Tag: Matt McSwain

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.  

Homers By Marte, Rodriguez, Cunningham, And Rojas

Catching up with the action for the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates for Thursday....  several home runs


Trenton Thunder 8 ,   Altoona Curve  6
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A 3-run homer by CF Starling Marte and a solo blast by SS Josh Rodriguez were not enough to get past the Thunder. 

The Curve got the game started with a run in the top of the 1st on singles by RF Andrew Lambo and C Tony Sanchez, plus a fielding error by the Trenton center fielder, allowing Lambo to score.  Trenton came back with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning, on a walk, two singles, and two doubles, for a 4-1 lead.  The Curve took the lead back in the top of the 2nd, when 1B Matt Curry and 3B Greg Picart both singled, and Marte drove them in with his 5th home run of the season.  That tied the game, but the tie did not last long.  Five singles in the bottom of the 2nd brought in 3 runs for the Thunder, who were back on top, 7-4.  

Starter Aaron Pribanic gave up a single in the 3rd, then gave up an unearned run in the 4th on a fielding error by Picart, a single, scoring on a double play. That made Pribanic responsible for 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work.  Matt McSwain took over to begin the 6th.  He gave up a single in the 6th, but erased that runner with a double play, and then gave up a double and a walk in the 7th, but left those runners on base.  Anthony Claggett pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a single.  That runner moved up to second base on a throwing error by Rodriguez, but was out in a fielder's choice run-down between second and third.  

Rodriguez led off the Curve part of the 6th with his solo homer.  LF Quincy Latimore followed the homer with a walk, and Curry singled, moving Latimore to third.  Curry was thrown out trying to steal second base, but Picart's single drove in Latimore to give the Curve their final run.  

Alvarez Joins Marauders; Harrison Back to Pirates

Tuesdays' action... and again the player moves are as interesting as the games.

3B Pedro Alvarez was moved from the GCL Pirates to the Marauders to continue his rehab work.  
With OF Jose Tabata being placed onto the Disabled List, the Pirates were no longer forced to wait 10 days before recalling INF Josh Harrison.  Harrison joined Chase d'Arnaud and Alex Presley as the new kids on the block in Pittsburgh.  Backfilling, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.  INF Josh Rodriguez was sent down to Altoona.


Bradenton Marauders  8,  St. Lucie Mets  1
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A 5-run 4th inning gave the Marauders a big boost, as they bombarded the Mets in Bradenton.  Pedro Alvarez started the game at third base for the Marauders.  He grounded out in the 1st inning, then singled to lead off the 4th, and was hit by a pitch in the 5th. It was not a particularly busy day at third base for Alvarez, but he successfully fielded 3 grounders that came his way.  Elevys Gonzalez took over for Alvarez at the beginning of the 6th.   

Brett Lorin allowed only one run in his start, and earned his 3rd win of the season (3-4 record).  The lone run scored in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a ground out, and a ground-rule double.  Lorin scattered 3 more hits, no walks, over the rest of his 6 innings.  He hit another batter and he struck out 5.  

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard when they batted around in the 4th.  Alvarez's single got the fun started, then 1B Aaron Baker lined a double into left field, moving Alvarez to third.  DH Adalberto Santos walked to load the bases.  CF Evan Chambers brought in Alvarez with an RBI single, and C Carlos Paulino's double into center field plated both Baker and Santos.  LF David Rubinstein walked to load the bases again.  After a pitching change, SS Kelson Brown's RBI ground out scored Chambers, and RF Robbie Grossman's sacrifice fly brought in Paulino, to give the Marauders a 5-1 lead.  

Tyler Cox replaced Lorin to begin the 7th inning.  Cox walked the first batter he faced, then retired the next 6, including two strikeouts in each inning.   Duke Welker pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with one strikeout.  

The Marauders also did some late-inning scoring.  Brown and Grossman led off the 7th with back-to-back singles, and 2B Jarek Cunningham drove both of them in with his double into right field.  Chambers started the 9th with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  He tagged up and advanced to third on Rubinstein's fly out, then scored on a wild pitch, to give the Marauders their 8 run total.  

Curve Finally Score; Spikes Lose in 12 Innings

Saturday's action in the Pirates' lower minor league organization... being thrown out at the plate seemed to be a recurring theme....

