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All Hands on Deck: Domingo Robles with seven scoreless innings for Altoona

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Domingo Robles
Rob Lynn/The Altoona Mirror

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Greensboro activated 2B Kyle Mottice (378/503/448), who’d been out since July 27 with a lower back strain. To make room, SS Victor Ngoepe was demoted to West Virginia.

25 year old left-hander Cam Vieaux (6-5, 4.07) was demoted from Indianapolis back to Altoona, where he started the year with a 2.86 ERA in nine starts, but in thirteen starts at Triple-A he’d compiled a 5.05 ERA, surrendering fifteen home runs. Vieaux is in his fourth season with the Pirates after being drafted in the 6th Round in 2016 out of Michigan State, and had pitched at two levels in each of the last three years.

The news as worse for 25 year old Mexican right-hander Eduardo Vera (5-9, 6.75), who was released after recording a 6.75 ERA in 22 starts with Indianapolis, having allowed five or more earned runs in ten of those starts, including his last four before a two run in four inning performance on Thursday. Signed in 2012, this was Vera’s eighth season in the Pirates’ organization.

These moves drop two pitchers from the Triple-A rotation and the impending promotion of Mitch Keller will be the third. Dario Agrazal and Yefrey Ramirez were just optioned, so if Ramirez is giving a starting role they are still a man short...before deciding what to do with Brandon Waddell.

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Games

Triple-A

Indianapolis (57-59) falls 9-5 at Durham (66-51)

Brandon Waddell’s (6.38 ERA in 79 IP) struggles in Triple-A continued as he was pulled after surrendering seven runs in the second with recording an out, with ten of twelve batters reaching on six hits and four walks, including a three-run homer by Kean Wong (325/392/489)

After finally reaching Triple-A in 2018 in his sixth season with the Pirates and after parts of three years with Double-A Altoona, last year Waddell compiled a 4.63 ERA in fifteen starts and four relief appearances with Indianapolis. Starting this year in the Indians’ bullpen, Waddell struggled to a 8.70 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 30 innings, which rated a demotion to Altoona - but there he was returned to the rotation and suddenly dominated, with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts with no home runs, 9 walks and 42 strikeouts in 36 13 strikeouts. Since earning a return to Triple-A two weeks ago, Waddell had made three starts, allowing five, six and seven runs.

Tyler Lyons (3.35 ERA, 55 K’s in 45 23 IP) and Yacksel Rios (6.81 ERA in 37 IP) followed with five shutout innings between them, allowing just two hits and a walk, but Yefry Ramirez (4.41 ERA, 65 K’s in 51 IP) was not so fortunate, coughing up two runs in two innings on three hits and three walks.

3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (251/331/407) slammed a two-run homer in the fourth, his eighth of the year, and DH Trayvon Robinson (311/394/487) and 1B Hunter Owen (287/366/551) each had solo shots in the ninth, for Owen his 19th.

Double-A

Altoona (59-58) squeezes out 1-0 victory over visiting Reading (69-48)

21 year old left-hander Domingo Robles (7-10, 3.78) spun seven strong innings, not allowing a run as he scattered seven hits and a walk while fanning three. Robles, who had a 2.61 ERA in ten starts for Indianapolis, lowered his mark in Altoona to 4.74 in fourteen starts.

The Curve scored their lone run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when 2B Mitchell Tolman (255/339/346) beat out an infield hit to shortstop then raced home on 3B Darnell Sweeney’s (234/287/393) double to deep center field.

High-A

Bradenton (63-52) a 7-5 loser to visiting Dunedin (66-48)

22 year old right-hander Brad Case (10-5, 3.25), a 17th Round pick in 2018, served up three home run balls in five innings, accounting for all four runs against him. He allowed a total of seven hits along with two walks and struck out seven. After a 2.45 ERA in eleven starts with Greensboro, Case now has a 4.18 mark in ten starts with Bradenton.

Case left with a 5-4 lead, but reliever Braeden Ogle was hit with three runs in the sixth on two hits and a walk.

2B Rodolfo Castro (227/282/464) slugged a three-run homer in the fifth, his 19th of the year. The Marauders also had solo shots from LF Lucas Tancas (274/330/403), his seventh and RF Daniel Amaral (292/364/374), his first.

Low-A

Greensboro (69-46) edges visiting Asheville (55-62) by 2-1 score

22 year old right-hander Will Kobos (2-4, 4.59) had his second straight start without allowing an earned run, giving up one unearned run on three hits and two walks in five innings while striking out three.

The Grasshoppers scored in the first when SS Ji-hwan Bae (302/386/384) singled, stole second and came around on a single cf CF Fabricio Macias (283/334/401), then another in third when RF Jack Herman (258/332/489) singled with one out, advanced on a wild pitch and ground out, and was driven home by another Macias single.

