Tag: Robbie Grossman

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.

Five Errors Doom Power

Sunday afternoon and evening action.... the GCL Pirates, as usual, are off today.

Lexington Legends� 3,� West Virginia Power� 2 (box)

Five errors by the Power, all in the infield, had the Power beating themselves this afternoon.� Starter Nate Baker pitched 6 innings for the Power, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4 batters, but an error caused an unearned run to be scored.� Baker worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 1st, after he'd given up a single and two walks.� He also worked his way around two errors by SS Benji Gonzalez (one throwing and one fielding) in the 3rd inning, as one runner was thrown out trying to steal second, and the second was left on base.� The unearned run came in the 5th.� With one out, another fielding error by Gonzalez put a runner on base.� After a strikeout, a triple lined into right field, driving in the unearned run.

The Power had put one runner on base in four of the first five innings, but couldn't capitalize on any of those opportunities.� They took their chance in the bottom of the 6th. 1B Aaron Baker doubled, LF Rogelios Noris singled, and C Ramon Cabrera doubled, with Cabrera scoring Baker.� 3B Jesus Brito brought in Noris with a sacrifice fly, and the Power led 2-1.� The Power had two runners on base in the 7th, on a walk to CF David Rubinstein and Aaron Baker being hit by a pitch.� Walks also put RF Jose Hernandez on in the 8th and Benji Gonzalez on in the 9th, but none of them could come around to score, and the Power did not record a hit after the 6th.

Lexington tied the score in the 7th, again taking advantage of Power errors.� The first batter of the inning reached base on a throwing error by reliever Mike Williams, and then Williams made a second throwing error when he made a pick-off attempt, moving the runner to second base.� After a tag up on a fly out, an RBI single drove in the tying run.� Williams gave up a solo home run to the lead off batter in the top of the 9th, and the Legends had the lead.� Gabriel Alvarado finished the 8th inning with two quick outs, then retired the side in order in the 9th, but the damage had already been done, and the Power could not catch up.

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.

Loss For Owens, Win for McSwain

The State College Spikes have a scheduled day off today, and the GCL Pirates were washed out again.

Binghamton Mets �9, �Altoona Curve �6 (box)

Three runs in the top of the 10th broke a 6-6 tie and gave the Mets the extra-inning win. �Ramon Aguero took the mound for the Curve to begin the inning, and he began by giving up a single. �The next batter dropped down a bunt, but C Kris Watts grabbed it fast enough to make the force out at second base, leaving a runner on first. �Aguero walked the next batter, then gave up a double that brought in both runners. �Moments later, another double drove in the third run of the inning.

Watts led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, and SS Chase d'Arnaud walked, but two ground outs ended the inning before either of them could score, and the Mets had the win.

Curve starter Rudy Owens could not get through the 5th inning tonight, as he gave up 5 runs on 13 hits, though he also struck out 6 batters. �The Mets got going right away in the top of the 1st, on two doubles and three singles, scoring 3 runs off Owens. �A double play got Owens out of a jam in the 2nd inning, after he'd given up another double and single pair. �Back-to-back doubles brought in a run for the Mets in the 3rd inning. �Owens did retire the side in order in the 4th, but got right back into trouble in the 5th. �A lead-off home run, followed by a strikeout and 3 consecutive singles to load the bases, and that was all for Owens. �Dustin Molleken came on in relief and left the bases loaded when he struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

The Curve began their comeback in the bottom of the inning. �They had put at least one runner on base in each of the first 4 innings, but could not get any of them around to score. �With one out in the bottom of the 5th, CF Gorkys Hernandez and 3B Josh Harrison hit back-to-back singles, with Hernandez going to third on Harrison's hit. �1B Hector Gimenez's sacrifice fly brought in Hernandez. �Three consecutive singles by 2B Jordy Mercer, LF Brandon Jones, and RF Miles Durham brought in two more runs, and the Curve had come within 2 runs of the Mets.

Dustin Molleken reached base on a throwing error to begin the 6th inning. �He moved to second base on Chase d'Arnaud's single and then to third on Hernandez's ground out. �Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly brought Molleken in to score, and the Curve crept closer. �They took the lead in the bottom of the 8th. �Kris Watts led off with a single, and he was bunted to second by LF Anthony Norman, who entered the game in a double-switch. �D'Arnaud walked, and a ground out by Hernandez moved both runners into scoring position. �Harrison obliged with a single lined into center field, scoring both Watts and d'Arnaud, to give the Curve a 6-5 lead.

Binghamton tied the score again in the top of the 9th, on back-to-back doubles off reliever Diego Moreno. That took the game into extra innings, when the Mets got the win.

