Tag: Neil Walker

Pirates Fall To Phillies

Phillies  7,   Pirates  4

 3-run rally in the 7th inning was enough to push the Phillies over the Pirates at McKechnie Field this afternoon.  
Starter Kevin Correia had a shaky top of the 1st inning.  The first four batters he faced all singled, bringing in 2 runs.  Then with runners on the corners, Correia buckled down, getting a foul pop out then two strikeouts to end the inning.  The Pirates got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, SS Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field, and 2B Neil Walker moved him to third base with a line drive single into right.  1B Lyle Overbay also lined into right field, to drive in Ciriaco, though Walker was out when he tried to get from first to third.  DH Matt Diaz also singled, but he and Overbay were left on base at the end of the inning.  
Correia worked around a single in the 2nd inning, then retired the side in order in the 3rd inning.  The Pirates also went down in order in both the 2nd and 3rd.  Diaz tied the score in the 4th, with a walk and a stolen base, then a single by 3B Andy Marte.   
Brian Burres pitched the 4th and 5th innings, allowing only a double.   Fernando Nieve took the mound next.  The first batter he faced was Ryan Howard, who blasted a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.  Nieve gave up a walk and a single after the homer, but left them on base.  The bottom of the inning began with a walk by Walker.  Pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Walker to third.  RF Garrett Jones ground out to first, which let Walker score to tie it up again.  Marte hit the next ground rule double, driving in Sanchez with the go-ahead run.  
Nieve came back out for the top of the 7th, and that's when he got into even more trouble.  Two singles (one to former Pirate Brandon Moss) and a double tied the score again, at 4-4.  Nieve was relieved by Mike Dubee (whose dad is Phillies' pitching coach Rich Dubee).  Dubee gave up a ground out to second, which allowed Moss to score from third base.  A single brought in the third run of the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout to end the inning.  Bryan Morris pitched the 8th inning, and gave up the final Phillies' run with a double, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly.  Daniel Moskos pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th to wrap things up.
The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the 7th.  Singles by CF Alex Presley and LF John Bowker and a walk by 2B Corey Wimberly loaded the bases with one out.   All three were left standing there when both 1B Josh Fields and Tony Sanchez struck out.  

C Wyatt Toregas also singled for the Pirates.  SS Chase d'Arnaud, RF Andrew Lambo, and CF Gorkys Hernandez all got into the game as well.   

Durham And Atkins Both Homer For Pirates

The Pirates played two split-squad spring training games this afternoon (Monday):

Orioles  6,  Pirates  4
The Pirates were held to 5 hits at McKechnie field this afternoon, but one of the big ones was a 2-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th by RF Miles Durham, who was up from minor league camp.  1B Lyle Overbay also singled for the Pirates, scoring the first Pirates' run of the game in the 5th.  3B Pedro Alvarez knocked in the remaining run for the Pirates, in the 6th inning.  LF Jose Tabata led off the inning with a single, stole second base, then scored on Alvarez's single    Alvarez also doubled for the Pirates.

LF John Bowker, SS Brian Friday, CF Mel Rojas, 3B Andy Marte,  1B Steve Pearce, 2B Chase d'Arnaud, 2B Jim Negrych, and C Wyatt Toregas all got into the game for the Pirates.   

Paul Maholm took the loss for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the 1st inning on a double and a single, then another on a solo homer in the 2nd.  Jeff Locke allowed a run on two hits in the 6th.  He allowed a single and a walk, then with two outs, an RBI single brought in a run.   Justin Wilson got the first out, then walked the next three batters to load the bases in the 8th.  A double and a sacrifice fly drove in all three of the base runners.  Jeff Karstens pitched 2 scoreless innings, then Tyler Yates, and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless frame.   Cesar Valdez finished up the 8th for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 9th, facing only 4 batters.

