Tag: Matt Skirving

Durham’s Grand Slam Sparks Curve; Marte Back With A Homer

Monday's action in the Pirates' lower minor leagues... the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.

Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)

RF Miles Durham's grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.

Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d'Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d'Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d'Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d'Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.

Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.

Two Homers For Trinidad; Three Hits For Lyles and Grossman

Monday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates.� The West Virginia Power have a a scheduled day off.

GCL Pirates� 11,� GCL Braves� 3 (box)

The Pirates got in on the recent hit-o-rama fun the minor league teams have been having.� This afternoon, the Pirates collected 20 hits on their way to 11 runs.� 2B Kevin Mort went 5-for-5, all singles.� SS Jorge Bishop had 4 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI.� 1B Michaelangel Trinidad had 4 hits, two of which were home runs, and he knocked in 7 of the Pirates' 11 runs.

The fun started with 5 runs in the 2nd inning.� Trinidad's first homer was for 2 runs after Mort's first single, and it was followed by a walk to CF Chih-Wei Hsu and three doubles, by 3B Eric Avila, Bishop, and LF Exicardo Cayonez, for 3 more runs.� Trinidad blasted another 2-run homer in the 3rd inning, following another one of Mort's singles.� Bishop led off the 4th with a single, and he scored on two more singles, by RF Gregory Polanco and Mort.

Polanco, Mort, and Trinidad hit three consecutive singles in the 6th to add another run.� The Pirates' final two runs came in the 7th, on singles by Cayonez, C Elias Diaz, and Mort, with a 2-RBI double by Trinidad.

Vincent Payne pitched 4 innings in his 5th start for the Pirates.� He scattered 3 hits, and only one counted -- a solo home run in the 4th inning.� He did not walk anyone, and he struck out 2 batters.� Bryton Trepagnier made his second pro appearance and earned his first win.� He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but erased him with a double play, and retired the rest of the batters he faced in two innings.� Joan Montero also gave up a single and erased the runner with a double play in the 7th.� He also gave up two runs (one earned) on a single, a walk, a passed ball,� a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out in the 8th inning.� Dinesh Patel pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing only a single.

Decker Is Pitcher of the Week; Solano Goes 3-For-3

Limited action on Tuesday, just two daytime games... everyone's watching the All-Star Game tonight.

Vermont Lake Monsters� 3,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)

LF Adalberto Santos and C Matt Skirving each had two hits, but the Spikes managed only one run this afternoon as they fell to the Lake Monsters.� While they put at least one runner on base in all but two innings, the 7th was the only one in which they pushed a run across.� With one out in the 7th, Skirving doubled into left field, and scored on 2B Gift Ngoepe's single up the middle.� Ngoepe tried to go to second on the throw, but was tagged out.� The Spikes had two runners on in the 1st inning, on back-to-back singles by Santos and 1B Matt Curry, and again in the 2nd, when Skirving singled and CF Kyle Saukko reached base on an error.� Both times, a ground out ended the inning.

Starter Tyler Waldron pitched 5 innings in his 5th start for the Spikes, but he suffered the loss.� He gave up a run in the top of the 1st inning, on a triple and a sacrifice fly.� He worked his way out of a bases loaded jam (double, single, and walk) with a double play in the 5th inning.� Trent Stevenson gave up 2 runs in the 6th, on two walks and a 2-RBI double, then pitched two more scoreless innings.� Justin Ennis pitched the final inning, retiring the side in order including one strikeout.

Spikes' RHP Kevin Decker was named the New York-Penn League's Pitcher of the Week for July 5-11.� Decker pitched in two games in relief, for a total of 10.1 scoreless innings. He allowed a total of 5 hits and 2 walks in those two appearances, while striking out 9 batters.� Overall, Decker has a 2-0 record, with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, and a total of 14 strikeouts.

