Tag: Tony Sanchez

10th Inning Rally Defeats Solar Sox

Both the Venezuelan League and the Mexican Pacific League are off today.

Peoria Javelinas� 4,� Mesa Solar Sox� 2

The Javelinas rallied for 2 runs in the top of the 10th, and the Solar Sox could not respond in this afternoon's Arizona Fall League action.

The Solar Sox had a 2-1 lead going into the top of the 9th.� Steven Geltz (Angels) had just taken the mound in relief for the Sox.� He got one out, then gave up a single to 3BLF Nate Tenbrink (Mariners).� The next batter, CF Jay Austin (Astros), grounded to first, but a fielding error by Mesa 1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) put Austin safely at first and sent Tenbrink to third.� Another grounder to first by 3B Matt Lawson (Mariners) let Tenbrink score the tying run (unearned).

The Solar Sox went down in order in the bottom of the 9th, including two strikeouts.� Rizzotti was one of the strikeouts, and he must have said the wrong words to the umpire, because he was ejected in the middle of the frame.

The 10th inning began with Robert Fish (Angels) on the mound for Mesa and Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) taking over for Rizzotti at first base.� Fish began the inning by giving up a single and hitting a batter with a pitch.� A double play, fielded by SS Jordy Mercer, who stepped on second and threw on to Flaherty at first, gave Fish two outs, but put the lead runner on third.� Fish could not take advantage of that good fortune, though.� He walked the next batter, then gave up an RBI single to SS Jose Iglesias (Red Sox), driving in the go-ahead run from third.� Another walk, to Tenbrink, loaded the bases, and a second run scored when Fish threw a wild pitch.� A ground out to first ended the inning.� Once again, the Solar Sox could not respond, going down in order in the bottom of the 10th.

Brad Holt (Mets) made the start for Mesa.� He pitched 3 innings, and allowed the Javelina's first run (also unearned) in the 3rd inning� Holt worked around a single and a walk in the 1st inning, and another single by Tenbrink in the 2nd.� (Tenbrink had 3 hits in the game.)� The run in the 3rd scored when Holt walked LF JB Shuck (Astros), then made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt, allowing Shuck to advance to third base.� A sacrifice fly drove in Shuck to give Peoria a 1-0 lead.

The Solar Sox had only two base runners over the first five innings -- CF Jeremy Moore (Angels) singled in the 1st inning and stole second base, then RF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) singed in the 5th, but was thrown out trying to steal second.

C Tony Sanchez finally got the Solar Sox' bats going in the 6th, when he led off with a single bounced off the Peoria third baseman's glove and into left field.� 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets) followed with a double into right, putting Sanchez on third base.� LF Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly drove in Sanchez, and Moore's sacrifice fly brought in Valdespin.� The Solar Sox had a 2-1 lead.

But the Solar Sox couldn't keep the momentum going.� Rizzotti singled in the 7th and Valdespin singled in the 8th, but neither could come around to score.

Aaron Pribanic relieved the starter Holt for the 4th inning.� Pribanic pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk in the 5th.� BJ Rosenberg (Phillies) also contributed 2 scoreless innings, giving up only a double to Tenbrink in the 7th.� Eric Niesen (Mets) pitched a scoreless 8th, though he had to work out of a jam that was not entirely his own fault.� He gave up a single, then had a runner reach on a fielding error by Mercer, then walked a batter, loading the bases with one out.� The next batter bounced right back to the mound, and Niesen flipped the ball back to Sanchez for the force out at the plate.� A fly out ended the inning, leaving the bases loaded.

Geltz was charged with the Blown Save, and Fish was charged with the loss.� Harrison went 0-for-3 with the sacrifice fly.� Mercer went 0-for-4, and Sanchez had the one hit and scored in 4 trips to the plate.

Quiet Day in the Winter Leagues

The Arizona Fall League takes Sundays off, but you can check out the latest post on Tony Sanchez's AFL Blog.


Caribes de Anzoategui� 5,� Bravos de Margarita� 0 -- Los Bravos were held to just 5 hits, and Los Caribes scored 4 of their runs in the 2nd inning on back-to-back lead-off homers plus two triples.� But, 3B Andy LaRoche had the day off.

Tiburones de La Guaira� 3,� Tigres de Aragua� 0� -- Los Tigres out-hit Los Tiburones 6-4, but Aragua's pitchers helped out by throwing wild pitches that contributed to two of the runs.�� Aragua's 1B Alex Nunez went 3-for-3, but never came around to score.� DH Hector Gimenez singled and C Raul Chavez tripled for Aragua.


