Pirates minor league roundup: April 5

Top pitching prospects Gerrit Cole, Nick Kingham and Clay Holmes mostly struggled, but Altoona salvaged a win.

The roundup from Friday:

-- Indianapolis took an early 2-0 lead, but Gerrit Cole couldn't hold it and the bullpen couldn't throw strikes. The Indians lost, 7-4, to Columbus. Cole started off with three scoreless innings, but got hit around some in the 4th, gave up three runs, and exited after the inning. He allowed five hits and no walks, and fanned two, throwing 40 of 63 pitches for strikes. Relievers Ryan Reid and Brooks Brown combined to walk five in 2.2 IP, resulting in four more runs. Duke Welker retired the last seven hitters in order, striking out two. Alex Presley and Jordy Mercer provided most of the offense. Presley went 3-5 with a double and a HR. Mercer went 2-4 with two doubles and a walk. Brandon Inge continued his rehab, playing second and going 0-3 with a walk. Indianapolis has yet to get a hit from the 4th through 8th spots in the lineup.

-- Altoona was the only affiliate without a top prospect on the mound, but the Curve picked up the only win, beating Erie, 4-1. Casey Sadler went five, allowing the only run on six hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Sadler recorded 11 groundouts and no fly outs. Tim Alderson followed, allowing no hits or walks in three innings, and fanning four. Mel Rojas, Jr., went 2-5 with a double and an inside-the-park HR. Jarek Cunningham, Matt Curry and Andrew Lambo all also went 2-5, while Carlos Paulino went 2-2 with three walks. Alex Dickerson went 1-5 with four strikeouts. The Curve had numerous scoring opportunities, but Stefan Welch and Gift Ngoepe combined to leave 18 runners on base. Ngoepe fanned three times and grounded into a bases-loaded double play.

-- Bradenton dropped a 4-1 decision to Fort Myers. Nick Kingham retired the first nine batters he faced, but struggled in the 4th, allowing two runs, one earned. He then gave up a solo HR in the 5th. He only allowed three hits and a walk overall, with four strikeouts. Gregory Polanco went 3-4 and Willy Garcia 2-4, but the rest of the lineup managed only one hit. Alen Hanson went 0-4.

-- West Virginia got destroyed by Asheville, 15-6. Starter Clay Holmes allowed five hits and four walks in 3.2 IP, leading to five runs, four earned. He did strike out six. Three relievers all struggled, with Ryan Hafner allowing three HRs. Max Moroff went 3-5 with a double, and Junior Sosa and Walker Gourley each had two hits. Wyatt Mathisen had two RBIs, going 1-5. Asheville ran wild on him, stealing six bases in seven tries.

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