Pirates Minor League Roundup: Strong Starts From Jeff Locke, Nick Kingham

Not a lot of scoring in some of the Friday games . . . .

-P- Indianapolis shut out Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 2-0, with Jeff Locke going seven and a third. Locke allowed only three hits and walked two, while fanning ten. Doug Slaten and Tim Wood finished. The Indians had only four hits themselves, with Jose Tabata going 1-2 with two walks.

-P- Vic Black blew a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th as Altoona lost to New Britain, 5-4. Black walked two batters, then gave up a two-out, walkoff, three-run HR, the first longball he's allowed all year. Kyle McPherson started and managed to allow only two runs in six innings despite giving up nine hits. He walked none and fanned five. Adalberto Santos, Ramon Cabrera and Oscar Tejeda each went 2-4 with a walk. Cabrera had two doubles, and Santos and Tejeda one apiece. The Curve managed only one run in six innings off New Britain starter Aaron Thompson, then jumped on the opposing bullpen to take the short-lived lead.

-P- Bradenton rallied for three in the 9th, but came up short against Palm Beach by a 7-6 count. Kenn Kasparek and Matt Benedict both struggled on the mound. Carlos Mesa and Elevys Gonzalez each had solo HRs, Mesa's 4th and Gonzalez' 3rd. Carlos Paulino went 2-4 and Alex Dickerson 2-5.

-P- West Virginia shut out Lakewood, 2-0. Nick Kingham threw six scoreless innings for the third time in his last four starts. He allowed four hits, walked none and fanned five. Ryan Hafner managed a scoreless inning despite allowing a hit and a walk. The unrelated Kilcreases each threw a scoreless inning of their own. The Power had just six hits, two by Alen Hanson, and nobody committed an error. After a miserable first half, the Power are now a game out of first in the second half, and I'd be willing to bet improved defense on a very inexperienced team has played a big role.

-P- State College posted the system's third shutout of the day with a 1-0 win over Hudson Valley. Joely Rodriguez had one of the stranger starts I can remember. He went five innings and didn't walk or strike out a batter. Four hitters reached against him on three hits and an error, and he picked off three of them. Orlando Castro followed with three innings, allowing a hit and a walk, and fanning four. Jacob Stallings and Derek Trent each went 2-3, with Stallings adding a walk and Trent a double.

-P- The GCL Pirates lost to the Blue Jays, 7-3. Axel Diaz allowed four runs, three earned, in three and two-thirds. (I don't know anything about Diaz, but he pitched only one pro inning before this year and the Pirates are sticking with him in the GCL rotation despite a 7.01 ERA, so he must have a decent arm.) Kevin Ross went 2-2, and Andrew Lambo and Nick Evans continued their rehab assignments.

-P- The DSL PIrates1 beat the Mets2, 8-5. Yunelky Adames went 2-5 with two doubles and four RBIs. Daniel Arribas went 2-3 with two walks and two steals. Pablo Reyes went 2-4 with a double and a walk.

-P- The DSL Pirates2 took a 3-1 game from the joint Diamondbacks/Reds team. Eduardo Vera, an 18-year-old Mexican RHP, threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks, and fanning three. Yunior Aquiles and Rodney Polonia each went 2-4 with a triple.

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