Tag: Tony Sanchez

Who’s Hot (and Who’s Not) — Hitters’ Small Sample Edition

Three weeks into the minor league season... knowing that it's a small sample, who's hot -- or not-- at the plate:

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS

Team batting average: .274 (4th in International League) , �20 Home runs (3rd in IL), 166 strikeouts (2nd in IL), 30 stolen bases (2nd in IL)

Who's HOT: � (* is the team high)

Steve Pearce - .371 average*, 9 doubles*, 2 homers, 7 RBI, 16 walks ; .488 OBP*, .643 SLG*, and 1.131 OPS*; �Pearce has been spending most of his time at first base, with just 3 games in right field. �This is the Pearce we saw in 2007, when he rocketed through the Pirates' minor league system. �His average has been above .400 this week, and even when he's not hitting, he's still walking and scoring runs. �He and Neil Walker should be the next position players called up.

Neil Walker - .333 average, 8 doubles, 3 homers, 15 RBI*, 10 walks, 7 stolen bases, .407 OBP, .560 SLG, .967 OPS; Walker is right behind his buddy Pearce in most of those numbers. �Pearce is doing it while back at his comfortable position, and Walker is doing it in all his uncomfortable positions. �He's learning to play outfield and second base on the fly, and is looking good. �If you didn't know this was his first month at second base, you probably couldn't tell just by watching. �He made a jump-turn-throw this week that looked like he's been there all his life. �He's also taking more walks than he has before, and has fewer strikeouts. �And, he's stealing bases -- second most steals on the team. �He's had at least one hit in 10 of his past 12 games, and went 4-for-4 last night. �Not so great splits: �he's hitting .434 against right-handed pitching, but only .091 against lefties. �Also in line to go home to Pittsburgh.

Luke Carlin - .342 average, 3 doubles, 4 RBI in 11 games. �Carlin has had more playing time than originally expected, due to some minor injuries to Erik Kratz.

Jose Tabata - .296 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 8 RBI, 8 stolen bases*; �Tabata started the season with an 11-game hitting streak, then went 0-for-4 in one game, and has hit in each if his next 6 games -- he's had at least one hit in 17 of the 18 game's he's played. �Looking good in the outfield, mostly center plus a few games in left.

Argenis Diaz - .296 average, 8 RBI; �That taste of The Show last week was good for Diaz. �He's been 7-for-15 since his return, and boosted his batting average 60 points.

Not So Hot:

Brandon Moss - .233 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; Doing better in the past week, going 6-for-22 in his last 5 games.

Erik Kratz - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; �Invaluable behind the plate, though, and also on the mound.

Brian Myrow - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; (yes, that's right, these three all have the same numbers of doubles, homers, and RBI); Got off to a slow start, but he's starting to pick it up.

In the Middle:

Pedro Alvarez - .237 average, 2 doubles, 4 homers*, 12 RBI, 22 strikeouts*, 8 walks; �Those homers all came in the first 8 games of the season -- in fact, three came in the first two games. �But, this is also how Alvarez started off last season with A+ Lynchburg, and he got better. �He had a modest 7-game hitting streak in the past 10 days. �Also worrisome is that he leads the team in errors (4). �Three of those were fielding errors, and the one yesterday was throwing, but he also probably leads the team in the number of times Steve Pearce has saved him at first base. �By my observations, about half of Alvarez's throws to first base make Pearce stretch out as far as he can go to make the catch -- to his left, to his right, in the dirt. �Pearce is a very good first baseman... what's going to happen if Alvarez is throwing to a less experienced first baseman, like Jeff Clement?

Continuing on with the rest of the affiliates... (click on "read more")

15 Hits For The Curve And 16 Hits For The Marauders

A late morning game, and an evening game on Wednesday.... the West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off

Altoona Curve 10, �Akron Aeros 2 (box)

The Curve tied their season-high with 15 hits on the way to 10 runs, to sweep a shortened 2-game series with the Aeros, and finish this homestand with a 3-3 record.

The two teams exchanged a run in the 1st inning. �Curve starter Rudy Owens opened the game by giving up a single, then hitting the next batter with a pitch. �A grounder to short moved the lead runner to third, but the Curve couldn't get ball to first fast enough for the double play. �A single into left field scored the runner from third, and Akron had the first run of the game. �In the bottom of the inning, DH Jim Negrych singled into left, then 3B Jordy Mercer grounded into a force out at second, but he also beat out the relay to first to avoid the double play. �A wild pitch put Mercer into scoring position on second base, and from there he scored easily on RF Miles Durham's line drive into right field, tying the score at 1-1.

