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Cannonballs coming: Oneil Cruz stays hot

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Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates have finally been able to activate outfielder Fabricio Macias. If you don’t remember, they signed him out of Mexico, where he hit very well against much older competition. He’s still only 20 and was in the lineup for Morgantown tonight. He was caught up in some sort of MLB contract-approval process, which apparently is a particular problem with players from Mexico for some reason.

— Indianapolis held on for a rain-shortened, 4-3 win over Norfolk. Tyler Eppler was cruising with a 4-0 lead going into the top of the sixth, but gave up three runs before Jesus Liranzo came on to fan the last batter in the inning. The rain eliminated the rest of the game. Eppler gave up six hits and a walk, and struck out three, in five and two-thirds. Kevin Newman, Chris Bostick and Kevin Kramer were all 1-3, and Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff were each 1-2 with a walk. Kramer, Luplow and Moroff all had doubles.

— Altoona (35-31) also lost a rain-shortened game, this one four and a half innings, to Richmond, 2-1. Taylor Hearn struggled a little with his control early. He gave up the two runs on three hits and two walks over four innings, while striking out five. The Curve had four hits, two of them by Jordan George. Ke’Bryan Hayes remains out, but he’s not on the disabled list.

Cole Tucker: 0-3
Jason Martin: 1-3
Will Craig: 0-3

— Bradenton (35-31) got destroyed by a weak-hitting Fort Myers team, 10-0. James Marvel and Blake Weiman combined to give up ten runs over six innings. The Marauders had just five hits. Hunter Owen was 2-4 with two doubles. Jared Oliva and Adrian Valerio went 0-4.

— West Virginia (38-29) coasted to an 8-1 win over Hickory. Oneil Cruz continued to hit, going 3-5 and leading off the game with his ninth home run. He drove in three on the day. Deon Stafford also went 3-5. Max Kranick threw four shutout innings before exiting due to a rain delay. He gave up two hits and two walks, and didn’t strike out anybody. Lolo Sanchez continued to climb slowly out of the depths, going 2-3 with a double and a walk. Ben Bengtson, Brett Pope and Chris Sharpe each had two hits.

Rodolfo Castro: 1-5, 2B
Cal Mitchell: 0-5

— Morgantown (3-4) edged State College, 4-3. The Black Bears lineup suddenly got more interesting with the addition of top pick Travis Swaggerty and, as noted above, Fabricio Macias. They didn’t do anything today, with Macias going 0-4 and Swaggerty 0-3 with a walk. The Morgantown runs all came in the sixth, on two bases-loaded walks and a high chopper over the third baseman’s head by Daniel Amaral that brought in two runs. Amaral went 2-4, as did Luke Mangieri. Brett Kinneman was 2-3 with a walk. Starter Osvaldo Bido gave up seven hits and two walks over seven innings, but only two runs. He struck out four.

— Bristol (2-1) lost a typically crazy Appalachian League game to Greeneville, 13-12. The Pirates fell behind, 12-0, but plugged away to draw within one. They even had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the ninth and finished the game with a runner on third. A bunch of 2018 draftees made their pro debuts (round in parentheses):

CF Jonah Davis (15): 1-5
SS Chase Lambert (31): 3-5, 3 R
2B Dean Lockery (32): 3-5, 2B
LHP Joe Jacques (33): IP, BB, K
RHP Will Gardner (21): IP, 2 K

Also debuting was outfielder Christian Navarro, who signed out of Mexico last summer. He went 1-5 and, unfortunately, struck out to end the game. Mason Martin went 2-4 with three runs, three RBIs and his second Bristol home run. Johan De Jesus hit his first homer. Bristol hitters struck out 15 times. Starter Oliver Garcia recorded only four outs, as he and Adonis Pichardo gave up a dozen runs over five innings.

— The GCL Pirates (0-4) got trounced again, this time 10-0 by the Phillies West. They’ve now been outscored by a total of 37-5 in their four games. They managed only one hit, a single by Justin Harrer, this year’s 35th round pick. He was drafted out of Washington State, so he was making his debut at a very low level. Jean Eusebio was 0-3, Ji-Hwan Bae 0-4 and Samuel Inoa 0-2 with a walk and two strikeouts.

— The DSL Pirates1 (8-9) gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a walkoff, 9-8 loss to the Indians. Shortstop Norkis Marcos, one of their more significant (by Pirate standards) signings in the most recent period, was 2-3 with a walk. Daniel Rivero was 2-4 and Shendrick Apostel 1-4 with a double. Yoyner Fajardo was also 2-4, with a triple and his first pro home run. Juan Pie was 0-4. (If you check the lineup in this game, the first six hitters are a pretty good group to follow on this team.) Starter Jesus Valles threw four shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk and fanning five.

— The DSL Pirates2 (6-11) benefited from eight errors and beat the Royals2, 11-8. Germin Lopez, a slightly older signee, went 3-4 with three runs and his first pro home run. Mariano Dotel, also a slightly older signee, was 2-4 with four runs scored. Darwin Baez, who based on his age (17 now) was probably a six-figure signee, was 2-5. He’s a catcher, although he was DHing today. Carlos Campos threw two shutout innings to get the save. He gave up a hit and a walk, and struck out three.