Tag: Matt Hague

Shutout Innings: Baker 6, Hankins 5

Some nice shutout pitching (at least for a few innings) on Saturday evening:

Altoona Curve �9, � Harrisburg Senators �2 (box)

Starter Derek Hankins pitched 5 shutout innings in his start in Harrisburg. �He scattered two doubles and two walks over those 5 innings, and struck out 2 batters. �Tony Watson relieved Hankins to begin the 6th inning, and he also kept the Senators scoreless for the next two innings. �Watson got into some trouble in the 8th, though, giving up a double, a walk, and a single to the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases. �Watson got the next batter to strike out, but then was replaced by Jeff Sues. Sues gave up a sacrifice fly, and then a single, both scoring one run. �Those runs were charged to Watson. �Sues finished the 8th inning with a ground out. �He got two ground outs in the 9th, allowed a walk, then struck out the last batter of the game.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were busy piling up 15 hits and 9 runs. �LF Alex Presley, who is hitting .471 over his last 10 games and is 8-for-15 in his last 3 games, led the charge by going 4-for-5 tonight, all singles, for 3 RBI. �C Hector Gimenez had 2 doubles and a single, and both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Josh Harrison had two singles each. �Each position player in the starting lineup had at least one hit. �The scoring started slowly, with one run in the 2nd inning. �RF Miles Durham tripled with two outs, then scored on Presley's first single. �They added two more runs in the 4th, when singles by Hague and Harrison, along with a missed catch error on a pick-off attempt, put runners on the corners. �A balk scored Hague, and Presley's second single scored Harrison. �Presley was out at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.

The Senators tried changing pitchers to begin the 6th inning, but it didn't help them. �3B Jordy Mercer led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. �Matt Hague's single scored Mercer. �A walk to Durham and Presley's third single scored Hague with another run. �Gimenez's double brought in Durham and Presley, and gave the Curve a 7-0 lead. �Walks to pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases, but a fly out ended the inning and left the three runners stranded.

A double by SS Chase d'Arnaud and an RBI single by Hernandez made it 8-0 in the top of the 8th. �The Senators scored twice in the bottom of the frame, but by then it was too little too late. �The Curve added one more for good measure in the top of the 9th. �With two outs, Durham walked, and Presley beat out a grounder to short for his fourth hit. �Gimenez's second double brought in Durham with the Curve's 9th run.

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")

Mercer, Presley, Holt All Post 3 Hits, Owens Earns Win

Altoona Curve 3, �Erie SeaWolves 2 (box)

3B Jordy Mercer was the man of the night for the Curve, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate, raising his batting average to .348. �He drove in two of the Curve's three runs and scored the first and third. �LF Alex Presley went 3-for-3, and 1B Matt Hague contributed two hits and the remaining RBI.

Starter Rudy Owens earned his first win of the season. �He allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings, and struck out 5 Erie batters. �The run came in the 2d inning, on a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single. �Owens stopped the scoring at one run by getting the next batter to bounce into a double play. �Owens also worked around base runners in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 5th and 6th.

The Curve bats were quiet in the early innings. �Their first hit was a single by Presley to lead off the 3rd. �Mercer tied the score at 1-1 with his first home run of the season, a blast over the left field wall with one out in the 4th. �Hague and Presley both singled following the homer, but were both left on base. �The go-ahead run came in the 5th inning. �CF Gorkys Hernandez led off with a single into right field that had deflected off the Erie pitcher. �SS Chase d'Arnaud bunted Hernandez to second base, then RF Miles Durham was hit by a pitch. �That brought up Mercer, who doubled down the left field line, scoring Hernandez.

Owens was relieved by Michael Dubee to begin the top of the 7th. �Dubee retired the side in order that inning, but the top of the 8th began with a batter reaching on a fielding error by Mercer. �After a stolen base, a walk, and a strikeout, Dubee was relieved by Danny Moskos. Moskos got a grounder for a force out at third, then a second ground out to end the inning without a run scoring.

