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Cannonballs coming: Adrian Valerio keeps hitting and Austin Meadows keeps rehabbing

If you have a subscription you probably saw this. In case you didn’t, though, it’s worth reading to see how the Pirates’ approach to minor league pitching workloads has evolved well beyond innings totals and to some extent beyond just pitch counts.

The GCL Pirates are covered here.

— Indianapolis (63-53) got outhit 13-1 in a 3-1 loss to Buffalo. Drew Hutchison managed to allow only two runs despite giving up 11 hits in six and two-thirds innings. He walked two and struck out five. A Kevin Newman single was the Indians’ only hit. The one run came on a walk, a hit batsman, a ground out and a sacrifice fly.

Edgar Santana: 1.1 IP, BB, K
Johnny Barbato: IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB

— Jonathan Schwind (pictured) had the big hit as Altoona (59-55) beat Reading, 6-4. Schwind has been an organizational player for the Pirates for a number of years, but he’s missed most of this year due to injury. In just his second AB back with the Curve, he hit a three-run, pinch-hit HR to break a 3-3 tie in the sixth. Starter J.T. Brubaker threw shutout ball through five innings, but he didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced in the sixth. He left with a run in and the bases loaded. Two more scored after he was out, although one run was unearned. Brubaker gave up six hits and two walks in all, and struck out one.

Cole Tucker: 1-3, 3B, BB
Jerrick Suiter: 1-3, BB
Wyatt Mathisen: 0-4

— Bradenton (62-50) beat Lakeland, 6-4. Bret Helton had a shaky start, giving up four runs in six innings on six hits and four walks. He struck out three. The control problems that got Miguel Rosario demoted continued, as he walked four in his first inning while recording just two outs. He got out of it with no runs allowed thanks to a double play and to Geoff Hartlieb stranding three inherited runners. Logan Ratledge went 3-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Mitchell Tolman: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB
Will Craig: 0-4, BB

— West Virginia (55-57) banged out 16 hits to gain its eighth straight win, 8-5, over Lakewood. Oddy Nunez had a shaky start, giving up three runs on six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four. Nunez didn’t exactly get hammered, as the two innings in which he allowed runs turned partly on a bunt hit and an infield hit. Clark Eagan had a big day, going 4-5 with a double, a triple and three RBIs. He’s batting 287/316/469 in the season’s second half. Adrian Valerio raised his average to .302 by going 3-4 with a double and a walk. Albert Baur hit his seventh HR and drove in three.

Oneil Cruz: 1-5, 3 K
Garrett Brown: 2-4, 2B
Pasquale Mazzoccoli: 2 IP, 3 K
Angel German: IP, BB

— Morgantown (29-20) lost to Brooklyn, 9-4. Ike Schlabach had his second rough start in his last three games, getting knocked out with two out in the fourth. He was charged with five runs on six hits, two of them longballs. The one positive . . . well, two positives . . . were no walks and six strikeouts. Austin Meadows continued his rehab, playing the whole game in right and going 1-5. Dylan Busby was 2-5 and Lucas Tancas was 1-2 with a two-run double and two walks.

Deon Stafford: 0-3, 2 BB
Jared Oliva: 1-3
Bligh Madris: 1-4
Blake Weiman: HR, 2 IP, H, R, 2 K
Joel Cesar: H, 2 R, BB, K

— Bristol (10-37) took a 4-1 lead in the second inning but, if you’ve been reading these summaries, you know that doesn’t mean anything. Bristol, of course, lost to Johnson City, 7-6. Starter Hunter Stratton failed to retire anybody in the top of the third. He left with two runners on and Drew Fischer let them both score. Stratton was charged with five runs on two hits and six walks, while striking out two. The sixteenth-round draft pick has now walked 27 in 32.2 IP. Edison Lantigua was 2-4 with a double and a walk.

Yondry Contreras: 2-5
Ben Bengtson: 1-4, 2B, BB

— The DSL Pirates (32-26) lost the first game of their doubleheader with the Cubs1, 5-4, in nine innings. The Cubs scored a run in the seventh to tie it, then the stupid start-with-a-runner-on-second rule kicked in for extra innings (in this case starting in the eighth). The Pirates got the run in with a couple of fly balls and the Cubs tied it with a passed ball and a fly ball. In the ninth, the Pirates got their fake runner home with a bunt and an error. In the bottom half, though, the Cubs got an actual single — the only hit in extra innings — and eventually scored two runs to win it. How exciting!

Jean Eusebio: 1-5
Francisco Acuna: 1-1, 3 BB
Sherten Apostel: 0-2, 2 BB
Luis Arrieta: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, BB, 4 K

The Pirates got the split with a 3-1 win in game two. They had only three hits, but they included Acuna’s second HR in the fifth to tie the game and Apostel’s eighth, with one on, to bring in the go-ahead runs in the sixth. Starter Saul De La Cruz gave up just an unearned run and one hit in four innings.