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All Hands on Deck: Down to the last Ngoepe

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar


With the activation of Oneil Cruz, who had been promoted from Bradenton, the Pirates released long-time fan legend, shortstop Gift Ngoepe. The defensive wizard was in his second stint in the Pirates organization, assigned to Altoona after being released from the Phillies Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, but in 14 games went only 3-for-30 with 14 strikeouts. His younger brother Victor Ngoepe started his season at West Virginia and has since been promoted to Greensboro.

Altoona activated 1B Jerrick Suiter (237/286/310) from the Injured List, where he’d been since July 19 with a right groin strain. They then placed RF Bralin Jackson (231/274/285) on the 7-day injured list. LHP Elvis Escobar was sent on rehab to West Virginia. He’d pitched two games with the GCL Pirates.

Altoona added RHP Cody Ponce, acquired from the Brewers in the Jordan Lyles trade.

Bradenton activated LF Daniel Amaral (284/348/349). He’d been out since June 28.




Indianapolis (54-53) walks off 3-2 over visiting Columbus

RF Will Craig (249/322/455) slammed the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth for his 20th home run, breaking a 2-2 tie.

James Marvel (12-5, 2.88), coming off consecutive six-inning, one-hit appearances, retired the first six batters in the game before Max Moroff (256/374/411) led off the third with a walk. Columbus got their first hit leading off the fourth, but it was erased on a double play. Moroff then single with one out in the fifth, before Eric Haase’s 25th homer of the year, for the only Columbus runs.

Marvel finished with those two runs in six innings on three hits and one walk while striking out six. In his last three starts he’s allowed just those two runs and only five hits in 18 innings.

Right-hander Parker Markel (1.98 ERA, 64 K’s in 36 13 IP), who was claimed on waivers, made his first appearance, striking out two of three batters. Dovydas Neverauskas (3.62 ERA, 50 K’s in 37 13 IP) got the victory with two scoreless innings, fanning four.

CF Jason Martin (250/292/420) was 2-for-3 and 2B Kevin Kramer (259/337/413) hit his eighth home run of the year and third in six games, a solo shot in the fourth.


Altoona (54-52) loses 4-3 in 7th inning walk-off at Trenton (56-50)

The Curve lost in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of singles and a double to right off starter Domingo Robles (7-10, 3.86) to give Trenton the come from behind win.

Robles allowed six hits over the first six innings and nine overall with no walks and five strikeouts.

SS Oneil Cruz (325/366/536) had two doubles in his first Double-A game and CF Jared Oliva (281/362/422) had a single and double, driving in two.

Altoona (54-53) wins 6-0 at Trenton (57-50) in completion of May 30 suspended game

In game two, starter James Marvel threw two scoreless innings back on May 30 before play was halted. After play was resumed two months later, Yeudy Garcia (5.16 ERA in 52 13 IP) threw another four scoreless innings on four hits and a walk, striking out two.

2B Mitchell Tolman (264/349/361) was 4-for-4 while LF Bralin Jackson (231/274/285), who earlier in the day was placed in the Injured List, was 2-for-2.


Bradenton (58-48) blanked 5-0 by visiting Charlotte (64-42)

Starter Osvaldo Bido (11-6, 3.49) was adequate in his High-A debut, allowing two earned runs out of four in seven innings on six hits and three walks, while fanning four.

DH Deon Stafford (243/338/386) went 2-for-4.


Greensboro was not scheduled.

Short Season A

West Virginia (22-20) falls 6-2 to visiting Staten Island (22-21)

Starter Braxtan Ashcraft (6.18 ERA in 39 13 IP) allowed one run through the first four innings but then was roughed up for three in the fifth on a single, walk error and double. In six innings he was touched for five hits and three walks, fanning five.

The Black Bears struck out twelve times, with only 1B Nick Patten (186/286/309) getting two hits.

Advanced Rookie

Bristol (18-21) loses 8-7 to visiting Greeneville (17-22)

Starter Dante Mendoza (7.30 ERA in 24 23 IP) was tagged with three home runs, giving up five run in four innings on four hits and a walk. He struck out five.

LF Jake Snider, RF Fernando Villegas (267/348/350) and CF Jean Eusebio (214/309/271) had two hits apiece.


GCL Pirates (11-17) trounced 10-4 by visiting Braves (11-15)

Arlinthon de Dios (3.62 ERA in 27 13 IP) had a rough start, allowing four runs in five innings on seven hits, including a solo homer, with no walks and four strikeouts, but the bullpen was worse as both Starlyn Reynoso (9.69 ERA in 13 IP) and Bryan Torres (10.29 ERA in 14 IP)were tagged with three runs.

Dominican Rookie

Pirates-1 (23-27) downed 6-1 by visiting Rangers-1 (40-10)

Starter Valentin Linarez (2.11 ERA in 42 23 IP) hurled four scoreless innings on two hits and a walk but the bullpen couldn’t hold it together, as Wilkin Valdez (5.59 ERA in 19 13 IP) gave up three runs in two innings on three hits and three walks.

Pirate-2 (42-8) roll 10-4 over Mariners (20-29)

Again the Pirates stormed from behind, scoring two in the seventh and six in the eighth after being down 4-2.

Starter Sergio Umana (2.76 ERA in 49 IP) had his streak of six straight quality starts snapped as he gave up four runs in four and a third innings on five hits and three walks but the bullpen slammed the door, allowing just two hits and two walks the rest of the way.

CF Randy Romero (417/457/576) continued his torrid hitting, as he collected two singles, a double, a walk and was hit by a pitch in five trips to the plate, along with stealing three bases. He is leading the league in batting average, is third in steals and fifth in OPS, one spot behind teammate Mojica.

DH Alex Mojica (354/482/585) was 1-for-3 with two walks and RF Rodolfo Nolasco (272/339/449) drove in three runs.

Disabled List

Triple-A Indianapolis

2019-07-12 LHP Blake Weiman

2019-07-11 OF Eric Wood, left foot contusion

2019-04-28 RHP J.T. Brubaker, right forearm strain

2019-04-04 RHP Tom Koehler

Double-A Altoona

2019-07-29 OF Bralin Jackson

2019-06-12 LHP Elvis Escobar, left shoulder strain (rehabbing with West Virginia)

2019-04-26 2B Stephen Alemais, right shoulder strain

2019-04-04 RHP Gage Hinsz, right forearm strain

High-A Bradenton

2019-07-23 RHP Nick Mears

2019-07-13 2B Raul Siri

2019-07-07 LHP Braeden Ogle

2019-07-06 RHP Logan Stoelke

2019-06-30 2B Chase Lambert, right big toe sprain.

2019-05-17 LHP Oddy Nunez, back strain

2019-05-04 RHP Drew Fischer, right elbow strain

Low-A Greensboro

2019-07-13 RHP Wilkin Ramos

2019-07-04 SS Mariano Dotel

2019-06-28 LHP Zach Spears (60 day)

2019-04-04 RHP Travis McGregor (60 day), recovering from Sept 2018 Tommy John surgery

2019-04-04 RF Conner Uselton

2019-04-04 RHP Wander Romero

Advanced Rookie

2019-06-17 RHP Lizardy Dicent (rehabbing with the GCL Pirates)

2019-06-17 LHP Roger Santana


2019-06-24 RHP Andres Arrieta (60 day)

Dominican Rookie

2019-07-25 LF Stilwatt Valerio (60 day)