Mercer started the rally in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Curve an insurance run. �He led off with a triple into right field, which was followed by a walk to C Kris Watts, and two singles by Hague (RBI) and Presley. �With the bases loaded and one out, Hernandez grounded to third, forcing Watts out at the plate, and another grounder ended the inning. �The insurance run was necessary, because Erie scored one more time in the top of the 9th on a double and a single off Moskos, who held on to end the inning and earn his third save.

Negrych and Watts Lead Curve In Sweep; 10 K’s For Locke

Altoona Curve �9, �Akron Aeros 6 (box)

The Curve swept the 3-game series with the Akron Aeros in their own park with an afternoon win on Wednesday. �DH Jim Negrych continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 at the plate, including 2 doubles. �C Kris Watts added a 2-run homer, and SS Chase d'Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague each had 2 hits.

Akron had the early lead. �They scored twice in the 1st inning, with a single and back-to-back doubles off Curve starter Tim Alderson. Another double, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly added a run in the 2nd inning, giving the Aeros a 3-0 lead. �That didn't last long. �The Curve came back with 4 runs in the top of the 3rd. �3B Josh Harrison singled and went to second base on a wild pitch. �He scored on Negrych's double. �Watts walked, then d'Arnaud also doubled, scoring Negrych. �A single from Hague brought in both Watts and d'Arnaud, and the Curve had a 4-3 lead.

The Aeros tied the score at 4-4 in the 4th inning, on a single, a passed ball by Watts, and an RBI single. �Altoona took the lead again in the top of the 5th. �Negrych led off the inning with a single, and Watts' homer gave the Curve a 6-4 lead. �The Aeros fought back and tied the score again in the bottom of the inning. �A walk and a single with two outs chased Tim Alderson from the game. �Tony Watson came on in relief, but he gave up a double, scoring both base runners. �Alderson was responsible for those runs, for a total of 6 (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, plus one strikeout.

Finally, the Curve scored an unanswered run in the top of the 6th. �With one out, RF Alex Presley singled into center field. �Josh Harrison lined a single into right field, but was out at second when he tried to stretch it into a double. �While the Aeros were busy with Harrison, Presley was able to score the go-ahead run. �The Curve then added two insurance runs. �In the 8th, Matt Hague led off with a walk, and 2B Shelby Ford singled, moving Hague to third base. �That gave LF Jose De Los Santos the chance to bring in Hague with a sacrifice fly. �In the 9th, walks to Watts and CF Gorkys Hernandez plus a single by Hague gave Altoona even more insurance.

Tony Watson pitched 3 more innings. �He had a batter reach in the 6th on a throwing error by d'Arnaud, but retired the other 9 batters he faced. �Watson was credited with the win. �Jeff Sues earned his third save with a scoreless 9th inning.

Starters Struggle for Power and Curve

The Bradenton Marauders were rained out on Sunday afternoon in St. Lucie.

Asheville Tourists �6, �West Virginia Power �3 (box)

Hunter Strickland got into trouble in the first two innings, and the Power could not catch up to the Tourists this afternoon in Charleston, West Virginia. �Strickland opened the game by giving up a walk, a single, and a 3-run home run before he could recored an out. �In the 2nd inning, he gave up a double, a single, and RBI grounder and an RBI double, and the Tourists were leading 5-0. �Strickland also gave up two singles in the 3rd, and one more in the 4th, though that runner was erased in a double play. �Strickland finally had a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th. �He finished his 5 innings having allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.

The Power managed only two hits and a walk over the first five innings, but did not ever really threaten to score. �In the 6th, SS Benji Gonzalez singled, then moved to second on a ground out. �He got as far as third base on a wild pitch, but got no further before the inning ended. �3B Jesus Brito also got to third after a double and a ground out in the 7th, but didn't score. �Finally, in the 8th inning, when Asheville starter Wes Musick finally sat down, C Ramon Cabrera led off with a single, 2B Adenson Chourio walked, and Gonzalez singled to load the bases. �CF Evan Chambers singled, driving in Cabrera and Chourio with the Power's first runs of the game. �1B Kyle Morgan was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, with one out. �Brito's sacrifice fly scored Gonzalez, to make the score 5-3.

