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Cannonballs Coming: Rodolfo Castro blasts two more

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Some personnel notes: As recounted at Pirates Prospects, the Pirates recent roster moves have had a cascading effect in the minors involving some interesting relievers. Lefty Sean Keselica moved up to Indianapolis, Blake Cederlind to Altoona, Nick Mears and Shea Murray to Bradenton, and Yerry De Los Santos and John O’Reilly to Greensboro. The most interesting ones are Cederlind and Mears, both of whom have outstanding stuff (and both of whom pitched today). De Los Santos and O’Reilly were both showing a jump in velocity in extended spring training. De Los Santos is a Dominican signee who missed a couple years due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll be in full season ball despite throwing just 26 innings in the last three years and just nine innings above the Dominican Summer League. O’Reilly was a non-drafted free agent signee last year.

— Dario Agrazal was outstanding again in his second AAA start, but the bullpen blew up the game and Indianapolis (15-13) lost to Louisville, 6-3. Agrazal gave up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts, in seven innings. He even had a hit in three times up. Unfortunately, Brandon Waddell got torched for five runs in the eighth while recording only two outs. Will Craig, who went 1-4, had given Indy a 2-0 first-inning lead with his ninth home run. Kevin Kramer went 3-4 and is 13-for-30 (.433) in his last nine games. Jose Osuna went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and a pair of walks.

Jason Martin: 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K
Ke’Bryan Hayes: 0-5
Jesus Liranzo: 1.1 IP, H, 2 BB, K

— Altoona (15-13) got another big day from catcher Jason Delay and hammered Richmond, 8-3. Delay went 4-4 with a triple and is suddenly batting .361 with an OPS of 1.008 (OK, it’s in 36 ABs). He’s 9-for-13 in his last four games. Cam Vieaux gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in five innings, while fanning six. Jake Brentz and Blake Cederlind each threw two scoreless innings. Brentz gave up a hit and struck out three. Cederlind, making his AA debut, gave up a hit and a walk, and struck out two. Bralin Jackson went 3-5 with a double.

Jared Oliva: 0-4, BB
Hunter Owen: 0-4, BB

— Dylan Busby tied the game with a two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth and Bradenton (18-10) went on to beat Lakeland in the tenth, 5-4. Busby was 1-5 and the longball was his league-leading ninth. Deon Stafford, who went 2-5, won the game with a walkoff single. Starter Oddy Nunez lasted only three innings, allowing three runs. Nick Mears, just promoted from Greensboro, got the win with two scoreless innings. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out three and throwing 15 of 16 pitches for strikes.

Travis Swaggerty: 1-4, BB, 3 K
Cal Mitchell: 1-5, 2B (the double was a misjudged fly ball)

— Greensboro (18-10) got two bombs, including a grand slam, from a blistering hot Rodolfo Castro (pictured) and beat West Virginia, 6-3. Castro also had a double and finished 3-4. He’s second in the South Atlantic League in longballs and is batting 299/349/753. In his last 11 games, he’s 16-for-40 with all nine of his home runs. Starter Alex Manasa gave up three runs over five and a third innings on five hits and two walks. He struck out three. Pat Dorrian was 2-4 with a pair of doubles. Greensboro’s #3 and 4 hitters, Mason Martin and Brett Kinneman, had a tough night, combining to go 0-for-8 with seven whiffs.

Jonah Davis: 0-5
Lolo Sanchez: 0-2, BB, HBP, 2 SB
Grant Koch: 1-4, 2B
Samuel Reyes: 2 IP, H, BB, 4 K, Sv