Bucs Minor League Notes

News, notes and quotes from the Pirates Minor League system.

Center fielder Freddy Guzman went 3-for-5 and keyed two PawSox scoring rallies, while the bullpen tossed 3.1 scoreless innings to lift the Pawtucket Red Sox past the Indianapolis Indians 4-2 on Monday night at Victory Field. With the loss the Indians fall to 23-27 overall and 11-14 at home.

WHAT A MONTH FOR MCCUTCHEN: Indians CF Andrew McCutchen may be sad to see the month of May come to an end ... In the season's second month, McCutchen reached base in 24 of 29 games, batted .304 (43-for-139), collected nine multi-hit games, scored an International League May best 22 runs, belted three home runs, posted 14 RBI and drew 11 walks. The Indians top prospect also wrapped up the month with a five game hitting streak during which he batted .391 (9-for-23) belted two home runs, scored four runs and collected four RBI. McCutchen's stats this May are also quite similar to last May, when he was awarded the Indians' Player of the Month Award after batting .304 (34-for-112), with 16 runs, two home runs, 10 RBI and 14 walks.

SIGH OF RELIEF: In Sunday afternoon's contest Tribe relievers Corey Hamman and Juan Mateo combined to allow just one run on two hits, while striking out four in 4.1 innings of solid relief. The outings by Mateo and Hamman continue the trend of dominating work from several Tribe relievers over the Indians last 10 games. In those contests Hamman (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 7 SO), Mateo (4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 SO), RHP Jason Davis (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 SO), RHP Chris Bootcheck (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 6 SO) and RHP Denny Bautista (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 8 SO) have combined to post a 1.55 ERA (5 ER in 29.0 IP), while striking out 26 and allowing just 20 total hits.

FEAST OR FAMINE IN THE LAST FIVE: Entering play on Monday night - over the last five games it has been either feast or famine for several Indianapolis batters ... Those Indians who have been red hot over the last five, include 1B Steve Pearce, who is batting .421 (8-for-19) with 6 runs and two RBI, OF Garrett Jones who is batting .409 (9-for-22) with three runs and two RBI and CF Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting .391 (9-for-23) with four runs, two home runs and four RBI. On the other hand, those Tribe batters who have gone ice cold over the last five, include INF Shelby Ford who is batting just .077 (1-for-13) with four strikeouts, C Erik Kratz who is batting just .111 (1-for-9) with three strikeouts and INF Chris Barnwell who is batting just .167 (1-for-6) with one strikeout.

After having the game forced into extra innings because of a defensive blunder, Jonel Pacheco's two-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning snapped a three-game losing streak for the Altoona Curve, as they were able to secure a 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Erie SeaWolves (AA – Detroit Tigers) on Monday night at Jerry Uht Park. Entering action on Tuesday night the Curve are 16-34 on the season.

With the tying run at second base for Erie in the bottom of the ninth, Curve third baseman Pedro Lopez did not handle what would have been a game-ending groundout and the SeaWolves tied the contest 3-3 to force the game into extra frames.

Leading off the 10th, Brian Friday reached on an error and Jim Negrych was intentionally walked to set up Pacheco's heroics. Pacheco doubled off Zach Simons (1-1) to drive in the pair.

Right-hander Sean Smith (1-1) came on and tossed 4.0 innings of relief, allowing just one unearned run to secure the win. Despite allowing a homer in the top of the 10th to cut the Curve lead to one run, righty Scott Nestor was able to secure three outs and notch his first save in a Curve uniform.

LINCOLN ON A ROLL: Right-hander Brad Lincoln again received a no-decision in Monday night's contest after he tossed a solid 5.0 innings and permitted just two runs. Lincoln's bid at a Curve franchise record at most consecutive scoreless innings pitched fell short. Coming into Monday's start, Lincoln had tossed 19.1 consecutive scoreless innings and was looking to break the mark of 23.0 scoreless frames. Lincoln allowed an RBI groundout to Erie in the bottom of the second inning to thwart the bid at 20.1 innings.

‘PEN OUT OF INK? A usually solid Curve bullpen has stumbled recently. Entering play on Monday night the Curve bullpen has given up 52 runs in 57.1 innings for an 8.16 ERA.

POWER OUTAGE: Entering action on Monday the Altoona Curve are hitting just .205 as a team over their last 10 games (62x302) and have scored only 29 runs during that span (2.9/game).

FRIGID FRIDAY: Coming into Monday night's game - Curve SS Brian Friday has cooled off recently. Friday is hitting just .233 (7x30) in his last nine games. His average has fallen off 40 points from .359 to its current .319 mark.

The Hillcats scored five unanswered runs en route to their 19th comeback victory of the season and improved to 15-1 in series openers with a 5-3 victory at Frederick. Lynchburg is now 33-17 and improved to a season-best 16 games over .500.

WHO'S HOT: Utilityman Ray Chang owns a 15-game hitting streak, which began April 22. He has nine multi-hit contests during that stretch. In his last seven games, Chang has 13 hits in 25 at-bats with 10 RBIs. Matt McSwain improved to 5-1 with a 12-1 win over Salem on May 28. McSwain retired 14 straight Salem hitters, beginning with Mike Jones, the final Red Sox batter in the first, and concluding Segovia who led off the sixth. By the time his evening was complete, McSwain had limited Salem to four hits and one run in eight innings of work. Jose De Los Santos led off the game with a triple and scored on a double by Jordy Mercer. De Los Santos also singled, stole second and scored on a single by Mercer in the second inning. Jared Keel had an inside-the-park home run in the ninth against Potomac on May 24. RHP Chris Cullen is pitching well out of the Hillcats bullpen. The pitcher has allowed only two runs in his last six outings, a span of 10 2/3 innings. Both of the runs came against Wilmington on May 16.

WHO'S NOT: CF Alex Presley went 3-for-20 at the plate in six games last week. In his last three starts, Prior to his last start LHP Justin Wilson has given up 14 earned runs and 21 hits in 11 2/3 innings. Wilson is 3-3 with a 6.18 ERA in ten starts this season.

ALVAREZ ADDING UP: 3B Pedro Alvarez despite producing power with nine home runs in his first 154 at-bats, the Vanderbilt product has struggled to post a consistent batting average, which stood at .243 through June 1. Alvarez, however, has confidence that everything regarding his offensive production is headed in the right direction. "It's a long year and you can't get desperate, you can't start freaking out," Alvarez told InsideNoVa.com. "In baseball, averages tend to work themselves out. I've never doubted my power, even if the average wasn't there. But it's not always about power. I'm trying to be the most complete baseball player I can be."

Lake County Captains' right hander Alexander Perez surrendered just an unearned run on a pair of hits over six strong inning and struck out 10 Power batters on Monday morning at Appalachian Power Park as the Captains beat the Power 4-3. West Virginia fell to 19-32 after the loss.

WHO'S HOT: LHP Rudy Owens (5-1, 2.59) has established himself as the staff ace, with a strikeout/walk ratio of 40-11. He has fanned 17 in his last two starts. Owens, who was taken in the 28th round of the 2006 Draft, appears to be progressing after going 3-6 with a 4.97 ERA at short-season State College last year. OF Quincy Latimore had a hot month of May, he batted .312 (29-for-93) since May 1 to lift his average to .253.

WHO'S NOT: RHP Yoffri Martinez (2-3, 7.00) has allowed 14 earned runs over 18 innings. 3B Bobby Spain is scuffling at .240 (31-for-129) after an 8-for-41 slide. 2B Adenson Chourio is scuffling at .174 (16-for-92).

Pirates Dugout Top Stories