Beckman’s Surprise Appearance

Pirates  10,  Rays  3

The Pirates posted 13 hits on their way to 10 runs in their McKechnie Field opener on Sunday afternoon.  CF Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a solo homer for the Pirates' first run of the game, and a double.  RF Garrett Jones also had three hits -- 2 doubles and a single.  McCutchen began a rally in the 4th with a single, and doubles by Jones and C Ryan Doumit drove in 2 runs, all off former Pirate pitcher Chris Bootcheck.  Another former Pirate, Jonah Bayliss, came on to pitch the 5th inning for the Rays.  Bayliss got the first two outs, then gave up a triple to 2B Neil Walker, and doubles by McCutchen and 3B Pedro Alvarez, and the Pirates had 2 more runs.  Chase d'Arnaud came into the game for Walker in the 6th, and he led off the bottom of the 7th with a walk.  D'Arnaud moved to second base on a ground out, then scrambled around from second base, surprising the Rays, to score on an RBI ground out by 1B Steve Pearce.  The Pirates added another 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th.  That inning began with a solo homer by C Jason Jaramillo.  SS Josh Rodriguez singled, then with two outs and Rodriguez on third, d'Arnaud lined an RBI single up the middle.  CF Corey Wimberly walked, and 3B Andy Marte drove in both d'Arnaud and Wimberly with a double into right field.  

Kevin Correia made the start for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the top of the 1st, with a lead-off walk and two ground outs.  Correia got into trouble in the 2nd inning, giving up two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out.  That was all for Correia.  Minor leaguer Ryan Beckman, who pitched for State College in 2010, came on in relief of Correia.  Beckman got the first batter he faced to ground to second, which allowed the runner from third to score.  Another ground out ended the inning.  Usually that would be the end of the outing for a minor leaguer who is filling in.  But, Joe Beimel, who was scheduled to pitch after Correia, had some elbow soreness and did not pitch.  So, Beckman kept going.  He threw three more pitches, and retired three batters in the 3rd inning, with a line out and two ground outs.  Brian Burres earned the win with 2 scoreless innings following Beckman.  Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, and another minor leaguer, Tony Watson, each pitched one scoreless inning.  Watson worked around a lead-off single in the 8th.  Chris Leroux pitched the 9th, and gave up a solo homer and two singles, but ended the inning with a pop out and a double play.  

LF John Bowker and RF Andrew Lambo also got into the game.  

Pirates Fall To Rays, But Morton Looks Good

Rays  9,  Pirates  5  

The Pirates opened the official Grapefruit League season with a loss to the Rays.  The Pirates were held to just 6 hits.  All but two were singles and all but one were by the established major leaguers.  1B Garrett Atkins smacked a ground rule double for an RBI in the top of the 9th, and C Dusty Brown singled moments later.  LF Jose Tabata, 2B Neil Walker, 1B Lyle Overbay, and C Chris Snyder had the other hits.  LF Alex Presley walked twice in two trips to the plate; the second walk came in the top of the 9th, with two outs and a runner on second base, and the Pirates management watching carefully to see how he'd handle the situation.

Charlie Morton pitched the first two innings for the Pirates.  He had the lead-off batter reach base in both innings, on a walk and a single, but both times he got out of the innings courtesy of a double play.  Brad Lincoln worked around 2 singles to keep the Rays from scoring in the 3rd, but gave up a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the 4th.  Overall, an encouraging outing for Morton, and not too bad for Lincoln.  Chris Resop also gave up a solo home run in the 5th, which tied the score at 2-2.  After Daniel Moskos pitched a scoreless inning, Daniel McCutchen got into trouble in the 7th.  A double and two walks loaded the bases, and another double cleared them, giving the Rays a 5-2 lead.   Justin Thomas also struggled in his inning, the 8th, though the 4 runs that came in were all unearned, after a fielding error by 3B Josh Fields.  Tom Boleska, up from minor league camp, finished the inning, giving up a single before getting the final out. 

Other minor leaguers getting some playing time:  2B Josh Rodriguez, CF Gorkys Hernandez, SS Pedro Ciriaco.

Bass Out, Leroux In

A few notes on Monday, as we wait for the Curve to play again....

The Altoona Curve will face off against the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday, to begin the Eastern League championship series.� Curve's Rudy Owens will oppose Andy Pettitte, who is on a rehab assignment from the Yankees.� Sounds unfair, but even Curve manager Matt Walbeck says it's allowed, and they'll be ready for Pettitte.

Alex Presley made a pinch-running appearance for the Pirates this evening in their 1-0 extra-inning loss to the Mets.� Presley came on in the top of the 9th to run for C Chris Snyder, who had walked.� Presley tried to steal second base, but was thrown out.

Neil Walker's hitting streak came to an end at 18 games -- he walked twice, but did not have a hit in the game.� Walker hit .350 while in the streak, including 5 homers and 18 RBI.

John Bowker made another start for the Pirates, this time in right field.� He went 0-for-3 at the plate.

