Tag: Jose Ascanio

Indians Rained Out; Curve Lose In Extras

The Indianapolis Indians and the Columbus Clippers were rained out in Columbus tonight.  They will try for two on Monday, beginning at 5 pm.  Sunday's game is scheduled for 4 pm.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was optioned back to the Indians, after just a brief visit to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates' new shortstop Brandon Wood got himself to Pittsburgh very quickly, so no need for Ciriaco to fill in.  Jose Ascanio, who was hit in the head by a line drive on Thursday, has been diagnosed as having "just" a contusion (a bruise).  He's doing better today.


Kannapolis Intimidators  8,  West Virginia Power  7   (Game 1) 
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 The Pirates were able to fight back after Kannapolis scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th gave Kannapolis the win.  The Power had  the early lead with one run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. CF Mel Rojas walked, and 1B Matt Curry singled.  LF Rogelios Noris' fly out moved Rojas to third, and then Rojas scored on RF Justin Howard's single through the hole into left field.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without any more runs scoring.  With one out in the top of the 2nd, back-to-back doubles by DH Jairo Marquez and SS Drew Maggi brought in one run, then a wild pitch and a fielding error allowed Maggi to score, giving the Power a 3-0 lead.

Starter Colton Cain had retired the Intimidators in order in the 1st, but got in trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, when the first 6 batters who came to the plate reached base safely.  A single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a hit batter forced in the first run.  A double plated two more, and a single added another two.  Another double made it 6 runs in the inning, and the Power were behind 6-3.  

The Power battled right back in the top of the 3rd.  Walks to Howard and 3B Andy Vasquez both walked, and Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Power.  An RBI ground out drove in Howard, then Marquez's single scored both Vasquez and Emsley-Pai to tie the score at 6-6.  The Power took the lead in the 4th on Curry's lead-off home run.  

Trent Stevenson relieved Cain to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless innings.  He allowed 3 hits and struck out one.  The Power bats suddenly went quiet after the 4th, with no more hits until the 7th, when Howard tripled.  Emsley-Pai and Marquez both walked, but two ground outs and a strikeout left all three on base.  Jason Townsend pitched the 6th inning for the Power, allowing just one hit.  Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th, and with one out, Sadler gave up three consecutive singles.  The third hit went to Howard in right field, and Howard's throw back to the plate was right to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  But the next batter doubled to tie the score again, and the fourth single of the inning drove in the winning walk-off run.  

Indians One-Hit In Game 1; Ascanio Hit On Third Pitch

Toledo Mud Hens  6,  Indianapolis Indians  0   (Game 1)
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IMG_5225The Indianapolis Indians began this double header on a down note, as they were held to just one hit at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.  

Mud Hens' starter Charlie Furbush dominated the Indians' batters through all 7 innings of this game.  He struck out 9 Tribe batters and did not walk any.  The only hit he allowed was by C Jason Jaramillo to lead off the top of the 3rd inning.  Jaramillo did not even reach second base -- he was forced out on a grounder by LF Corey Wimberly.  Wimberly was the only other Indian to reach base, when he was safe at first on a fielding error by 3B Danny Worth in the 6th.  

The Mud Hens got to Tribe starter Brad Lincoln early in the game.  In the bottom of the 1st, lead-off batter CF Andy Dirks began the inning with a double down the left field line.  2B Scott Sizemore was hit by a pitch, and LF Timo Perez moved both along one base with a sacrifice bunt.  DH Scott Thorman brought in Dirks with an RBI single, and 1B Ryan Strieby drove in both Sizemore and Thorman with an RBI double into center field.  

Lincoln retired the side in order in the 2nd inning, but the Mud Hens came back at him in the 3rd.  The inning began with back-to-back singles by Sizemore and Perez.  Lincoln struck out the next two batters, but both base runners stole the next base on the second strikeout.  RF Clete Thomas drove both in with a single up the middle.  Lincoln and the Indians had a bit of better luck, when Jaramillo threw out Thomas as he tried to steal second base, ending the inning.  Toledo picked up one more run in the 4th, with singles by 3B Danny Worth and C Max St. Pierre, then a sacrifice fly by Dirks.  

