Elevys Gonzalez and Miles Durham each had a double and a HR in four ABs as Altoona defeated Bowie, 4-2, to complete a three-game sweep on the road. The Curve also got six and a third effective innings from Phil Irwin and a perfect 2.2 IP from Jhonathan Ramos.
Gonzalez opened the scoring in the third inning with his second HR of the year, a shot that cleared the outer wall in right. Bowie tied the game in the bottom half of the inning and it stayed that way until the 7th, when Durham and Gonzalez both doubled. Bowie again tied the game in the bottom half, but Altoona went ahead in the 8th on a line drive sac fly by Matt Curry. Durham closed out the scoring with his first HR in the 9th.
Irwin Solid, Ramos Outstanding
Irwin was making his second start with Altoona and third overall since opening the season late due a forearm injury. He didn’t show dominant stuff, as his fastball ranged from 86-91, mostly in the upper 80s. Irwin got by instead on location, which was good enough to produce lots of ground outs, including three double plays. He relied almost entirely on the fastball for the first four innings, then mixed in a lot of changeups and curves over the rest of his outing. Irwin’s final line was 6.1 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, no walks, 3 Ks.
Ramos came into the game with runners at the corners and two out in the 7th. He got out of trouble with a strikeout and a liner back to the box. He pitched two additional innings without allowing a baserunner. He fanned two. Ramos’ fastball registered anywhere from 83-89, but sat at 85-86. He relied heavily on a changeup that came in as slowly as 70 mph, and mixed in a few curves.
Other Player Notes
— The top four hitters in the Altoona order–Robbie Grossman, Brock Holt, Tony Sanchez and Matt Curry–went 0-15 with one walk.
— Tony Sanchez cut down the one runner who tried to steal against him with a perfect throw.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.
“The top four hitters in the Altoona order–Robbie Grossman, Brock Holt, Tony Sanchez and Matt Curry–went 0-15 with one walk.”