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Cannonballs coming: Holmes, Kang lead Indianapolis

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

West Virginia remains off for All-Star festivities. Altoona and Mitch Keller were rained out.

— Indianapolis (37-31) got an outstanding start from Clay Holmes and three RBIs from Jung-Ho Kang to beat Norfolk, 4-2. Holmes went seven and a third, giving up a run on five hits and no walks, while fanning eight. After a rough stretch, Holmes has now allowed just two runs in his last four starts, covering 25.1 IP. In that time, he’s walked four and struck out 28. Kang, playing third, went 3-4, driving in Kevin Newman once and Adam Frazier twice. Newman was 1-4 with a double and Frazier 2-4 with a double. Indy’s 4-6 hitters — Jordan Luplow, Chris Bostick and Kevin Kramer — struck out eight times in ten ABs combined.

Jacob Stallings: 1-3, 2B
Johnny Hellweg: IP, H, ER, BB, 2 K, Sv

— Bradenton (34-30) lost to Clearwater, 5-3. Starter Oddy Nunez threw six shutout innings despite walking four. He allowed three hits and struck out three. Adam Oller and Jake Brentz had considerably more trouble in relief. Jared Oliva was 1-3 with a double and a walk, and Arden Pabst hit his sixth home run.

Adrian Valerio: 1-4, 2B
Bligh Madris: 1-2, BB

— Morgantown (1-4) finally won a game, nearly blowing a four-run ninth-inning lead in a 7-6 win over Batavia. There were lots of pitching debuts. Eighth round lefty Zach Spears started and allowed no runs, one hit and one walk over three innings, striking out none. Eighteenth rounder Michael LoPresti gave up three runs, two earned, in his two innings. Twentieth rounder Conner Loeprich gave up a walk and struck out one in a scoreless inning. And ninth rounder Logan Stoelke came in to get a strikeout for the save, although he allowed a hit and a walk, and let two of three inherited runners score, before he got the out. One other interesting pitcher was John Pomeroy, a big, hard throwing righty from the 2016 draft who missed 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. Pomeroy seldom pitched in college because he couldn’t throw strikes, but he got through five outs while allowing two hits and no walks, and striking out one.

On the offensive side, Jhoan Herrera had a big day, going 3-3 with two doubles, a walk, his first home run and three RBIs. Edison Lantigua was 3-5 with a double, and Luke Mangieri 2-5. Travis Swaggerty again didn’t play. The Black Bears committed six errors and allowed four unearned runs.

— In its opener, Bristol rode a slew of walks to an early lead and ran away from Greeneville in its opener, 10-2. The Greeneville starter walked seven before departing in the second inning and the Pirates ultimately drew 16 free passes in the game. Steven Jennings had a strong start for four innings before walking the first two batters he faced in the fifth. They both eventually scored, leaving him charged with two runs in four and a third innings. He allowed five hits and the two walks, and struck out four. On offense, Mason Martin (demoted from West Virginia) was 1-3 with a home run, three walks and three RBIs. Yondry Contreras was 2-4 with a double, a walk and three runs. Sherten Apostel also drew three walks, going 0-3 with two strikeouts otherwise. Conner Uselton went 2-6.

Victor Ngoepe: 1-4, 2B, 2 BB
Jeremias Portorreal: 1-3, 3 BB
Gabriel Brito: 1-4, BB
Austin Shields: 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

— The GCL Pirates (0-2) lost to the Braves, 7-1. Most of the damage came against Chinese native Hai-Cheng Gong. Starter Luis Arrieta gave up two runs in three innings. Kleiner Machado threw three scoreless innings in relief. Another reliever, Saul de la Cruz, retired all four hitters he faced, three on strikeouts. Ji-Hwan Bae started the game at second, then moved to short. He went 0-4. Jean Eusebio was 1-3 with a triple and a walk. Samuel Inoa was 0-4.

— The DSL Pirates1 (7-8) beat the Cubs1, 9-6. Sherten Apostel’s “little” (6’4” 245) brother Shendrik hit his second home run. Juan Pie was 1-5 with a triple and three strikeouts. Jommer Hernandez, a 17-year-old catching prospect who got a $250,000 bonus, went 2-4 with a walk and is hitting .321. Another 17-year-old, center fielder Daniel Rivero, was 2-6 and is hitting .315. (Rivero’s bonus is unknown because bonus amounts for Venezuelan players are being kept under wraps for obvious reasons.) Miguel Diaz threw two hitless innings to get the save, although he walked three.

The DSL Pirates2 (5-10) beat the Mariners, 3-1. Starter Angel Suero gave up an unearned run on four hits and a walk in four innings, while fanning seven. Xavier Concepcion followed with four hitless innings, walking three and striking out five. Edgar Barrios was 2-4 with a walk.