Tag: Kevin Decker

Homers And Wins For Everyone

Wins for everyone in the Pirates' minor league system on Saturday... and each of these winners scored 6 runs:

Altoona Curve  6,  Erie SeaWolves  5
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The Curve rallied with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, for a come-from-behind win, extending their winning streak to four games.  Starter Mike Colla went 5 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  Colla allowed only one hit over the first three innings.  The top of the 4th began with a single, a walk, and a single to load the bases.  After a strikeout, a single lined into left field drove in one run.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the frame.  CF Starling Marte had singled in the 1st inning, and the Curve had loaded the bases with two outs in the 2nd, on a walk by DH Kris Watts, and singles by 1B Miles Durham and RF Eric Fryer.  All four runners were left on base.  3B Jeremy Farrell started the 4th inning by being hit by a pitch.  C Tony Sanchez doubled into right field, scoring Fryer from first.  Watts' ground out moved Sanchez to third, then Durham lined a single into left field, bringing in Sanchez.  The Curve had a 2-1 lead.  

Brian Leach took over for Colla for the 6th inning, and retired the side in order.  Anthony Claggett came on for the 7th, which started well, with two outs.  Then a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single tied the game at 2-2.  Claggett remained in the game to begin the 8th inning, but he quickly got into trouble, allowing a pair of doubles and a single, for one run and one out.  Claggett was ejected after the single (no details, sorry), and Michael Dubee took over for him.  Dubee gave up an RBI single and an RBI double, to give Erie a 5-2 lead.

The Curve came charging back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, LF Quincy Latimore walked, and SS Jordy Mercer brought them both in with a 2-run homer.  Farrell singled after the homer, and Sanchez tied the score when he drove in Farrell with a triple.  Brad Chalk came in to pinch-hit for Sanchez, and he scored on Watts' RBI single, to give the Curve the lead.  

Noah Krol pitched the final inning.  He gave up a pair of singles, but kept the SeaWolves from scoring to hold on to the win.  Dubee was credited with the win, and Krol earned his 8th Save of the season. 

Cain Wins #2, Pribanic Loses His First

Tuesday night's action in the Pirates' lower minor leagues:

West Virginia Power  5,  Charleston RiverDogs  1
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Colton Cain took his second win of the season, allowing 3 hits and one run over 5 innings, with one walk and 3 strikeouts.  Cain had some trouble in the 1st inning, when a lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single drove in a run for Charleston.   After a walk, Cain got the next batter to fly out to center, where a nice throw from CF Mel Rojas to 3B Eric Avila ended the inning.  Cain retired the next 10 batters in order, then gave up a double in the 5th inning.  He struck out two batters to end his evening's work.  

The Power batters gave Cain all the run support he needed in the top of the 2nd.  With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a double into right field, then went to third base when C Elias Diaz reached base on a fielding error.  Diaz stole second base, then LF Rogelios Noris singled into right field, plating Marquez.  Noris advanced to second base on the throw in from the outfield, which put him into position to score behind Diaz on Avila's 2-RBI single.  The Power added a run in the 3rd for a 4-1 lead.  RF Dan Grovatt singled, then 1B Justin Howard's double advanced Grovatt to third.  Rojas picked up the RBI with a ground out, scoring Grovatt.  

Kevin Decker relieved Cain to begin the 6th inning.  He pitched 3 perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts.  Brooks Pounders took the 9th inning and allowed only a single in his scoreless inning.  

Charleston committed errors in both the 4th and the 5th innings, but the Power were not able to take advantage of those errors to score.  The Power scored one more run in the 9th, when Marquez bed off with a single, and was bunted to second by Diaz.  Noris' ground out moved Diaz to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.   

Pribanic Earns Win #3, Krol Earns Save #7

The Curve played another mid-day game today, with the stadium full of school kids

Altoona Curve  4,  Akron Aeros  3
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The Curve hung on for the win, despite being out-hit 12-6 by the Aeros.  Aaron Pribanic earned his third win of the season, and Noah Krol earned his 7th Save.   

SS Jordy Mercer got things going for the Curve in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  He beat out an infield single to third, then stole second base.  A grounder by DH Tony Sanchez moved him to third base, and Mercer scored from there on a wild pitch.  C Eric Fryer singled and 1B Miles Durham walked after Mercer scored, but both were left on base.  

