Indianapolis will get a 3:07pm start up in the frozen north. Meanwhile, Luis Ortiz and Po-Yu Chen will each make start number two, for Altoona and Bradenton, respectively.
TRIPLE-A: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS
Game Time: 3:07pm
Starting Pitcher: Jerad Eickhoff
- Final Line: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
- Cal Mitchell 3-5, 2B, HR (3)
- Mason Martin 4-5, 2B, HR (2)
- Bligh Madris 3-5
Indianapolis (6-4) lost a wild one to St. Paul, 16-13, on a cold and windy day. The Indians scored seven in the second to take an 8-0 lead, but that wasn’t nearly enough. Indy used five different pitchers and they each allowed at least two runs, but given the conditions they can probably be excused. Cal Mitchell and Mason Martin continued to mash. Mitchell had a single, double, his third home run and four RBIs. Martin had two singles, a double and his second homer. Mitchell now sports an OPS of 1.124, Martin 1.303. Bligh Madris had three hits, Hunter Owen two, including a double, and Josh Bissonette another two. Rodolfo Castro had a pinch-hit single. Castro, Oneil Cruz and Ji-Hwan Bae got a rest, or at least a partial one.
DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE
Game Time: 6:05pm
Starting Pitcher: Luis Ortiz
- Final Line: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
- Jack Suwinski 1-2, 2B, 2 BB
- Connor Scott 2-3, HR (1), BB, SB
- Jared Triolo 2-4
Altoona (3-5) lost to Richmond, 8-4, in a game that featured a bench-clearing incident. The fault for that lay with the dimwitted umpiring crew. In the top of the eighth, Connor Scott, who’s been destroying Richmond pitching all week, came up having already gone 2-for-3 with his first home run of the year. The first pitch from Chris Wright was two feet behind Scott, then the second hit him in the back. Incredibly, the umpires took no action, which left the Curve no choice. Oliver Garcia threw a fastball behind (but didn’t hit) the first Richmond batter and the event was on. Lots of ejections followed from the suddenly awakened umpires.
In the game, the Curve took an early 4-0 lead but couldn’t make it stand up. Apart from Scott, who’s now batting .550 with an OPS of 1.540, Jack Suwinski reached three times with a double and two walks, and Jared Triolo had two hits, including a double. Nick Gonzales also had a double. Luis Ortiz had a good start, allowing a run over four innings and fanning six. Noe Toribio gave up a solo home run, but fanned four over two innings. Things came apart with Zach Matson, who faced four batters and had one reach on a hit, two on walks and one on his own error. That led to four runs, three of them scoring after Garcia came on. Bear Bellomy, who’s really struggling at this level, allowed two more in the eighth.
HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
Game Time: 6:00pm
Starting Pitcher: Santiago Florez
- Final Line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- Sammy Siani 2-5, HR (2), BB, 4 RBI
- Endy Rodriguez 2-6
- Abrahan Gutierrez 3-6, 2B
- Henry Davis 2-5, 3B, BB, SB
- Hudson Head 3-5, BB
- Maikol Escotto 2-5, HR (3), SB
- Jackson Glenn 4-4, 2B, BB
- Nick Garcia 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
- Oliver Mateo 1 IP, 1 K
Greensboro (3-5) pounded out 21 hits in a 10-5 drubbing of Winston-Salem. The Hoppers scored in every inning from the second through the seventh, and got at least two hits from everybody in the lineup except Jack Herman, who had one. Several players continued their strong hitting. Jackson Glenn went 4-for-4 with a double and a walk. He’s now batting .455. Sammy Siani had a single, a walk and his second home run of the year, a three-run bomb. He drove in four total and now has a 1.091 OPS. Endy Rodriguez went 2-for-6, keeping his average at .333. Abrahan Gutierrez and Hudson Head each had three hits. Henry Davis had a single and a triple and Maikol Escotto launched his third home run. Starter Santiago Florez continued to struggle at this level, giving up eight hits over three and two-thirds innings. Nick Garcia had another strong outing, giving up a run in four and a third innings. Oliver Mateo rebounded from a control meltdown to throw a 1-2-3 inning on ten pitches.
LOW-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS
Game Time: 6:30pm
Starting Pitcher: Po-Yu Chen
- Final Line: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
- Jacob Gonzalez 3-4, HR (2)
- Alexander Mojica 2-4
- Mike Jarvis 2-4, 2B
- Dante Mendoza 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Xavier Concepcion 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Bradenton (6-2) edged Lakeland, 6-5. The Marauders continued to get offense from Jacob Gonzalez and Alexander Mojica. Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with his second home run. He’s now batting .591 with a 1.654 OPS. At 23, he maybe shouldn’t be at this level much longer. Mojica had two hits, raising his average to .348. Mike Jarvis had a single and a double. Anthony Alford made a rehab start, picking up a double in three at-bats without striking out. Po-Yu Chen had a shaky start, allowing two runs in three and a third, and walking four. Dante Mendoza stranded a pair of Chen’s runners and ended up going two and two-thirds, allowing one run on a solo home run. Carlos Lomeli threw a scoreless seventh, but gave up hits to the first four batters in the eighth, cutting the Bradenton lead to 6-5. Xavier Concepcion got out of the inning, stranding the two runners he inherited from Lomeli. He also threw a scoreless ninth to pick up a tough, two-inning save.
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.