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Minor League Roundup: Jeff Locke Fans 11; Jameson Taillon Doesn't

On a day when hell froze over, three of the Pirates' affiliates played baseball and West Virginia was off:

-P- Indianapolis evidently got word of the Pirates' highly improbable offensive explosion just before they went to bat in the 9th inning and were inspired to score seven runs of their own en route to a 9-4 victory over Louisville. Starling Marte highlighted the outburst with a grand slam, his third HR of the year. Jordy Mercer also hit his third HR in the inning, and Alex Presley added his second AAA HR in the 8th after entering in a double switch. Mercer and Marte both went 2-5, leaving #FreeJordy at .298. Jeff Larish went 2-4 with two doubles and Jeff Clement went 2-4 with one double. Chase d'Arnaud didn't get the memo and went 0-5, leaving him at a Barmesian .169. Jeff Locke fanned 11 in 6.1 IP. He allowed only four hits and no walks, but still got charged with three runs, two of which scored after Evan Meek entered the game. Meek gave up an unearned run of his own in 1.2 IP, while allowing one hit and two walks, and fanning one. Tim Wood continued to be lights out since his early season struggles, getting the side in order in the 9th with two Ks.

-P- Altoona lost, 4-2, to a Bowie team that continues to load its lineup with veteran major leaguers. Today, org guy Matt McSwain held Brian Roberts, Endy Chavez and Mark Reynolds to a 1-9 showing. I have to say, it's been fun watching Reynolds whiff four times in seven ABs the last two days against mediocre minor league pitching. Unfortunately, McSwain got hit hard in the first two innings, allowing all four runs. Hurdleball obviously is infecting the organization at all levels: PJ Forbes gets today's Facepalm Award for ordering .307-hitting Brock Holt to lay down a sacrifice in the third inning with first and second, no out, and a three-run deficit. The strategy worked brilliantly, as Tony Sanchez then walked to set up an inning-ending GIDP by Matt Curry, who hasn't impressed me at all in the six games I've seen over the last couple weeks. Sanchez went 2-3 with a double and a walk, and Robbie Grossman went 1-3 with a double and a walk.

-P- Jameson Taillon held Jupiter hitless for three innings, then got knocked out in the 4th, allowing all of the runs in a 5-3 Bradenton loss. He gave up three hits and three walks in 3.2 IP. The news wasn't all bad, as he fanned five. Andy Vasquez went 2-5 with a double and Dan Grovatt 3-4 with a double. Justin Howard added his first HR of the season.