Akron took the lead in the top of the 4th.  Pribanic had allowed 3 singles over the first two innings, but left those batters on base.  He hit a batter with a pitch to open the 4th inning, then gave up a 2-run homer, giving the Aeros a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order in both the 3rd and 4th innings, but they got to the Akron starter again in the bottom of the 5th.  Fryer led off with a walk, and with one out, RF Jose Hernandez drove a triple into center field, scoring Fryer.  2B Brock Holt's RBI ground out brought in Hernandez, and the Curve had the lead back, 3-2.  They tacked on another run in the 6th.  LF Quincy Latimore began the inning with a line drive into center field for a single, and when the Akron center fielder made a fielding error, Latimore moved to second base.  Mercer followed with another line drive into center, putting runners on the corners.  Sanchez bounced into a double play, erasing Mercer, but Latimore was able to score from third base for a 4-2 lead.   

Pribanic allowed 6 hits with those 2 runs in the 4th, going a total of 5 innings.  He did not walk a batter and struck out 3 Aeros' batters.  Tim Alderson came on in relief to begin the 6th, and retired the side in order.  He gave up an unearned run in the 7th, when Fryer made a fielding error to put a runner on base.  A force out at second traded runners at first, and an RBI double brought the run in.   Michael Dubee loaded the bases on three singles in the 8th, but wiggled out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out.  Krol earned his save by getting out of another bases-loaded jam in the top of the 9th (two singles and a walk) with a timely double play.

Grossman’s Lead-Off Homer; Power Are Two-Hit

Altoona Curve  8,  Erie SeaWolves  6
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Two big innings gave the Curve enough runs to withstand a late-inning rally by the SeaWolves and take the win to open this series.  The Curve got started with a two-out rally which scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  After a line out and a ground out, C Tony Sanchez and DH Kris Watts both walked.  1B Miles Durham and RF Brad Chalk then hit back-to-back doubles, with Durham driving in one run and Watts adding two.  2B Brock Holt reached base on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Chalk to third base.  Chalk scored on a balk, giving the Curve a 4-0 lead.  They added 3 more runs in the 5th, beginning with Holt's lead-off single through the hole into right field.  CF Starling Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt to moved Holt to second base. Three consecutive singles, by LF Quincy Latimore, Mercer, and 3B Jeremy Farrell brought in one run (Mercer's RBI).  After a pitching change, Sanchez made it four straight singles with a liner into center field, scoring Latimore and Mercer.  The Curve added one more insurance run in the 7t, on a single by Latimore and an RBI double by Mercer.  

Aaron Pribanic
made the start for the Curve and earned his second win of the season.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and a walk.  Two of the hits, a single and a double, came in the 3rd inning, and were followed by a bouncer back to the mound, which Pribanic returned to Sanchez, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  Two more singles came in the 4th, and both of those runners were left on base.  Brian Leach pitched the 6th and 7th innings and gave up a run in each.  A walk and a triple plated the run in the 6th, and a walk, a single, and two ground outs brought in the run in the 7th.  Tom Boleska began the 8th inning, and got into trouble right away.  Two walks and a double loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly scored one run.  After another walk, Boleska was relieved by Noah Krol.  The first batter Krol faced doubled into left field for 2 runs, and a hit batter and an RBI ground out gave Erie the fourth run of the inning.  Krol ended the rally with a strikeout, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 9th to earn his 6th Save of the season.  

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.  

Cain Throws Six Scoreless Innings

Sunday's action in the Pirates' lower minor leagues:

West Virginia Power  7,  Augusta Green Jackets  0
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Three Power pitchers powered up to shut out the Green Jackets.  Colton Cain made the start and earned his first win of the season.  He allowed just one hit and one walk in 6 innings.  Cain retired the first 9 Augusta batters in order, then gave up both the hit (a double) and a walk to begin the bottom of the 4th.  A double play and a pop out got Cain out of that little jam, then he retired 6 more batters to end his outing.  Kevin Decker allowed a single in each of his two innings, but maintained the shutout.  Ryan Beckman gave up two singles in the 9th, but left both on base to end the game.  

The Power began their scoring with an unearned run in the top of the 2nd.  C Elias Diaz reached on a fielding error in right field, then advanced to third base on RF Dan Grovatt's single.  2B Kevin Mort brought Diaz in with a sacrifice fly.  Grovatt led off the 5th with a walk.  He was forced out at second on Mort's grounder, though Mort avoided the double play and was safe at first.  LF Andy Vasquez plated Mort with a triple into right field.