Harrisburg Senators  3,  Altoona Curve  1
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The Curve out-hit the Senators 8-4, but could only force one run across the plate, though that was one more run than they had scored in their last three games.  Aaron Pribanic suffered his 5th loss of the season (for a 5-5 record), allowing 2 runs on just 2 hits and a walk, while strikeout out 7 batters in 6 innings.  The walk gave the Senators their only baserunner over the first three innings.  The Senators began the 4th inning with a single, and a balk put the runner on second base.  Pribanic struck out the next two batters, but the next batter smacked a 2-run homer.  He retired the next 7 batters in order to finish his night.  

The Curve put at least one batter on base in 5 of the first 6 innings.  They came closest to scoring in the 4th, when SS Jordy Mercer led off with a single, and advanced to second on a balk.  He reached third when 3B Jeremy Farrell singled to first, but got hung up between third and home, and was tagged out in a run-down.  Altoona got onto the scoreboard in the 7th inning.  Farrell lined a single into right field, and after two outs, pinch-hitter Anthony Norman grounded to second, where the Harrisburg second baseman missed the play.  Farrell scored on the error.  CF Starling Marte doubled into left field, moving Norman to third, but a strikeout ended the inning with both of the runners in scoring position.  

Matt McSwain replaced Pribanic in the 7th.  He walked two batters, and loaded the bases with a single.  An RBI ground out brought in the runner from third, for the Senators' third run.  Tim Alderson gave up a lead-off triple in the 8th, and hit the next batter with a pitch, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play -- a line out to center field and an on-target throw by Marte to the plate let C Tony Sanchez tag him out at home.  

Former Pirate farmhand Jimmy Barthmaier walked Mercer to begin the 8th, but he was erased on a double play, and a strikeout ended the inning, the Curve went down in order in the 9th.  

Baker Homers In FSL All-Star Game; Curve Drops Double Header

More brief notes for Saturday, since we're on the road....

Florida State League All-Star Game, played in Clearwater, Florida
FSL North  5,  FSL South  3
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Three Marauders' players got in on this game:  C Ramon Cabrera, 1B Aaron Baker, and 2B Jarek Cunningham were all starters for the South squad.  The North scored first, with a single, a triple, and fielding error in center field in the bottom of the 1st, for a 2-0 lead.  The South tied it up in the top of the 4th, thanks to the Marauders.  Cabrera led off with a single through to left field.  After two outs, Baker brought in Cabrera with a 2-run homer to tie the game.  

The North took the lead again in the bottom of the 5th.  A walk, a stolen base, an RBI double, and an RBI single gave the North a 4-2 lead.  The North added some insurance in the bottom of the 8th, on two singles and a double.  The South had one last chance in the top of the 9th, which began with a lead-off single.  Baker grounded out, moving the runner to second base, and another single put him on third.  A sacrifice fly brought in the run, but a ground out ended the rally and the game.  

Cabrera played 3.5 innings before being replaced by another catcher.  He went 1-for-2, with a ground out in his other at-bats.  Cunningham played 5.5 innings before letting another second baseman get into the game.  He grounded out and popped out in his two plate appearances.  Baker played the whole game, and went 1-for-2 at the plate, with two walks.   


Indians Postponed; McPherson’s First AA Win

The Indianapolis Indians' game in Rochester was postponed today -- because the Indians were not there!  The team was supposed to fly to Rochester this morning, but due to mechanical problems, their flight was delayed.  There were not any other flights available to get the team to Rochester in time for the game.  The Indians and the Red Wings will play two games on Saturday, the first at 1 pm, and the second at 7 pm.  Both will be 9-inning games.  


The Pirates have signed two more draft picks:  3B Dan Gamache from Auburn U. and OF Taylor Lewis from University of Maine- Orono.  My guess is that they will be heading to State College, but no definite word yet.

The State College Spikes begin their season tomorrow, on the road at Williamsport.  The GCL Pirates will begin their 2011 season on Monday.
 
Don't forget to vote for the All-Stars:
Eastern League All-Star Voting is here
AAA (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) All-Star Voting is here
 

Thursday's action:

Altoona Curve  3,  New Britain Rock Cats  1
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Kyle McPherson allowed the New Britain a solo home run in the top of the 1st, and then he and the bullpen shut the Rock Cats down for the rest of the game.  McPherson pitched 6 innings and scattered 3 more runs and a walk over the remaining 5 innings for his first win at the AA level.  Two singles came in the 3rd, but McPherson left runners on the corners.  He left two runners in scoring position in the 6th after a walk and a single.  McPherson also struck out 4 batters.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st.  LF Anthony Norman led off with a single lined into right field, and 2B Brock Holt followed with a grounder into right for a second single, moving Norman to third base.  Norman scored on a ground out by SS Jordy Mercer.  Holt came in on CF Quincy Latimore's RBI single, to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order over the next three innings.  They added an insurance run in the 5th, when C Tony Sanchez and DH Jose Hernandez hit back-to-back singles.  Sanchez moved to third base on Hernandez's hit, then scored on RF Brad Chalk's sacrifice fly.  1B Matt Curry blasted a triple into right field in the 7th inning, but he was left on base.  The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when Chalk and Norman both singled, and Holt walked.  They left the bases loaded, though, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

