Prospect Watch: Altoona Stages Dramatic Comeback

Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as an ebook or a limited edition paperback.

INDIANAPOLIS

(7:05pm)

Season preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Cody Ponce 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Notable Performances:

Travis Swaggerty 1-5

Cole Tucker 1-5

Blake Weiman 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Game Recap:  Indianapolis (4-4) took an early 5-0 lead, but lost to Toledo, 6-5.  The Indians got all their runs in the second inning.  The first three came on Anthony Alford’s first AAA home run.  Christian Bethancourt, who played first in the game, made it back-to-back in his first at-bat in the Pirates’ organization.  The fifth run scored later when Kevin Kramer hit into a force out with the bases loaded.  Alford reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, and Chris Sharpe drew three walks.  Dustin Fowler was 2-for-5.  Cody Ponce was so-so again in his second start, giving up three runs in five innings.  Matt Eckelman gave up the other three runs to take the loss, although two were unearned due to his own error.

ALTOONA

(6:35pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Noe Toribio 4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Notable Performances:

Ji-Hwan Bae 3-6, 3B

Oneil Cruz 2-6, 3B

Rodolfo Castro 2-5, BB

Mason Martin 1-4, HR (1), BB, HBP

Cal Mitchell 1-4, 2 BB

Canaan Smith-Njigbe 0-0, 2 BB

Yerry De Los Santos 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Game Recap:  Altoona (5-3) showed how explosive its offense can be, rallying from a 6-3, ninth-inning deficit and beating Binghamton, 9-6, in ten innings.  Noe Toribio didn’t have a great start, although he didn’t get hammered, either.  He gave up just three hits and two walks in four innings, but they all figured into the scoring as he allowed three runs.  Oddy Nunez and Cam Vieaux also scuffled in relief, giving up three runs combined on six hits and two walks over three innings.

All those runs left the Curve down, 6-2, in the eighth.  They didn’t do much up to that point.  Their first run scored on an error and the second on a bloop hit by Toribio.  They got one in the eighth on a ground out.  In the top of the ninth, though, Ji-Hwan Bae led off with a triple and scored on a one-out single by Rodolfo Castro.  Mason Martin then crushed a long home run to right, his first of the year, to tie the game.  The Curve went on to load the bases, still with one out, but failed to score.

Hunter Stratton came on in the bottom of the ninth and went two innings, striking out all six batters he faced.  Stratton now has 15 strikeouts in six innings.  That got him the win as the Curve got three runs in the tenth.  Oneil Cruz hit a two-run triple off the top of the wall in right-center and Castro singled him home.  Bae finished with three hits and three runs.  Bligh Madris also had three hits.

GREENSBORO

(5pm — doubleheader)

Season Preview

Boxscore Game One

Boxscore Game Two

Starting Pitchers:  Tahnaj Thomas 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K; Braxton Ashcraft 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Notable Performances:

Liover Peguero 1-4

Nick Gonzales 3-6, 2B, HR (2), SB

Matt Gorski 2-6, BB

Lolo Sanchez 0-3

Jack Herman 2-6, SB

Game Recap:  Greensboro (4-5) split its doubleheader with Rome.  The Grasshoppers won the first game, 7-3.  Tahnaj Thomas again showed his dominant stuff, fanning eight over four shutout innings.  He had some control issues, walking three and needing 70 pitches.  Austin Roberts gave up a run in two innings, and fanned five more.  Oliver Garcia allowed a two-run bomb in the seventh.  The Grasshoppers had some help for a lot of their runs.  Aaron Shackelford homered for the third straight game, his fourth HR overall, to start the scoring in the first, then another run scored on an error.  Nick Gonzales doubled in a run in the fifth.  In the sixth, the ‘Hoppers got four runs on errors, including three on a three-base error with the bases loaded.  Liover Peguero returned to action at short.

Greensboro got a quick lead in the second game on a first-inning home run by Nick Gonzales, his second longball of the year.  That’s all they could manage, though, as they got only two more hits in the game.  (Rome apparently got wary of Shackelford, walking him twice.)  Braxton Ashcraft had another good start, allowing two hits and a walk over four innings.  One of the hits was a home run, the only run he’s allowed so far.  He fanned four.  Grant Ford had a rough time in relief, allowing three runs on a pair of gopher balls.

BRADENTON

(6:30pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Eddy Yean 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0K

Notable Performances:

Jasiah Dixon 0-5, OF assist

Hudson Head 0-5

Endy Rodriguez 1-3, 2 BB

Alexander Mojica 1-3, BB

Sergio Campana 1-4

Game Recap:  Bradenton (5-4) beat Dunedin, 4-1.  Eddy Yean continued to come around after a control meltdown in his first outing.  He threw two scoreless innings in relief a few days later, and this time started the game with three scoreless innings.  He didn’t fan anybody, but walked only one.  Austin Davis continued his rehab with a scoreless inning.  He struck out the first two hitters, gave up a single and then picked the runner off.  Last year’s fifth-round pick, Logan Hoffman, contributed two scoreless innings, fanning three.  He got the win and Alex Aquino struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save.

The Marauders had just seven hits, six of them singles.  Norkis Marcos drove in two with a single, Alex Mojica drove in one, and three wild pitches brought in the fourth.

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