The Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated once again last night. However, the Indianapolis Indians brought home another win yesterday.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to flounder down the last stretch of the season, they have seen their minor league affiliates be much more successful. For instance, yesterday the Altoona Curve clinched a playoff birth. However, Triple-A Indianapolis is not far from clinching a playoff spot in the International League themselves. They got a little closer with a victory yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate took on the Louisville Bats of the Cincinnati Reds’ organization. Starting the game was the Pittsburgh Pirates top overall prospect Mitch Keller. While Keller was not his best, he still pitched respectably. The righty from Iowa threw six complete innings. In those innings, Keller allowed three runs. However, the runs that he gave up were not considered earned. Keller saw two errors behind him, one committed by Jose Osuna and the other by Eric Wood.
Keller did allow eight hits, so it is not like he was completely dominant. Still, he was able to limit baserunners some by only allowing one base on balls. Meanwhile, he was able to strike out six batters. So being that none of the runs he gave up were charged to him, Keller once again saw his earned run average go down from 5.31 to 4.63. In fact, Keller has only given up three earned runs in his last four starts. Keller picked up the win and is now 3-2 in Triple-A.
To close out the game the Indians used two relievers over the last three innings. First came Nick Burdi who pitched the seventh inning. Burdi gave up one hit and struck out one in a scoreless frame. Tanner Anderson pitched the last two innings and picked up his fourth save on the season. He gave up one hit and did not strike out or walk any batters. Both relievers could be called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates when rosters expand in September.
Indianapolis’ offense was led by three home runs. The first was by Jose Osuna, who hit a two-run shot in the first inning. This was Osuna’s eighth of the year in Triple-A. Osuna finished 2-4 and is now hitting .325 at Indianapolis. The next home run came in the fourth inning by second base prospect Kevin Kramer. Kramer’s 14th of the year was a solo shot. Like Osuna, the Pittsburgh Pirates top second base prospect was 2-4. The former UCLA Bruin is now hitting .301 on the season. Lastly, utility prospect Eric Wood hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, his 11th on the year. Wood was 1-3 in the game.
Triple-A Indianapolis is currently leading the International League West by one game. The team needs to continue and finish strong to earn another playoff birth. If they do not, it will be interesting to see which Triple-A prospects join the Pittsburgh Pirates when rosters expand in September.