The 6th was the big inning for the Power.  CF Mel Rojas and 1B Matt Curry started the frame with back-to-back singles, and after two outs, Diaz walked to load the bases.  Another walk to Grovatt forced in Rojas, then Mort drove in Curry and Diaz with a line drive single into center field.  The Power tacked on another run in the 7th, when SS Gift Ngoepe doubled, Rojas singled (his third hit of the game), and a fielder's choice on Curry's ball let Ngoepe score.  It was Curry's turn to double in the 9th, and he scored on Avila's RBI single.  

Curve’s Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short

The Curve played an early game on Wednesday...

Akron Aeros  3,  Altoona Curve  2

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Down 3-1 going into the top of the 9th, the Curve rallied, beginning with 3B Jeremy Farrell reaching base on a fielding error by the Akron shortstop.  A passed ball put Farrell on second base.  Strikeouts by LF Shelby Ford and RF Brad Chalk made the Curve's situation even more desperate.  2B Brock Holt hit his third single of the day, and CF Starling Marte also singled, loading the bases with two outs.  But the Curve's hopes ended when SS Jordy Mercer also struck out.  

Jeff Locke made the start for the Curve, and he was charged with the loss.  Locke worked his way out of a jam with runners on the corners in the 1st inning, and worked around a lead-off single in the 2nd.  Another single led off the 3rd inning, and back-to-back doubles, one zipping just out of reach of Farrell's backhand dive, drove in 2 runs.  After a single, a walk, and two strikeouts in the 5th, Locke was relieved by Anthony Claggett.  Claggett finished up the 5th with a ground out, leaving two runners on base.  He also pitched the 6th and 7th innings, and surrendered a solo home run to lead off the 6th.  Tom Boleska pitched the 8th inning, and kept the Aeros from scoring again, despite a single and a walk.

The Curve scored their first run in the 4th.  1B Miles Durham and C Kris Watts worked back-to-back walks, and when Farrell lifted a soft single into right field, Durham scored from second base.  Farrell and Holt each walked once, and Farrell also singled in the 6th inning.  Holt singled to open the game, then again in the 5th.  

The Curve will have their home opener tomorrow.


Two Hits Each For Latimore, Snyder, Rubinstein, And Power

All of the Pirates' minor league affiliates lost their season openers on Thursday night:

Erie SeaWolves  3,  Altoona Curve 2

One run in the bottom of the 9th made the difference, as the Curve lost in Erie, PA.  The SeaWolves were first onto the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the 5th inning.  Curve starter Bryan Morris had already escaped from two jams in the early innings.  In the 2nd, RF Brad Chalk threw out a runner who was trying to stretch a double into a triple, then Chalk ended the inning when he threw to C Tony Sanchez to nail a runner who was trying to score from second base on a single.  Morris loaded the bases in the 4th with a single and two walks, but a timely double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell to 2B Brock Holt, to 1B Miles Durham, ended that inning without a run scoring.  Morris' luck ran out in the 5th, though, when a walk and a 2-run homer gave Erie a 2-0 lead.  

The Curve missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the 2nd, when Sanchez singled into left field, and LF Quincy Latimore lined a double just out of the reach of the Erie left fielder.  But with runners on second and third, Erie starter Jacob Turner struck out both Farrell and DH Eric Fryer to end the inning.  Turner allowed only two base runners for the next 4 innings -- he walked Holt, and he hit Sanchez with a pitch.  (Sanchez has got to stop being a magnet for opposing pitchers' pitches.)  After Turner left the game, the Curve were able to put men on base again.  Farrell singled and Fryer walked in the 7th, though they didn't score.  The 8th inning began with back-to-back walks to Holt and CF Starling Marte.  SS Jordy Mercer bunted them over to second and third, then another walk to Sanchez loaded the bases.  Latimore came through again, with another double off the left field wall, missing a grand slam by inches, to plate both Holt and Marte and tie the game at 2-2.  

