Prospect Watch: Strong Start by JC Flowers; Head, Smith-Njigba and Alford Have Big Nights

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

Season preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Steven Wright 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Anthony Alford 2-for-2, 2 RBI, 4 BB

Kevin Kramer 0-for-4, 2 HBP

Will Craig 0-for-6

Game Recap: Indianapolis won 8-7 over Memphis in 11 innings, giving the Indians a 23-18 record. Anthony Alford had the big day, going 2-for-2 with four walks, a run scored and two RBIs. Christian Bethancourt, who entered the game in the eighth inning, went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. He hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot in the eighth inning. Joe Hudson had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Wilmer Difo had two hits, two runs and two walks.

Steven Wright started the game and struck out the side in the first, then things went downhill quick. He allowed five runs in 3.2 innings, walking five batters. Blake Weiman tossed 1.1 scoreless, then gave way to Mitch Keller for his second relief appearance. He allowed an unearned run in 1.2 innings on one hit, three walks and three strikeouts. Nick Mears threw 1.1 shutout innings. Kyle Keller had two perfect innings and Shea Spitzbarth gave up an unearned run in one inning.

ALTOONA

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Jeffrey Passantino 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Oneil Cruz 0-for-4

Canaan Smith-Njigba 4-for-4, 2B

Rodolfo Castro 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Mason Martin 1-for-4, 2B

Cal Mitchell 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

Game Recap: Altoona lost 6-4 to Erie on Sunday, dropping them to a 25-16 record. Jeffrey Passantino allowed four runs in his four innings of work, giving him a 2.97 ERA on the season. Brad Case followed with one run in two innings. Shea Murray allowed one run in one inning, giving him a 1.56 ERA. John O’Reilly finished out the pitching with a scoreless eighth. Canaan Smith-Njigba had a four-hit night, scoring two runs. He connected on his seventh double. Both Cal Mitchell and Mason Martin hit their tenth doubles of the season. Rodolfo Castro hit his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning. Joe Jimenez, a non-drafted free agent from last year, hit his first homer as a pro in the fifth inning.

GREENSBORO

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: JC Flowers  5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Matt Fraizer 2-for-4, HR, RBI, BB

Liover Peguero 1-for-4, 2B

Lolo Sanchez, 0-for-4, BB

Jared Triolo 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, SB

Matt Gorski 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB

Game Recap:  Greensboro got a strong performance from starter JC Flowers and homers by Matt Fraizer and Aaron Shackelford in a 7-0 win over Winston-Salem. Through seven weeks, the Grasshoppers have a 23-19 record. Flowers tossed five shutout innings on two hits and a hit batter. He struck out four batters. He has a 1.38 ERA since being promoted from Bradenton. Will Kobos and Oliver Garcia each tossed two shutout frames to finish out the win.

Shackelford connected on his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth inning. Fraizer hit a solo homer in the sixth, his ninth round tripper of the season. Jared Triolo and Fabricio Macias each had three hits. Triolo hit his seventh double and stole his sixth base. Macias scored two runs and now has a .315 batting average. Liover Peguero collected his fifth double. Matt Gorski drove in a pair of runs. Francisco Acuna walked twice and stole his fifth base.

BRADENTON

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Jared Jones 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO

Notable Performances:

Sergio Campana 0-for-5

Maikol Escotto 1-for-5, SB

Sammy Siani 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, SB

Endy Rodriguez 1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB

Eli Wilson 1-for-4

Dariel Lopez 1-for-4, BB

Jase Bowen 1-for-5

Hudson Head 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, BB

Game Recap:  Bradenton won 11-6 over Tampa on Sunday afternoon, giving the Marauders a 27-15 record through seven weeks of the minor league season. Jared Jones got the start and allowed one run on four hits and two walks in four innings. The only run he allowed scored on a home run. He struck out five batters. Through 14.2 innings this season, he has a 3.07 ERA and 22 strikeouts. Domingo Gonzalez followed and allowed five runs (four earned) in 2.1 innings. Sergio Umana was out next and he tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up his first save.

Hudson Head had the big game today, driving in five runs, while connecting on his sixth double and his first homer. He also drew a walk and scored two runs. Sammy Siani had two hits and drove in three runs. He hit his sixth double and also stole his sixth base. Norkis Marcos had three walks and scored two runs. Endy Rodriguez drove in two runs, giving him 25 RBIs on the year. Maikol Escotto stole his fifth base of the season.

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