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Cannonballs coming: Indianapolis bullpen struggles

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MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

— Nick Kingham (pictured) had a decent start, but didn’t get much help as Indianapolis (7-7) lost to Charlotte, 7-2. Kingham gave up two runs, one unearned, on six hits and three walks in five and two-thirds innings. He struck out six. Josh Smoker, A.J. Schugel and Casey Sadler all had problems out of the bullpen. Smoker gave up a two-run HR, although the runs were unearned. Schugel gave up two hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning. Sadler allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in two innings. Right now, the Indy reliever who looks the most likely to be of help to the Pirates is Johnny Hellweg, and it’s not close. Eric Wood went 3-4.

Kevin Newman: 0-4 (batting .204, hitless in four of last five games)
Kevin Kramer: 0-2, 2 BB
Austin Meadows: 1-3, BB (batting .293 but slugging only .390)
Jose Osuna: 1-3, 2B, BB
Jordan Luplow: 1-3, BB
Chris Bostick: 1-4

— Taylor Hearn had a rough start in Altoona’s (8-7) 5-4 loss to Richmond. Hearn gave up five runs on six hits and two walks in four and two-thirds innings. He struck out five. Jake Brentz had an encouraging outing, retiring six straight, three on strikes, while throwing 18 of 26 pitches for strikes. Christian Kelley provided most of the offense, going 3-4 with his first HR and three RBIs. Will Craig made his first start in four games and went 2-5.

Cole Tucker: 1-5, 2B
Stephen Alemais: 1-5
Jason Martin: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB (batting 325/413/600 in 11 games)
Logan Hill: 1-4, BB
Ke’Bryan Hayes: struck out as pinch-hitter

— Bligh Madris hit a two-out, walkoff single in the ninth to give Bradenton (11-6) a 4-3 win over Fort Myers. Madris had singled and scored the tying run in the eighth. He went 3-4 with a walk, breaking out of a slump and upping his average to .305. Eduardo Vera allowed three runs on six hits and no walks over seven innings. He struck out three. The runs all came on a pair of longballs, which has been his only real problem this year. Albert Baur and Lucas Tancas each went 2-3.

Adrian Valerio: 0-4
Hunter Owen: 0-2, BB

— West Virginia (10-7) couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead and lost, 6-5, to Asheville. Starter Ike Schlabach threw five shutout innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five. He walked three, although he threw 42 of 66 pitches for strikes. Hunter Stratton, promoted due to an injury, made his full season debut and gave up five runs on seven hits in two innings. The Power continued to pile up strikeouts with another 13.

Cal Mitchell: 1-4, BB
Deon Stafford: 2-5, 2B
Mason Martin: 1-5, 3 K
Oneil Cruz: 2-4, 3B
Rodolfo Castro: 1-4
Lolo Sanchez: 0-4
Joel Cesar: IP, H
Blake Cederlind: IP, 2 H, ER, 2 K