IMG_5308Lincoln also retired the side in the 5th, and that was all for him for the night.  He had allowed the 6 runs on 8 hits, no walks, and 5 strikeouts.  He threw 86 pitches, with 60 strikes.  Cesar Valdez relieved Lincoln to begin the 6th inning.   He gave up a single to former Indy Indian SS Argenis Diaz in the 6th, but left him on base.  


Indians Hitting Gem of the Game: Well, there was only one hit to choose from -- Jason Jaramillo's (photo) single in the third inning.  

Indians' Defensive Gem of the Game:  In the bottom of the 5th, Corey Wimberly made a diving catch of a line drive in left-center field, off the bat of Scott Thorman.  Both Wimberly and Alex Presley, who was in center field tonight, raced for the ball, but Wimberly cut in front of Presley and made the catch.  








Wilson Pitches Six Scoreless In Early Game Win

Indianapolis Indians  4,  Toledo Mud Hens  2
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IMG_5214The Indianapolis Indians battled the blustery weather as well as the Toldeo Mud Hens in a late-morning school day start in Toledo today.  They earned the win, giving them a 3-1 record on the road so far this season.  

Justin Wilson (photo) pitched 6 scoreless innings in his third start of the season, to earn his first AAA win.  He gave up 2 hits, both in the 3rd inning.  RF Andy Dirks dropped a looper into short right field, just out of reach of the leaping Tribe SS Chase d'Arnaud, then 2B Scott Sizemore put a sinking liner into right field, off the glove of RF Gorkys Hernandez.  Wilson left both on base with a fly out and a ground out.  Wilson also worked around two singles and a batter reaching on a fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco in the 2nd inning.  That was a wind-blown ball into short right field, with Ciriaco, 3B Josh Harrison, and LF Alex Presley all chasing after it.  Ciriaco tried to make a last-second twisting over-the-shoulder catch and missed.  Wilson threw 97 pitches with 62 strikes in his 6 innings.

The gusty wind helped the Indians as well as hurt them.  In the top of the 2nd, DH Andy Marte lifted the first pitch he saw into the wind, which took it over the left field wall for a solo home run.  Marte nearly had another home run in the 5th inning, but that time his fly to left field was just short, and was caught at the wall.  

The Tribe had only one hit over the next three innings -- a double by Harrison in the 5th, when the wind did the same thing to the Mud Hens that it had done to Ciriaco and the Indians in the 3rd.  Harrison's high pop got caught in the wind, and with the infielders running out and the outfielders running in, the ball fell in just out of reach of SS Cale Iorg.  In both instances, the outfielders might have had a better chance at running in to make the catch, but instead they let their shortstops take over.  Harrison made a quick steal of third base, but he was left stranded when Hernandez struck out.  

Thompson Is POW; Ngoepe Homers In Wild Power Game

It's a rainy night for half of the Pirates' minor leaguers:

The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens had the first game of their 4-game series postponed due to an all-day-long rain.  Yesterday it was snowing in Toledo, and this was not totally unexpected.  The Tribe and the Hens are scheduled to play at 10:30 am on Wednesday, then play a double-header on Thursday at 5:30 pm to make up for today.

Pitcher Jose Ascanio was supposed to join the Indians today, to begin a rehab assignment, but that has obviously been washed away too.  

The Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators were also rained out in Altoona.  They are also playing at 10:30 am on Wednesday, and that is the last scheduled game of this series with the Senators, so they will make up the rain out in June.

Curve pitcher Aaron Thompson was named the Eastern League for last week.  He made two starts in the week, and won both games, earning a 0.75 ERA, with just 3 hits allowed in 12 innings.  


Jupiter Hammerheads  1,  Bradenton Marauders  0
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The Marauders came out on the short end of a pitching duel today.  Quinton Miller pitched well, but was charged with the loss, as he allowed the only run of the game on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts.  Miller gave up the run in the bottom of the 1st.   The inning began with back-to-back singles, then both runners stole a base.  An RBI ground out brought in the run.  A walk and another single had another runner heading for the plate, but CF Evan Chambers made an excellent throw in to the plate, where C Ramon Cabrera tagged out the runner.

