March 12, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Rudy Owens (99) throws in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 4 - 1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
Just three games on Saturday, with Altoona being rained out:
-P- Indianapolis beat Durham 2-0, behind seven shutout innings from Rudy Owens. He allowed six hits and a walk, and fanned six. Owens threw 61 of 98 pitches for strikes and, according to Tim Williams, his fastball ranged from 86-90 mph. Jared Hughes threw a scoreless eighth and Doug Slaten, who seems to have replaced the struggling Tim Wood as closer, finished it out. The Indians had only three hits: a single by Jordy Mercer, a triple by Brandon Boggs, and a double by Jose Morales. Starling Marte went 0-for-4 with two whiffs. Indy drew five walks off Durham starter Chris Archer, who was a main piece in the Matt Garza trade between the Rays and Cubs, and who's struggled with his control since the deal.
-P- Bradenton lost 7-3 to Jupiter, with Colton Cain allowing all seven runs over four innings of work. Cain gave up two cheap runs in the 2nd on infield hits and a bunt, but he got pounded in a five-run fourth, with two homers accounting for four of the runs. Josh Poytress rode his porn 'stache to three scoreless innings of relief. Poytress opened the season in extended spring training but, so far, has an ERA of 0.56 in six outings divided evenly between Bradenton and West Virginia. The Marauders got two doubles from Stefan Welch, and two singles, a walk and two steals from Gift Ngoepe.
-P- West Virginia blew an 8-0 lead and lost to Greensboro, 11-9. The Power bullpen managed to allow two grand slams, both with two out. Starter Matt Benedict pitched scorelessly until he left with two out in the sixth and the bases loaded. Justin Ennis promptly gave up a slam. With one out in the 9th and the Power still up, 8-5, Jordan Cooper came on after Emmanuel De Leon walked two batters. Cooper let both score to make it 8-7, then gave up a two-out slam of his own to seal the loss. The West Virginia bullpen is extremely bad this year, due to a combination of unusually bad organizational pitchers (Ennis, Robbie Kilcrease) and struggling, would-be prospects whom the team probably regards as projects (De Leon, Cooper, Vince Payne). As a result, once the bullpen gets in a game, the Power are often pretty much helpless. On offense, Alen Hanson went 2-for-4 with a triple, walk and three runs scored. Jodaneli Carvajal, Jose Osuna, Willy Garcia and Carlos Mesa also had two hits apiece. Mesa, in his first game since replacing Josh Bell, hit his first homer.