2B Kyle Mottice (378/503/448) returned to action and was hit by a pitch, his 17th of the year, in four trips to the plate.

Short Season A

West Virginia (29-23) walks off with 6-5 win over visiting Williamsport (20-34)

Down 5-0, The Black Bears scored three times in the seventh and another three times in the ninth to walk off with a win.

1B Nick Patten (198/302/342), who’d doubled in the seventh, opened the ninth with his third home run of the year, then after CF Brett Kinneman (163/280/288) walked, 2B Dean Lockery (233/328/310), who had an RBI triple in the seventh, greeted reliever Rafael Carvajal with a double to left that scored Kinneman and tied the game. A ground ball sent pinch-runner Cory Wood to third with one out, which prompted Williamsport to issue two intentional walks to load the bases and setup a a double play. RF Matt Gorski (231/293/388) did indeed roll a grounder to short, but he beat out the relay to first, allowing Wood to score the winning run.

Michael Burrows (3.94 ERA in 32 IP) went the first four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Trey McGough (3.38 ERA, 28 K’s in 21 IP) followed with two scoreless innings, but the rehabbing veteran Tom Koehler allowed a pair of runs in the seventh on two hits and a walk. Jacob Webb (1.69 ERA in 16 IP) earned the victory, striking out three over the final two innings.

3B Jared Triolo (258/335/430) had a single and double along with a pair of walks and a stolen base.

Advanced Rookie

Bristol (23-26) comes up short in 8-6 loss to visiting Kingsport (24-26)

Down 8-3 after Kingsport’s six-run eighth inning, the Pirates scored a run in the eighth then two more in the bottom of the ninth on RF Daniel Rivero’s (231/304/250) single but came up a pair of runs short when DH Jesus Valdez (301/394/406) struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.

20 year old right-hander Tahnaj Thomas (3.67 ERA, 46 K’s in 34 13 IP) failed to dominate, but had a perfectly cromulent start as he allowed two runs in five innings on four hits and two walks, even as he only struck out four.

Thomas left with a 3-2 lead but reliever Alex Roth (3.86 ERA in 14 IP) saw it slip away when he surrendered five of the six runs in the eighth on four hits and a walk in just two thirds of an inning.

Rivero, Valdez and 2B Josh Bissonette (278/352/365) had two hits each while LF Jake Snider (313/476/375 in 9 games) had a single and four walks.

Rookie

GCL Pirates (12-25) steamrolled 20-2 by Orioles (23-13)

The Orioles scored in six of the first seven innings, five of those for multiple runs, as each of the first four pitchers for the Pirates surrendered three or more runs and finished the game with a season ERA of 7.80 or worse.

The Pirates are last in the Gulf Coast League with 3.3 runs scored per game on a 226/296/326 batting line and a league worst two home runs, while the pitching staff owns a league worst 5.20 ERA and 24 home runs allowed, including the four long balls and twelve walks issued in this game.

Dominican Rookie

Pirates-1 (27-32) drop 11-10 decision in 10 innings to Rays-2 (37-20)

The Pirates scored three times in the bottom of the eight and twice more in the ninth to knot the score at 8-8 and send the game to extras, but their two runs scored in the bottom of the tenth couldn’t overcome the three scored by the Rays in the top of the inning.

In that deciding tenth, Pirates’ reliever Yarlin Yes, despite striking out three of the six batters he faced, gave up three runs on two hits and five wild pitches.

Starter Braham Rosario fanned seven in four innings, but surrendered five runs, one unearned, on five hits and two walks.

CF Fleury Nova (343/398/394) and 2B Eliazer Montero (270/362/385) had three hits apiece while DH Juan Jerez (281/333/469)) was 2-for-5.

Pirates-2 (48-11) victorious 4-1 over Mariners (26-33)

Starter Carlos Jimenez (2.53 ERA, 40 K’s in 32 IP) was lifted after two easy innings, allowing Francisco Hodge (1.91 ERA in 42 13 IP) to pick up his sixth victory without a loss when he tossed three scoreless innings of relief, fanning three while allowing three hits and two walks.

The Pirates only had four hits, two by DH Alex Mojica (372/487/609), including a solo homer in the sixth, his eighth of the year and pushing him to the second best OPS in the league. CF Randy Romero (393/434/530), however, was hitless for the second straight game which saw him to slide to second in the race for the top batting average.

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Disabled List

Triple-A Indianapolis

2019-08-04 LHP Blake Weiman, left shoulder tendonitis.

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

2019-04-04 RHP Tom Koehler (rehabbing with the GCL Pirates)

Double-A Altoona

2019-08-01 RHP Austin Coley, sprained left ankle

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

2019-07-04 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 LHP Roger Santana

Rookie

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

Dominican Rookie

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