Tag: Kevin Decker

Stolen Bases Hurt Power; Alvarez Continues Rehab

Sunday's action in the Pirates' minor league organization began with an afternoon game in Charleston.  The GCL Pirates have the day off.

Greensboro Grasshoppers  10,  West Virginia Power  2
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Three late-inning rallies gave the Grasshoppers the advantage over the Power this afternoon.   Power starter Colton Cain pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk.  The first 'Hoppers' run came in the 1st inning, on a double and an RBI single.  Cain allowed only one base runner over the next two innings (hit batter), then gave up a 2-run homer in the 4th, to give Greensboro a 3-0 lead. Cain and C Kawika Emsley-Pai had two bases stolen against them in the 1st inning (one runner, two bases), and a double steal in the 4th.  Kevin Decker replaced Cain to begin the 5th, and retired the side in order.  In the 6th, Decker gave up 2 runs on a single, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.  There were three stolen bases in that inning.  Decker was still pitching in the 7th, when 3 more runs scored.  Three more stolen bases contributed to the scoring, which also included two walks, a sacrifice fly, an RBI double and an RBI single.  The Grasshoppers had an 8-0 lead.   

The Power batters went down in order in the first two innings, and had only 3 base runners over the first 6 innings.  Emsley-Pai led off the 3rd with a single lined into left field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base.   1B Chase Lyles singled in the 5th and was left on base.  SS Kevin Mort singled to open the 6th, and was erased in a double play.  2B Andy Vasquez singled to lead off the 7th, and he was also out in a double play, when CF Mel Rojas lined out to first and Vasquez was easily doubled off.  Finally, after that double play, three consecutive hits pushed the first Power run across the plate.  DH Cole White and Lyles hit back-to-back singles, and LF Rogelios Noris drove in White with a line drive double into left.  

Justin Ennis pitched the 8th inning, and gave the 'Hoppers another 2-run homer, following a single.  The Power got one of the runs back in the 8th.  With two outs, Vasquez was hit by a pitch, and Rojas walked.  White lined a single into center field, and Vasquez came around from second to score.  Jason Townsend pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, and the Power also went down in order in the bottom of the 9th.  

Alvarez Starts With GCL Pirates

The Pirates have optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to AAA Indianapolis.  This opens a roster spot for OF Alex Presley, who will be officially called up on Tuesday (the Pirates have a day off on Monday).  UPDATE:  Presley has officially been called up, and will join the Pirates in Toronto.

Also promoted:  pitcher Rinku Singh has been promoted from the GCL Pirates to State College.   Singh has pitched a total of 15 innings so far this season.  Eleven of those came on 3 appaearances with the DSL team.  He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 7 strikeouts in the Dominican.  In one appearance last week with the GCL Pirates, Singh pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, while striking out 5 batters.  Singh pitched in one game for the Spikes at the end of the 2010 season.  He went 2 innings in that game, and gave up only one hit, with one strikeout.  


Monday's game action:

GCL Pirates  1,  GCL Phillies  0.... for 1.5 innings
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3B Pedro Alvarez made his first official rehab start this afternoon.  It didn't last long, though that had nothing to do with him: the game was suspended due to rain after just 1.5 innings.  Alvarez was the Pirates' lead-off batter.  He got one trip to the plate, in which he grounded out to second base.  CF Willy Garcia was the only batter on either team to reach base, when he blasted a solo homer in the top of the 2nd.  Pirates' starter Luis Heredia pitched to just 3 batters in the bottom of the first -- two strikeouts and a pop out to C Joey Schoenfeld.  


Leach’s First Win In Marauders’ Hit-Fest

The Pirates have signed 23rd round draft pick RHP Jordan Cooper to a contract.  He had been a pitcher for Kentucky, and that experience might get him a start at State College.  Here is a list of all the 2011 draft picks, with notations for which ones have signed.  

Friday's game action:

Harrisburg Senators  2,  Altoona Curve  0
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A 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th broke the scoreless tie for the only scoring in this pitching duel.  Jeff Locke pitched 6 scoreless frames for the Curve, scattering 3 singles and a walk over his first 3 innings.  The he retired the Senators in order for the next 3 innings.  He threw 78 pitches (48 strikes) in those 6 innings.  Bryan Morris pitched a scoreless 7th, allowing just a single.  That base runner moved to second base on a balk, which started an argument by Altoona manager PJ Forbes -- and resulted in Forbes being ejected. Michael Dubee, back with the Curve after some time with Indianapolis, gave up a lone single in the 8th, and Noah Krol allowed a single and a walk in the 9th, but both kept the Senators from scoring.