Miller scattered a walk and two singles over the next 5 innings, but did not let any further runs score.  He was relieved by Jason Erickson to begin the 7th.  After a 1-2-3 7th, Erickson worked around a single and a walk for a scoreless 8th inning.  

Unfortunately, the Hammerheads' pitchers were having even better luck against the Marauders' batters.  Bradenton put two runners on base in the 2nd, when LF David Rubinstein and Cabrera both singled, but Rubinstein was tagged out at third as he tried to pick up two bases on Cabrera's single.  The Marauders went down in order in the next 3 innings, then RF Adelberto Santos singled to open the 6th, but was left on base.  With their last chance in the bottom of the 8th, 2B Jarek Cunningham lined a 2-out single into center field, and Chambers walked.  But a ground out ended the threat and the game.  

Three Hits By Grossman And Emsley-Pai

The Altoona Curve and the Richmond Flying Squirrels were rained out in Altoona tonight.  They will make up the game in August.

West Virginia Power  8,  Augusta  5
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The Power scored in each of the first 4 innings to stay ahead of the Augusta Green Jackets on Saturday evening.  2B Drew Maggi got the game off to a good start with a double into right field.   1B Matt Curry walked, then with Maggi off and running, a ground out by 3B Eric Avila let Maggi score.  RF Justin Howard drove in Curry with a single into center field.  Augusta got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 1st with a triple and an RBI ground out off starter Tyler Waldron.  

Back-to-back singles by DH Elias Diaz and C Kawika Emsley-Pai opened the top of the 2nd, and gave the Power runners on the corners.  A passed ball let Diaz score.  SS Gift Ngoepe walked, but was out in a grounder force out, as Maggi got to first in time to avoid the double play.  Another grounder forced out Maggi at second, but CF Mel Rojas also beat out the throw to first, and Emsley-Pai scored.  Augusta also scored one run in the bottom of the inning, on a bases-loaded RBI ground out.  

The Power took a big step ahead in the 3rd.  Avila led off with a double, and after two outs, four consecutive singles drove in 3 runs.  Diaz plated Avila, and Emsley-Pai plated Diaz; Ngoepe's single put two runners on, and Maggi's single scored Emsley-Pai.  Another single by Avila and a fielding error on a fly into center field by Howard gave the Power an unearned run in the 4th.  

Augusta kept tacking on runs, but one at a time -- a solo homer in the 4th, and a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly in the 5th.  Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts.  He was relieved by Zach Foster to begin the 6th.  Foster pitched 3 hitless and scoreless innings and hit one batter, who was promptly caught stealing by Emsley-Pai.  Jason Townsend pitched the 9th and gave up the final Augusta run, on two singles, a passed ball, and an RBI ground out.  

Waldron earned his second win of the season.  Emsley-Pai went 3-for-4, with an RBI and 2 runs scored.  Besides the singles in the 2nd and 3rd, he also singled in the 8th inning, but was left on base.  Maggi, Avila, and Diaz all had 2 hits in the game.  

Curve Win Home Opener; Four RBI For Baker

Altoona Curve 2,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  0
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The Altoona Curve put on a pitching demonstration in their home opener, as four pitchers combined for a shut-out and held the Squirrels to just 3 hits.  Aaron Thompson made the start, and he dominated Richmond.  Thompson retired the first 10 batters he faced.  He gave up a walk in the 4th inning, but left that runner on base.  He gave up a triple to lead off the 5th, but a grounder to third let 3B Jeremy Farrell fire the ball back to C Tony Sanchez, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Thompson had to work around a single and a fielding error in the 6th, but after a sacrifice bunt, two timely strikeouts got him out of that jam.   Thompson also struck out 5 batters in his second win of the season.  

The Curve posted 8 hits, and 3 of those were singles by RF Brad Chalk, who had been off to a slow start for the season (1-for-16).  He singled in the 3rd, the 6th, and the 8th, though he didn't score.  Altoona scored their first run in the 4th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then scored all the way from first base on 1B Miles Durham's double into center field.  SS Jordy Mercer belted a home run over the left field wall in the 5th inning for the Curve's second run.  That was all the offense that was needed.  The Curve put two runners on base in the 6th, when Chalk singled and pinch-hitter Kris Watts was hit by a pitch, but both were left on base.  They threatened in the 7th, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single into right field and stole second base.  He moved to third on a ground out, and tried for home when Sanchez grounded to third, but was thrown out at the plate on a play similar to what the Curve did to the Squirrels in the 5th.  Sanchez and LF Quincy Latimore also had singles in the game.  

