Minor League Roundup: Indianapolis 'Hitters' Beginning to Match Pirates' in Futility

Forgettable lowlights from the farm system on a day of forgettable lowlights in the majors:

-P- Indianapolis got shut out for the fourth time in a row and fifth in six games (they scored one run in the other game). The final was 3-0. Facing a Lehigh Valley starter with an ERA of 6.15, the Indians seemed to have a shot at scoring a run. Alex Presley even led off the game with a triple, but Chase d'Arnaud and Starling Marte both whiffed, and Matt Hague was retired after a walk. Things continued in Piratelike fashion, as the Indians went 0-11 with RISP. Rudy Owens had just an OK start, allowing the three runs in six innings. He allowed six hits and a walk, and fanned six. The first four hitters in the lineup--Presley, d'Arnaud, Marte and Jeff Clement--fanned nine times, often in clutch situations. To add to the good news, Jordy Mercer missed his second straight game with an abdominal strain.

-P- Jarek Cunningham returned from missing a month with a wrist injury and keyed a 3-2 Altoona win over Erie. Cunningham had a two-run double in three ABs and Brock Holt went 2-4. Brandon Cumpton started and allowed one run over seven innings on seven hits and three walks. He fanned two. Duke Welker got the save with a 1-2-3 9th. Robbie Grossman went 0-3 with a walk and two Ks, and seems to be settling back into a slump again; in his last five games he's 2-21 with eight whiffs.

-P- Bradenton blew a 4-2 8th inning lead and lost to Dunedin, 7-5. The Marauders had a hole in their rotation due to a doubleheader and went with relievers, with Casey Sadler making the start. Sadler and the well traveled Josh Poytress allowed just two runs, one earned, in 6.1 IP. Zach Foster and Quinton Miller, however, combined to allow five runs, two earned, in the last two innings. The offense came mainly from Gift Ngoepe, who went 2-5, and Andy Vasquez, who went 2-4 with a double.

-P- The disaster that is the Pirates' high school pitcher strategy continued unabated as Zack Dodson failed to survive the first inning in West Virginia's 7-5 loss to Greenville. Dodson allowed five runs, all earned, and retired only two batters. His ERA, at a level he's repeating, is 6.17. Excluding Jameson Taillon, the Pirates have had six pitchers play this year who were drafted out of high school by the current front office. None has an ERA below 5.18. And Zack Von Rosenberg hasn't even emerged from extended spring training. Gregory Polanco and Willy Garcia each went 2-5 for the Power, and Garcia, Jose Osuna and Dan Gamache each had doubles. Alen Hanson went 0-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and two errors, giving him 19 on the year. West Virginia is now 13-28 and has lost 13 of its last 15.

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