Akinori Iwamura, who spent most of the season with the Indy Indians, has been signed by the Oakland A's.� The A's need some help at third base because of injuries.

The Pirates have designated RHP Brian Bass for assignment.� Bass made 41 appearances (1 start) for the Indianapolis Indians this season, with a 4-4 record and 2 saves and a 3.26 ERA.� He pitched 69 innings for the Tribe, allowing 74 hits and 23 walks, while striking out 53 batters.� He got progressively better over the second half of the season, with a 1.57 ERA over 13 relief appearances in August and September.� Bass made 3 appearances for the Pirates in late April/early May, then was removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Indianapolis.� He was again added to the 40-man roster when the Pirates expanded their roster at the beginning of September, but has made just one relief appearance, allowing one earned run on no hits and 2 walks on Sept 8th against Atlanta.� Overall with the Pirates, Bass pitched 7.1 innings, but allowed 9 hits and 11 runs (10 earned), with 10 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The reason for removing Bass was that the Pirates picked up RHP Chris Leroux on waivers from the Marlins.� The 26-year-old Montreal native opened the 2010 season with the Marlins, and was struggling, then developed a strain in his right elbow.� After a stint on the DL, he joined the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs.� In 18 relief appearances over July and August, Leroux pitched 19.2 innings for the Zephyrs, with a 0-3 record and one save, and a 5.95 ERA.� He walked only 4 batters and struck out 18 batters.� Back with the Marlins after the September call-ups, the righty made 3 more relief appearances, allowing 3 runs in 3 innings, on 5 hits and 2 walks.� The Pirates were interested in a big hurler (he' 6'6") with a strong arm and a lot of strikeouts in AAA, who is also a ground-ball pitcher.

Presley Makes First Major League Start

IMG_3974Outfielder Alex Presley (photo) made his first major league start this afternoon, manning right field for the Pirates in their 3-1 win over the Reds in Cincinnati.� Presley, who just turned 25 this week, appeared in his third major league game.� He had pinch-hit and played right field on Wednesday, his birthday, and picked up his first major league hit.� He pinch-ran on Friday, but was forced out at second base on the subsequent play.� Today, Presley singled with two outs in the top of the 8th, on a sharp grounder that got past Reds' 2B Brandon Phillips.� He then advanced to second when Neil Walker walked.� Unfortunately both were left on base.� Presley was 1-for-4 overall, with a walk, and he nearly beat out an infield single in the top of the 1st.� There was only ball hit near him in right field -- he was unable to come up with the ball on a diving attempt on Joey Votto's double in the 4th inning.

Walker walked twice, and he did beat out the infield single in the top of the 1st, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.� John Bowker also made the start, at first base for the Pirates.� He went 0-for-3 at the plate, but he began the 9th inning rally with a walk.� C Ryan Doumit followed the walk with a single, and he was replaced by pinch-runner Pedro Ciriaco. LF Lastings Milledge bunted, but the Reds turned it into a force out, getting Bowker at third.� With runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Garrett Jones singled, loading the bases.� Then another pinch-hitter, Jose Tabata grounded to first base, and Reds' 1B Votto was able to fire to the plate, forcing out Ciriaco, but leaving the bases loaded still.� Then CF Andrew McCutchen lined a double into left field, clearing the bases for 3 runs, and the Pirates had the 3-1 lead, and very soon after, the win.

The Altoona Curve and the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) will begin the championship round of the Eastern League playoffs on Tuesday in Altoona.

Curve and Marauders Both Fall To Big Innings

Harrisburg Senators� 10,� Altoona Curve� 5 ....������ (box)

Two 5-run innings gave the Senators the advantage over the Curve in the first game of their Eastern League playoff series.

The Curve jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the 1st.� 2B Chase d'Arnaud led off with a walk, and 3B Josh Harrison followed by blasting a home run over the left-center field wall, to give the Curve a 2-0 lead before they even had recorded an out.� Two outs later, LF Andrew Lambo reached base on a fielding error by the Senators' 2B Steve Lombardozzi.� C Hector Gimenez worked a walk, and RF Miles Durham singled into left field to bring in Lambo from second base, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.