Algodoneros de Guasave 4,� Venados de Mazatlan 1� -- RF Rogelios Noris lifted his average to .308 with two singles tonight for Los Venados.� Guasave starter Daniel Guerrero retired the first 13 Mazatlan batters of the game, then hit LF Matt Clark with a pitch, but retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.� Guerrero also retired the first two batters of the 6th, then gave up a solo home run to 3B Elliot Johnson for Mazatlan's only run of the game.� After a walk, Guerrero was relieved, and while they didn't score again, Los Venados did post some hits in the last three innings.� Mazatlan loaded the bases in the 7th on two singles, one by Noris, and a walk, but a double play ended the inning.� They had one single in the 8th, then a pair of two-out singles in the 9th, including Noris' second hit of the game.� Guasave scored one run in each of the 3rd and 5th innings, then two more in the 7th.

Solar Sox Outshine Saguaros

Mesa Solar Sox� 10,� Peoria Saguaros 1

RF Andrew Lambo singled and doubled for the Solar Sox, who used a 6-run 4th inning to overwhelm the Saguaros in Arizona Fall League play this evening.

After 3.5 scoreless innings, the Solar Sox opened the bottom of the 4th with a single by DH Brandon Wood (Angels), a walk to 1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies), and a 3-run homer by 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs).� Andrew Lambo followed the homer with a double, and C Tony Sanchez walked.� A grounder to first forced Sanchez out at second base, but left Lambo on third and LF Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) on first base.� 2B Jordany Valdespin's (Mets) single drove in Lambo, and a wild pitch put the runners on second and third.� SS Andrew Romine (Angels) walked to load the bases, and Peoria changed pitchers.� CF Jeremy Moore (Angels) greeted the new pitcher with an RBI single, and a walk to Wood forced in the 6th run of the inning.� A double play ended the inning, with Mesa on top 6-0.

Justin Wilson made the start for the Solar Sox.� He pitched 2 scoreless inning, working around a single in each inning and a walk in the 1st.� Kyle Smit (Cubs) added two more scoreless innings.� Chris Carpenter (Cubs) gave up Peoria's only run in the 5th, on a single, a walk, a passed ball by Sanchez, and an RBI ground out.� Carpenter gave up a lone single in the 6th inning, but kept the Saguaros from scoring again.� Brian Leach pitched the 7th, working around a double.� Chris Kissock (Phillies) and Eddie McKiernan (Angels) each threw a scoreless inning to finish up for the Solar Sox.

The Solar Sox just kept going.� In the 5th, Lambo singled, then moved to third base on a fielding error, and scored on Valdespin's RBI single through the hole into right field.� Singles by Romine and Moore, combined with another fielding error added another run in the 6th.� Valdespin walked to open the 8th inning.� Romine reached on a fielder's choice, with Valedspin safely at second base. Moore singled again, driving in Valdespin.� Pinch hitter Tim Kennelly (Phillies) singled to give the Sox bases loaded.� Rizzotti flied out to center field, but too short for Romine to tag up.� Vitters came through, though, with a fly ball long enough for Romine to score.

Wilson did not pitch long enough to qualify for the win -- that went to Smit.� Lambo was 2-for-5, and Sanchez was 0-for-3 with a walk.

The Arizona Fall League takes Sundays off.� The Solar Sox will be back at it again on Monday.

Solar Sox Break Out For 19 Hits

Mesa Solar Sox� 11,� Surprise Rafters� 6

The Mesa Solar Sox busted out with 9 runs in the 4th inning and posted a total of 19 hits in their Arizona Fall League win this afternoon.� SS Jordy Mercer, C Tony Sanchez, and 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) had 3 hits each, and 2B Josh Harrison and RF Andrew Lambo contributed a hit apiece.

Each team scored one run in the 1st inning.� Mesa's LF/CF Jeremy Moore (Angels) singled and stole second base, then scored on 1B Matt Rizzotti's (Phillies) RBI single.� Tony Sanchez also singled in the inning, but was left on base.� The Rafters scored on a single, a wild pitch by starter Josh Zeid (Phillies) and an RBI single.

