The Greensboro Grasshoppers, owners of a 44-25 first half record, had three of their players in the starting lineup for the South Atlantic League North Division All-Star game on Tuesday in the place they played last year, Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia - but only two of those three returned to Greensboro, as outfielder Lolo Sanchez and second baseman Rodolfo Castro were promoted to High-A Bradenton after the game.
2B Kyle Mottice was promoted back to Greensboro from West Virginia to take Castro’s spot.
Indianapolis placed utility man Jake Elmore on the 7-day injured list and his spot on the roster was filled by promoting 3B Hunter Owen from Altoona.
LF Chris Sharpe was promoted from Bradenton to Altoona.
Scooter Hightower, who opened the season with Altoona and posted a 6.02 ERA in nine starts and one relief appearance, was assigned to Bradenton from West Virginia
Dario Agrazal (5-4, 3.87), in his start since his major league debut for the Pirates, served up a two-run homer to Socrates Brito in the first inning, his sixth of the year, but then slammed the door, keeping the Bisons off the board until the fifth, when the flood gates opened.
With the Indians holding a 3-2 lead, Buffalo’s Bo Bichette, who’d opened the first with a double ahead of Brito’s long ball, slammed a three-run shot, his third, to right-center. Agrazal got the next two batters to ground out, but after a double and a walk his night was done.
Luis Escobar (1-1, 2.18) had been pitching well of late, but he didn’t have it this night, surrendering a single, triple and a pair of walks before Bichette came up again to single in two more, capping off an eight run inning in which seven straight batters reached with two outs. But it wasn’t the worst bullpen performance of the night...
J.B. Shuck worked a perfect eighth, striking out one, but the Indians come back, which scored three in the eight and two more in the ninth, fell short.
SS Cole Tucker (305/371/558) had a two-run homer in the second and a solo short in the ninth, giving him five in the minors this year. LF Logan Hill (272/350/448) went back-to-back with Tucker in the ninth with his sixth homer.
Altoona was not scheduled.
Cody Bolton (6-3, 1.61), a day after his 21st birthday and in his second game since returning from the injured list with a sore hamstring, tossed four perfect innings, fanning five of the twelve batters he faced before reaching his pitch count.
Joe Jacques followed with another four scoreless innings, giving up three hits, but with no walks and five whiffs.
C Raul Hernandez had a two-run double in the second and Lucas Tancas added an RBI double in the fourth, later scoring on a wild pitch, to account for all of the Marauders’ runs.
Despite losing two of their starting lineup promotion, Greensboro still plated eleven runs, but that wasn’t enough to survive their bullpen.
21 year old right-hander Luis Nova (4.74 ERA in 19 IP) had a fine start, retiring the first nine batters he faced. Former Pirates’ farm hand Edison Lantigua walked to open the fourth but was erased on a double play, However, the next two batters got a ground single to left and a home run, leaving Delmarva down 8-2. Nova then retired the next seven batters, giving him just two hits and a walk allowed in six innings, while fanning seven. He left with an 11-2 lead.
Delmarva then scored four in the seventh, four more in the eighth to pull within a run at 11-10, then another in the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Then with one out in the top of the tenth Braeden Ogle allowed a ground single to right to drive in the fake runner, giving Delmarva their only lead. In the bottom of the inning Greensboro left their fake runner on second with three straight fly balls to right field to end the game.
The Grasshopper collected thirteen hits and five walks. Jack Herman (263/317/658) hit a solo homer, his fourth. CF Fabricio Macias (259/314/409) had three hits and 2B Kyle Mottice (392/525/456) had two singles and two walks.
Short Season A
Following a familiar script on the night, 19 year old right-hander Braxton Ashcraft, last year’s 2nd round pick, retired the first twelve batters he faced until his perfect game was technically broken up when the first batter of the fifth struck out but reached second on catcher Ryan Haug’s throwing error. The next batter doubled to end the no-hitter and the shutout. After a ground out, a walk and a homer gave Mahoning Valley another three runs and the lead.
Ashcraft threw 46 of 72 pitches for strikes, fanning five of the eighteen batters he faced with just one walk.
3B Jared Triolo and RF Blake Sabol each had two hits, both playing their second games after being drafted two weeks ago.
Bristol batters managed only three hits on the night, and just eleven in the three game series, as the team is batting 121/208/165.
2B Francisco Acuna accounted for both runs with a two-run double in the seventh.
Pirates-1 got back in the win column, banging out fifteen hits while drawing six walks. 16 year old SS Luis Tejada (302/362/415) had three hits, as did 18 year old DH Yeison Ceballo, who also drove in three.
The unstoppable Pirates-2 squad had fourteen hits and four walks, scoring multiple runs in every inning from the fifth through the eighth.
17 year old SS Dariel Lopez (400/404/540) had a single and a double and drove in three. C Giovanny Planchart and 3B Eudys Carrasco had three hits apiece.
2019-06-19 2B Jake Elmore
2019-06-12 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes, fractured left index finger
2019-06-12 Util Pablo Reyes, ankle
2019-06-04 OF Trayvon Robinson
2019-04-28 RHP J.T. Brubaker, right forearm strain (rehabbing at Bristol)
2019-04-21 RHP Brandon Maurer, right knee inflammation (rehabbing at West
2019-05-16 RHP Tate Scioneaux, left ankle sprain
2019-04-26 2B Steven Alemais, right shoulder strain
2019-04-04 RHP Gage Hinsz, right forearm strain
2019-05-22 LHP Ike Schlabach
2019-05-17 LHP Oddy Nunez, back strain
2019-05-04 RHP Drew Fischer, right elbow strain
2019-04-28 SS Oneil Cruz, right foot fracture
2019-05-10 SS Zach Kone, right shoulder strain (rehabbing at West Virginia)
2019-04-04 RHP Travis McGregor, recovering from Sept 2018 Tommy John surgery