Tag: Jordy Mercer

Black’s Season Debut; Presley’s On A Tear; Morris Promoted

The big news on Sunday afternoon in the Pirates' minor league organization is that the team has promoted righty starter Bryan Morris from Bradenton to AA Altoona. �Morris won his 3rd victory for the Marauders yesterday, and has been mowing 'em down in the Florida State League. �In 44.2 innings, Morris has allowed 37 hits but just 8 runs, and only 3 of those runs are earned. �He has allowed just 7 walks, while striking out 40 batters. �He has also not allowed a home run. �He leads the FSL with an ERA of 0.60, and his WHIP is 0.99. �The Florida State League has hit .220 against him. �He is first in the FSL with those 44.2 innings pitched, and his WHIP is 4th highest in the league.

West Virginia Power �8, �Delmarva Shorebirds �4 (box)

The Power turned on their power in the 4th inning, scoring 5 runs on their way to a 14-hit afternoon. �Righty starter Victor Black made his 2010 debut with a 4-inning start, and struck out 7 batters.

The Power got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st. �2B Jarek Cunningham got started with a solo home run. �DH Aaron Baker followed the homer with a walk, and LF Rogelios Noris and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases with back-to-back singles. �After a fly out, 1B Kyle Morgan brought in Baker with another single.

Victor Black gave up only two walks over the first three innings, while striking out 5 batters. �He gave up his first single in the 4th, then hit the next batter with a pitch. �The third batter of the inning smacked a 3-run homer, giving Delmarva a 3-2 lead. �Black finished the inning with a ground out and two more strikeouts, to end his afternoon.

In the bottom of the frame, the Power sent 8 batters to the plate. �3B Elevys Gonzalez singled, and went to second on SS Adenson Chourio's sacrifice bunt. �Gonzalez stole third base, and after CF Evan Chambers walked, a wild pitch moved him to second base. �Another wild pitch on strike three to Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases. �Aaron Baker brought in Gonzalez and Chambers with a single into right field. �Then Rogelios Noris made it 7-3 with a 3-run homer over the left field wall.

Marc Baca pitched a scoreless 5th inning for the Power. �Jason Erickson took the mound for the next three innings. �He gave up a solo homer in the 6th, but the Power got the run back in the 7th. �RF David Rubinstein led off with a single, and went to second on a passed ball. �He scored on Kyle Morgan's second RBI single of the game.

Erickson retired the side in the 7th. �He gave up a lead-off single in the 8th, but erased that runner with a double play. �Duke Welker pitched the 9th and worked around a throwing error at second base by Cunningham, striking out the final two batters of the game for a scoreless inning.

Rogelios Noris went 3-for-5 with a 3-run homer, while Jarek Cunningham, David Rubinstein, and Kyle Morgan each had two hits.

Marauders Win Pitching Duel

Bradenton Marauders 1, �Fort Myers Miracle �0 (box)

The Marauders were out-hit 4 -2, but they needed only one hit to score the only run of the game and beat the Miracle on Friday night. �Bradenton starter Brian Leach pitched 4 innings and worked around at least one base runner in three of them -- a walk in the 1st, two singles in the 2nd, and one more single in the 3rd. �All four runners were left stranded. �After retiring the side in order in the 4th, Leach was relieved by Casey Erickson to begin the 5th. �Erickson pitched 3 innings and allowed only one single in the 6th, then had C Tony Sanchez throw that runner out trying to steal second base. �Diego Moreno pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, and Noah Krol bounced back from his tough appearance last night to retire the side in order in the 9th, earning his 8th save.

At the same time, Miracle starter Bruce Pugh was busy mowing down the Marauders' hitters. �He struck out 10 batters in his 7 innings of work. �He gave up only one walk, to lead-off batter SS Brock Holt in the 1st inning, then picked Holt off and caught him stealing. �Pugh then retired the next 13 Bradenton batters, until 3B Jeremy Farrell reached base on an error in the 5th. �Farrell was left on base, as Pugh struck out two to end the inning, then two more to begin the 6th. �Holt singled with two outs in the 6th, but was also left on base. �Pugh also struck out two in the 7th. �He was relieved by Loek Van Mil to begin the 8th, and the Marauders found some luck. �Van Mil hit DH Eric Fryer with a pitch to begin his inning. �1B Erik Huber singled, moving Fryer to third base. �2B Greg Picart grounded to third base, and Fryer scored on a fielder's choice. �A double play ended the inning, but the Marauders had all the runs they needed.