Owens held the Aeros scoreless over the next two innings, while his teammates got him some run support. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off the 3rd with a single blooped into center field. �Negrych followed with a smash past the diving Akron center fielder, which brought in d'Arnaud and put Negrych on third with a triple. �Mercer brought in Negrych with an oops swing that dribbled the ball into the middle of the infield and out of everyone's reach. �Two more singles, by Durham and CF Alex Presley loaded the bases, but all were left on base when the inning ended. �Curve up, 3-1.

Akron got a little closer in the top of the 4th. �Owens gave up a double and a single to the first two batters of the inning, and a grounder to third allowed the lead runner to score. �A double play ended that frame, with the Aeros within one run of the Curve. �That was all the scoring the Aeros would do, though. �Owens retired the side in order in both the 5th and 6th innings, and finished his day with 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, plus 2 strikeouts over 6 innings.

Mercer and Harrison Lead Curve; Latimore and Holt Lead Marauders

Two more games in the lower minors on Tuesday... The Power played this afternoon.

Altoona Curve 5, �Akron Aeros 4 (box)

The hot-hitting infielders Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison contributed two hits each, as the Curve held on to defeat the Aeros in Altoona. �The two got going in the bottom of the 1st inning. �With two teammates, SS Chase d'Arnaud and DH Jim Negrych both on base with walks, Mercer drove a single into center field, scoring d'Arnaud. �Moments later, Harrison's liner into left field brought Negrych home, and the Curve had a 2-0 lead.

With starter Tim Alderson on the bump, the Aeros had not done much in the first two innings. �They had a runner reach base on 2B Harrison's fielding error, but Harrison was able to start the double play that erased that runner. �In the top of the 3rd, Akron led off with back-to-back home runs off Alderson. �A single and another fielding error by Harrison put runners on first and second bases following the homers. �Another walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly, the first out of the inning, plated the third run of the inning. �A double play ended the inning, but Akron had taken a 3-2 lead.

The Curve chugged right back in the bottom of the inning. �Negrych again walked, and Mercer singled again. �A wild pitch moved both runners up one base, and a walk to Harrison loaded the bases. �A second wild pitch gave Negrych the chance to come home, tying the score. �LF Alex Presley brought Mercer in from third with a sacrifice fly to take the 4-3 lead, and RF Miles Durham added an insurance run with another RBI single, plating Harrison.

Alderson had no problems with the Aeros in the 4th inning, but he let them creep a run closer in the 5th, when three singles loaded the bases with one out. �A grounder to 3B Mercer might have been an inning-ending double play --- the force out was made at second base, but they did not get the batter at first, so the runner from third scored. � Curve 5, Aeros 4.

Power Show Their Power, Bradenton Pitchers Shine

West Virginia Power 8, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)

The West Virginia Power powered up, recording 17 hits on their way to 8 runs, to beat the Intimidators in Kannapolis on Monday night. �The West Virginia starter Kyle McPherson was also showing his Power, going 7 innings and allowing just one runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. �McPherson, in his best outing of the season, worked around a double in each of the first two innings. �In the 4th inning, he gave up a lead-off single followed by another double, and this double scored a run. �A Kannapolis runner reached base in the 6th on a throwing error by SS Benji Gonzalez, and another reached on a single in the 7th, and was erased by a double play.

Meanwhile, each member of the Power lineup had at least one hit, and C Ramon Cabrera led the charge by going 4-for-5, with a triple and 2 RBI. �1B Kyle Morgan had a single and two triples, and DH Aaron Baker homered and doubled. �They started with 2 runs in the 1st inning. �A walk by 3B Jesus Brito, a double by Baker, and a throwing error by the Kannapolis pitcher brought in two unearned runs.

The 4th inning began with a single by LF Rogelios Noris and Morgan's first triple, for an RBI. �Morgan scored on Cabrera's single. �Two more singles, by CF Evan Chambers and 2B Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases, and a walk to Brito forced in the third run of the inning. �Power up 5-0.

The Power put two runners on base in each of the 5th and 6th innings, but did not bring any of them around to score. �The 7th began with Morgan's single, and he scored on Cabrera's triple. �Gonzalez plated Cabrera with an RBI single. �Aaron Baker added one more run in the 8th with his solo home run. �Morgan tripled for the second time after the homer, but was left on base

McPherson's win was his first of the season. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last 2 innings for the Power, allowing just one hit, while striking out two batters.

Negrych Still Hot; McClure Doubles Twice

The West Virginia Power and the Kannapolis Intimidators were rained out in Kannapolis on Saturday. �It appears that they will play a double header on Sunday in the afternoon.