GCL Pirates� 4,� GCL Blue Jays� 2 (box)

2B Luis Solano went 3-for-3 this afternoon for the Pirates, with a single, a double, and a triple.� After the Blue Jays scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd, Solano's lead-off triple got the Pirates' bats going.� He scored on DH Brian Friday's single, to cut the lead in half.� The tied the score with a run in the 5th.� SS Kevin Mort walked and Solano singled, then two wild pitches brought Mort in to score.� LF Exicardo Cayonez also tripled, with one out in the 6th.� He scored on 3B Eric Avila's sacrifice fly, giving the Pirates the lead.� Solano's double came with two outs in the 7th, and was followed by pinch-hitter Michaelangel Trinidad's double, bringing in Solano for the Pirates' fourth run.

Vincent Payne started for the Pirates, and he was responsible for both of the Blue Jays' runs.� He gave up a single and a walk in the top of the 3rd.� Yeyber Sanchez relieved Payne, but gave up an RBI single, hit a batter, then threw a wild pitch that scored the second run.� Sanchez threw 3 scoreless innings after that, allowing only one walk.� He was credited with the win, his 3rd of the season.� James Archibald added two scoreless innings, working around a single in each and a hit batter in the 8th.� Joan Montero pitched the 9th, and loaded the bases with 3 walks, but got the inning-ending double play to earn his first save.

Brian Friday continued his rehab work by going 1-for-2, with a walk, and he was also hit by a pitch.

Bixler Returns; Krol Saves #21

IMG_3495The Pittsburgh Pirates have reaquired infielder Brian Bixler (photo) from the Cleveland Indians' organization.� Bixler, who was originally drafted by the Pirates in the second round of the 2004 draft, played in the Pirates' organization for all of his career until he was traded to Cleveland in January 2010 for infielder Jesus Brito. Bixler did not make the Cleveland major league team out of spring training, and he was removed from their 40-man roster.� He has been playing for AAA Columbus, and has appeared in several games against the Indy Indians.� For the Clippers, the 27-year-old Ohio native has been hitting .278 with 13 doubles, one triple, 3 homers, and 27 RBI.� That's about the same average but with a little less power than he showed with the Indy Indians in 2009.� Bixler has not been able to take his AAA level success up to the major league level.� In a total of 68 games with the Pirates, Bixler hit .178 with 7 doubles, one triple, and 5 RBI, and struck out 62 times.� Bixler will join the Indy Indians after the All-Star break.


The Indy Indians are off for their All-Star break.� The AAA All-Star game will be played on Wednesday in Lehigh Valley.� The game will not be on ESPN2 as in past years, but will be televised on the MLB network.� It will also be on-line on milb.com.�� More Monday action in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Richmond Flying Squirrels� 6,� Altoona Curve� 3..... suspended (box)

They got into the 4th inning before rain halted play in Altoona this afternoon.� The Curve got busy in the bottom of the 1st, with a double by 3B Shelby Ford, and an RBI single by 2B Jordy Mercer. Mercer stole second, then went to third on walks to C Kris Watts and LF Brandon Jones. RF Miles Durham drove in both Mercer and Watts with a line drive single into left field.� Durham also stole second, but was left there when the inning ended.

Starter Tim Alderson retired the side in the top of the 1st, but struggled after that.� The Squirrels came right back in the top of the 2nd to tie the score.� The inning began with three consecutive singles, which brought in one run.� A throwing error by 1B Matt Hague loaded the bases, and another single drove in two more runs.� A sacrifice bunt moved two runners into scoring position -- and provided the first out of the inning.� A hit batter loaded the bases again, but an infield fly rule pop out and a grounder force out ended the inning.� The second inning did not go any better.� A double, a walk, and a double opened the inning, bringing in 2 runs.� After two ground outs, another double drove in the Squirrels' 6th run.� Alderson was relieved by Dustin Molleken to begin the top of the 4th, and Molleken retired the side in order.