Things were quiet for the next two innings, other than a single by Vitters in the top of the 3rd.� The quiet ended in the top of the 4th, when 14 Solar Sox came to the plate.� Tony Sanchez started the fun with a single to second.� A fielding error by the Surprise first baseman allowed Andrew Lambo to reach first base.� CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled, scoring both Sanchez and Lambo with the first two runs of the inning (1,2).� Jordy Mercer's double plated Nieuwenhuis (3), and Mercer advanced to third on a ground out.� After a line out and a change in pitchers, Moore and Vitters both doubled, driving in Mercer and Moore (4, 5).� Rizzotti walked, then Sanchez singled for the second time in the inning, to score Vitters (6).� A throwing error by the left fielder let Sanchez advance to second base and Rizzotti to third base.� Three more singles followed -- Lambo's brought in both Rizzotti and Sanchez (7, 8), Nieuwenhuis' moved Lambo to second base, and Mercer's scored Lambo (9).� A ground out finally ended the inning.

Zeid pitched 3 innings and allowed the one run in the 1st inning on two hits, and he struck out 3 batters.� BJ Rosenberg (Phillies) took over for Zied to begin the 4th.� He gave up a run on two doubles.� He also gave up three singles in the bottom of the 5th, bringing in one run.� A wild pitch and two walks loaded the bases.� Rosenberg was relieved by Aaron Pribanic, who threw a wild pitch to the first batter he faced, allowing another run to score.� Pribanic finished the inning with a strikeout, and the Solar Sox still led 10-4.� Pribanic came back out for the 6th inning, and another run scored on a single and a throwing error.

The Solar Sox continued to put runners on base.� Harrison and Vitters both singled in the 5th, but did not come around to score.� LF Ryan Flaherty (Cubs), who had entered the game as a defensive replacement, and Harrison both walked and Valdespin singled to load the bases in the 6th, but all three were left on base when Moore struck out.� Rizzotti also walked in the 7th, but was left on base.� He also singled in the 9th, but was eliminated in a double play.� The Solar Sox added one last run when Flaherty doubled to open the 8th inning.� He moved up to third base on a wild pitch.� Jordy Mercer drove him in with an RBI single, to increase the lead to 11 - 5.

Aaron Pribanic worked around a single in the 7th inning, but kept him from scoring.� Brian Leach came on to pitch the 8th, and he also worked around a single for a scoreless inning.� Surprise managed one last run in the bottom of the 9th.� With Eddie McKiernan (Angels) on the mound, a walk, a double, and a sacrifice fly drove in the run.� It was not nearly enough, though, and Mesa and Josh Zeid had the win.

Solar Sox Fall In Game 2

Phoenix Desert Dogs� 6,� Mesa Solar Sox� 3

The Solar Sox could not keep their bats going in the later innings, losing to Phoenix late Wednesday evening.� Phoenix got onto the scoreboard first in the top of the 2nd inning.� A double by RF Michael Taylor (A's) and a single by LF Jerry Sands (Dodgers) put runners on the corners with no outs.� A double play eliminated Sands but let Taylor score with the first run of the game.� Three consecutive singles brought in a second run.� The fourth straight single would have plated another run, but Mesa's CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) made an excellent throw from center field to C Tim Kennelly (Phillies) to nail the lead runner at the plate.

The Solar Sox threatened in the 1st inning, when 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets) led off with a single, then stole second base.� A fielding error at short put 3B Brandon Wood (Angels) an base, and RF Andrew Lambo moved both runners up a base with a fly out to center field.� Both were left in scoring position, though, when a line out ended the inning.� The Sox came right back in the bottom of the second with three consecutive singles to lead off.� LF Jeremy Moore (Angels) singled up the middle, then stole second base.� Kennelly's grounder up the middle let Moore race around from second to score.� Kennelly moved to second base on DH Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) line drive single, then advanced to third on a grounder force out by SS Andrew Romine (Angels).� Valdespin brought Kennelly in with an RBI grounder, tying the game at 2-2.

Jake Muyco (Cubs) made the start for Mesa.� He retired the side in order in the 1st, gave up the two runs in the 2nd, then gave up a walk and hit a batter in the 3rd, but got out of that jam with a double play.� Chris Carpenter (Cubs) replaced Muyco to begin the 4th.� Carpenter began the inning with a walk, then two ground outs moved the runner to third.� An RBI single brought the run home, to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead.� Carpenter gave up a single in the 5th, but Kennally threw the runner out as he tried to steal second base.� Kyle Smith (Cubs) pitched the next two innings for the Solar Sox, allowing just one walk and striking out 3 batters.

But the Solar Sox were not able to catch up.� They put a runner on base in each of the 4th and 5th innings, on singles by Romine and Wood, then went down in order in the 6th and 7th innings.