It didn't last long, as the Senators sent 10 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs in the top of the 2nd.� Curve starter Rudy Owens had worked around a walk to Lombardozzi in the 1st inning, but got into trouble quickly in the 2nd.� A walk and a single began the inning, then a grounder to the diving 1B Matt Hague produced a force out at second base.� A double into right-center field brought in both base runners, and the Senators had made it a one-run game, 3-2.� A bunt attempt by the Senators' pitcher, Tom Milone, went right to Owens on the mound, and he turned it into a fielder's choice out at third, leaving Milone on first base.� But Lombardozzi walked again, then a single loaded the bases.� Owens had two outs with those bases loaded, and he got an 0-2 on the next batter -- and another single drove in two more runs, and the Senators had the lead.� That sent Owens to the showers after just 1.2 innings.� Jared Hughes came out of the bullpen, and he loaded the bases again by walking the first batter he faced.� A passed ball by Gimenez allowed the runner in from third base (unearned run, charged to Owens), and when a ground out ended the inning, the Senators had a 5-3 lead.

Milone had the Curve bats under control for the next 6 innings.� D'Arnaud doubled in the 2nd inning, but was left on base when three other Curve batters struck out.� Hughes reached base in the 4th on a fielding error, but was also left stranded. � Durham singled in the 6th, but was also left on base.� Harrisburg's reliever Hassan Pena pitched the 7th inning, and he also retired the Curve in order.

Hughes did even better than Milone over his next 3 innings -- he retired those 9 Harrisburg batters in order.� Bryan Morris was next out of the bullpen.� He retired the side in order in the 6th, and worked his way out of a jam in the 7th.� That inning began with a single, then Lombardozzi reached on fielding error, when his grounder bounced off 3B Harrison's glove.� With two on and none out (instead of one on and one out), Morris got a strikeout.� Another single loaded the bases, then Morris ended the inning with a three-pitch strikeout and a blazing line drive that went straight to Harrison's glove.

Mike Dubee took the mound for the Curve to begin the 8th inning, and he found trouble quickly.� Back-to-back singles opened the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout.� An RBI single followed, then Lombardozzi drove a liner down the right field line and into the bullpen, plating the second run of the inning.� An intentional walk loaded the bases, and a grounder to third yielded a force out at third, but Harrison's throw to first rolled away from 1B Hague, and instead of an inning-ending double play, two more runs scored and the inning continued.� Another single dropped in, in short left field, to drive in the fifth run of the inning.� Craig Hansen relieved Dubee, and he got the pitcher Pena to fly out to end the inning.

5-Run Inning Lifts Clippers Over Tribe

Columbus Clippers� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 5 ..�� (box)

IMG_4254The Indianapolis Indians posted 13 hits this evening at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, with every member of the batting order but one collecting at least one hit.� But the Clippers posted 14 hits, and added a 5-run 7th inning, to sail past the Indians for the win.� The Louisville Bats also won today, beating the Toledo Mud Hens 8-0, so the Bats remain 1.5 games ahead of Columbus in the International League Western Division, with one week left in the season.

Indians' starter Mike Crotta (photo) struggled in each inning he pitched, and after 4+ innings, he had already thrown 90 pitches (56 strikes).� He had two runners on base in the 1st inning, but got out of that jam without a run scoring.� With one out, CF Ezequiel Carrera reached base on a throwing error by SS Pedro Ciriaco. Carrera stole second base, and after 2B Cord Phelps walked, both Carrera and Phelps pulled off a double steal to put both into scoring position.� Crotta bore down and struck out 1B Wes Hodges, then ended the inning when DH Jordan Brown flied out.

That was Crotta's only scoreless inning.� He gave up one run in each of the next three innings and was responsible for 2 runs in the 5th.� 3B Jared Goedert led off the 2nd inning with a single, and he also stole second base.� SS Drew Sutton walked, then LF Matt McBride reached on a tapper back to the mound that Crotta could not handle.� Goedert scored from second base on the play, to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead.

The Indians had gone down in order in the first two innings, but they came right back with 3 runs in the top of the 3rd.� With one out, Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field.� 2B Brian Friday worked a walk, then LF Kevin Melillo loaded the bases with a line drive up the middle for a single.� 3B Akinori Iwamura lifted a long fly ball into left field, which Columbus LF McBride had to keep chasing back and back.. but he caught it on the warning track for a sacrifice fly, as it let Ciriaco score from third base to tie the score.� CF Alex Presley grounded through the right side of the infield for an RBI single that brought in both Friday and Melillo.� DH Brandon Moss lined another single into right field, but a fly out ended the inning.� The Indians had taken what would be their only lead of the game, 3-1.

