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Cannonballs coming: Young West Virginia hitters produce the offense

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Some transaction news: My impression that the Pirates didn’t like Kevin Krause got confirmed when they released him today. He got only three ABs this year. Krause wasn’t much in the field, but he showed power and good plate discipline. I guess the Pirates don’t need either of those. On the plus side, Pablo Reyes got a much-deserved promotion to Indianapolis. I don’t know what the countervailing move at Indy was. Altoona filled the spots by activating Jordan George, who hit well for the Curve last year, and Bralin Jackson, an outfielder signed out of independent ball.

— Indianapolis (6-6) fanned 16 times, ten of them against top White Sox prospect Michael Kopech, but the Indians beat Charlotte, 4-1. Clay Holmes made his first start of the year, but he was on a short leash, coming out after 50 pitches. He threw four scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking none and striking out three. Kevin Newman led the offense, going 2-3 with a double, a walk and three runs scored. Dovydas Neverauskas had an interesting ninth inning, getting the side in order with two strikeouts, but the strikeouts took 19 total pitches.

Kevin Kramer: 1-3
Austin Meadows: 1-3, 2B
Jose Osuna: 1-4
Jordan Luplow: 1-4 (only hit was a bunt single)
Jacob Stallings: 1-4, 2B
Chris Bostick: 1-4
Tyler Jones: 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 K
Josh Smoker: IP, 2 H, ER, K
Neverauskas: 2 IP, BB, 4 K, Sv

— Altoona (7-6) lost to Richmond, 6-3. Brandon Waddell got off to a bad start, surrendering a two-run homerun in the first inning. In the bottom half, the Curve continued their clinic on How to Avoid Winning Ballgames. For the second time in three days, they got two on with no out and had Ke’Bryan Hayes bunt the runners over. The next hitter, Logan Hill — who’s struck out in half his ABs so far — naturally struck out and Jason Martin grounded out to salvage the scoreless inning. Waddell gave up a solo HR in the second. In the third, though, Altoona got the first two on, didn’t bunt and, sure enough, scored three runs. Waddell settled down and threw four scoreless innings, finishing with the three runs allowed on five hits and two walks in six innings, with two strikeouts. Bret Helton gave up three runs to break the tie and Altoona couldn’t get any more offense going, finishing with just five hits. Cole Tucker went 1-2 and left after getting hit by a pitch. He apparently isn’t hurt.

Stephen Alemais: 2-4
Craig: 0-2, 2 K
Hayes: 1-3
Hill: 1-4
Jason Martin: 0-2, 2 BB
Jesus Liranzo: 2 IP, 3 K

— Bradenton (9-6) lost to Fort Myers, 4-3. Luis Escobar threw shutout ball for five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. He got only one out in the inning and gave up two runs, one of which scored after he was out. Escobar allowed six hits, walked two and fanned five. The Marauders had only six hits, half of them by Tyler Gaffney.

Jared Oliva: 0-4, 3 K
Adrian Valerio: 1-4, BB
Hunter Owen: 0-4
Bo Schultz: IP, BB

— Deon Stafford (pictured) went 3-3 and Oneil Cruz hit his fourth homerun as West Virginia (9-6) edged Asheville, 6-5. Cruz finished 2-3 with a walk and three RBIs. Cal Mitchell continued to hit, getting two doubles in four ABs. He’s now batting .333. Starter Gavin Wallace gave up three runs on four hits in six innings. Blake Weiman threw the last three innings for the save, although he made it tense. He gave up a two-run HR with no outs in the ninth, making it 6-5, but then struck out the next three hitters. Weiman gave up three hits and walked none.

Lolo Sanchez: 0-3, BB (two lineouts)
Rodolfo Castro: 0-4, 3 K
Mason Martin: 2-3, 2B, BB