Rain Cuts Curve Short

Harrisburg Senators 3, �Altoona Curve 2 (box)

Rain cut short the late-morning/early afternoon game in Altoona on Tuesday, and didn't give the Curve a chance to catch up to the Senators for a second time. �Starter Derek Hankins gave up an unearned run in the top of the 2nd. �A lead-off double and Hankins' own throwing error on a pickoff attempt put a runner on third base with no outs. �After a walk, a grounder for a double play was enough to score the runner from third base.

The Curve batters went down in order for the first two innings. �Two Harrisburg errors put C Kris Watts on third base and SS Chase d'Arnaud on first with two outs in the 3rd inning, but a fly out ended that threat as the rain began to fall. �Altoona got onto the scoreboard in the 4th, tying the game on a single by 1B Matt Hague and an RBI double by RF Miles Durham. Durham went to third base on a ground out, but was left there when the inning ended.

Harrisburg didn't let the tie last long. �They scored 2 more runs in the top of the 5th, on a walk and a 2-run homer, taking a 3-1 lead. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the inning. �Watts was hit by a pitch, and pinch-hitter Jim Negrych doubled into right field, moving Watts to third base. �A sacrifice fly by d'Arnaud plated Watts and moved Negrych to third base. �He could not advance further, though, as a ground out and a line out ended the inning. �At that point, the rain was much harder, and the umpires called for a rain delay. �After nearly two hours of waiting and hoping for another chance to score, it was clear that the rain was not going to stop. �Since 5 full innings had been played, it was an official game, and the Curve were on the losing end.

The rain also held Alex Presley to just 2 at-bats, both of which were outs. �That ended his 24-game on-base streak.

Six Scoreless For Morris In Loss; Hughes Wins #6

Daytona Cubs �2, �Bradenton Marauders 1 (box)

Starter Bryan Morris pitched 6 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 Cubs' batters. �Unfortunately he did not earn a win, as the Marauders lost in extra innings. � Morris had to work around a fielding error and a walk in the top of the 1st inning, but got out of the frame leaving two runners on base. �He allowed only one base runner over the next 4 innings, and that was a double to lead off the 4th. �Back-to-back singles began the 6th inning, and a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, but Morris got a strikeout and a pop out to end that inning.

The Marauders were also held scoreless over the first 5 innings. �They had at least one runner on base in each of those innings, but base running errors erased two of the runners. � Four runners were left on base, two after singles and two after walks. �Finally in the 6th, Daytona starter Brooks Raley was relieved, and the Marauders got going. �With one out, four consecutive singles, by C Tony Sanchez, LF Quincy Latimore, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and 1B Calvin Anderson brought in one run, and the Marauders had a slim lead.

Casey Erickson took over for Morris to begin the 7th inning. �He retired the side in order in the 7th, but then gave up a run on a double and a single in the 8th to tie the game. �SS Brock Holt singled in the bottom of the 7th, but was left stranded. �They also went down in order in the 8th and 9th, and the game went into extras.

Noah Krol relieved Erickson to begin the 9th. �He gave up a lead-off single, but did not let that runner score. �Then in the top of the 10th, a walk, a stolen base, and a triple brought in the go-ahead run for Daytona. �The Marauders could not respond in the bottom of the inning, and Krol was charged with the loss.

This was Bryan Morris' fourth straight start in which he did not allow an earned run. �That gives him 26 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. �Morris's ERA stands at 0.66 -- 3 earned runs over 40.2 innings.

Curve Shut Out, But Power Do The Shutting Out

West Virginia Power �2, �Kannapolis Intimidators �0 (box)

Kyle McPherson and Maurice Bankston combined for 9 shutout innings against Kannapolis on Friday. �McPherson scattered 4 hits, no walks over 7 innings, while striking out 9 Kannapolis batters. �He had to work around 3 errors by his teammates to keep the Intimidators from scoring. �The first error came in the top of the 1st -- a throwing error by 3B Jesus Brito. McPherson worked around that runner, then around back-to-back singles in the 3rd. �A throwing error by 2B Jarek Cunningham stopped what should have been a double play in the 5th, allowing the batter to reach second base, but McPherson got a strikeout and a ground out to end that inning. �A throwing error by Brito in the 7th after a single put runners on second and third bases, but again McPherson worked around them, leaving both of them right there.

Bankston pitched the last two innings. �He gave up three singles in the 8th, but the first was doubled off first base after a fly out, and the other two were left stranded. �He gave up a walk in the 9th, but struck out two, earning his first save of the season. �The win was McPherson's second of the year.

