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Cannonballs Coming: Kuhl strong in loss

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Bradenton was off.  Extended comments on Altoona at the bottom.

-- Indianapolis lost to Columbus, 4-2.  Chris Volstad gave up four runs in the first two innings, although he still managed to go seven and two-thirds.  The Indians had six hits and struck out a dozen times.  Alen Hanson was 1-5 and Josh Bell 0-1 with three walks.  Keon Broxton and Willy Garcia each went 0-4 with three strikeouts.

-- West Virginia came back from a five-run deficit to beat Lexington, 12-9.  Connor Joe, Jerrick Suiter and Elvis Escobar all went 3-5.  Escobar had a triple and three RBIs.  Chase Simpson also drove in three runs while going 2-4 with two doubles.  Tito Polo hit his third HR and Kevin Newman, Pablo Reyes and Francisco Diaz all went 2-4.  Newman is now hitting .306 since his promotion.  Kevin Kramer was 0-5.  Starter Alex McRae gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings.

-- Morgantown beat Williamsport, 6-5, in 11 innings on a two-out, walkoff single by Casey Hughston.  The hit ended a weird inning.  Carlos Munoz led off with a walk, but his pinch runner was cut down on a strike-em-out throw-em-out double play.  David Andriese and Ke'Bryan Hayes then walked to set up Hughston's winning single.  J.T. Brubaker had another good start, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings, while fanning seven.  Nick Hibbing, though, gave up three runs to blow a 5-2 lead.  Tate Scioneaux threw the last four and a third innings without allowing a run, although he did allow an inherited runner to score to tie the game.  Scioneaux fanned five while giving up two hits and no walks.  Ty Moore and Albert Baur each went 2-4.  Munoz was 0-2 with three walks.  Hayes was 1-3.

-- Altoona missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot in a 4-0 loss to Bowie.  Chad Kuhl (pictured) pitched very well, allowing three runs, one earned, on just three hits and a walk in six and a third innings.  He fanned five.  Kuhl dominated for six innings, allowing just one run on a triple and a sac fly.  In the 7th, he suddenly started struggling with the strike zone.  He walked the leadoff hitter and the next reached when Max Moroff, playing third, couldn't field a slow bouncer.  Kuhl then tried to get a force at third on a bunt, but threw the ball down the LF line to let in two runs.

The Curve did nothing against a sidearm righty.  Moroff had a drive caught at the fence in left, and Adam Frazier and Erich Weiss had line outs.  Austin Meadows and Jacob Stallings each went 2-4, the only Altoona hits.  As for individual players:

Kuhl:  He looked very good, as he did against Bowie two starts ago.  For most of his outing, his fastball was 94-97, sitting at 96.  He sometimes dropped to 93 in his last two innings, but still hit 96-97 a number of times.  He commanded the fastball well, working both sides of the plate and seldom getting anything over the center of it.  He threw inside effectively to left-handed hitters.  Kuhl also threw an upper-80s slider that was probably more or less average, but he spotted it very well.  He threw a change with good fade that got a number of swings and misses from left-handed hitters.  Other than the hitter he walked in the 7th, he had only two three-ball counts.

Meadows:  This was his AA debut.  He hit a pop fly single that dropped along the LF line and a line drive single to right.  Otherwise, he popped out and grounded to first.

Jose Osuna:  He was repeatedly victimized by low, soft stuff, going 0-4 with three strikeouts.  On the other hand, he continued to impress defensively.  He made a nice play on a grounder in the hole early in the game and an outstanding grab on a bad throw later.  That came on a roller down the 3B line that Kuhl fielded and threw well to the dugout side of first.  Osuna had to switch feet and cross over the bag quickly, reaching well into foul ground to make the grab while keeping his momentum from pulling his foot off the bag.  It was one of the better grabs on a bad throw I've seen by a first baseman in a while.