But the Curve weren't scoring either.  They pounded out 7 hits, including two by SS Jordy Mercer.  Mercer's triple i n the 7th was the only extra-base hit for the Curve, and the only time that a Curve base runner reached as far as third base.  RF Andrew Lambo also walked twice.  CF Starling Marte opened the game with a single, but was thrown out at second after Mercer's strikeout.  1B Matt Curry and LF Brad Chalk both singled in the 2nd, but Curry was picked off second base, and Chalk was thrown out trying to steal second.  2B Brock Holt singled in the 4th, and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman singled in the 10th and stole second base.  


Power Shut Out ‘Hoppers; Curve Have A Hit-Fest In 10th Inning...

The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off today (Wednesday).  A few bits of news for an off-day:

P Jose Ascanio and C Wyatt Toregas have cleared waivers and both will be assigned to the Indians.   Anthony Claggett was returned to the Altoona Curve.

The Pirates have signed four of their recent draft picks:  
SS Brian Sharp (24th round) from California Baptist University
SS Kirk Singer (29th round) from Long Beach State
RHP Matt Benedict (30th round) from Western Carolina University
C Derek Trent (31st round) from East Tennessee State

Here's the list of all the draft picks, which will be updated with the signings as they occur.   

Sharp, Singer, and Trent are listed on the State College roster.  The State College Spikes begin their season on Friday.

The Pirates also signed LHP Robbie Kilcrease, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech.  The redshirt junior made 12 starts this year for Texas Tech.  He had a total of 63.1 innings, with a 5.97 ERA. 


On to Wednesday evening's action:

West Virginia Power  3,  Greensboro Grasshoppers  0
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The Power did all the scoring they needed in their first at-bats, as three Power pitchers combined for a shutout.  With one out in the top of the 1st, 2B Andy Vasquez lined a single into center field, then stole second base.  He scored on RF Dan Grovatt's double lined into right field.  Grovatt stole third base, and he scored on 1B Justin Howard's RBI ground out.  CF Mel Rojas added one more insurance run for the Power in the 4th inning with a solo home run.  

After the homer, the Power lost some of their power.  They managed only 3 hits over the rest of the game -- a single by Rojas in the 6th, a double by DH Jairo Marquez in the 7th, and a single by 3B Eric Avila in the 9th.  

Brandon Cumpton worked around a walk and a single in the bottom of the 1st, then gave up two more singles in the 3rd, but got out of that jam too, partly due to a double play.  Cumpton also gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, but still did not let the runners come around to score.  He began the 6th with a walk and a double play, then loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk.  Kevin Decker came on in relief of Cumpton, and Decker ended the inning with a fly out, still not letting a run score.  

Decker pitched 2 more scoreless innings, though he gave up a walk and two singles in the 7th, and another single in the 8th.  Jason Townsend pitched the 9th, also giving up a walk and erasing the runner with a double play.  Cumpton earned his 7th win of the season, and Townsend earned his 6th Save.  

Curve Game Suspended With 10-Run Lead; Marauders And Power Need Extras

Saturday evening action for the Pirates' minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  11,  Reading Phillies  1  (Suspended)
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After rain delayed the start of this game, the Curve must have decided that they needed to score a lot and quickly, in case the rain cut the game short.  The rain did come again, but too early for a complete game.  Instead, it was suspended in the 3rd inning, with the Curve leading by 10 runs.  R-Phils starter Juan Ramirez could not get through the 1st inning.  The first four Curve batters reached base safely:  a lead-off triple by RF Anthony Norman, a double by CF Starling Marte (one run), a walk by SS Jordy Mercer, and a single by LF Quincy Latimore to load the bases.  After a fly out, 3B Jeremy Farrell drove in both Marte and Mercer with an RBI single (runs 2,3).  C Travis Scott singled, loading the bases again.  2B Greg Picart grounded to first, and the R-Phils' first baseman returned the ball to the plate, forcing out Latimore for the second out.  Pitcher Aaron Pribanic singled into right field, bringing in Farrell (run 4), and a walk by Norman forced in Scott with the 5th run of the inning.  That was the end for Ramirez, and the new reliever, Tyson Brummett, struck out Marte to end the inning.  

But the Curve came right back at Brummett in the 2nd.  With one out, Latimore singled, and 1B Matt Curry doubled him in.  A walk by Scott and a single by Picart brought in Curry, and the Curve extended their lead to 7-0.  

Pribanic retired the R-Phils in order in the bottom of the 1st.  He gave up one run in the 2nd, on two singles and two ground outs.  Then the Curve came roaring right back in the top of the 3rd.  Norman led off with a walk, and a fielding error put Marte on first and Norman on second.  Mercer singled, plating Norman.  After one out, Brummet threw two wild pitches, scoring Marte and leaving Mercer on third base.  Curry walked, then Farrell doubled, driving in Mercer.  Curry went to third base, and he scored on Scott's sacrifice fly.  A ground out ended the top of the inning, and at that point, the game was halted, with the Curve ahead 11-1.  The game will resume at 1:30 pm on Sunday, and the regularly scheduled game will follow, but that game will be only 7 innings long.  Hope the Curve didn't use up all their hits in those first three innings.  

