-- Indianapolis (64-67) got six more shutout innings from Frank Duncan -- he's now thrown over 20 straight -- but Curtis Partch and Jorge Rondon got torched for five runs in the last two innings, leaving the Indians with a 5-4 loss to Columbus. Duncan gave up five hits and a walk, and struck out two. His ERA in AAA stands at 1.94. Jose Osuna, Elias Diaz, Danny Ortiz and Willy Garcia had two singles apiece.
Max Moroff: 1-4, BB
Dovydas Neverauskas: IP, H, BB, 3 K
-- I got up to Harrisburg to see Altoona (70-58) lose, 4-3. Clay Holmes showed why he can be a frustrating pitcher to watch. The first seven hitters he faced hit weak ground balls. The last two went through the middle with two out in the second, but Holmes got a strikeout to end the inning. In the third, the opposing pitcher led off with a line single -- the only ball hit in the air off Holmes -- and Holmes promptly fell apart. He walked two, sandwiched around a sacrifice, to load the bases. He got a third strike call on a full count pitch, giving him a chance to get out of the inning, but the next hitter singled up the middle for two runs. Holmes walked the next hitter to load the bases back up, then gave up another two-run single to end his night. He had some bad luck. The first RBI single just got past shortstop Kevin Newman, who didn't show great range up the middle, and third baseman Eric Wood let the other RBI single go right past his glove, although it was hit hard. (Wood otherwise played well defensively, with a nice pickup and running throw on a bunt.) Still, Holmes was very wild in the inning, missing badly more and more often as the inning went along. He threw both four-seam fastballs, which generally were 92-93 mph, and two seamers which were more often 89-91, occasionally dropping lower when he was struggling to find the plate. The fastball had enough life to miss some bats. Holmes also threw a change and curve, but couldn't use them effectively because he couldn't locate the fastball. He finished with four runs allowed on five hits and three walks, with two strikeouts.
Four relievers followed with five and two-thirds scoreless innings. The most interesting was RHP Miguel Rosario (I know you're probably thinking, "Who?"). He dropped down to a sidearm delivery either last year or this, and has moved up rapidly. He's been really good since getting to AA at mid-season; he now has a 1.45 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 3:1 K:BB ratio for the Curve in 20 games. He topped out at 90 -- he threw harder overhand -- but I don't think any hitter saw the same speed twice, everything from upper-70s to 90. His motion is a bit odd, too, as he crouches down low and lunges toward the plate. Lefties are hitting .116 against him and righties .194 in AA, so nobody is making much hard contact against him. In this game, he gave up a hit and a walk and fanned four in two and a third innings. Jared Lakind, Trey Haley and Montana DuRapau each threw a scoreless inning.
The Curve made a good deal of hard contact, but not enough of it in sequence. Jin-De Jhang lined a double into each corner and also had a sharp lineout. Barrett Barnes (pictured) hit a rocket for his seventh HR, six of them in August. The Harrisburg left fielder didn't even start back and the ball cleared a building beyond the bleachers. Barnes got plunked for his trouble. It was pretty obvious, because it was his last AB, he came up with two out and nobody on, the pitch didn't look like it got away, and Barnes had also homered yesterday against Harrisburg. I don't really understand why you'd do that in AA. Maybe Tony LaRussa knows.
Stetson Allie also went deep, a line drive to right for his 13th HR. Eric Wood had a long drive to right that was caught, and finished 1-3. Kevin Newman hit a drive to center that was caught his first time up, but finished 0-4 without making any more good contact.
-- Nick Kingham threw six shutout innings as Bradenton (67-59) beat Jupiter, 3-0. Kingham gave up five hits and a walk, struck out seven, and threw 50 of 70 pitches for strikes. Cole Tucker was 2-5 and Pablo Reyes 2-4; each had a double.
Tito Polo: 1-4
Kevin Kramer: 0-3, BB
Connor Joe: 0-4
-- Gage Hinsz recovered from a rough outing to throw seven shutout innings in West Virginia's (65-62) 4-0 win over Lexington. Hinsz gave up five hits and a walk, and struck out three. He threw 53 of 79 pitches for strikes. Catcher Raul Hernandez, recently promoted all the way from the GCL, went 2-3 with a double and three RBIs.
Stephen Alemais: 1-4
Logan Hill: 2-4, 2B
-- Morgantown (29-34) lost to Williamsport, 4-3. Starter Matt Anderson gave up two runs on just two hits and a walk in four innings. He struck out three. Will Craig went 2-2 with two walks, and Kevin Krause 2-3 with a double and two walks. The Black Bears left 14 on base.
-- Mike Wallace threw a seven-inning complete game to give Bristol (23-36) a 1-0 win in the first game of its twin bill with Elizabethton. Wallace allowed just two hits, walked none and struck out two. Wallace is a college draftee from Fairfield, which isn't exactly a major program. He had a 7.89 ERA with Bristol last year, but something seems to have clicked this year, as he has an ERA of 2.45 and WHIP of 0.84. Adrian Valerio went 2-3 and drove in the only run.
Bristol lost the second game in nine -- i.e., extra -- innings, 4-2. Nestor Oronel had a great start. In five innings, the only runners he allowed came on two errors and a solo HR. He fanned eight. Juan Diaz -- incorrectly listed in a recent box score as Elias -- threw an inning of relief. The Pirates signed Diaz as minor league infield depth for this year, but he never appeared until a few days ago, and then as a pitcher. Raul Siri hit his third HR. Valerio was 2-4.
-- The GCL Pirates (20-30) lost to the Phillies, 7-4. Braeden Ogle allowed just three hits and three walks in five innings, but five of those runners scored. He struck out four. The Pirates had only four hits, half of them by Luis Benitez.
-- The DSL Pirates (27-41) beat the Mets1 in the completion of yesterday's suspended game, 5-4. Leandro Pina allowed one run in five innings, on three hits and a walk, with one strikeout. Sherten Apostel went 3-3 with a walk, raising his average to .201.
Kevin Sanchez: 1-4
Larry Alcime: 1-3, BB
The Pirates lost the second game, 2-1. Yeudry Manzanillo gave up a run in five innings on four hits and walk. He struck out one. The Pirates had only three hits. Apostel was 1-3 with a triple.