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Cannonballs coming: GCL Pirates get a strong start from Noe Toribio

In one news item, the Pirates have promoted (sub. req’d) catcher Arden Pabst from Bradenton to Altoona. This may or may not be a real promotion, as Jin-De Jhang has been struggling to come back from a concussion. Pabst is a good defensive catcher who, after not hitting much his first two years, is batting 281/317/515 with a low K rate in the pitching-dominated Florida State League. For now he figures to share catching duties with Christian Kelley. Absent some sort of player move, it’s unlikely Kelley will go to Indianapolis, which has Jacob Stallings and Ryan Lavarnway.

— A ninth-inning error by Sean Rodriguez, playing short, led to three unearned runs and a 5-3 loss for Indianapolis (48-40) to Toledo. Tanner Anderson got tagged with the blown save and the loss. Pablo Reyes drove in all three runs with a triple and his third AAA home run. Reyes is hitting 291/341/372, runs well and can play anywhere, which might make him a better candidate to be a utility player than, say, a guy hitting .145. Jose Osuna was 2-4 with a double and Rodriguez was 1-4. Starter Alex McRae allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, in six and two-thirds innings. He struck out four.

Adam Frazier: 0-4 (batting .220 in 23 AAA games)
Kevin Kramer: 1-4, 2B

— Cole Tucker and Stephen Alemais reached base four times each as Altoona (46-39) stomped Erie, 10-2. Tucker was 2-2 with a double and two walks, and Alemais 3-4 with a double and a walk. Eduardo Vera gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out two. The Curve broke the game open with five runs in the ninth.

Bryan Reynolds: 1-4
Will Craig: 0-4
Christian Kelley: 1-4, 2B

— Bradenton (44-42) got 17 hits in an 8-3 win over Lakeland. Jason Delay was 3-5 and Casey Hughston 3-3 with a double and a walk. Mitchell Tolman was 2-3 with two walks and three runs. Jared Oliva and Adrian Valerio were each 1-5. The Marauders got the good Luis Escobar, who gave up two runs, one earned, in seven innings. He allowed five hits and a walk, and fanned six.

— Ben Bengtson went 4-4 with two doubles as West Virginia (47-38) beat Hickory, 8-2. (Bengtson did have two errors.) Starter Hunter Stratton threw one scoreless inning, but exited after a long rain delay. Beau Sulser got the win after recording the final 11 outs while facing only ten batters. Ryan Peurifoy was 2-3 with a double and a walk, Rodolfo Castro 2-4 with a double and a walk, and Fabricio Macias 1-3 with three RBIs. Oneil Cruz and Cal Mitchell each went 0-5, and Deon Stafford 0-4 with a walk.

— Morgantown (11-15) didn’t get a baserunner until Luke Mangieri double with two out in the seventh in an 8-0 loss to Hudson Valley. The Black Bears had only three hits, the others by Travis Swaggerty, who went 1-4, and Grant Koch, who went 1-3 and got his first pro hit. Starter Zach Spears, this year’s eighth round pick, gave up two runs on six hits in three innings. Another draftee, Cody Smith, allowed two runs in an inning and two-thirds, as this year’s pitching draftees continued to struggle as a group.

— Shane Baz scuffled through five innings as Bristol (11-11) lost to Pulaski, 8-2. Baz didn’t throw strikes consistently, only 51 in 89 pitches, although he fanned six and walked only one. He gave up seven hits and was charged with four runs. The Pirates had only five hits, with Conner Uselton going 2-4.

Jonah Davis: 1-4
Mason Martin: 1-3, BB
Sherten Apostel: 0-3, BB

— In a game that was called with one out in the top of the eighth due to rain, the GCL Pirates (8-10) blanked the Yankees East, 8-0. Noe Toribio (pictured) is probably the best of the Latin American pitching prospects the Pirates brought to the US this year, and he had an impressive outing. Toribio fanned eight over six innings, allowing just two hits and walking none. Kyle Mottice went 2-4 with a double and Jusin Harrer had a three-run triple. Ji-Hwan Bae was 0-2 and Jack Herman 0-4.

— The DSL Pirates1 (16-19) got a strong start from Yoelvis Reyes (18) in a 2-1 win over the Red Sox2. Reyes threw five shutout innings, giving up five hits, walking none and fanning seven. Yoyner Fajardo (19) and Ronaldo Paulino (19) each went 2-4. Juan Pie (17) was 1-5 with three strikeouts.

— The DSL Pirates2 (14-10) got crushed by the Mariners, 12-3. Three Pirates’ pitchers walked eight batters, but were also victimized by five errors that led to seven unearned runs. Angel Basabe (17) was 1-4 with a walk. Bryan Mateo (19) was 2-4 with two RBIs.