The two teams combined for 33 hits in the game -- 19 for the Mets and 14 for the Curve. �Gorkys Hernandez, Josh Harrison, and Kris Watts had 3 hits each.

Curve starter Bryan Morris has been selected to play in the Futures' Game on the US team. �He will be facing teammate Gorkys Hernandez, who will be on the World team. �Bradenton's Tony Sanchez was also named to the US team, but will have to miss the game due to his fractured jaw.

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.

Marte Begins Rehab; Spikes’ Rookies Shine In Pro Debut

GCL Pirates 10, �GCL Yankees �1 (box)

The Pirates beat up on the Yankees this afternoon, and faced an old friend. �John Van Benschoten made a rehab start for the Yankees, and the Pirates did not treat him very nicely. �RF�Gregory Polanco singled and stole second base, and LF Exicardo Cayonez walked on Van Benschoten in the 1st inning, though he kept them from scoring. �3B Eric Avila began the 2nd inning with a solo homer off Van Benschoten, and C Joey Schoenfeld also walked.

Once Van Benschoten left (after 2 innings), the Pirates continued to pound at the Yankees. �They scored another run in the 3rd in two errors and an RBI single by Cayonez. �They added 3 more runs in the 4th. �After a walk to 1B Dylan Child, rehabbing CF Starling Marte, working his way back after hand surgery, singled. Child scored on 2B Jorge Bishop's double, and Marte came in on a wild pitch. �Polanco's RBI single brought in Bishop.

Colton Cain began the game by giving up one hit over his first two innings, then allowed a run on two singles and two walks in the 3rd inning. �He started the 4th inning and got two outs, then walked a batter, and was relieved by Yeyber Sanchez. Sanchez finished the 4th, then pitched a scoreless 5th, allowing two hits. �James Archibald made his pro debut with three ground outs in the 6th inning. �Bryce Weidman, Dovydas Neverauskas, and Fraylin Campos all added a scoreless inning for the Pirates.

The Pirates scored 2 more runs in the 7th. �Avila was hit by a pitch, then stole both second and third bases, and scored on DH�Luis Solano's single. �A fielding error allowed Solano to score. �Back-to-back singles by Child and CF�Junior Sosa began the rally in the 9th. �two passed balls loaded the bases, and a ground out scored Child. �Cayonez doubled, driving in two more runs, to give the Pirates a total of 3 in the inning and 10 in the game.

Starling Marte went 2-for-4 for the day, with one run scored. �Cayonez was 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI, and Avila was 2-for-3 with 2 runs, a homer, and an RBI.

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.

Alderson Gets The Win And A Homer; Welker Promoted

Roster moves: �Relief pitcher Duke Welker has been promoted from West Virginia to the Bradenton Marauders. �Welker had made 20 relief appearances for the Power, earning a 1-1 record and 5 saves, with a 3.63 ERA. �In 22.1 in innings, Welker gave up 16 hits, 14 runs (9 earned), with 24 walks and 25 strikeouts. �Opponents hit .198 against him.

The Pirates have signed INF�Yung Chi Chen to a minor league contract and assigned him to Altoona. �Chen had been playing for the AA Midland RockHounds (A's), but was released in early June. �He had been hitting .168 for Midland, with 5 doubles and 9 RBI in 28 games. �The Taiwan native has been a member of the Taiwan National Team, and was signed by the Mariners in 2004. �He played for AAA Tacoma in 2007 for just a few games before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, and in 69 games in 2008, when he hit .249. �Chen was claimed off waivers by the A's in late 2008. �He split the 2009 season between AAA Sacramento (where he hit .283 with one homer and 8 RBI in 27 games), AA Midland (.324 and 10 RBI in 17 games) and the Arizona League A's (.346 with one homer and 8 RBI in 8 games). �Chen appeared in his first game for the Curve on June 30th, when he went 0-for3 with 2 strikeouts.

Thursday's action:

Altoona Curve �7, �Reading Phillies �1 (box)

Tim Alderson earned his 7th win for the Curve, and he contributed to the offense too, with a 2-run homer. �It was not the first homer of Alderson's career, though. �He hit one last year for the Curve and another, also last season, while pitching for Connecticut, while he was still in the Giants' organization.

Alderson got into some trouble right away in the 1st inning, when he gave up what would turn out to be the R-Phils' only run on a 2-out double and a single. �Then Alderson settled down, scattering a two more hits and two walks over the next 5 innings. �He retired the last 7 batters he faced in order.

