Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Kyle Nicolas, Luis Ortiz Both Pitch 5 Scoreless Innings & More

Altoona Curve starting pitcher Kyle Nicolas throws against the Akron RubberDucks during the first
Altoona Curve starting pitcher Kyle Nicolas throws against the Akron RubberDucks during the first / Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Kyle Nicolas and Luis Ortiz each pitched 5 scoreless innings, Matt Gorski hit a grand slam, and more Pittsburgh Pirates minor league action

Two strong starting pitching performances highlighted Pittsburgh Pirates minor league action on Tuesday. One of these two starts came with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. This start was wasted though as Indy allowed a pair of 9th inning home runs to suffer a 5-4 walk off loss, falling to 7-9 on the season.

Luis Ortiz started for Triple-A Indy, continuing his strong start to the season and his push for a promotion to the majors. Ortiz pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing four hits, issuing a walk, and striking a batter out.

Ortiz fired 55 of his 84 pitches for strikes. He induced six ground ball outs, while allowing just one fly ball out. On the season, Ortiz now owns a 2.08 ERA to go with a 7:18 BB: ratio and just one home runs allowed in 17.1 innings pitched.

John O'Reilly followed Ortiz and struck a batter out while firing a 1-2-3 6th inning. Recently claimed reliever Eli Villalobos followed O'Reilly, and things did not go well. Villalobos faced six batters and recorded just one out. He walked three batters, but was also hurt by two fielding errors by Nick Gonzales. This led to Villalobos allowing 3 unearned runs.

Cody Bolton continued his successful transition to the bullpen by pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. He allowed a hit, did not walk a batter, and struck out a pair. Bolton now owns a 2.89 ERA to go with 10 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.

Leading 4-3 in the 9th inning, the Indians handed the ball to Yerry De Los Santos. After the righty got the first out of hte inning, he allowed a game-tying home run to Luken Baker. This was followed by a walk off home run from Oscar Mercado, saddling Indy with a 5-4 loss.

De Los Santos was viewed as a potential big piece of the Pirate bullpen in 2023. However, he started the season in the minor leagues where he has struggled. De Los Santos now owns an 8.44 ERA in 5.1 innings pitched this season. He has allowed 11 hits, walked four batters, and struck out a pair.

Gonzales played third base and was at the top of the Indy lineup, going just 1-for-5 with a strikeout. Travis Swaggerty was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and Malcolm Nuñez was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Aaron Shackelford started at second base going 3-for-4 with his 3rd double of the season and an RBI. Miguel Andújar hit his 7th double of the season as part of a two-hit night, and Endy Rodriguez was 2-for-5 with a run scored.