Erie SeaWolves �4, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)

A late-inning home run by the SeaWolves gave them the win over the Curve for the second night in a row. �This time it was Erie's C Max St. Pierre who sank the Curve, with his 3-run blast in the 7th inning. �Curve reliever Dustin Molleken was St. Pierre's victim. �Molleken had taken the mound to begin the 7th inning with the Curve ahead 3-1. �He gave up a single to the first batter he faced. �A grounder to short forced that runner out at second, but left the batter safe at first. � After a walk put a second runner on base, St. Pierre homered over the left field wall, to give the SeaWolves the go-ahead run and the win.

Mike Crotta made the start for the Curve, and pitched well. �He went 6 innings and allowed one run on 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 batters. �Crotta retired the first 6 batters he faced, but gave up the first Erie run -- to St. Pierre -- in the 3rd inning. �St. Pierre led off the frame with a walk, went to third on a single, then scored on an RBI ground out. �Crotta had a runner on base in each of the 4th and 5th innings, but eliminated both of those runners with double plays. �He also worked around a lone single in the 6th.

1B Matt Hague tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the 4th inning with a solo home run -- his second homer of the season. �In the 5th, the Curve loaded the bases with back-to-back singles by LF Alex Presley and SS Jose De Los Santos, followed by CF Gorkys Hernandez being hit by a pitch. �DH Jim Negrych plated Presley and De Los Santos with an RBI single, giving the Curve a 3-1 lead.

9th Inning Homer Flattens Curve; Adcock Wins For Marauders

Erie SeaWolves 6, �Altoona Curve 4 (box)

Reliever Jeff Sues suffered the loss when the SeaWolves broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 9th in Altoona on Friday. �Sues had just taken the mound in relief of Ronald Uviedo, when the lead-off hitter singled into center field. �A grounder to second should have been a double play, but after the lead runner was forced out at second, SS Chase d'Arnaud's relay throw to first base went wild, leaving a runner on first. �One out later, Erie's RF Deik Scram lifted a 2-run homer over the left field wall. �The Curve could not respond in the bottom of the inning, and Erie had the win.

The Curve had scored their first run in the bottom of the 1st, when CF Gorkys Hernandez walked, stole second base, and scored on DH Jim Negrych's single. �Negrych also stole second base and advanced to third when the Erie catcher threw wildly to second base, but he was stranded on third.

Erie came back in the top of the 2nd. �Curve starter Justin Wilson walked three consecutive batters to open the inning. �He got a strikeout next, but then gave up a 2-RBI single and an RBI grounder to give Erie a 3-1 lead. �After two more walks in the top of the 3rd, Wilson was relieved by Derek Hankins. The first batter Hankins faced sliced a double into left field, scoring one runner, and Erie was up 4-1.

Hot-hitting Jim Negrych tied the game in the bottom of the 5th. �Three straight singles to C Hector Gimenez, LF Jose De Los Santos, and Chase d'Arnaud loaded the bases, and with two outs, Negrych cleared the bases with a double deep into center field. �Negrych is hitting .382 over his last 9 games.

Hankins pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing 2 more hits and 2 walks after the 3rd inning. �Ronald Uviedo contributed 2 scoreless innings, including 4 strikeouts. �1B Matt Hague also had 2 hits for the Curve.

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

Altoona Curve 3, �Erie SeaWolves 2 (box)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five No-Hit Innings For Hughes; Three Doubles For Marte

Altoona Curve 2, �Akron Aeros 0 (box)

Starter Jared Hughes dominated the Aeros for 5 innings in Akron on Monday night. �He scattered 4 walks over those innings, but did not allow a hit, while striking out 3 batters on the way to his third win of the season. �Reliever Dustin Molleken took over in the 6th inning and allowed a double, then gave up a walk and a single in the 7th, but still kept the Aeros from crossing the plate. �Danny Moskos earned his second save with a scoreless 9th, giving up another walk, but striking out the other three batters he faced.

The Curve didn't need many runs in this one. �They put up an unearned run in the 1st inning, when SS Chase d'Arnaud reached base on a fielding error, then scored on back-to-back singles by RF Miles Durham and 3B Jordy Mercer. The Curve had runners on base in 6 of the next 8 innings, and in two innings had runners reach as far as third base without scoring. �In the 7th Altoona loaded the bases on a walk by DH Jim Negrych, a single by Durham, and a walk by Mercer. �C Hector Gimenez brought in Negrych with a sacrifice fly, and that was all the scoring required.

The Curve now have a 9-3 record.

Negrych Sparks Two Rallies; Sanchez Homers

Erie SeaWolves 6, �Altoona Curve 5 (box)

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

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

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

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

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