The Power batters were having to work hard to get their runs. �Kannapolis starter Terry Doyle struck out 14 Power batters in his 7 innings of work, including 3 strikeouts each by LF Rogelios Noris and DH Kyle Morgan. Each member of the Power line up struck out at least once.

The Power put a runner on base in each of the first three innings, but couldn't score. �CF Evan�Chambers singled and stole second base in the 1st inning, and C Ramon Cabrera singled and went to second on a wild pitch in the 2nd, but neither could come around to score. �Cunningham singled in the 3rd, but was also left stranded. �Noris finally got the scoring started in the 4th, when he led off with a solo home run, his second homer in two days.

After the homer, the next 12 Power batters went down in order. �In the bottom of the 8th, when Doyle had been relieved by Garrett Johnson, the Power were able to get things going again. �RF Wes Freeman greeted Johnson with a double, SS Benji Gonalez walked, and Chambers loaded the bases with his second hit of the game. �Cunningham was hit by a pitch, forcing in Freeman with the Power's insurance run. �A grounder to first forced Gonzalez out at the plate, and Chambers was caught out between third and the plate, and no further runs scored.

Ohlendorf Throws Four Scoreless Innings; Two Homers For Gimenez

Altoona Curve 5, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 2 (box)

Ross Ohlendorf made the most of his rehab start with the Curve on Wednesday. �He set down the first 7 batters he faced, then gave up a walk. �Ohlendorf tried to pick off that runner and made a throwing error, which allowed the runner to move to second base, but he left the runner stranded on second. �In the 4th, Ohlendorf gave up back-to-back singles with one out, but he kept them from scoring too. �He started the 5th inning by giving up a hit on a ball that barely got away from the plate, and C Hector Gimenez made a throwing error on the play, allowing the runner to reach second base. �That was all for Ohlendorf for the night, and Jared Hughes came on to finish the inning, still not letting the runner score.

Richmond's only runs came in the 6th inning, when Hughes gave up a single, an RBI double, and an RBI single. �Hughes also made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt in the 7th, but didn't let that runner score. �He gave up a walk and a single in the top of the 9th, and was relieved by Danny Moskos. Moskos ended the game with two strikeouts, earning his 6th save. �The win was credited to Hughes -- his 5th of the season, in his first non-start appearance of the season.

Hector Gimenez was the offensive star of the game, going 4-for-4 with a double, two homers, and 3 RBI. �CF Gorkys Hernandez and 1B Matt Hague had two hits each. �The Curve scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st (without Gimenez's help). �SS Chase d'Arnaud opened the game with a double lined into left field. �Hernandez's single put runners on the corners. �3B Jordy Mercer brought in d'Arnaud with a sacrifice fly, and 2B Jim Negrych brought in Hernandez with a single.

Gimenez's first hit was a double in the 2nd inning, when he was left stranded. �He singled in the 4th and was again stranded. �In the 7th, Gimenez blasted a solo homer over the left field wall. �In the top of the 9th, LF Alex Presley singled, and Gimenez followed with his second homer, this one sailing over the right field wall for 2 runs.

Alex Presley's single extended his hitting streak to 19 games (the team record is 21). �(He waited until the 9th inning to do it -- just for the suspense.) �RF Miles Durham did not have a hit, stopping his hitting streak at 8 games. �Gorkys Hernandez was back in the line-up after having been involved in a collision with Jose De Los Santos on Monday. �De Los Santos has not played again since the collision.

Presley is now hitting .369, second-best in the Eastern League. �2B Josh Harrison is third with a .359 average.

LHP Corey Hamman has been reassigned to the Curve from the Indianapolis Indians.

Three HIts for Marauders, Power, and Harrison

Three hits were the common theme in these minor league games on Monday:

Palm Beach Cardinals �1, �Bradenton Marauders �0 (box)

The Marauders were held to just 3 hits in this shut-out on Monday night in Palm Beach. �CF Robbie Grossman, DH Starling Marte, and C Tony Sanchez were the only batters to get a hit, and all three hits were singles. �Grossman and Sanchez also walked in the game, and Marte was hit by a pitch.

Two of those base runners came in the top of the first. �With two outs, Marte was hit by a pitch, and stole second base, then Sanchez walked. �A wild pitch put the runners on second and third bases, but they were left there when LF Quincy Latimore struck out to end the inning. �The next 14 Bradenton batters were retired in order, until Grossman singled in the 6th. �Grossman was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Marte and Sanchez led off the 7th inning with back-to-back singles, but Marte was picked off and caught stealing, and Sanchez was left on base after two ground outs. �Grossman also walked in the 9th inning, and went to second base on a balk, but was again left stranded.

