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Minor League Roundup: Five Shutout Innings for Gerrit Cole; Solid First Start for Robby Rowland

Four games in the farm system today (or 4.5 for anybody who noticed the Pirates' lineup today), with Indianapolis off and Altoona playing a doubleheader:

-P- Altoona's seven-game winning streak went by the boards as Harrisburg took two from the Curve. In game one, the Curve hitters actually did a decent job against Daniel Rosenbaum, who came into the game with the second-lowest ERA in the minors. Altoona got three runs off him to increase his ERA from 0.62 to 0.99, but they still lost, 5-3. Phil Irwin allowed all five runs over six innings on seven hits. He walked none and fanned six. Brock Holt and supersub Kelson Brown each went 2-4, and Miles Durham and Quincy Latimore each went 2-3. Altoona dropped game two by a 3-2 score, with Brandon Cumpton giving up the three runs in six innings on five hits and a walk, while fanning five. Most of the offense came from Latimore, who went 4-6 with two doubles and his third HR on the day. Robbie Grossman saw only pinch-running duty in game one, then went 0-3 with a walk in game two. He's now hitless in his last 24 ABs. Jarek Cunningham went 0-6 with a walk in the two games.

-P- Bradenton beat Lakeland, 6-1, as Gerrit Cole threw five shutout innings. He allowed four hits and two walks, and fanned three. The Marauders had only four hits, but were aided by six walks. Nobody did much to speak of on offense, except that Gift Ngoepe and Evan Chambers each drew two walks. In fact, it's generally tough to find much to say about Bradenton except when Cole or Jameson Taillon pitches, as the Marauders have a thoroughly uninteresting team, or in some cases ostensibly interesting players having thoroughly uninteresting seasons.

-P- West Virginia got back to its losing ways, getting shut out by Lexington, 4-0. The most positive development was Robby Rowland--the pitcher the Pirates acquired for Brett Lorin--making his first start. He went four innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and no walks, with three Ks. Rowland had a disastrous season last year in the rookie-level Pioneer League, so this was a surprisingly good start, especially given the fiasco that's been the Power's pitching this year. The West Virginia offense did nothing to speak of. Alen Hanson went 0-2 with two walks and no (i.e., zero) errors. And, no, he wasn't the DH. In fact, with the Power's defense, I'm half expecting their DH to get charged with an error at some point.