Maurice Bankston pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Power, allowing one walk and striking out one batter. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last two innings. �He worked out of a first-and-third jam in the 8th inning (double and hit batter), but gave up a solo home run in the 9th inning. �Strickland was charged with the loss, his second of the season.

Gonzalez was the only Power batter to have two hits in the game, and Brito's double was the only Power extra-base hit of the game. �Morgan and Chourio also had singles.

Erie SeaWolves �8, �Altoona Curve �2 (box)

The Curve posted only 6 hits in the game, and the SeaWolves doubled up their hits and made better use of the hits they made.

DH Jim Negrych got the Curve started in the top of the 1st, with a one-out single. �3B Jordy Mercer walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners up. �RF�Miles Durham brought in Negrych with a sacrifice fly to give the Curve an early 1-0 lead.

Starter Justin Wilson worked around two singles in the 1st inning and put the side down in order in the 2nd, but had some trouble in the 3rd. �A single and a double put runners on the corners, and an RBI ground out tied the game. �Wilson's wild pitch brought in the second runner to give Erie a lead they would not give up. �Wilson got through the 4th, picking a runner off second base. �In the 5th, two walks and a fielding error by Wilson on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases. �A ground out brought in one run, and a single plated the second run. �When the runner from first went to steal second base, the runner from third scored on the throw down to second base. �That chased Wilson from the game, and he was eventually charged with the loss, going 4.2 innings and allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks. �He also struck out 4 batters.

Derek Hankins relieved Wilson and ended the 5th inning. �But Hankins gave up a double and a 2-run homer in the 6th inning, to make the score 7-1. �A single and a double added another run in the 7th inning.

After the 1st inning, the Curve threatened in the 2nd inning, when C Hector Gimenez led off with a double and 1B Matt Hague single, moving Gimenez to third base. �That's as far as he got, though. �Two outs ended that inning, and the next 10 Curve batters after that also were retired in order. �Jordy Mercer walked in the 6th, but was left stranded. �Three Curve went down in order in the 7th, too. �Finally in the 8th, the Curve scored again. �LF Alex Presley led off with a single, and CF Gorkys Hernandez was hit by a pitch. �Jim Negrych grounded to short, and Hernandez was forced out at second, but Negrych made it to first base safely. �Mercer doubled, scoring Presley, but the Curve still left two runners on base.

Michael Dubee pitched the 8th inning for the Curve. �He gave up a single, but that runner was erased when a line drive right to Hague at first base let Hague make an unassisted double play.

Negrych Sparks Two Rallies; Sanchez Homers

Erie SeaWolves 6, �Altoona Curve 5 (box)

DH Jim Negrych did his best to be the hero for the Curve in the afternoon game against the SeaWolves in Erie. �He tied the game with a 2-run homer in the 8th inning. �He hit a key 2-run double in the top of the 9th to give the Curve the lead. �But Erie's C Max St. Pierre was having a better day. �On St. Pierre's 30th birthday, he hit two home runs, including a walk-off blast in the bottom of the 9th to give the SeaWolves the win.

With Rudy Owens on the mound for his second start of the season, Erie took an early 2-run lead in the 3rd inning. �Owens had allowed only one hit over the first two innings, but the 3rd began with three consecutive singles, including one by St. Pierre, to bring in one run. �An RBI grounder brought in the second run. �C Kris Watts ended the inning when he threw out a runner trying to steal second base.

The Curve threatened in the top of the 3rd when LF Alex Presley and 2B Shelby Ford opened the inning with back-to-back walks. �A bunt moved them both up a base. �CF Gorkys Hernandez bounced to short for a fielder's choice, and Presley appeared to slide in under the tag at the plate, but was called out. �Altoona did�get one of the runs back in the top of the 5th, when 1B Matt Hague led off the 5th inning with the first Curve hit of the game, a double down the left field line. �He went to third on a ground out, and Ford was hit by a pitch, making it runners on the corners. �SS Jose De Los Santos grounded to second base, for what should have been a double play. �But the speedy De Los Santos beat out the relay throw to first base, and the Hague scored from third base.