In a sad twist, Bradenton starter Nate Adcock also gave up only 3 hits in his 7 innings of work. �It was his longest start of the season -- his first four starts were all 5 innings in length. �Adcock struck out a season-high 8 batters (he's struck out 7 batters twice) and did not allow any walks. �Unfortunately, one of the hits was a solo home run by Palm Beach's RF Alex Castellanos to lead off the 3rd inning. �That was the only run of the game, making Adcock the hard-luck loser. �Adcock gave up a single to begin the 2nd inning, but got a pop-out double play to erase the runner. �Castellanos also singled with two outs in the 5th, and he was Palm Beach's only runner left on base.

Casey Erickson relieved Adcock to pitch the 8th. �He also gave up a two-out single, but that runner was caught stealing second base to end the inning.

Wins for Hughes and Morris, Moskos’ 5th Save

Altoona Curve �7, �Harrisburg Senators �4 (box)

The Curve staged two late-inning rallies to surpass the Senators' late-inning rally, to begin this 3-game series with a win. �Altoona began the game by threatening in the top of the 1st. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off with a single, but was erased when CF Gorkys Hernandez bounced�into a double play. �3B Jordy Mercer reached base on a throwing error, and 1B Matt Hague singled, but both were left on base when a ground out by 2B Josh Harrison ended the inning. �The Curve did get onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. �RF Miles Durham was hit by a pitch to start the inning, but was forced out at second base on LF Alex Presley's grounder. �Presley was safe at first, and he moved on to third base when starting pitcher Jared Hughes doubled. �D'Arnaud brought both Presley and Hughes in with a triple into center field.

Hughes gave up a double to the first batter in the bottom of the inning, and a bunt moved that runner to third base. �After a walk, a tapper back to the mound got the lead runner trapped in a run-down on the third base line and tagged out. �But the next batter doubled, and one run scored. �Hughes gave up a single in each of the 3rd and 4th innings, but kept those runners from scoring. �He then retired the side in both the 5th and 6th innings. �Hughes left the game with the lead, allowing one run on 4 hits and 5 strikeouts over 6 innings.

The Curve were not scoring either in the middle innings. �Harrisburg starter Aaron Thompson retired 11 Curve batters in order from the end of the 2nd into the 6th inning. �Matt Hague reached base on an error in the 6th, and Josh Harrison followed with a single, but they were both left stranded, as was D'Arnaud who walked in the 7th. �The scoring picked up again in the 8th. �With two outs, three consecutive hits brought in 3 runs: �a single by Harrison, a triple by Durham, and a 2-run homer by Alex Presley. �It was Presley's second home run in 10 days -- half already the number he hit in 2009.

Dustin Molleken relieved Jared Hughes to begin the 7th, and he gave up a single to Harrisburg's 1B Chris Marrero -- but Gorkys Hernandez fired a perfect throw in from center field to Chase d'Arnaud covering second and Marrero was out trying to stretch it into a double. �In the 8th, Molleken gave up one run on a walk, a single complicated by a throwing error by Miles Durham, and an RBI grounder. �Then a 2-run homer gave Harrisburg 3 runs in the inning, matching the Curve. �Jordy Mercer kept the Curve well ahead, though, with his own 2-run homer in the 9th, also bringing in Hernandez, who had singled.

Danny Moskos relieved Molleken after the homer in the 8th, and he finished the inning with a walk and two strikeouts. �He gave up a single and hit a batter in the 9th, but held on to earn his 5th Save of the season. �Hughes took the win, his 4th of the season.


Who’s Hot (and Who’s Not) — Hitters’ Small Sample Edition

Three weeks into the minor league season... knowing that it's a small sample, who's hot -- or not-- at the plate:

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS

Team batting average: .274 (4th in International League) , �20 Home runs (3rd in IL), 166 strikeouts (2nd in IL), 30 stolen bases (2nd in IL)

Who's HOT: � (* is the team high)

Steve Pearce - .371 average*, 9 doubles*, 2 homers, 7 RBI, 16 walks ; .488 OBP*, .643 SLG*, and 1.131 OPS*; �Pearce has been spending most of his time at first base, with just 3 games in right field. �This is the Pearce we saw in 2007, when he rocketed through the Pirates' minor league system. �His average has been above .400 this week, and even when he's not hitting, he's still walking and scoring runs. �He and Neil Walker should be the next position players called up.

