Curve’s Garcia has fun two days at PNG

The Curve’s Willy Garcia enjoyed a great two-day period at the Eastern League All-Star break.

Tuesday, he had the game-winning home run as part of the hitting challenge. The Western Division was down, 21-9, when Garcia went on a tear and drove in 13 runs to lead his squad to victory. He hit four home runs, including a walk-off.

Wednesday night, he went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the Western Division’s 5-2 win in the All-Star Game.

Garcia has hit .248 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. The outfielder was signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2009 and trails only Stetson Allie (13) for most homer on the team.

This was Garcia’s first All-Star selection at the professional level.

Hanson scores two

Curve shortstop Alen Hanson scored two runs in Wednesday’s All-Star Game and also walked once.

Hanson has had a difficult time defensively this season with 27 errors, but his offensive numbers could carry him to the majors.

Hanson is hitting .283 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs. His batting average for July stands at a season-best .349.

Hanson had missed a six-game stretch back in June to work on developmental issues.

“I feel better around home plate,” Hanson said. “I can see a better pitch and drive it through and became more patient.”

Hanson is the Pirates’ No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America and has now played in three-straight All-Star Games. He was part of the South Atlantic League (2012) and Florida State League (2013) midsummer showcases.

News and notes

n Penguins national anthem singer Jeff Jimerson sang the anthem prior to Wednesday’s contest and did his usual exception job.

n Prior to that, eight-time Major League All-Star pitcher Del Crandall threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Now 84, Crandall walked halfway between the mound and the plate before throwing a ball, a perfect strike.

n The Curve had great weather for the game as the first-pitch temperature was 70 degrees, with barely a cloud in the sky.

n The location for next year’s EL All-Star Game has been decided but not yet announced, league president Joe McEacharn said.

Alderson released

Former Curve pitcher Tim Alderson was released Sunday by the Orioles after going 2-6 with a 6.12 ERA in 28 relief appearances at Triple-A Norfolk.

Alderson, a former first-round draft pick, came to the Pirates in 2009 from the Giants in a straight-up trade for former National League batting champion Freddy Sanchez. Alderson mostly struggled in the Bucs’ system and spent parts of five seasons with the Curve.

He is still only 25, though, and would seem to have a good chance of catching on with another team for perhaps a Double-A assignment.