Mike Colla, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Curve.  Krol allowed one hit in the 9th, but left that base runner on, and earned his 3rd Save.


Rubinstein And Cunningham Homer In Bradenton Win

One win on Monday night in the Pirates' lower minor leagues:

Akron Aeros  6,  Altoona Curve  5
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CF Starling Marte had 3 hits for the Curve in their loss in Akron.  Starter Aaron Pribanic gave up only a double over the first 3 innings, then surrendered a solo homer in the 4th.  Akron scored 2 runs in the 5th, when rehabbing Cleveland Indians' star Grady Sizemore doubled after two singles.  

The Curve had only one hit, a single by LF Quincy Latimore, in their first 5 innings, though they also had two batters reach on errors -- 2B Brock Holt in the 3rd and C Tony Sanchez in the 4th.  Down 3-0 going into the top of the 6th, the Curve got going.  With one out, Marte beat out a bunt single, and SS Jordy Mercer walked.  Sanchez also beat out an infield single to third to load the bases, and 1B Miles Durham's line drive into left field brought in Marte, leaving the bases loaded again.  Latimore plated Mercer with a sacrifice fly.  Then 3B Jeremy Farrell drove in Sanchez and Durham when he tripled into center field, giving the Curve a 4-3 lead.  

Tim Alderson relieved Pribanic to begin the 6th inning.  He gave up two singles in that inning, but kept the Aeros from scoring.  Akron also singled twice in the bottom of the 7th, including one by Sizemore, but this time, a throwing error by Holt on the force attempt let in one unearned run.  After a ground out, a double drove in two more runs, also unearned, and Akron had the lead back, 6-4.

The Curve added one more run in the 8th, when Latimore walked, then came around to score on Farrell's double into right field.  Walks to DH Eric Fryer and RF Brad Chalk loaded the bases again, but the Curve could not capitalize, and all three were left stranded.  Tom Boleska finished the game for the Curve with a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th.  Alderson was charged with the loss, as well as a Blown Save.  

The Wounded Warriors

The Pirates have three pitchers who are beginning the year on the (long term) disabled list.  When they eventually are ready to return, they will have to do some minor league rehabbing.  

Donnie Veal  --  L/L, 6' 4", 230 lb
Veal was a Rule 5 draft pick for the Pirates in 2008, coming from the Cubs' organization.  He did spend the entire 2009 season officially on the Pirates' roster, though he also went onto the Disabled List with vague injuries twice.  He pitched 7 "rehab" games in Altoona (5 starts, no record, 13.1 innings, 1.35 ERA), and 9 "rehab" games in Indianapolis (0-1 record, 14 innings, 6.43 ERA).   Veal got in only rare work out of the Pirates' bullpen, and his control suffered all season.  However, after the season, Veal was assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where he got in regular work -- and dominated.  Veal returned to Indianapolis to begin the 2010 season.  His control was improving, and in his first 4 starts, he allowed 8 runs over 22.1 innings (3.22 ERA) with 9 walks and 14 strikeouts.  The next three starts were rough, with 13 runs in 15.1 innings.  Then Veal had his best outing, throwing 7 shutout innings and allowing just 2 hits.  He made one more start, and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits.  Then Veal was shut down with elbow problems, which eventually led to Tommy John surgery.  Overall for the season, Veal earned a 3-2 record and a 4.35 ERA in 49.2 innings of work, with 24 earned runs and 42 hits, 23 walks (4.2 walks/ 9 innings), and 41 strikeouts (7.4 K/ 9 innings).   Veal was non-tendered at the end of the 2010 season, but was quickly signed to a minor league contract.  He came to spring training and worked on things like fielding drills, but did not pitch competitively.  The 26-year-old is tentatively on track to return by the middle of the 2011 season.  