Neil Walker - .333 average, 8 doubles, 3 homers, 15 RBI*, 10 walks, 7 stolen bases, .407 OBP, .560 SLG, .967 OPS; Walker is right behind his buddy Pearce in most of those numbers. �Pearce is doing it while back at his comfortable position, and Walker is doing it in all his uncomfortable positions. �He's learning to play outfield and second base on the fly, and is looking good. �If you didn't know this was his first month at second base, you probably couldn't tell just by watching. �He made a jump-turn-throw this week that looked like he's been there all his life. �He's also taking more walks than he has before, and has fewer strikeouts. �And, he's stealing bases -- second most steals on the team. �He's had at least one hit in 10 of his past 12 games, and went 4-for-4 last night. �Not so great splits: �he's hitting .434 against right-handed pitching, but only .091 against lefties. �Also in line to go home to Pittsburgh.

Luke Carlin - .342 average, 3 doubles, 4 RBI in 11 games. �Carlin has had more playing time than originally expected, due to some minor injuries to Erik Kratz.

Jose Tabata - .296 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 8 RBI, 8 stolen bases*; �Tabata started the season with an 11-game hitting streak, then went 0-for-4 in one game, and has hit in each if his next 6 games -- he's had at least one hit in 17 of the 18 game's he's played. �Looking good in the outfield, mostly center plus a few games in left.

Argenis Diaz - .296 average, 8 RBI; �That taste of The Show last week was good for Diaz. �He's been 7-for-15 since his return, and boosted his batting average 60 points.

Not So Hot:

Brandon Moss - .233 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; Doing better in the past week, going 6-for-22 in his last 5 games.

Erik Kratz - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; �Invaluable behind the plate, though, and also on the mound.

Brian Myrow - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; (yes, that's right, these three all have the same numbers of doubles, homers, and RBI); Got off to a slow start, but he's starting to pick it up.

In the Middle:

Pedro Alvarez - .237 average, 2 doubles, 4 homers*, 12 RBI, 22 strikeouts*, 8 walks; �Those homers all came in the first 8 games of the season -- in fact, three came in the first two games. �But, this is also how Alvarez started off last season with A+ Lynchburg, and he got better. �He had a modest 7-game hitting streak in the past 10 days. �Also worrisome is that he leads the team in errors (4). �Three of those were fielding errors, and the one yesterday was throwing, but he also probably leads the team in the number of times Steve Pearce has saved him at first base. �By my observations, about half of Alvarez's throws to first base make Pearce stretch out as far as he can go to make the catch -- to his left, to his right, in the dirt. �Pearce is a very good first baseman... what's going to happen if Alvarez is throwing to a less experienced first baseman, like Jeff Clement?

Continuing on with the rest of the affiliates... (click on "read more")

15 Hits For The Curve And 16 Hits For The Marauders

A late morning game, and an evening game on Wednesday.... the West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off

Altoona Curve 10, �Akron Aeros 2 (box)

The Curve tied their season-high with 15 hits on the way to 10 runs, to sweep a shortened 2-game series with the Aeros, and finish this homestand with a 3-3 record.

The two teams exchanged a run in the 1st inning. �Curve starter Rudy Owens opened the game by giving up a single, then hitting the next batter with a pitch. �A grounder to short moved the lead runner to third, but the Curve couldn't get ball to first fast enough for the double play. �A single into left field scored the runner from third, and Akron had the first run of the game. �In the bottom of the inning, DH Jim Negrych singled into left, then 3B Jordy Mercer grounded into a force out at second, but he also beat out the relay to first to avoid the double play. �A wild pitch put Mercer into scoring position on second base, and from there he scored easily on RF Miles Durham's line drive into right field, tying the score at 1-1.

Owens held the Aeros scoreless over the next two innings, while his teammates got him some run support. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off the 3rd with a single blooped into center field. �Negrych followed with a smash past the diving Akron center fielder, which brought in d'Arnaud and put Negrych on third with a triple. �Mercer brought in Negrych with an oops swing that dribbled the ball into the middle of the infield and out of everyone's reach. �Two more singles, by Durham and CF Alex Presley loaded the bases, but all were left on base when the inning ended. �Curve up, 3-1.

Akron got a little closer in the top of the 4th. �Owens gave up a double and a single to the first two batters of the inning, and a grounder to third allowed the lead runner to score. �A double play ended that frame, with the Aeros within one run of the Curve. �That was all the scoring the Aeros would do, though. �Owens retired the side in order in both the 5th and 6th innings, and finished his day with 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, plus 2 strikeouts over 6 innings.

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