Pittsburgh Pirates: Anthony Alford, Travis Swaggerty Go Deep & More

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on April 13, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on April 13, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Anthony Alford and Travis Swaggerty hit back-to-back home runs for Triple-A, Double-A Altoona sweeps a double header, and more in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Pirates minor league roundup

Thursday afternoon the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians fell to 7-7 on the season following a 12-5 loss against the Columbus Clippers. Making another starter as part of his rehab assignment Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Anthony Alford was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a solo home run. This gave Alford home runs in back-to-back games with Indy.

Alford’s 8th inning home run was part of back-to-back blasts by the Indians. The other was by former first-round pick Travis Swaggerty who started in center field and was 2-for-4 on the day. This was the 1st home run of the season for Swaggerty.

Much of the rest of the Indian lineup struggled. Rodolfo Castro was 1-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBI, but Bligh Madris, Brendt Citta, Canaan Smith-Njigba, and Taylor Davis were combined 0-for-16 with 6 strikeouts.

After Nathan Kirby pitched a scoreless 1st inning for the Indians, Jared Eickoff took over, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched. Brad Case pitched 1.1 innings allowing 7 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks. Cam Vieaux then allowed a run in 2 innings pitched.

Due to being snowed out on Tuesday the Double-A Altoona Curve found themselves playing a doubleheader on Thursday. After sweeping the doubleheaders by scores of 5-2 and 11-2, the Curve are now 5-7 on the season.

Shortstop Liover Peguero had a huge day for the Curve. Between the two games Peguero was 5-for-7 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBI. Jack Suwinski was 4-for-6 with a walk and 2 RBI, Nick Gonzales drew a walk in each game, Will Matthiessen hit a home run in the first game of the day, Blake Sabol went deep in game two, and outfielder Lolo Sanchez was 2-for-6 with 3 RBI and a walk.

Carmen Mlodzinski started game one, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, 5 walks and 4 strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. J.C. Flowers followed by striking out 3 in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Mike Burrows started game two and continued his strong start to the season by walking a pair and striking out 6 while allowing 2 runs in 5 innings pitched. Tahnaj Thomas pitched 2 innings, retiring all 6 batters he faced while striking out 3.

High-A Greensboro continued their early season woes in a 9-4 loss against the Aberdeen IronBirds, falling to 4-8 on the season. Domingo Gonzales started for the Grasshoppers, allowing 6 runs on 9 hits, 2 walks, a home run and 5 strikeouts in 4 innings pitched. Grant Ford issued a walk and struck a batter out in 3 scoreless innings of relief while Eddy Yean struck out a pair in a scoreless inning pitched. However, in between Gonzales and the Ford/Yean duo Garrett Leonard allowed a 3-run home run in the 5th inning.

Offensively, center fielder Matt Gorski continued his hot start to the season going 1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. Gorski has 1.005 OPS early in the season. Henry Davis served as the designated hitter going 2-for-3, Abrahan Gutierrez was behind the dish and went 1-for-4. Second baseman Jackson Glenn and right fielder Jack Hermann each recorded a base hit as well.

A late rally was not enough for the Bradenton Marauders who fell to the Daytona Tortugas 4-2 on Thursday night, dropping to 7-5 on the season. Valentin Linarez started for the Marauders, allowing 2 runs on a hit and 4 walks in 2.2 innings pitched. Nick Dombkowski followed by allowing a run on 5 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched. Xavier Concepcion allowed a run and struck a batter out in 2 innings pitched.

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Offensively it was a slow night for the Marauders until the 9th inning. Tsung-Che Cheng reached on an error with one out in the inning, which was followed by a 2-run home run by Jacob Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s 3rd home run of the season cut Daytona’s lead to 4-2.

Following the home run Jase Bowen and Alexander Mojica drew back-to-back walks. With two men on, one out, and the Marauders trailing 4-2, they failed to capitalize further as Rodolfo Nolasco flew out and Brenden Dixon struck out to end the game.