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Minor Leagues: A.J. Burnett Strong In Rehab Start In Bradenton, Stetson Allie A Mess In West Virginia

Lots of fun stuff going on today:

-P- At 5:00, Justin Wilson goes for Indianapolis in Toledo.

-P- At 6:30, A.J. Burnett makes a rehab start for Bradenton, which plays St. Lucie.

-P- Also at 6:30, Nate Baker gets the nod as Altoona hosts Erie. Antonio Brown will throw the first pitch.

-P- At 7:05, Stetson Allie starts for West Virginia against Hagerstown.

Yesterday before the Curve home opener, Frank Coonelly announced that the Pirates will play an exhibition game in Altoona against the Curve in 2013. (The article also notes that Blair County Ballpark is now called People's Natural Gas Field, which I'd missed.) The date and time of the game are yet to be announced, but it sounds like it will take place right before the regular season. Robbie Grossman then went 2-for-5 with a homer in his Altoona debut as the Curve won, 7-4.

Gift Ngoepe went 3-for-5 in Bradenton's 3-2 win yesterday, although Colton Cain had four walks in 3.2 innings.

Alen Hanson, Willy Garcia and Gregory Polanco all had three hits each in West Virginia's 11-9 loss to Hagerstown. Josh Bell went 1-for-5 with a double and three strikeouts in his pro debut. Nick Kingham allowed five runs in 1.2 innings.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: A.J. Burnett pitched 4.2 innings for Bradenton, striking out five and walking one while allowing one earned run. I'm just guessing, but it looks like he'll be back within a couple weeks, which should provide the Pirates with a nice boost.

UPDATE 9:04 p.m.: Hagerstown's line against West Virginia through five innings: three runs, no hits. Stetson Allie walked the first four batters he faced, then struck one out, then hit a batter. In the midst of all that, he threw three wild pitches. After that, he got pulled. Yikes.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: Altoona reliever Ryan Beckman left the Curve's game with an apparent elbow injury.