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Cannonballs coming: Keller, Kuhl just OK

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Some roster moves at West Virginia:  As noted at Pirates Prospects (sub. req'd), the Pirates have made a number of moves with the Power, mainly to deal with struggling hitters.  The Power currently are next to last in the South Atlantic League in scoring.  They sent outfielders Casey Hughston and Ty Moore to extended spring training.  It's not a good sign when two fairly early draft picks (3rd and 12th round) from major colleges are overwhelmed by the pitching in low A in their first full seasons.  They'll be replaced by outfielder Logan Hill, who'll move down from Bradenton where he wasn't playing every day, and utility infielder Logan Ratledge, who was sent to extended ST when Cole Tucker was activated.  Hill's numbers in the Florida State League weren't great on the surface, but his .674 OPS was actually 18 points above the league average.  The Power also released RH reliever Eric Karch and added lefty Sean Keselica from extended ST.

On to the games.  Altoona was rained out.

-- Indianapolis (21-20) lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7-3.  Chad Kuhl started off well, retiring the first eight hitters, but two singles and an Alen Hanson error (just his second on the year) set up a bases clearing double.  Apart from the three unearned runs, Kuhl also gave up a solo HR.  He still went six innings, giving up six hits, walking none, and striking out two.  He threw 60 of 90 pitches for strikes.  The Indians struck out 11 times and committed five errors.  Danny Ortiz was 2-4 with a double and his fourth HR, and Max Moroff (pictured) was also 2-4 with his fourth HR.  Others:

Adam Frazier:  2-4 (batting .312)
Jason Rogers:  0-4 (since returning to AAA, 10-for-53, 15 K)
Josh Bell:  0-3, BB, 2 K
Hanson:  0-4, 2 K
Gift Ngoepe:  0-2, 2 K
Rob Scahill:  1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, BB, K
Trey Haley:  1.1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K

-- Bradenton (21-20) lost to Dunedin, 3-1.  Colten Brewer gave up three runs over four and a third innings on five hits and four walks.  He fanned eight.  In fact, Marauders pitchers struck out 15 overall.  The offense managed only five hits.  Others:

Kevin Newman:  0-4
Kevin Kramer:  1-3, BB
Jordan Luplow:  0-3, BB

-- (I'm updating this now that MiLB.com has straightened out its messed-up box score.)  West Virginia (21-19) won the first game of its doubleheader with Hickory, 9-4.  The game looked like a big pitching matchup between Mitch Keller and 2015 first rounder Dillon Tate, but it didn't quite go that way.  Keller got hit around some in the first inning, allowing two runs.  He had a couple long innings and exited after four, his shortest game of the season.  He only allowed the two runs, along with six hits and no walks.  He fanned four and threw 51 of 75 pitches for strikes.  Meanwhile, after having two out and none on in the second, the Power exploded for seven runs against Tate, including a two-run double by Tito Polo and a three-run double by Carlos Munoz.

Cole Tucker:  0-4, BB
Polo:  2-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI
Ke'Bryan Hayes:  1-4, BB
Munoz:  2-4, 2B, 4 RBI
Logan Hill:  0-3, BB
Mitchell Tolman:  2-4, 2B
Tanner Anderson:  3 IP, 2 H, 4 K
Seth McGarry:  2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Game two was rained out.