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Cannonballs coming: Nick Burdi makes first Pirates appearance

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates-Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

One news item: The Pirates (who never promote their prospects) promoted (sub. req’d) Luis Escobar to Altoona. Escobar’s been very erratic at Bradenton, but the move probably had less to do with his performance than the fact that he’s on the 40-man roster and only has two option years remaining after this year.

— Indianapolis (50-42) lost to Gwinnett, 4-3. The Indians got runners to second and third in the top of the ninth, but Ryan Lavarnway fanned to end the game. Tyler Eppler got hit around some, allowing four runs on ten hits, but he did last seven innings. He walked none and struck out three. Adam Frazier was 2-3 with a double and a walk, Jose Osuna 2-5, and Kevin Kramer 3-4.

Kevin Newman: 0-4
Jason Martin: 1-4
Jesus Liranzo: IP, H, K

— Altoona (48-42) has had considerable bullpen problems this year and they continued in this game as Sean Keselica blew a 2-1 ninth inning lead, leaving the Curve with a 5-2 loss to Bowie. Taylor Hearn started and allowed just one run over six innings. He gave up five hits and two walks, and struck out two. Since the beginning of May, Hearn has a 2.51 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, with 76 strikeouts in 71.2 IP. He set a career season high of 92 IP in this game and should go over 100 before July ends, if nothing untoward happens. The Curve had only two hits in the game, a single by Christian Kelley and a double by Stephen Alemais, who was 1-1 with two walks.

Cole Tucker: 0-1, 2 BB
Ke’Bryan Hayes: 0-2, BB
Bryan Reynolds: 0-4
Will Craig: 0-3

— Nick Burdi (pictured) made his first appearance since being selected by the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft, striking out the side in his only inning. Burdi is, of course, recovering from Tommy John surgery. Bradenton (46-44) lost the game to Jupiter, 9-2, after Oddy Nunez got hammered for six runs over the next five innings. Mitchell Tolman went 3-3 with a double and a walk, and Adrian Valerio went 2-5 with a double.

— West Virginia (49-41) wasted a strong start from Max Kranick in a 4-1 loss to Delmarva. Kranick fanned a career-high nine over five and a third innings. He gave up a run on four hits and a walk. Like several teams in the system, the Power are struggling on offense. They had only three hits in this game and fanned 13 times. Deon Stafford was 1-4 with a double and Oneil Cruz also was 1-4.

Lolo Sanchez: 0-2, BB
Cal Mitchell: 0-4, 3 K
Rodolfo Castro: 0-4

— Morgantown (11-19) lost to Staten Island, 6-3. Travis Swaggerty went 2-3 with a double, but the Black Bears otherwise continued to show very little on offense. The rest of the team combined to go 3-for-26 with nine strikeouts. Zack Kone fanned all three times up and is now 1-for-10 with six Ks. Connor Kaiser was 0-3 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .185 with 20 whiffs in 54 ABs. Brett Kinneman went 1-3 with a double and a walk, and Mike Gretler went 1-4. Fourth round draft pick Aaron Shortridge had his best pro start, allowing one run on three hits and no walks over five innings, while fanning nine. Conner Loeprich, who’d been pitching very well so far, took the loss by allowing five runs while recording only one out.

— Mason Martin scored four times and Gabriel Brito drove in four runs as Bristol (12-14) beat Greeneville, 10-3. Martin finished 2-2 with three walks and Brito went 2-3. Sherten Apostel was 2-4 with a walk and his second home run and Dean Lockery hit his first pro HR. Conner Uselton was 3-5 and Jonah Davis 1-4 with a double and a walk. Steven Jennings gave up three runs on six hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out one.

— The GCL Pirates (8-13) got blanked by the Tigers West, 4-0, in a game shortened by rain to seven innings. The Pirates had only two hits, one by Chris Bostick, who played center and went 1-2 with a walk in his first rehab appearance. Rafelin Lorenzo, who is also on rehab, had the other hit. Ji-Hwan Bae went 0-3 and Dylan Busby, yet another rehabber, went 0-3 with two strikeouts. He’s 2-for-18 with nine strikeouts during his rehab. Starter Santiago Florez allowed three runs over three innings.

— The DSL Pirates1 (18-20) shut out the Rangers1 in the first game of their doubleheader, 4-0. Jesus Valles (20) gave up five hits over six innings, walking one and striking out two. Emilson Rosado (17) went 3-3 with a double. Norkis Marcos (17) and Daniel Rivero (17) each went 1-4, and Juan Pie (17) was 0-2. Yoyner Fajardo (19) and Carlos Arroyo (17) were each 1-3.

The Pirates1 lost, 5-0, in the second game, which lasted only four and a half innings due to rain. Starter Enrique Santana (20) lasted only two innings, giving up three runs, two earned. The Pirates had only three hits. Rosado was 1-2 and Pie 0-1 with a walk.

— The DSL Pirates2 (14-21) had their game with the Royals2 suspended due to rain with the score 1-1 after six innings. Estalin Ortiz (19) gave up the one run in five innings, allowing two hits and four walks, and striking out five. The Pirates2 had only three hits. Angel Basabe (17) was 0-3.