St. Pierre's first home, a solo blast, run led off the 5th inning, to give the SeaWolves a 3-1 lead. �That lead lasted until the top of the 8th, when the Curve finally got another hit. �Gorkys Hernandez led off with a single, deflected off the glove of the Erie pitcher. �Jim Negrych hit a long fly ball down the right field line... but as the crowd held their breath, the ball drifted foul just at the last second. �Negrych came right back with another long ball, this one to right center where it had no chance of drifting foul. �This bomb was a 2-run homer to tie the game, Negrych's first homer of the season.

Hague and Durham Power Curve; Power and Marauders Fall Short

Altoona Curve �13, �Erie SeaWolves 5 (box)

The Curve exploded for 7 runs in the top of the 9th inning, to take the first game in their series against the SeaWolves in Erie. �The Curve went into the 9th already leading 6-5. �They sent 11 batters to the plate in the 9th, beginning with a single by LF Alex Presley, and SS Chase d'Arnaud being hit by a pitch. �Both moved up one base on a throwing error, and Presley scored on DH Jim Negrych's RBI single. �RF Miles Durham doubled, scoring d'Arnaud, and an intentional walk to C Hector Gimenez loaded the bases. �CF Gorkys Hernandez brought in Negrych with an RBI single. �Then 2B Josh Harrison and 1B Matt Hague greeted a new reliever with back-to-back doubles, each plating two more runs.

Altoona had begun the game with 2 runs in the top of the 1st, when d'Arnaud and Negrych opened the game with two walks, and Gimenez scored both with a 2-RBI double. �Durham's 3-run homer in the 3rd inning followed another walk to Negrych and a single by 3B Jordy Mercer. Hague added a solo home run in the 4th inning.

Tim Alderson started for the Curve and gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 1st. �He gave up another homer in the 5th, after a single and a walk. �Alderson pitched 5 innings, allowing those 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 2 strikeouts, to earn his first win of the season. �Dustin Molleken pitched 2.1 innings, and he gave up the SeaWolves' final run in the 7th, on a single and a triple. �The runner on third was thrown out at the plate on a subsequent fielders' choice play, when SS d'Arnaud threw to Hector Gonzalez at the plate for the tag out. Danny Moskos earned his first save with 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and striking out 2 batters.

The Curve are now 7-1 for the season -- their best start in franchise history.

Three Minor League Wins

Altoona Curve 4, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 1 (box)

The Giants have moved their AA level team from Connecticut, where they were the Defenders, to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now the... Flying Squirrels? �Richmond had been the home of the Atlanta Braves' AAA team for just about forever, until last season when the Braves moved their affiliate to Gwinnett County, just outside Atlanta. �Now Richmond has a team again.

The Curve curtailed the Squirrels' flying by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, SS Chase d'Arnaud and 3B Jordy Mercer worked back-to-back walks. �A ground out to the right side of the infield moved both runners up one base, and a single by C Hector Gomez on a line drive into center field brought both runs in.

Altoona's starter Justin Wilson zipped through the first two innings. �He gave up a double and a walk in the 3rd, but a fly out kept any runs from scoring. �Another double, a ground out, and an RBI single by the Squirrels cut the Curve lead to one run in the top of the 4th. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the frame, when RF Miles Durham led off with a double, went to third on Gimenez's sacrifice bunt, and score on 2B Josh Harrison's grounder to short. �They added one more run in the 5th. �Two walks got the Squirrels in trouble again, this time by pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez. Jordy Mercer supplied the RBI single that brought in Negrych with the insurance run. �The Curve had only 4 hits in the game, to 5 by the Squirrels. �1B Matt Hague had the other Curve hit, which was a single in the top of the 9th.

Justin Wilson pitched 5 innings and allowed the one run on 5 hits and a walk, and he struck out 4 batters in his first win of the season. �Tony Watson also struck out 4 batters in his 3 innings of work. �Watson walked 2 batters but did not allow any hits. �Jeff Sues earned his first Save with a perfect 9th inning.

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