After allowing that run in the bottom of the 1st, Alderson took care of the problem himself in the top of the 2nd. �LF Brandon Jones singled, and Alderson gave the Curve a 2-1 lead with his 2-run homer over the left field wall. �The Curve added 4 more runs in the 5th inning. �With one out, 2B Josh Harrison and 1B Matt Hague hit back-to-back singles. �3B Jordy Mercer's grounder to first forced out Hague at second, but the R-Phils could not turn it into a double play to end the inning. �Instead, they gave C Hector Gimenez a chance, and he took it -- a double into center field, scoring both Harrison from third and Mercer all the way from first. �Jones singled, bringing in Gimenez, and a fielding error in center field allowed Jones to advance to second base. �That gave him the opportunity to score on RF Miles Durham's RBI single.

The next 11 Curve batters went down in order, until CF Gorkys Hernandez singled with one out in the 9th. �A passed ball let Hernandez move up to second base, and he scored on Hague's RBI single. �Mercer also singled and Gimenez walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning before the Curve could add to their run tally.

Derek Hankins earned his 3rd save for the Curve with 3 scoreless innings of work. �He gave up a walk and a single over those 3 innings, while striking out 2 batters.

Marauders and Spikes Win Big

Bradenton Marauders �11, �Ft. Myers Miracle �1 (box)

The Marauders scored early, then poured it on with two late-inning rallies to take a big win over Ft. Myers tonight. �Starter Aaron Pribanic earned his 4th win for the Marauders with 6 innings of work, allowing one run on 7 hits, no walks, and 2 strikeouts. �He scattered 4 of the hits over the first 5 innings, then gave up the lone run in the 6th, on a double and an RBI single, plus one more single. � Mike Colla earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, in which he scattered 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters.

The Marauders began scoring in the 2nd inning. �CF Austin McClune walked, then scored on 3B Adam Davis' double. �A wild pitch moved Davis to third base, and after a walk, SS Greg Picart brought in Davis with an RBI single. �McClune also walked to led off the 4th inning. �Davis was hit by a pitch, and DH James Skelton moved both runners up one base with a sacrifice bunt. �Picart's RBI ground out brought McClune across the plate. �In the 5th, it was RF �Robbie Grossman who led off with a walk. �Singles by C Eric Fryer and LF Quincy Latimore brought in Grossman, and Bradenton was up 4-0.

Two errors by the Miracle got the Marauders' 8th inning rally started. �Picart reached on a fielding error and a throwing error let 2B Jose De Los Santos reach base on a sacrifice bunt and moved the runners to third and second bases. �Picart scored on a wild pitch, then C Eric Fryer walked and stole second base. �Latimore's grounder fielder's choice brought in De Los Santos, and McClune's single plated Fryer. �Those three runs gave the Marauders a 7-1 lead.

The 9th inning brought another rally, again started with a lead-off single. �It was Skelton who walked, then Picart singled and De Los Santos grounded into a force out at second, which was probably hoping to be a double play, but De Los Santos is too speedy. �The grounder force out brought in Skelton. �Grossman doubled and Fryer tripled, for two more runs, then 1B Calvin Anderson doubled, driving in Fryer with the 4th run of the inning.

Curve Fall Apart in 9th; Grossman and Huber With 4 Hits...

Binghamton Mets �7, �Altoona Curve �6 (box)

The Curve thought they were in the drivers' seat going in to the bottom of the 9th. �They were leading the Mets, 6-1. �Their starter Bryan Morris had pitched 7 innings and allowed only that one run on two walks and a single in the 5th, and he had scattered 2 other hits. �Reliever Mike Dubee had retired the Mets in order in the 8th. �Curve batters had scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning, on singles by newcomer LF Brandon Jones and C Kris Watts, an RBI force out by RF Anthony Norman, Morris reaching base on a wild pitch for strike three, and a huge triple by SS Chase d'Arnaud. They scored again in the 3rd on 1B Matt Hague's 2-run homer after 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch. �Harrison also doubled in the 7th and scored on Mercer's RBI single. �So, the Curve thought things were going just fine.

Then the bottom of the 9th. �Diego Moreno came on to relieve Dubee. �He gave up a walk, then a wild pitch put that runner on second base. �After a strikeout, a single and a 3-run homer brought the score to 6-4. �Another walk and a single, and Moreno was relieved by Jeff Sues. Sues struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single and a walk. �Now the tying run was on first base, and the winning run was coming to the plate. �Mets' SS Luis Hernandez doubled into left field, scoring two runs to give the Mets the win.

Brandon Jones, who was removed from the Indianapolis Indians' roster when Aki Iwamura was assigned to Indianapolis, was sent to the Curve "on paper" last week. �Now he's there in body too. �Righty reliever Ramon Aguero, who has had an elbow injury, was promoted to the Curve from the Bradenton Marauders. �INF James Skelton was sent to Bradenton to make space on the roster.

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