Eric Niesen (Mets) took the mound for Mesa to begin the 8th inning, and gave up a lead-off home run to Taylor.� Wood responded with his own solo home run in the bottom of the inning, and the score was 4-3 with Phoenix still ahead.

The top of the 9th saw David Cales (Cubs) take the mound for the Solar Sox.� The first two batters of the inning singled, and the next reached base on a throwing error by Cales, when he tried to field a bunt and throw to third for the force out.� Instead of being out, the lead runner scored on the play.� A double play gave Cales two outs, but left a runner on third, and Taylor's RBI single (his third hit of the day) plated that runner to give Phoenix a 6-3 lead.� Flaherty walked in the bottom of the 9th, but the Solar Sox could not bring him around to score.

Andrew Lambo, the only one of the Pirates' farmhands to get into this game, went 0-for-4 at the plate, though his out in the 1st inning did advance the baserunners.� He grounded out twice and flied out one more time in his remaining at-bats.

Tony Sanchez's AFL blog is up and running -- he says that the pitcher who threw the pitch that broke his jaw is now his teammate on the Solar Sox.

AFL Begins With Good Hitting, Poor Fielding

Mesa Solar Sox� 8,� Phoenix Desert Dogs� 3

The Arizona Fall League kicked off today with a win for the Solar Sox.� The Pirates' farmhands hit well, but had a few problems on defense.

LF Andrew Lambo got the Solar Sox going in the 2nd inning when he lined a 2-out single into center field.� CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) drove in Lambo with a double into center field, to give Mesa a 1-0 lead.� Then the Solar Sox busted out with 5 runs in the 4th inning, as they sent 11 batters to the plate.� 1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) greeted a new Phoenix pitcher with a single into left field.� Both C Tony Sanchez and Andrew Lambo added their own singles, and Lambo's scored Rizzotti.� Sanchez went to third and Lambo to second on the throw in to the plate.� A wild pitch let Sanchez score from third base and put Lambo on third.� Nieuwenhuis drove in Lambo with a single, and SS Jordy Mercer also singled, putting runners on the corners.� 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets) grounded to short, but the only play was at first, so Nieuwenhuis scored and Mercer was safe at second.� DH Josh Harrison struck out -- only the second out of the inning.� 3B Brandon Wood (Angels) singled, plating Mercer.� Two more walks, to RF Jeremy Moore (Angels) and Rizzotti, loaded the bases, but Sanchez struck out to end the inning.

Bradley Holt (Mets) made the start for the Solar Sox.� He pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk in the 1st inning and one single in the 3rd.� Solar Sox' RF John Mayberry (Phillies) injured his leg on that play -- possibly making a dive for the soft liner?� He had to leave the game, and was replaced by Jeremy Moore.

Tyson Brummett (Phillies) relieved Holt to begin the 4th inning, and he got two strikeouts, then gave up a single and a 2-run homer to RF Michael Taylor (A's).� Brummett gave up another run in the 5th, on a single, a stolen base, a passed ball by Tony Sanchez, and another single.� A fielding error by 3B Brandon Wood put a second runner on base, but Brummett was able to get out of the jam with a grounder to short, fielded by Mercer.� The Solar Sox still held the lead, 6-3.

Nick Carr (Mets) pitched two scoreless innings for the Sox.� He gave up only one hit, a single to Taylor in the 6th.� After a grounder force out at second, a throwing error by Mercer put a runner on second, but the runner was left on base.� Robert Fish (Angels) and Steven Geltz (Angels) each pitched a scoreless inning to wrap up the game for the Solar Sox, but the Sox bats were not done yet.

In the top of the 8th, Nieuwenhuis led off with a walk, and a single by Valdespin put runners on the corners.� Harrison lifted a sacrifice fly to bring in Nieuwenhuis for a 7-3 lead.� Jeremy Moore added the Solar Sox' final run in the top of the 9th with a solo home run.

Holt earned the win for Mesa.� Harrison went 0-for-4 with one RBI.� Sanchez was 1-for-5, and Mercer went 1-for-4.� Lambo led the Pirates' farmhands with a 2-for-5 afternoon and one RBI.� Brandon Wood had 3 hits for Mesa in the game.� Mercer had two throwing errors, and Sanchez had the passed ball.

AFL Pitchers Announced

The remainder of the Pirates' contingent for the Arizona Fall League was announced today.� Pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox this fall will be Justin Wilson, Aaron Pribanic, and Brian Leach. While all three have been starters during the regular season, it appears that Wilson will have a starting role, and Pribanic and Leach will be mostly used in relief.

