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Cannonballs coming: Altoona mounts huge comeback

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— Indianapolis (10-10) lost, 4-2, to Columbus. Starter Alex McRae struggled through six innings, somehow giving up only four runs on five walks and six hits, including two longballs. The offense didn’t do much beyond a two-run double by Jose Osuna, who’s hitting 339/397/589. Austin Meadows was 2-3 and is batting .311.

Kevin Newman: 1-4
Kevin Kramer: 1-3, BB
Jordan Luplow: 0-3, BB
Chris Bostick: 1-4
A.J. Schugel: IP, H, BB, 2 K

— Altoona (10-10) came back from an 8-1 deficit in the last two innings to beat Harrisburg, 9-8. The Curve got a two-run home run from Jackson Williams, his first, in the eighth, then exploded for six runs in the ninth. Actually, the Senators exploded, letting the first two hitters reach on errors, then adding two walks and a third error to the carnage. Jordan George had a three-run double, Will Craig an RBI, pinch-hit single, and Williams a game-tying single.

A word of caution here, in light of reports yesterday about Mitch Keller’s velocity being way down: Based on what I saw today, the scoreboard gun at Harrisburg is way, way slow. The Senators’ starter, Jefry Rodriguez, supposedly gets into the mid-90s, but he never topped 89 mph. The guy who followed him didn’t top 85. (I know nothing about the guy, but . . . 85?) The gun had Jake Brentz, who normally sits in the mid-90s, at 85-90.

This is all a preface to Taylor Hearn’s outing, which wasn’t good. His velocity was mainly mid- to upper-80s, although he got up to 91-92 a few times, but it’s just not worth thinking about given the gun readings. Hearn’s real issue was his command, which was mostly poor. His slider and change looked potentially good and he was at his best when he was mixing his pitches up, but he was behind too much to allow for that. He gave up two in the first, although his defense could have helped more. Right fielder Bralin Jackson, on a single, had the runner dead at the plate, but Williams couldn’t hold the throw. The other run scored when left fielder Jordan George, who had a shot at the runner coming home from second, fumbled the ball. Hearn mostly settled down for the next three innings, although he had help from hitters who didn’t work the count. He got knocked out in the fifth and ended up being charged with seven runs. Three should have been unearned due to a play that should have been ruled an error on Stephen Alemais, but it was incorrectly scored a fielder’s choice. Hearn got hit hard just the same, though.

Brentz actually pitched quite well, as he had to get six outs in his one inning. One hit should have been ruled an error on Cole Tucker, then Alemais fumbled an easy double play grounder. Brentz managed to leave the bases loaded anyway with no runs scoring. His control wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the dumpster fire it was in his first outing or two.

The offense did next-to-nothing through the first seven innings. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a drive to straightaway center on which the center fielder made a leaping catch up against the fence. Tucker hit a drive that was caught on the warning track. Tucker finished 1-5. Alemais was 0-4 and Hayes 0-3, each with a walk. Jason Martin was 0-4. George had two hits.

— Bradenton (13-11) blew a 1-0 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and lost to Jupiter, 2-1. Ronny Agustin put the tying and winning runs on board with walks, then they scored on a single, an error and a wild pitch. Starter Oddy Nunez had thrown six shutout innings despite walking four. He allowed only two hits and struck out four. The Marauders managed only three hits.

Adrian Valerio: 0-4
Bligh Madris: 1-4

— West Virginia (13-11) starter Domingo Robles was coming off two strong starts, but he ran into a disaster that was not of his making in the Power’s 9-4 loss to Lexington. With two out in the first, the Power committed four errors and a passed ball. Poor Robles never got out of the inning and was charged with seven runs, all unearned. First baseman Mason Martin had two of the errors and another was the 11th on shortstop Oneil Cruz. Rodolfo Castro went 1-5 with his first HR of the year.

Lolo Sanchez: 0-4, BB, 3 K
Martin: 1-4, BB
Cruz: 1-4
Chris Sharpe: 2-4
Blake Weiman: 2 IP, H, 2 K