Reliever Anthony Claggett finished the 5th inning for Morris with a strikeout and a pickoff of one of the runners Morris had put on base.  Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes each pitched a perfect inning, with one strikeout for Pribanic and two for Hughes.  Michael Dubee struck out the side in the 8th inning to preserve the tie.  The Curve batters could not get anything going in the top of the 9th, though, and Dubee came back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position, and a ground out moved him to third base.  Then a sinking line drive, just inches away from the diving Latimore's glove, fell in for a hit, scoring the runner from third base for the walk-off win.  
Dubee was charged with the loss.  Morris got a no-decision, with 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, plus 3 strikeouts, in 4.1 innings.  The Curve had just 4 hits, two of them doubles by Latimore.  


2011 Prospect Watching: Stevenson, Cumpton, And Pals

Continuing our visit with some of the pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Trent Stevenson --  Bats L / Throws R,  6' 6",  175 lb
The Pirates chose Stevenson in the 7th round of the 2009 draft.  The Scottsdale, AZ native reported to the GCL Pirates to begin his pro career, and made 5 appearances (4 starts) there, allowing just 2 runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA).  He began the 2010 season again with the GCL Pirates, but after one game, in which he allowed 2 run on two hits (one was a home run) with 3 strikeouts, Stevenson was promoted to State College.  Stevenson pitched entirely out of the bullpen for the Spikes, with 15 appearances for 40.2 total innings, usually going 2 -3 innings at a time.  He pitched 20 innings over 7 appearances in the end of June and through July, with a 4.50 ERA, allowing 22 hits and 10 runs, with 8 walks and 9 strikeouts.  The second half of the season was much the same, with 8 appearances for 20.2 innings and a 4.36 ERA.  In August and into September, he allowed 10 runs on 22 hits, with 7 walks and 14 strikeouts.  At age 20, Stevenson is still developing, and the Pirates are hoping to see more velocity from him, to keep his fastball consistently in the 90's.  He also has a slider and a changeup, which will need more work.  He should be ready for West Virginia in 2011, though if the Power bullpen is too crowded, he could spend a little more time at State College.


Brandon Cumpton --  R/R,  6' 2",  198 lb
Cumpton was the Pirates' 9th round pick in the 2010 draft.  He signed in July and got in 4 appearances with the GCL Pirates before the end of the season.  He pitched a total of 8 scoreless innings in his first, second, and fourth appearances, allowing one hit in the second and two hits in the fourth.  He also struck out 5 batters over the 3 innings of the second appearance.  The third appearance was a struggle, as he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2.2 innings, with 2 walks.  That gave him an overall 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings, and 6 total strikeouts.  Cumpton is still working on fastball command.  The 22-year-old will likely remain a reliever, and is also in the mix for a bullpen spot in West Virginia, though he too could go to State College.  

Marauders Win Second Half Title; Walk-Off Homer For Gonzalez

Sunday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates... this is the season finale for the Spikes, and the regular season finale for the Marauders.

West Virginia Power� 4,� Hagerstown Suns� 3 ....��� (box)

Elevys Gonzalez was the hero in the bottom of the 10th inning with a blast over the right-center field wall for a walk-off homer.� The Suns had scored first with a solo home run off Power starter Eliecer Navarro to lead off the 2nd inning and another solo blast to begin the 4th inning.� Navarro scattered 5 more hits over the rest of the first 5 innings without allowing a run to score.� He began the 6th inning by giving up a walk, then an RBI double to give the Suns their third run.� Maurice Bankston relieved Navarro to finish the 6th inning, then went on to pitch 2 scoreless innings.

The Power got one run back in the bottom of the 4th, with the help of 3 consecutive walks.� CF Evan Chambers walked first, but was caught stealing second base.� Walks to 1B Aaron Baker and DH Jose Hernandez put two runners on base, then C Ramon Cabrera skipped a ground-rule double over the left-center field wall, scoring Baker.� A pop out ended the inning without any further scoring.

The bottom of the 7th began with the Power trailing 3-1.� Cabrera led off with a line drive single up the middle, then LF Rogelios Noris doubled, and 3B Andy Vasquez tripled, tying the score as both Cabrera and Noris scored.� Vasquez was cut down after rounding third base, on the throw in from the outfield.

Bankston hit a batter with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th, but left him stranded.� Jhonathan Ramos pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.� The Power went down in order in ther 8th.� Noris singled and stole second base in the bottom of the 9th, but could not come around to score, and the game went into extra innings.� Ramos gave up a one-out single in the top of the 10th, but then struck out the next two batters.� That set up the bottom of the 10th, when Elevys Gonzalez greeted the new Suns' reliever with the game-winning homer.

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