Bucs Minor League Notes

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

Saturday evening's International League contest between the Indianapolis Indians and Louisville Bats was postponed due to rain. The teams will make up the final game of this series in a doubleheader on Monday, July 5 at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Both games will be scheduled for seven innings. The Tribe open a series at Louisville on Sunday. Indianapolis is 6-10 on the season entering play on Sunday and in last place in IL West division.

POWER: Through 16 games this season, the Indians have belted 17 home runs, which is second best in the International League. The Tribe is the only team in the IL with six players with multiple home runs this year (3B Pedro Alvarez - 4, OF Jonathan Van Every – 2, OF Brandon Moss – 2, 1B/OF Steve Pearce – 2, UTIL Neil Walker – 2, C Erik Kratz – 2). No other IL team has more than four players with multiple home runs on the season. Also, two teams – the Charlotte Knights and the Toledo Mud Hens – have had fewer players record a single home run (five) this season than the Indians have had record multiple home runs. Three teams – the Gwinnett Braves, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees – have had six total players hit a home run this season to match the number of multiple home run hitters for the Tribe.

AND SPEED: The Indians have also been flying around the base paths as they have collected 23 steals so far this season, which is second to Durham for the best total in the IL ... Indianapolis also leads the IL with 10 different individuals having stolen at least one base, three players ahead of Durham, Pawtucket and Syracuse, who have each seen seven individual players swipe at least one bag … The Tribe led the IL in steals for four consecutive seasons from 2005 - 2008 (163 in ‘05, 180 in ‘06, 163 in ‘07 and 198 in ‘08) before finishing tied for eighth (98) last season.

LET'S GO STREAKING: OF Jose Tabata's 3-for-5 effort in Friday night's 6-1 win over the Louisville Bats saw his season-long on-base streak stretch to 14 games. During his on-base streak, the Indians' outfielder has posted six multi-hit efforts, a .323 batting average (20-for-62) and has sped his way to a team-best eight stolen bases. The 21-year-old also began the season with an 11-game hitting streak, which was the second longest in his career, behind only his 13 game streak from July 5 – July 19, 2009 during which time he hit .333 with four doubles and six RBI for the Altoona Curve. Tabata's eight steals also put him one back of Durham's Fernando Perez for the IL's lead in stolen bases.

HEATING UP: While third baseman Pedro Alvarez has put an added emphasis on his defensive play at the hot corner in recent weeks, the Pirates top prospect has quietly put together a six game hitting streak for the Tribe. Alvarez, who started the season by blasting three home runs and driving in seven RBI in his first two games, saw his batting average drop to .219 on April 15 and, since then, has recorded a hit in seven of eight games, including his current six game hitting streak. During the streak, the Indians slugger has hit .304 (7-for-23) with a double and three RBI to see his season batting average jump to .258.

A Max St. Pierre three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning was the difference maker as the Erie SeaWolves topped the Altoona Curve, 4-3, at Blair County Ballpark on Saturday night. Dustin Molleken (0-2) suffers the loss while Jon Kibler (2-2) earns his second win of the season for Erie. Ryan Ketchner recorded his first save of the season for the SeaWolves. Altoona (11-5) will try and bounce back on Sunday to earn a series split with Erie (6-10) when the two meet in the final game of the series.

CROTTA HOT: Right-hander Michael Crotta received a no decision in the Saturday loss to Erie, But Crotta pitched very well for the Curve, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings with six strikeouts. With the quality start, Crotta has lowered his season ERA to 1.78 through is first four starts.

HAGUE POWER: Matt Hague went deep for the Curve in the fourth inning on Saturday night to tie the game at one. It was the second home run of the season for Hague, who also extended his consecutive games-on-base streak to 12 games with the homer.

WHO'S HOT: Alex Presley went 1-for-3 on Saturday and extended his team-best hitting streak to 10 games while Jim Negrych finished 2-for-3 with two RBI. The Buffalo, N.Y. native now has six RBI over his last two games.

The Bradenton Marauders scored four runs in the top of the third inning to erase an early four-run deficit Saturday, then scored the go-ahead run on Tony Sanchez's double in the fourth to beat the host St. Lucie Mets 6-5. Austin McClune was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs for Bradenton, which remains in first place in the South Division with a record of 11-4.

SANCHEZ SMOKING: Catcher Tony Sanchez is feasting on FSL pitching, he is batting .362 entering play on Sunday with two home runs and 16 RBI. He also has posted a .638 slugging percentage.

MARTE HOT: OF Starling Marte is off to a good start for Bradenton. The 21-year old is hitting .333 with five doubles, one triple and nine RBI. He has also swiped five bases entering play on Sunday.

ADCOCK LEADS STAFF: 22-year old right-hander Nathan Adcock has posted a 2-1 record in three starts with a sparkling 1.80 ERA. He has recorded 15 strikeouts in 15 innings of work.

The Kannapolis Intimidators had rain postpone game one of an eight-game homestand. A doubleheader has been scheduled for Sunday, April 25th, with the first game beginning at 3 pm against the West Virginia Power. The games on Sunday will be 7-inning contests. The Power beat the Greenville Drive 5-1 on Friday night at Appalachian Power Park. The Power snapped four game losing streak and avoided a series sweep by taking advantage of an early Drive error and adding runs in three of the next four innings. West Virginia sports a 6-9 record in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League.

CUNNINGHAM STREAKING: Jarek Cunningham singled in the fifth inning on Friday to extend his hitting streak to a season-best seven straight. This is the second hitting streak for Cunningham this season, after having hit safely in the first six games of the season. The Power infielder is batting .356 with a home run and four runs batted in. Cunningham has reached base by hit in 13 of the 14 games he has appeared in this season.

CLOSED OUT: Aaron Baker's six game hitting streak was snapped on Thursday with an 0-3 performance at the plate. Baker batted .318 during the run from April 15 through 22.

PROBLEM ON THE PATHS: The Power have been picked off or caught stealing nine times this season, third most in the South Atlantic League.

POWER OUTAGE: Entering play on Sunday the team batting average? It's 12th in the 14-team South Atlantic League at .229. It ranks dead last in runs batted in with 46. The team on-base percentage is also number 12 at just around .293.

Manager Gary Green? He might be convinced to think the sky is falling just a bit.

"Offensively, I thought they would struggle some," Green said. "I didn't know we would struggle like this."

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