Alvarez Has Three Big Hits In Tribe Win

IMG_3568

A sight Pirates' fans have longed to see

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Pawtucket Red Sox �3 (box)

IMG_3589Mike Crotta earned his 4th win with the Indians this afternoon at Victory Field, and he was boosted by a 3-hit performance by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was a single short of hitting for the cycle, a feat that has never been accomplished by an Indians' player at Victory Field.

Alvarez had the first of the Indians' 6 hits in the game -- in fact, he had half of the team's hits. �In the bottom of the 2nd, Alvarez drove a long fly ball to the deepest part of Victory Field, to the 418' sign in the left-center field alley. �The Pawtucket LF Aaron Bates and CF Ryan Kalish were no where near to that area when the ball fell in, nearly at the warning track. �By the time they got there, Alvarez was easily on his way to third base with a triple. �After a strikeout, Tribe CF Brandon Moss plated Alvarez with an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield, and the Indians had the first run of the game.

1B Brian Myrow led off the Indians' half of the 4th inning with a double, which fell in almost at the feet of LF Aaron Bates (who usually plays first base, not outfield). �Alvarez followed the double by taking a 1-2 pitch just barely over the right field wall (probably by less than 10 inches) and into a crowd of summer-camp kids. �It was his 12th homer of the season.

Alvarez's third hit followed more Tribe scoring in the 5th. �SS Argenis Diaz led off the inning by working a walk. �LF Kevin Melillo, who has 5 hits in his last 3 games, doubled to the wall in the right-center alley. �Diaz was off and running on contact. �Aided a bit when RF Daniel Nava picked up the ball, dropped it, and picked it up again, Diaz raced around to score. �Doug Bernier dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Melillo to third base. �Myrow brought Melillo in from third with a sacrifice fly to right field. �The throw in to the plate was up the line, and Melillo scored easily. �Alvarez came to the plate with the bases clean, and he kept the rally going with a double to right-center field. �That was as far as he would get, though, as C Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.

Moss’ Double Gives Indians The Win

IMG_3393

Indianapolis Indians �4, �Gwinnett Braves �2 (box)

IMG_3243CF Brandon Moss's (photo left)�double in the 8th inning made all the difference at Victory Field tonight, as the Indians beat the Braves to close this home stand. �Daniel McCutchen (photo above) made the start for the Tribe, pitching 7 strong innings, but he did not factor into the decision. �Reliever Steven Jackson got the win, his first of the season with the Indians.

McCutchen was reactivated from the Disabled List earlier today, where he had missed one start due to a tired arm. �His arm didn't look at all tired today. �Of his 7 innings, he buzzed through four of them, retiring the side in order (1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th). �He gave up a lead-off hit to SS Brandon Hicks in the 7th inning, but erased Hicks on a double play, then got another ground out to end that inning.

The Braves caused McCutchen some problems in the 2nd inning. �1B Freddie Freeman led off with a line drive into left field for a double. �After a sacrifice bunt to move Freeman to third base, McCutchen gave up three consecutive singles. �Hicks singled into left field, scoring Freeman. �Hicks tried to steal second base, but was thrown out on a perfect throw by C Luke Carlin. Braves' C Clint Sammons and 2B Luis Bolivar both singled also, but McCutchen got Braves' starter Chris Resop to bounce to first base, ending the inning with Sammons and Bolivar still on base.

IMG_3395

(Photo: �Luke Carlin and Daniel McCutchen discuss strategy)

Resop dominated the Indians' batters over the first two innings. �He struck out four batters and got two fly outs. �He allowed only Luke Carlin to reach base, after working the count full, fouling off another pitch, then finally taking ball four.

But Resop's control started slipping in the 3rd inning. �SS Brian Friday led off with a ball along the left field line, and his aggressive base running put him on second base, just ahead of the throw back into the infield. �Daniel McCutchen dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Friday to third base. �LF Jose Tabata smacked a ball back to the mound, which ricocheted off Resop's glove with a high bounce toward second base. �The bounce was high enough so that by the time 2B Luis Bolivar waited until the ball came down and threw to first, the speedy Tabata had enough time to beat out the throw. �Friday scored easily from third base, and the score was tied at 1-1. �Tabata reached third base on a single into center field by 2B Kevin Melillo, but 1B Brian Myrow bounced into a 3-6-3 (1B Freddie Freeman to SS Brandon Hicks and back to Freeman) to end the inning.

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