The Pirates’ minor league batters practiced strikeouts tonight as the system lost three of four.
Indianapolis (19-16) beat visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (18-15) 4-2 behind a strong effort by starting pitcher Mitch Keller, who walked two and K’d eight in six innings of work. Keller threw 61 of 93 pitches for strikes (65%), lowering his season ERA to 3.83 in eight starts. He has 50 strikeouts in 40 innings.
Lonnie Chisenhall was 0-for-3 with two K’s as he started another rehab. Jason Martin (270/372/595), Jacob Stallings (321/432/679) and Kevin Kramer (267/359/433) each had two hits and Ke’Bryan Hayes (260/347/397) chipped in a double and two RBI.
Game one was tied up 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Binghamton cleanup hitter Patrick Mazeika (250/328/385) blasted a walk-off grand slam, his second homer of the season, off reliever Blake Weiman (4.00 in 9 IP) who allowed two hits and two walks in the inning.
Curve batters collected only four hits and struck out 11 times without drawing a walk. Arden Pabst (183/213/254) went down on strikes all three times up.
Altoona trailed only 1-0 until the sixth inning in the second game, when Binghamton again exploded, scoring six, three on the eighth place hitter Dario Pizzano’s homer off Tate Scioneaux (12.75 in 12 IP). Starter Pedro Vazquez (3.52 ERA) had only allowed the one run through five innings but was tagged for six overall.
The bats weren’t any better In game two, getting blanked on three hits and one walk while whiffing only eight times in seven innings. Logan Hill (264/345/413) had two of the three hits.
Bradenton (21-16) struck out 14 more times in an 8-1 loss to visiting Fort Myers (24-13). The anemic hitting was contagious, as the Marauders managed just four hits and four walks while going down on strikes 14 times.
Right-handed starter Cody Bolton (5-1, 191), just named pitcher of the week, had his first rough start, allowing five runs on seven hits in only 2 2⁄3 innings. He’d allowed only three earned runs over his first six starts.
Aussie shortstop Robbie Glendinning (348/384/630) had two of the hits, On the down side, catcher Den Stafford (189/302/216) K’d three times in three AB’s, along with a walk, and Cal Mitchell (290/331/478) had another hitless night, going 0-for-4.
A five run sixth was all visiting Delmarva (27-7) needed to down Greensboro (23-12) by a 5-2 score, as the Grasshoppers chipped in 13 more whiffs to the night’s K parade, three by first baseman Mason Martin (238/345/500).
20 year old right-hander Steven Jennings (2-5, 5.97), a 2nd round pick in 2017, led 2-0 into the sixth, throwing only 56 pitches, but threw another 25 that inning, allowing five runs on two walks, two singles and a homer, leaving before he could get the third out.
Pat Dorrian (235/301/461) had two hits.