The pitchers will join catcher Tony Sanchez, infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer, and outfielder Andrew Lambo on the Solar Sox.

The AFL season begins in three weeks, on Tuesday October 12th, and runs through Thursday November 18th.� We'll be following our Pirates' farmhands in their Arizona adventures.

The Carribbean winter leagues will also be starting up in October:� Mexican Pacific League on Oct 12th, Dominican League on Oct. 22nd, Venezuelan League on Oct 12th, and Puerto Rican League on Oct 22nd.� We'll also watch the Pirates' players, farmhands, and friends in those leagues.

Pirates' John Bowker made another start for the Pirates tonight (Tuesday), this time in right field.� He went 0-for-4 with an RBI, driving in a run in the 1st inning with a grounder to short, which was misplayed for an error.� Bowker has gone 4-for-10 in his last three games, with a homer, and 3 RBI.

Owens Wins #12, Two Homers For Hague As Curve Clinch Title

Tuesday's action for the Pirates' lower minor leaguers....

Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)

The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League's Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.

Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague's two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning -- he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.

Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie's only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer's ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman's double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).

Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.

Bullpen Falters As Indians Lose Late


Alex Presley is back to the bag safely

Louisville Bats� 6,� Indianapolis Indians� 3 ..���� (box)

IMG_4467It was a tough night for the Indians' bullpen, as they stumbled in the last two innings, giving the win to the Louisville Bats at Victory Field.� The Indians wasted an excellent starting effort by Charlie Morton (photo), who pitched 6 shutout innings and allowed only 4 hits.� The Indians posted 5 hits, while the Bats out-hit them with 13 knocks.

Morton got some help from his defense, but he cruised along in this start.� He faced only the minimum over the first three innings, and only one batter over the minimum in the first five innings.� He began each of the first three innings with a strikeout, and struck out one more batter after that.

The second batter in the top of the 1st, SS Chris Valaika, slipped a single up through the middle of the infield, where 2B Brian Friday would have been if the Indians' defense was not in a shift position.� The next batter, 1B Yonder Alonso, also grounded up the middle, right over the second base bag.� SS Pedro Ciriaco made a diving stop, and as he hit the ground stretched out prone behind second base, the ball fell out of his glove,� Ciriaco scrambled to pick it up, then still on the ground, flipped the ball back and lateral to Friday covering second base.� Friday was at the bag, and he made an outstanding turn, and fired the ball to 1B John Bowker, just in time to beat Alonso to the first base bag.

Morton retired the side in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a lead-off single to CF Dave Sappelt in the 4th -- the ball glanced off 3B Mitch Jones' glove and into left field.� But again the infield stepped up.� Valaika grounded to third base, where Jones started an around-the-horn (5-4-3) double play to erase Sappelt.� Alonso almost put the Bats onto the scoreboard with a long fly ball to left field.� The ball hit the top of the left field wall, missing a home run by inches, then bounced into left field for a double.� Morton did not erase Alonso from the base path, but instead struck out the next batter, RF Wladimir Balentien, to end the inning.

IMG_4480The Bats also went down in order in the 5th, and that inning ended with an odd play.� 2B Wilkin Castillo bunted a 1-1 pitch to right in front of the plate, but as he was moving out of the batters' box, he came in contact with the ball, so was called out.� C Jason Jaramillo, as the closest fielder, gets credit for the put-out in that situation.

The only time Charlie Morton had two base runners on base at the same time was in the 6th inning.� With one out, Bats' pitcher Chad Reineke dribbled a little grounder (not a bunt) along the third base line, just fair.� By the time Morton and Jaramillo got over to it, Morton picked up the ball, but he had no play at first, and Reineke was on with an infield hit.� Sappelt followed with a grounder to short, and it looked like Morton was going to have yet another base runner erased with a double play.� Pedro Ciriaco made the scoop, but he got excited and his throw to second missed Brian Friday entirely, and sailed into right field.� Reineke advanced to third and Sappelt to second on the error.� With the Indians leading 2-0 at that point, those two runners in scoring position represented the tying runs, and the go-ahead run was at the plate.� Pitching coach Dean Treanor came out for a little chat with Morton (photo).� Then Morton got Valaika to ground softly to third base, and the runners had to hold up.� Another grounder by Alonso to short ended the inning for Morton, and without a run scoring.

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.


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