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Minor League Roundup: Strong Starts From Rudy Owens and Zack Dodson

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An abbreviated slate, with Bradenton off:

-P- Indianapolis got eight strong innings from Rudy Owens but couldn't get on the scoreboard, leading to a 2-0 loss to Norfolk. Owens allowed just five hits and two walks, and fanned two, but a two-run HR in the 5th was the only scoring. He threw 100 pitches, 60 for strikes. One result of the strong pitching that Indianapolis is getting is that the starters are getting stretched out more than might normally be the case. The Indians managed only four hits, but Jordy Mercer had one, in three ABs, extending his hitting streak to 14. Chase d'Arnaud went 1-3 with a double and a walk.

-P- Altoona continued to struggle, losing to Erie, 4-2. Organizational pitcher Matt McSwain went five innings, allowing all four runs. It's a bit discouraging to see McSwain still in the Curve rotation, given all the pitching depth the system should have. Vic Black threw two scoreless innings, happily walking nobody and throwing 19 of 23 pitches for strikes. He allowed two hits and fanned two. Organizational players Anthony Norman and Kelson Brown each had two hits. Tony Sanchez sat out his second straight game. I'm sure the Pirates want to see Ramon Cabrera get some playing time, but it's still surprising that Sanchez has missed nearly a third of Altoona's games. I can't help thinking he must have some minor injury problem. Robbie Grossman went 0-4 and Matt Curry went 1-4 with three Ks.

-P- West Virginia got a rare well pitched game as Zack Dodson and Josh Poytress combined on a two-hitter, and the Power beat Charleston, 3-1. Dodson went six, allowing one hit, one walk and the one run, fanning four. Poytress pitched the last three innings and got the win. He allowed one hit and no walks, and fanned two. I don't know what Poytress is doing back in the South Atlantic League after allowing no runs in 16.2 IP for Bradenton. It could be the Pirates were just desperate to get somebody on the West Virginia staff who could get a few hitters out. Jose Osuna had a big day at the plate, going 3-3 with a double and his first HR. Alen Hanson went 1-4 with his 5th HR.