The Curve went down in order in the 2nd.� Mercer and Watts both singled in the 3rd, though neither scored.� The bottom of the 4th began with a walk to Durham and a single by CF Anthony Norman, moving Durham to third.� Molleken's sacrifice bunt moved Norman to second base, and that's how things stood when play was halted.� The game will be resumed on August 26th.

After the game, Alderson was reassigned to A+ Bradenton.� He had made 17 starts for the Curve, and in 86.2 innings, Alderson had allowed 105 hits and 54 earned runs (5.30 ERA).� He had 26 walks and 57 strikeouts, and batters hit .307 against him. His record:� 7-5.

Jeff Locke is being promoted from Bradenton to Altoona -- a pitcher swap.� Locke has a 9-3 record with the Marauders.� He also has 17 starts, for 86.1 innings, allowing 82 hits and 42 earned runs (3.54 ERA).� Locke has walked 14 and struck out 83, and batters hit .248 against him.

Friday Begins Rehab; D’Arnaud Added To All-Star Squad

Losses for all of the Pirates' minor league affiliates today.

GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)

Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.

The Pirates cut the Tigers' lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.

Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.

Indy Indians'�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.

Morris Loses In Pre-Futures Start; Power Win In 10

Thursdays' action in the Pirates lower minor league organization:

Binghamton Mets �4, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)

It only took two innings to get all the scoring done in this game, as Bryan Morris suffered his 4th loss with the Curve in what will be his last start before the All-Star break and his participation in the Futures Game. �Morris didn't get past the 2nd inning, as he gave up all 4 Mets' runs on 6 hits. �Morris got the first batter he faced to ground out, but then immediately got into trouble with a single and a ground-rule double, putting two runners in scoring position. �A ground out allowed the runner from third base to score. �A hit batter put runners on the corners, and two singles followed, with a second run scoring. �Morris struck out the last batter of the 1st inning and the first batter of the 2nd inning. �Then he gave up a solo home run, and the Mets had a 4-0 lead. �A walk, a single, and a wild pitch followed the home run, but Morris was able to leave them on base as the inning ended. �I suspect he had run into problems with his pitch count as well, because Derek Hankins came out to pitch the 3rd inning.

The Curve batters came back with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 2nd. �2B Jordy Mercer led off with a line drive double, and he scored when 1B Miles Durham and LF Anthony Norman hit back-to-back singles. �Bryan Morris sacrifice bunted Durham and Norman into scoring position, and both of them scored on SS Chase d'Arnaud's RBI single. �The Curve were behind by just one run, 4-3.

But the Curve couldn't erase that narrow margin. �They put runners on base in all but one of the remaining innings, but none of them could come around to score. �Nine base runners were left stranded. �Two runners were left on base in the 3rd, when 3B Josh Harrison singled and RF Brandon Jones walked. �Mercer doubled again in the 6th, and Norman walked, again leaving two runners on. �In the top of the 9th, the Curve's final effort, CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with two outs, but a fly out ended the game.

Derek Hankins pitched 6 scoreless innings after Morris hit the showers. �He retired the first 6 batters he faced in order, including striking out the side in the 4th. �He hit a batter in the 5th, but immediately erased him with a double play. �Another double play got Hankins out of a walk-and-single jam in the 7th. �Anthony Claggett pitched the final inning. �He gave up a single, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Baker Pitches 8 No-Hit Innings; Cayonez’s Perfect Afternoon

Lots of action in the Pirates' lower minors on Tuesday, partly because of two double headers making up for the two postponements yesterday.

West Virginia Power �7, �Hagerstown Suns �3 (box)

Power starter Nate Baker pitched 8 no-hit innings tonight in Hagerstown, to earn his 6th win of the season. �He was not perfect, though. �After striking out the first two batters he faced, a batter reached base on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez. A grounder force out ended the inning. �With one out in the 2nd inning, Baker hit a batter with a pitch, though he left that runner stranded on base. �From there, Baker retired the next 20 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts. �Only three of those batters got the ball out of the infield.

