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Taillon boosts his confidence

July 19, 2013
By Darian Somers ( , The Altoona Mirror

Jameson Taillon didn't look like the No. 2 overall pick last Saturday.

Taillon looked a lot like the No. 2 overall pick on Thursday.

Taillon pitched seven innings, striking out seven as the Curve beat Erie, 6-3, before 3,016 at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Thursday.

The win that Taillon got comes on start after he went just 3 innings on Saturday, getting shelled as Akron scored 10 runs on 13 hits.

"It was a big confidence booster," Taillon said. "I put the last one behind me really quick so that's why I did get to do what I did tonight. I got over my last one real quick. I realized it happens, and I worked my butt off in between starts. It paid off."

Taillon, now 4-7, threw 96 pitches on Thursday, 62 of them for strikes. In his previous start, Taillon threw 75 pitches.

Fact Box

Covering the bases

LEADING OFF: Jhonathan Romas was not allowed to pitch in the eighth inning of Thursday's game because he was left off of one of three lineup cards disputed. Curve manager Carlos Garcia's lineup had Ramos' name and number and so did Erie manager Chris Cron's lineup card. However, home plate umpire's Roberto Ortiz did not have the name Ramos but the number. There was a blank left where Ramos' name should have appeared. Garcia inputs the lineup card with a computer and not on carbon pieces of paper. Garcia said he handed Ortiz the last copy, which was the error copy

SAFE AT FIRST: This is the second time in the past few weeks that Garcia has left a player off the lineup card. He left C Charlie Cutler off previously. "I double checked," he said. "You don't know how many times it was checked. I checked, I doublechecked. [Austin McClune] doublechecked. Now, I'm paranoid. I'm going to look at every single name before turn this thing in. Or maybe use a different program. Or maybe write it down, because it made me look stupid, like I don't know what I'm doing. It's a horrible feeling when the home plate umpire called me over there."

STEALING SECOND: 3B Adalberto Santos added another game to his hitting streak, which is now at 14 games. Santos went 2-for-4 on Thursday.

ROUNDING THIRD: Former Curve C Tony Sanchez was named the International League's Top Star in the Triple-A All-Star game as his three-run homer helped the International League beat the Pacific Coast League late on Wednesday night.

HEADING HOME: Sanchez wasn't the only former Curve player in the Triple-A All-Star game as Vic Black pitched 2/3 innings, getting a hold. He recorded one strikeout. Former Curve INF Jim Negrych went 0-for-3 in the game but started.

- Darian Somers

Consistency, Taillon admits, is the biggest thing he needs to work on.

"It's just consistency," he said. "Honestly, I didn't throw the ball well, but I didn't throw it as terrible as the line looked. But still, I've got to keep the ball down, keep it on the ground. I'd liked to get to the point where it's seven innings, three runs is my worst outing."

The win for Taillon is the first one since he beat Richmond on May 24. In that outing, Taillon threw just five innings and 98 pitches. While the Pirates normally do not like to allow minor league pitchers to go over 100 pitches, Taillon has struggled with innings and pitch counts all season long.

"He has to establish his fastball and throw the breaking ball for strikes," Curve manager Carlos Garcia said. "He will keep batters off the bases paths. He pitched to contact."

In his previous before the shelling in Akron, Taillon pitched seven innings and 84 pitches. The one before that, he pitched 4 innings and tossed 91 pitches.

Taillon credited his success on Thursday to keeping the ball down, something he has been working on to help with pitch counts.

"I missed up maybe three, four, five times all night," Taillon said. "When I'm down, obviously they are going to put the ball down. When I'm down, my curveball gets chased more."

Taillon also settled in after giving up two runs in the second inning, something Garcia said is good for him.

Taillon allowed just one hit after the second inning.

"To his credit, it's great as he calmed down," Garcia said. "Somebody else can say, well here we go again. He kept throwing his pitches, didn't panic."

Game recap

Key player: Andy Vasquez went 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs.

Key play: Vasquez hit a lead-off homer in the first inning.

Key stat: RHP Jameson Taillon went seven innings, one outing after going 3 1/3 innings.

How they scored

Bottom 1st: Vasquez homered (1-0); Santos singled, scored on Cunningham (2-0).

Top 2nd: McCan singled, Douglas singled, both scored on Lemon single (2-2).

Bottom 3rd: Polanco singled, scored on Cunningham ground out (3-2).

Bottom 4th: Maggi tripled, scored on Vasquez single (4-2); Vasquez singled, scored on Polanco sacrifice fly (5-2); Santos singled, scored on throwing error by McCann (6-2).

Top 5th: Lemon tripled, scored on Johnson ground (6-3).

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