Jose Ascanio  -- R/R,  6' 0",  170 lb
Ascanio, a 25-year-old Venezuelan native, was first signed by the Braves, then traded to the Cubs, and in July 2009 was traded to the Pirates.  After the trade, Ascanio made one start in Indianapolis, then moved up to Pittsburgh, where he made 2 relief appearances.  He developed some shoulder problems at that point, and was out for the rest of the season, eventually having shoulder surgery.  He was ready to pitch again in mid-2010, and made one rehab start with the GCL Pirates and another with A+ Bradenton, throwing a total of 3 scoreless innings.  Unfortunately, Ascanio injured his hand (off the field) at that point, which shut him down for the rest of 2010.  He did get in some work for Los Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League,throwing 9 scoreless innings over 8 games, with 5 hits, one walk, and 7 strikeouts.  Ascanio, who is on the Pirates' 40-man roster, came to spring training, but pitched very little, and when he did pitch, he did not have good command.  He was placed on the DL to begin the 2011 season, but it's unclear where he will go from there.  He is not even close to being ready to pitch at the major league level, but he is out of options, and might not make it through waivers without being claimed.  

Ciriaco Gets A Key Hit, Good Outing For Ascanio

Lots of playoff action in the winter leagues on Friday night:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Toros del Este  2,  Estrellas de Oriente  1  -- SS Pedro Ciriaco, 
who has not been in Los Toros' recent playoff games, started off the scoring in this game.  He singled to lead off the 3rd inning, and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt.  He stole second base, and scored on an RBI single.  Ciriaco also reached base on an error in the 5th, and made it as far as third base, but did not score.  Los Toros scored again on a walk and two singles in the 7th inning.  Los Toros' starter Fernando Abad pitched 6 no-hit innings, including 6 strikeouts.  The only runner to reach base against him got there on a fielding error in the 6th, and Abad finished the inning with two grounder force outs.  Reliever Jairo Asencio followed Abad with 2 perfect innings.  Los Estrellas' only hit and only run came in the top of the 9th, when reliever Julio Manon gave up a walk and a double, and the runner from third base scored on a wild pitch.  Los Toros have won the first three games of this 9-game series.


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE 
Leones de Ponce  1,  Criollos de Caguas  0  --  
Pitching ruled in the Puerto Rican League also.  Ponce starter Willie Collazo pitched 9 shut-out innings, allowing just 2 singles and 2 walks.  SS Luis Figueroa walked in the 1st inning, and he was Los Criollos' only base runner for the first 6 innings.  Collazo allowed a single and a walk in the 7th, and another single in the 8th.  Los Leones posted 7 hits and had 5 walks, but they fell victim to 4 double plays, and left 8 runners on base.  The only run scored in the 2nd, when the inning opened with a double and two singles.  One of the double plays cut the rally short.  This series is now tied at one game each.  

Triple For Gonzalez and Homers For House, Gimenez, and Chavez


Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in the few winter league playoff games on Sunday....

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  8,  Toros del Este  2 --  
A 7-run 7th inning by Los Gigantes included a 2-run homer and a 3-run homer, and it gave them all the firepower they would need.  Former Indy Indian Tim Harikkala finished the 5th inning after Los Toros scored their runs, then loaded the bases with a double and two walks in the 6th, though another reliever was able to end the inning without a run scoring.  Juan Perez pitched the 8th inning for Los Gigantes and struck out the side.  

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  7,  Gigantes de Carolina   6  --  
2B Benji Gonzalez singled and tripled for Los Gigantes, but Ponce pulled it out with 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th.  Los Gigantes began the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  They added a run in the 6th on a single and Gonzalez's RBI triple.  A double and a single gave them another run in the 7th.  Los Leones scored one run in the 5th, then tied the score with 3 walks and a grand slam in the 7th.  The game went into extra innings, but Carolina quickly scored a run in the top of the 10th with a single and a double.  But in the bottom of the frame, Ponce had a runner reach base on an error, and a 2-run homer gave them the walk-off win.  Gonzalez also singled in the 4th but was caught stealing.  

Senadores de San Juan  8,  Criollos de Caguas  2  --  Another game with 3 runs scored in the top of the 1st, and Los Criollos were chasing Los Senadores for the rest of the game.   Los Criollos scored their runs in the 7th, on a pair of doubles and an RBI single by 3B Ramon Vazquez.  SS Luis Figueroa singled in the 4th, but was left on base.  

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