Baker did not come out to pitch the 9th inning, probably due to pitch count. �Reliever Gabriel Alvarado took the 9th, and he was the victim of the Suns' pent-up frustration and stifled hits. � Alvarado struck out the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a line-drive single, a triple, and a home run, as the Suns avoided both the no-hitter and the shut-out.

The Power batters provided Baker with plenty of run support, though not until the later innings. �C Ramon Cabrera had 3 hits and 2 RBI, while CF Evan Chambers, 2B Jarek Cunningham, and 1B Aaron Baker all had 2 hits. �The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when Cabrera singled, Benji Gonzalez doubled, and Chambers walked, but a strikeout ended the inning. �They got going in the 6th inning, with a single by Aaron Baker, a walk to LF Jose Hernandez, and a 2-RBI triple by Cabrera. �DH Elevys Gonzalez followed with a double, scoring Cabrera, for a 3-0 lead. �They added another run in the 7th, when Chambers led off with a single and scored on Aaron Baker's double.

Two walks, to 3B Jesus Brito and Cabrera, began the 8th inning, and a fielding error on Elevys Gonzalez's sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Power. �Benji Gonzalez brought in Brito on a grounder force out, then Chambers doubled, scoring Cabrera. �Benji Gonzalez tried to score from first base, but he was thrown out at the plate. �Cunningham also singled, plating Chambers for the Power's final run of the game.

Duke Pitches In Altoona

The Bradenton Marauders and the GCL Pirates were both rained out on Monday.

Altoona �Curve �6, �Binghampton Mets �1 (box)

Things went well for�Zach Duke as he made a rehab start with the Curve. �He needed only 29 pitches to get through his scheduled 3 innings, allowing one run on 3 hits, no walks, with one strikeout. �The game began with a double, a ground out to move the runner to third, then an RBI single. �Duke ended that first inning with a double play. �He gave up a single in the 2nd, but another double play erased that runner, and Duke retired the side in order in the 3rd.

That was the only run the Mets had in the game. �Justin Wilson took over when Duke was done, and he pitched 4 shutout innigs, scattering 4 hits and a walk, to record his 7th win of the season. �Ramon Aguero pitched the 9th inning, also scoreless, with a walk and 2 strikeouts.

The Mets' pitching staff was not so fortunate. �The Curve batters posted 15 hits, with each position player except LF Brandon Jones collecting at least one hit. �1B Matt Hague had his third 3-hit game in 5 days, and RF Miles Durham also had 3 hits. �The Curve responded to the Mets' 1st inning run with 2 of their own, on a single by SS Chase d'Arnaud, a double by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a sacrifice fly by Hague to bring in d'Arnaud, and a double by C Hector Gimenez which scored Hernandez.

The Curve put at least one runner on base in each of the next four innings, though did not get any of them around to score. �In the 6th, they added one run when 2B Shelby Ford smacked a ground-rule double, and scored on Durham's RBI single. �Another double-single combination, from Hague and Gimenez respectively, added a run in the 7th inning. �They picked up two more runs in the 8th, on a rally started by Durham when he singled and stole second base. �Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman and Hernandez also singled, driving in Durham. �After a pitching change, 3B Josh Harrison's RBI single brought in Norman to give the Curve their 6th run.

Spikes’ Walk-Off Win; Welker Makes A+ Debut

Bradenton catcher Eric Fryer, who was hit in the face by a pitch on Thursday night, has broken facial bones around his eye. �That will require surgery to fix -- get the bones properly aligned and stabilized. �He's going to be out of action for at least several weeks and possibly for the rest of the season. �This is the same type of injury that Paul Maholm had years ago, though his injury occurred when he was hit in the face by a line drive while on the mound.