Matt McSwain pitched two perfect innings in relief after McPherson was done for the evening.  Anthony Claggett, who was moved back to the Curve when Jose Ascanio was assigned to Indianapolis, pitched the 9th inning.  The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error by Norman in left.  After two fly outs, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases.  But Claggett got a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.  

Homers For Cunningham, Mort, and Howard In Sunday Wins

Big hitting in the Pirates' minor league affiliates' Sunday action:

Altoona Curve  13,  Reading Phillies  4  (conclusion of suspended game)
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The Curve were way out in front when rain halted play on Saturday evening, leading 11-1 in the middle of the 3rd.  When play resumed today, Matt McSwain took over on the mound for starter Aaron Pribanic.  McSwain gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd, to make it 11-2.  McSwain retired the R-Phils in order over the next three innings, until he gave up another solo homer, followed by two singles, in the 7th.  

CF Starling Marte singled for the Curve in the 4th but did not score.  The Curve went down in order for the next two innings, then they rallied again in the top of the 7th.  RF Anthony Norman led off with a walk, and Marte singled again. A throwing error by the R-Phils third baseman let Norman score.  Marte advanced to third base, and he scored on SS Jordy Mercer's sacrifice fly.  

Aaron Thompson came on in relief in the 8th inning.  He gave up a single and a walk, but retired the next three batters for a scoreless 8th.  Reading scored one more time in the bottom of the 9th, on a single, a walk, and an RBI double, but it was way too little and way to late, and the Curve had the win.  


Reading Phillies  2,  Altoona Curve 1   (scheduled game)
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The Curve should have saved a few hits and runs for this game.  They posted 6 hits, with 2 each by CF Starling Marte and RF Brad Chalk, and one each by SS Jordy Mercer and C Tony Sanchez.  Their only run came in the top of the 1st, on a single by Marte and Mercer's RBI double.  

The Curve put at least one runner on base in all but one of the rest of the innings, but could not bring anyone around to score.  Sanchez and Chalk hit back-to-back singles in the 2nd, and that was their biggest threat.  A strikeout and a ground out ended that rally.  

Jeff Locke pitched 5 innings in his start.  He gave up one single over the first two innings, then gave up a solo home run with two outs in the 3rd to tie the game.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases after the homer, but a fly out got Locke out of that jam.  Locke also gave up a single in both the 4th and the 5th.  

Donnie Veal relieved Locke to begin the 6th inning.  He also gave up a 2-out solo home run for the go-ahead run, and was charged with the loss.  The Curve had one last chance in the top of the 7th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then went to second base on a bunt by Chalk, but he was left stranded when the game ended.  


Triple Play For Marauders In Loss; Another Good Inning For Veal

The West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off on Tuesday, but the Marauders and the Curve are in action:

Jupiter Hammerheads  4,  Bradenton Marauders  3
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The Marauders had the luck to pull off a rare triple play, but Jupiter broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th to take the win.  

Each team scored one run in the 1st inning.  RF Robbie Grossman opened the game with a walk, then went to third on 2B Kelson Brown's single up the middle.  Grossman scored on 1B Aaron Baker's sacrifice fly.  3B Elevys Gonzalez also singled, sending Brown around from second, but he was thrown out at the plate.  In the bottom of the frame, with Nate Baker on the mound for the Marauders, two lead-off walks and a grounder force out at second put Jupiter runners on the corners.  A sacrifice fly brought in the lead runner, and Nate Baker and Aaron Baker combined to pick off and catch stealing the second runner.  

Nate Baker retired the side in the 2nd inning, but gave up another run in the bottom of the 3rd, on a single and an RBI double.  The double would have been a triple, but an on-target throw from LF David Rubinstein to Elevys Gonzalez at third let Gonzalez tag him out.  

