Pittsburgh Pirates: Big Night for Minor League Teams

Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization had a really good day yesterday.  Not only did the Pirates win their home opener, but their minor league affiliates played well too.

Triple-A Indianapolis played their second game of the season.  They won the opening game against the Toledo Mudhens on Thursday.  They took the second game of the series last night.  Starting for Triple-A Indy was Drew Hutchison. Hutchison is looking to impress at Triple-A as he tries to work his way back to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Starting for the Mudhens in game two was former big league pitcher Buck Farmer.  Hutchison had a good first five innings.  Entering the sixth inning he had given up two runs.  However, he was chased in the sixth when he gave up two more runs and only recorded one out.  Former Red Sox and Twin prospect Pat Light earned the victory, as the Indians came back to win the game 5-4.  For more on the Triple-A game click here.


The Altoona Curve had their opening day game postponed due to weather.  Instead, the Curve opened up last night against the Harrisburg Senators, the Washington Nationals’ Double-A affiliate. The Curve were victorious by a score of 5-3.  Starting for the Curve was Alex McRae.  The 2014 tenth round pick had a solid start, pitching five innings and allowing one run. He recorded nine strikeouts as well. Also pitching in the game was John Kuchno, Tate Scioneaux, and Montana DuRapau.  Kuchno gave up two earned runs on three hits in his one inning pitched.  Scioneaux and DuRapau held the Senators off the board.

The offense was provided via the top four hitters in the lineup.  The top of the lineup went 9 for 17 (.529) and was responsible for four of the team’s five runs.  The top hitting prospect at the level is 2015 first round pick Kevin Newman.  The shortstop led off and went three for five with a double, a RBI, and a run scored.  Also, 2015 second round pick Kevin Kramer started at second base and batted third in the lineup.  Kramer recorded two hits in five at-bats, recording a double, but he did strikeout three times.  Other notable hitters are Edwin Espinal, who was two for two with two walks, Connor Joe wen one for three, and Michael Suchy, who went one for three.

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The Bradenton Marauders won game one against Charlotte on Thursday night and were able to win again last night.  The Marauders had an offensive explosion, tallying up nine runs against the Tampa Bay affiliate.  Starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates High-A affiliate was Pedro Vasquez.  Vasquez was acquired from the Seattle Mariners last season in the trade that sent Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero out west.

Vasquez did not pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization last season, so last night was his debut in the system.  He threw four innings and gave up one run on four hits and a walk.  He did punch out four batters.  He was relieved by 2015 ninth round pick Bret Helton.  Helton, a former starter, threw 2.2 innings and gave up two runs.  Following Helton was Daniel Zamora and Seth McGarry.  McGarry was an eighth-round pick in 2015, he is a power bullpen arm and will likely get a chance to close for the Marauders this season.  Neither gave up any runs.

As mentioned earlier, Bradenton scored nine runs.  Cole Tucker had a big game for the Pittsburgh Pirates High-A affiliate, knocking in two runs on two hits in five at-bats.  His two hits were a double and a triple.  Will Craig was one for three in the game, but he did walk twice.  He scored two runs and his one hit was a double.  Ke’Bryan Hayes had one hit in four at-bats, but he did contribute two RBIs.  The big hitter of the night was the DH Jordan George.  George was a 35th round pick in 2015, but he has been impressive in his short career so far, as he had posted a career slash line of .318/.455/.479.  Last night, George went three for four with four RBIs.

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The West Virginia Power were rained out on opening day, so they actually played a double-header yesterday.  They were the only team in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization to not record a win yesterday.  Due to the doubleheader, the games were limited to seven innings each.  The Power were shutout in game one, losing 3-0.  The Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate only recorded one hit in the game.  Starter James Marvel did pitch well, going five innings, striking out six, and did not give up any runs.  The team did collect nine hits in this game, but was only able to scratch out two runs.  The Power lost the game 3-2.