Friday night's action:

State College Spikes �5, �Williamsport Crosscutters �4 (box)

Late inning rallies gave the Spikes the walk-off win over Williamsport. � The Spikes got on the scoreboard in the 3rd inning when C Matt Skirving singled and SS Gift Ngoepe blasted his first home run of the season, a 2-run homer. �Williamsport tied it up in the top of the 5th. �The first run, off starter Tyler Waldron, came on a double and a single. �A throwing error and a sacrifice fly brought in an unearned run to tie the score.

Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed the two runs (one earned) on 6 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �He was relieved by Trent Stevenson, who pitched the next 3 innings. �He gave up a run in the 6th, on a single, a stolen base with a throwing error, and a double, to give the Crosscutters the go-ahead run. �The Spikes caught up and tied the score again in the bottom of the inning. �Singles by Ngoepe and LF Adalberto Santos and a walk to 3B Chase Lyles loaded the bases. �1B Gerlis Rodriguez drove in Ngoepe with a sacrifice fly.

Williamsport took the lead yet again in the top of the 7th with an unearned run. �A throwing error by Stevenson put the lead-off runner on base, and he scored on a triple. �Rodriguez tied it up again in the bottom of the 8th with a solo home run.

Justin Ennis took the mound for the Spikes for the 9th, and he mantained the tie with a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk while striking out two batters. �That gave the Spikes the chance in the bottom of the inning. �The first two Spikes' batters struck out. �CF�Kyle Saukko kept the inning going with a line drive into left field for a single. �A passed ball put Saukko on second base. �Ngoepe worked a walk, and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position. �2B Walker Gourley grounded towards first base, and when he was safe on a fielding error, Saukko scored to win the game.

Curve Win In Late Innings, Power and Spikes Fall

Wednesday's action in the Pirates' lower minors...

The Bradenton Marauders vs. Ft. Myers Miracle, along with a few other Florida State League games, have been postponed due to weather.

Altoona Curve �6, �Binghamton Mets �3 (box)

Two late-inning rallies gave the Curve the edge over the Mets tonight, and earned Justin Wilson his 6th win of the season. �Wilson allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in his 6 innings of work, while striking out 6 Mets. �Wilson gave up a single and a walk in the 1st inning but left both stranded, then went on to retire the side in the next two innings. �The first Mets' run came in the 4th with two outs, on a double and a single. �A solo home run gave the Mets their second run in the 5th.

The Curve bats were quiet until the top of the 4th inning, when they loaded the bases with a single by SS Chase d'Arnaud, a walk to 1B Matt Hague, and a single by 2B Jordy Mercer. All three were left on base, though, when a fly out ended the inning. �D'Arnaud singled again to lead off the 6th, and this time the Curve were more effective. �CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with a single, and a double by 3B Josh Harrison brought d'Arnaud in to score. �Hernandez scored the tying run on an RBI ground out by Hague, and Harrison came in on a sacrifice fly by Mercer. �The Curve were up 3-2.

For the third time in the game, in the 8th, d'Arnaud led off an inning with a single. �Hernandez was hit by a pitch, and Harrison's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up one base each. �Hague was intentionally walked to load the bases. �A wild pitch brought in d'Arnaud. �Mercer grounded to short for a fielder's choice, as Hernandez was thrown out at the plate. �But singles by C Hector Gimenez and RF Miles Durham grought in Hague and Mercer respectively, and the Curve had increased their lead to 6-2.

Tony Watson relieved Justin Wilson to begin the 7th inning. �Watson retired 6 batters in order, but began the bottom of the 9th by giving up a double and two singles, to bring in a run. �Watson got the next two batters to strike out, then was replaced by Diego Moreno. Moreno struck out the only batter he faced, ending the game and earning his first save of the season.

Five Curve players were named to the Eastern League All-Star team: �LHP Rudy Owens, RHP Derek Hankins, 1B Matt Hague, 2B/3B Josh Harrison, and C Hector Gimenez. That game will be played in Harrisburg on Wednesday, July 14th.

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