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Matt Morris Report: Altoona wins two

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-- Indianapolis lost to Louisville, 3-2.  Chris Volstad gave up three runs, two earned, in five innings.  Gift Ngoepe went 3-4 and Alen Hanson 0-4.

-- Altoona jumped on former Pirate draftee Austin Kubitza and took an 11-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader with Erie.  Adam Frazier went 2-4 with three RBIs, while Josh Bell hit his fourth HR and drove in four.  Andy Vasquez went 3-4 with two doubles and Mel Rojas 2-4 with one double.  Max Moroff was 1-3.  Frazier is now hitting .385.  Matt Benedict threw a seven-inning complete game, giving up three runs, one of them unearned, on seven hits and no walks.  He struck out three.

The Curve also took the second game, 4-2.  Zack Dodson allowed one run in five innings.  He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out four.  Sebastian Valle was 2-3, and Josh Bell, Jose Osuna and Dan Gamache all went 2-4.  Bell and Osuna had doubles.

-- Jayson Aquino had another shaky start in Bradenton's 2-1 loss to Palm Beach.  Aquino lasted four and two-thirds innings, although it took 89 pitches.  He gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.  Reese McGuire, making an increasingly infrequent appearance, went 3-4, raising his average to .270.  Erich Weiss was 2-4 and Chris Diaz 2-3.  Austin Meadows was 1-4 with a double.

-- The West Virginia Power scored a run in the top of the 9th to beat Greensboro, 3-2.  The winning run came in when Chase Simpson hit a two-out double and Taylor Gushue singled him in.  Simpson finished 3-4 and Jerrick Suiter went 2-4 with a double.  Cole Tucker was 0-4 and Connor Joe 0-2 with two walks.  Starter Alex McRae allowed one run on four hits in five innings.  He walked one and struck out one.  Jose Regalado struck out four in two scoreless innings to get the save.

-- The West Virginia Black Bears lost to Lowell, 4-1.  Hector Garcia gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in four and a third innings.  He struck out four.  Julio Eusebio threw two scoreless innings in relief, striking out six.  The Bears had only four hits.  Kevin Newman returned to the lineup and went 1-4.  Kevin Kramer was 0-4 and Casey Hughston 0-3.

-- Bristol lost to Burlington, 6-5.  Starter Billy Roth gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in three innings.  He struck out three.  Scooter Hightower gave up two runs in four innings.  He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out four.  Sandy Santos went 2-4 with a double and his first HR.  Jordan George was 2-3 with a double, Tomas Morales 2-4 with a double and Enyel Vallejo 2-4.

-- The GCL Pirates lost the resumption of a suspended game to the Blue Jays, 4-3.  The game was suspended earlier in the season with the score 3-3 in the 7th inning, and that's how it stayed until the Jays scored in the top of the 15th.  Clay Holmes started the game back at the beginning of his rehab stint, allowing two runs in three and two-thirds innings.  Yunior Montero gave up a run in four innings on just one hit but four walks.  He fanned five.  Cristian Mota threw two and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out six.  Raul Siri was 3-6 with a double.  Adrian Valerio, Luis Perez and Jhoan Herrera were all 2-7.  Edison Lantigua entered the game after it was resumed, replacing Wes Freeman, who's now with Bradenton.  Lantigua was 2-4.

The Bucs won the regularly scheduled game by the same score, this time in twelve innings.  The winning run came scored on a walk, a sacrifice, a steal and an error.  Michael De La Cruz (pictured) was 3-6 with a double and Ke'Bryan Hayes 2-5 with a double.  Valerio replaced the rehabbing Justin Sellers* in the 6th and went 1-3.  Siri was 0-5 and is now 4-for-31 in his last eight games (which doesn't count the suspended game).  Chris Plitt started and gave up one run in three and a third innings.  He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out two.  Mister Luciano threw scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.  In the two games, the Bucs went 6-for-42 with RISP and left 32 on base.

-- No result was available for the DSL Pirates.

*EDITORIAL:  I can't help feeling annoyed when I see Justin Sellers playing and Adrian Valerio not.  I realize missing most or all of a few games isn't going to affect Valerio's development, so this is probably just the result of some parochial sense of interest in the players I've watched (or expect to watch) coming up through the system.  It does, though, make me wonder what kind of chance the non-blue-chip prospects are going to have with the Pirates.  The only logical purpose Sellers served with the Pirates was to be short-term depth, a guy who'd be called up in an emergency and who didn't figure as a long-term solution for any need.  But that's largely by the boards now.  The setbacks he suffered in previous rehab attempts left Sellers with limited time to get ready to play in the majors, assuming a need arises in the limited time period that will be left in the season once he's ready.  Meanwhile, the Pirates have Alen Hanson, Pedro Florimon and Gift Ngoepe in AAA, and that's with Steve Lombardozzi already in the majors due to Josh Harrison's injury.

I don't expect the Pirates to cut Sellers while he's rehabbing, but I can't help wonder what Adam Frazier is thinking when he sees the hordes of no-ceiling veterans the Pirates bring in to serve as AAA depth.  Despite hitting in the upper-.300s, Frazier wasn't even playing every day in AA until Ngoepe was promoted.  Will the Pirates continue to play waiver pong (Neal Huntington has yet to unseat gold medalist Alex Anthopoulos) with every marginal middle infielder whose name shows up on the wire?  Will guys like Frazier, Ngoepe and Max Moroff start wondering whether there's anything they can do to get a shot?  Or will the Pirates forget about stockpiling guys with a ceiling of -0.1 WAR and simply let Frazier, Ngoepe and Moroff play in AAA next year?