The Marauders loaded the bases in the top of the 2nd, when CF Evan Chambers reached on a fielding error, and both DH Calvin Anderson and Grossman walked.  But with two outs, a pop out by Brown ended the threat.  Both C Ramon Cabrera and Elevys Gonzalez singled in the 3rd, but both were left on base.  In the top of the 4th, the Marauders scored twice, courtesy of two wild pitches.  Anderson and SS Benji Gonzalez both walked to lead off the inning, and Grossman loaded the bases with a grounder through the hole into left field.  A wild pitch let Anderson score from third base, while the other two runners both moved up a base.  After two outs, another wild pitch allowed Benji Gonzalez to come across the plate, and the Marauders had a 3-2 lead.

Two strikeouts and a ground out gave Nate Baker a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 4th.  He got into trouble again in the 5th, though, with a lead-off double and a hit batter.  A sacrifice bunt and a throwing error by Elevys Gonzalez loaded the bases, and an RBI single pushed the lead runner in to tie the score again.  With the bases still loaded, the Marauders had a rare triple play:  Jupiter's CF Jose Duarte lined right to Brown, who fired to first, where Aaron Baker doubled off the runner and fired back to Brown, who doubled off the runner at second base.  Nate Baker also retired the Hammerheads in order in the 6th.  He finished with 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, with 2 strikeouts, but left the game with the score tied, so did not figure into the decision.  

The Marauders had 3 batters reach base over the 5th and 6th innings, all on walks.  Elevys Gonzalez worked a walk to lead off the 5th, and stole second base.  Grossman and Brown both walked with one out in the 6th.  None of them came around to score, though.  The only other Marauder to reach base was Aaron Baker, who singled with two outs in the top of the 9th.  Adalberto Santos came in to pinch-run for Baker, but he did not have a chance to do anything, as a ground out ended the inning.  
 
Brian Leach relieved Nate Baker to begin the 7th inning, and he retired the side on three fly outs.  Jhonathan Ramos came on for the 8th inning, and he was charged with the loss when he gave up the winning run.  A single and a sacrifice bunt began the inning, then a passed ball put the runner on third base.  After an intentional walk, a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third, to give Jupiter a 4-3 lead.  The Marauders could not respond, and Jupiter had the win.  

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.   

Tough Afternoon In Altoona; Von Rosenberg’s First Win

The Curve played an early game on Wednesday afternoon, with the Marauders and the Power playing in the evening: 

Trenton Thunder  7,  Altoona Curve  3
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A 4-run 6th inning by the Thunder was too much for the Curve to overcome, in an early afternoon game in New Jersey.  The Curve posted 11 hits, with Brad Chalk, playing center field today, collecting 3 hits.  LF Quincy Latimore, 1B Matt Curry, and 3B Jeremy Farrell all had 2 hits each.   

Each team scored one run in the 1st inning.  Chalk began the Curve rally with his first single, but was forced out at second on Latimore's grounder force out at second.  A throwing error by the second baseman on the play let Latimore reach second base.  SS Jordy Mercer singled into right field, scoring Latimore.  Two singles and a grounder force out gave the Thunder a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.  

Latimore also double in the 3rd inning, but didn't score.  Curry began a rally in the top of the 4th when he worked a walk.  Farrell singled, pushing Curry to third base, and a passed ball let Farrell move up to second base.  DH Tony Sanchez's RBI ground out scored Curry to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.   Trenton tied it up again in the bottom of the 5th, with a single, a throwing error by starter Aaron Thompson, and a sacrifice fly.  

Chalk singled again in the 5th, but was out in a force play.  The Curve threatened in the top of the 6th.  Curry, Farrell, and Sanchez hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out.  C Kris Watts grounded to first for a fielder's choice as a throw back to the plate forced Curry out at home.  A ground out ended the inning, leaving the bases loaded.  

Trenton got to Thompson again in the bottom of the 6th.  With one out, a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single gave Trenton a 3-2 lead.  Matt McSwain relieved Thompson, but the first batter McSwain faced reached base on a fielding error by Curry.  The next batter swatted a 3-run homer, giving Trenton a 6-2 lead.

The Curve got one run back in the top of the 7th.  Chalk and Latimore hit back-to-back line drive singles with one out.  Mercer popped up for an infield fly rule out, then Curry's single through the hole and into left field brought Chalk in to score.  That was all the Curve could get, though.  Sanchez walked to begin the 8th inning, and was erased on a double play, and the next four Altoona batters went down in order.  

McSwain gave up one more run in the bottom of the 7th, on a two-out triple and an RBI single.  Thompson was charged with his 5th loss of the season.  


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