Homers For Mercer And Watts; Three Power All-Stars

Tonight it's the Bradenton Marauders who have a scheduled night off....

 
Altoona Curve  10,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve posted 13 hits, with CF Starling Marte leading the barrage with 3 of them.  The Curve jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st and 4 more in the 2nd.  2B Brock Holt opened the bottom of the 1st with a double into center field.  Marte's ground out moved Holt to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer's single into left field.  Mercer advanced to second base on a ground out by LF Quincy Latimore, and he scored on 1B Matt Curry's RBI single.  

The 2nd inning began with a walk by C Tony Sanchez, followed by a ground-rule double by DH Kris Watts.  Both runners held their place on a short fly out and a strike out, then Marte singled, driving in Sanchez.  Marte stole second base, and the Erie pitcher threw a wild pitch, allowing Watts to score.  A 2-run homer by Mercer brought in Marte and gave the Curve the 6-0 lead.  

Erie got two of the runs back in the top of the 3rd off starter Jeff Locke.  A single and a hit batter gave the SeaWolves 2 runners on base with 2 outs.  The lead runner came in on a fielding error by Mercer, then a single plated the second unearned run of the inning.  A double, a fielding error by Latimore, and a sacrifice fly gave Erie a third run in the 4th inning.

The Curve kept adding on.  Watts blasted a solo homer in the 3rd.  In the 5th, Curry doubled, then scored on Sanchez's line drive single into center field, and the Curve led 8-3.  Sanchez also stole second base and went to third on a throwing error, but was left there when Watts struck out.  

Locke pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, no walks, while striking out 8 batters.  Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 7th, but he got into trouble right away.  With one out, he gave up a single and three consecutive walks, driving in a run.  Michael Dubee replaced Alderson, and he got the next batter to ground out, but that brought in another run, also charged to Alderson.  Dubee ended the inning with a strikeout.  Dubee also pitched a scoreless 8th inning, allowing 2 singles.  Noah Krol pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.

Altoona rallied one more time in the bottom of the 8th.  With one out, Watts was hit by a pitch, and RF Brad Chalk ripped a triple into right field, easily scoring Watts.  Chalk scored on Holt's RBI single, and Marte also added a single -- his third of the game.  

Curve Held To 3 Hits; Marauders Held To 2 Hits

Saturday evening's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates.

Don't forget to vote for the All-Star Teams:
Pirates/MLB:  vote here
Indianapolis Indians/International League:  vote here
Altoona Curve/Eastern League:  vote here



Portland Sea Dogs  4,  Altoona Curve  0
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The Curve were held to just 6 base runners -- 3 singles and 3 walks, and could not push any of them around to score.  SS Jordy Mercer was the only Curve to reach base in the first 5 innings.  He walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out at second base when 1B Matt Curry flied out.  

Starter Mike Colla retired Portland in order in the first two innings, but gave up a solo home run in the 3rd.  He gave up another solo blast in the 4th, and struck out the other three batters in that inning.  In the 5th, a lead-off double and an RBI single gave the Sea Dogs their third run in the 5th.  Portland's third homer of the game made it 4-0 in the 6th.  Colla left after 6 innings, having allowed 7 hits (3 homers and 4 other hits), one walk, and 6 strikeouts.  He threw 94 pitches, with 58 strikes.  

The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, with a walk by DH Kris Watts and singles by RF Brad Chalk and 2B Brock Holt loading the bases with one out.  But CF Starling Marte bounced into a double play to end the inning.  Mercer singled in the 7th, and he was also erased with a double play.  Chalk walked in the 9th, but was left on base.  

Matt McSwain pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Curve in relief of Colla.  He gave up two singles, but one was eliminated with a double play, and the other was left stranded.  Noah Krol pitched the top of the 9th, allowing a walk and a single.   

Power Go Long; Curve Cut Short

Friday evening's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve  6,  Binghamton Mets  6
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Rain halted the game between the Curve and the Mets in Binghamton, NY in the top of the 7th inning, with the score tied at 6-6.  Starter Aaron Thompson got into trouble early in the game, when he gave up 4 runs to the B-Mets in the bottom of the 1st.  A single and a hit batter led off the inning, then two fly outs and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Three singles brought in a run each, and a double added the 4th run of the inning.  Thompson gave up a hit in each of the next two innings, but erased one with a double play, and left the other stranded.  A solo homer in the bottom of the 4th gave the Mets a 5-0 lead, then a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave the Mets their 6th run in the 5th. 

