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Pirates Minor League Roundup: Strong Start from Clay Holmes; Matt Curry and Gregory Polanco Stay Hot

All three rookie level affiliates were off on Sunday, which was good because it limited the system's losses to five.

-P- Rick VandenHurk took his first loss after eight wins and Indianapolis dropped an 11-5 game to Columbus. VandenHurk allowed seven runs, five earned, over five innings. Kris Johnson gave up another three in one inning, and Duke Welker allowed one. Welker has struggled to throw strikes in AAA, walking 15 in 19 innings. The offense came mostly from three players. Anderson Hernandez went 3-4 with his first HR. Jeff Clement went 2-4 with his 13th HR. Brandon Boggs went 2-4 with two doubles. The bad guys ran wild on Jose Morales, stealing five bases without getting caught.

-P- Altoona nearly rallied from a 9-3 deficit, but lost to Binghamton, 10-9. The Curve scored five in the bottom of the 8th, but Brock Holt, with a chance to tie the game, got thrown out at the plate. Altoona then got Hurdled in the 9th, as Matt Curry--who's not exactly a speed demon--led off with a single but got thrown out stealing. Curry went 3-5 on the day, with a double and a triple. Holt had a bases clearing double in five ABs. Brandon Cumpton and Nate Baker combined to allow nine runs, seven earned, in six innings. Vic Black threw one scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to 1.22.

-P- Starter Matt Benedict lasted only one inning, allowing five runs, as Bradenton lost to St. Lucie, 9-3. Carlos Paulino went 3-3 with two doubles and Mel Rojas, Jr., hit his 4th HR.

-P- West Virginia lost to Lakewood, 7-5, in a game shortened to eight innings. Ryan Hafner had yet another rough start, allowing five runs over 4.1 IP on six hits and four walks. He fanned three. Gregory Polanco went 2-3 with his 12th HR and Willy Garcia went 2-4.

-P- State College got five shutout innings from Clayton Holmes and took a 2-0 lead into the 7th, but the bullpen gave up eight runs in the 7th and 8th and the Spikes lost to Vermont, 8-2. Holmes allowed just one hit and one walk, and fanned two. D.J. Crumlich and Ryan Hornback each had two hits for the Spikes.