactly where (UPDATE: it hit him in the elbow, and x-rays were negative), and ricocheted all the way over to where his first baseman Brandon Snyder was positioned, allowing Snyder to easily make the out at first.� George was clearly hurting, and he walked right off the field, not even trying to throw a practice pitch.� The Tides brought in reliever Jim Miller to take over for George.� CF Alex Presley greeted Miller with a single into right field, but Presley was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Over the next three innings, the scoring was fast and furious.� Norfolk got onto the scoreboard with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd.� After a quick ground out, Snyder grounded sharply to first base, but the ball skipped off 1B Doug Bernier's glove and up and over his left shoulder, and Snyder was safe on the error.� For the second night in a row, 3B Scott Moore hit a 2-run homer over the right field wall in the 2nd inning, bringing in Snyder, and the Tides had a 2-0 lead.

LF John Bowker got one run back for Joe Martinez with his own home run.� His blast, his first since joining the Indians, sailed just inside the right field foul pole, and landed in the back of the beer garden patio behind the right field corner.

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