The Curve put one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but none of those runners came around to score.  2B Brock Holt walked in the 1st, but was out in a double play.  C Tony Sanchez singled in the 2nd and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  Holt smacked a ground-rule double in the 3rd, and SS Jordy Mercer walked and got as far as third base in the 4th.  

1B Miles Durham got the Curve going with a rally in the top of the 5th, when he was hit by a pitch.  Thompson tried for a sacrifice fly, but it turned into a forcer out of Durham at second base, leaving Thompson on first.  Holt singled, then CF Starling Marte tripled into right field, scoring both Thompson and Holt.  LF Quincy Latimore singled into left field, bringing in Marte, to cut the B-Mets' lead to 5-3.

The Mets made it 6-3 in the bottom of the 5th, but the Curve came right back with another 3 runs in the top of the 6th to tie the game.  A fielding error at shortstop put 3B Jeremy Farrell on base, and Sanchez's double let Farrell came around to score from first base.  RF Brad Chalk walked, then pinch-hitter Eric Fryer drove in base runners with the second triple of the game.  

Tim Alderson came on to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and he worked around a single, to maintain the tie.  The top of the 7th began with a single by Latimore, and a grounder force out by Mercer, leaving Mercer on first base.  Mercer stole second and then moved to third base on a wild pitch.  Farrell walked, to give the Curve runners on the corners  -- and that's when the storms halted the game.  

The game will resume on Saturday prior to the regularly scheduled game.  This game will finish as a 9-inning game, but the regularly scheduled game will probably be a 7-inning game.  


Veal Back In Action, Walk-off Win For Curve

Sunday afternoon action with the Pirates' lower minor league teams:  

Altoona Curve 5,  Akron Aeros  4
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2B Brock Holt singled up the middle in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 1B Miles Durham from second base, for the Curve's walk-off win.  
Curve starter Aaron Thompson began his outing by facing only the minimum over the first three innings.  He gave up a single in the 2nd, but erased that runner with a double play.  The Aeros scored the first run of the game in the top of the 4th, when they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Thompson could record an out.  A sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third, but Thompson got another double play to get out of the inning.   

The first 11 Curve batters also went down in order, until LF Quincy Latimore singled in the 4th.  He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer's grounder.  The Curve got onto the scoreboard and tied the game when 3B Jeremy Farrell blasted a solo homer to lead off the 4th inning.   

Thompson again retired the side in order in the 5th.  The Aeros took the lead again in the top of the 6th with 2 runs off Thompson.  A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners with one out.  A wild pitch moved the runner from first to second, though the runner on third had to stay there.  Two more strikeouts drove in two runs, to give Akron a 3-1 lead.  

The Curve answered with one run in the bottom of the 7th.  Mercer and Ferrell led off the inning with singles, and C Tony Sanchez walked to load the bases.  After a pitching change, RF Eric Fryer bounced into a double play, which let Mercer score from third base, though Fryer did not get credit for an RBI.  The Curve added two more in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Brad Chalk.  Holt sacrificed bunted Chalk to second.  CF Starling Marte beat out an infield single, moving Chalk to third, and Marte stole second base to put two Curve runners in scoring position.  Latimore drove in Chalk with a sacrifice fly, an Mercer brought in Marte with an RBI single.  Curve ahead, 4-3.

Mike Dubee relieved Thompson and pitched 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 6th, then gave up just a walk in the 8th.  Noah Krol took over for Dubee for the 9th.  He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up a solo home run to tie the score.  Then he was credited with the win because he was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the 9th.  The bottom of the frame began with a fly out, then Fryer singled and Durham reached on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Fryer to third.  Chalk bounced to short, giving the Akron shortstop the opportunity to fire back to the plate, and Fryer was tagged out at home.  With Durham on second and Chalk on first, Holt singled into center field, and had the walk-off win when Durham raced around third base to score on the single.  


Taillon’s First Loss; Marauders And Curve Bombarded

The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:

Lexington Legends  4,  West Virginia Power  2    Game 1 
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Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header.  Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st.  Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder's choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila.  Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring.  A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends' 4th run in the 4th inning.  Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.

The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning.  LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base.  The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit.  2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases.  CF Mel Rojas's grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends' shortstop let Mort and Noris score.  Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.  



Power  9,  Legends  3    Game 2
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Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game.  They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits.  DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.

The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st.  With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer.  Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead. 

Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai's double.  Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate.  Power up 8-0.  Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th. 

Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2.  Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order.  He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame.  The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered.  Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th.  He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th.  A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington.  A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score.  Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.  

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