Prospect Watch: Strong Double-A Debut for Omar Cruz; Will Craig’s Big Day at the Plate

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:  Mitch Keller  3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Cole Tucker 1-for-4, BB

Kevin Kramer 1-for-5

Will Craig 3-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI

Jared Oliva 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI

Game Recap:  Mitch Keller made his first start since being sent to Indianapolis, after pitching twice in relief with no earned runs, but otherwise mixed results. His start tonight was a brief one, throwing three innings, with three runs allowed (two earned) on four hits, no walks and two strikeouts. He needed just 40 pitches to get through his night, with 29 going for strikes. James Marvel, who was originally listed as the starter, came on next and he went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Joe Jacques tossed a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 2.33 and pick up his first save this year. Indianapolis won 7-6 over Louisville.

Will Craig had the big game in the system tonight, going 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs. He now has six homers in the minors this year, while also spending nearly a month in the majors. He has a .972 OPS for Indianapolis. Jared Oliva had two hits and drove in two runs tonight. He hit his first double and his first triple. Chris Sharpe is batting just .201 this season, but he connected on his 15th double in this game. Cole Tucker had a single, walk and his third steal.

ALTOONA

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Omar Cruz  6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Oneil Cruz 1-for-4, 2B

Canaan Smith-Njigba 1-for-4

Rodolfo Castro 0-for-4

Mason Martin 1-for-4

Game Recap: Omar Cruz had an outstanding Double-A debut on Friday night, going six innings with one unearned run on five hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. He had a 3.45 ERA with Greensboro before getting promoted this week. Cruz threw 73 pitches, with 53 going for strikes. Shea Murray came out next and gave up two runs in his lone inning. Cam Alldred and Cristofer Melendez  each tossed a scoreless inning for the 4-3 Altoona victory. Melendez has yet to allow and earned run since being promoted to Altoona on June 1st.

The Curve scored all four of their runs on two-run homers. Jonah Davis hit his fifth homer in the second inning. Mason Martin hit his ninth homer in the ninth inning, a walk-off shot. The Curve only had two other hits in the game. Canaan Smith-Njigba had a single and Oneil Cruz hit his tenth homer. They had two walks, one from Davis and one from Cal Mitchell, who scored on the Davis homer.

GREENSBORO

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Braxton Ashcraft  3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Matt Fraizer 1-for-4, RBI

Matt Gorski 0-for-4

Liover Peguero 0-for-4

Jared Triolo 1-for-2, BB

Lolo Sanchez 1-for-2, BB

Game Recap: Braxton Ashcraft made his first start since June 2nd and he had a strong outing, going three scoreless innings on one hit, no walks and two strikeouts. He was limited to 34 pitches, 23 going for strikes. Steven Jennings followed with one run over four innings, which turned out to be the only run for Greenville in a 2-1 Greensboro victory. Will Kobos and Oliver Garcia finished off the victory, each retiring all three batters they faced. Kobos has allowed just eight hits in 23 innings for a .100 BAA.

Greensboro scored first in this game, as Matt Fraizer singled home Francisco Acuna in the third inning. After Greenville tied the game up, the Grasshoppers scored on an attempted double steal, with Jared Triolo getting thrown out at second base, while Fabricio Macias trotted home with what turned out to be the winning run. Triolo and Lolo Sanchez each had a single and a walk. Aaron Shackelford had two singles. Francisco Acuna’s fourth double of the season was the only extra-base hit for Greensboro.

BRADENTON

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Logan Hofmann  3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Hudson Head 1-for-4

Endy Rodriguez 1-for-4, 2 RBI

Sammy Siani 0-for-2, BB, HBP

Dariel Lopez 1-for-4, 2B

Jase Bowen 1-for-3

Alexander Mojica 0-for-3, RBI

Sergio Campana 0-for-2, BB

Game Recap:  Logan Hofmann allowed three runs in the first inning and Bradenton couldn’t overcome the early deficit, as they lost 5-3 in game one of a doubleheader. Hofmann went three innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and one walk, with four strikeouts. Sergio Umana followed with two runs over his two innings, then Alex Roth took the final two frames, throwing shutout/hitless ball on three walks and two strikeouts.

Bradenton made the game 3-1 in the second inning on an Alexander Mojica ground out that scored Ernny Ordonez. In the seventh inning down 5-1, Endy Rodriguez drove in Hudson Head and Sergio Campana with his third triple. Norkis Marcos reached base twice on a single and a walk. Sammy Siani had a walk and HBP. Dariel Lopez hit his eighth double.

GAME TWO

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Nick Garcia 4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Hudson Head 1-for-5, HR

Endy Rodriguez 2-for-4, HBP

Sammy Siani 0-for-4, BB

Eli Wilson 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI

Jase Bowen 0-for-3, BB

Game Recap: Nick Garcia got the start in game two of the doubleheader and he lasted four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 70 pitches, with 48 going for strikes. Eddy Yean followed Garcia and had an outstanding outing. He gave up two runs over six innings, but both runs were unearned due to them both being the free runner at second base to start extra innings. He allowed just one hit, with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Bradenton won this game on a walk-off three-run homer by Eli Wilson. They were down 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth when Hudson Head homered, his sixth of the season. They tied it up in the sixth thanks to an error. Jupiter took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth, then Ernny Ordonez singled home Eli Wilson with the tying run. Jupiter took a 4-3 lead in the top of the tenth, then the Marauders got another run on an error. That brought up Wilson with two men on base and he walked it off for the 7-4 victory. Endy Rodriguez reached base three times on two singles and a hit-by-pitch.

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