’Pen does its job in getting ‘W’
By Matthew Knaub
For the Mirror
Behind effective pitching, the Curve hung on for a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field against Harrisburg.
A combination of four pitchers protected Altoona’s one-run lead for five innings on the way to a win over the Senators. The Curve bullpen was dominant, allowing no runs in three innings of work.
“That was really good,” Altoona manager Miguel Perez said about the bullpen’s performance. “The situations got tight at some points, but they competed and they did their part.”
Lefty Trey McGough earned the start on the mound for Altoona and threw six innings. The Johnstown, Pennsylvania native allowed three earned runs on six hits and was credited with the victory.
Right-handers Brad Case and Cristofer Melendez as well as southpaw Cam Alldred each pitched one inning of relief, holding the lead for the Curve. Melendez pitched the ninth and was credited with the save, his fourth of the year.
Third baseman Josh Bissonette hit a three-run home run in the third inning and center fielder Jonah Davis hit an RBI single in the fourth, giving Altoona its four runs. The home run was Bissonette’s first of the season.
Big club busy
Pittsburgh has been busy leading up to the Major League Baseball trade deadline on Friday, July 30, causing personnel changes throughout the organization — including in Altoona.
On Monday, the Pirates traded second baseman Adam Frazier and cash to San Diego for three current minor league players — shortstop Tucupita Marcano, right-handed pitcher Michell Miliano and outfielder Jack Suwinski. Marcano was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis and Miliano was assigned to High-A Greensboro.
Suwinski officially joined the Curve on Tuesday, but was not in the lineup against Harrisburg. In 66 games with Double-A San Antonio this season, Suwinski posted a .269 batting average and a .398 on-base percentage with 15 home runs.
Pittsburgh also traded right-handed pitcher Clay Holmes to the New York Yankees on Monday in exchange for two minor league infielders — Diego Castillo and Hoy Park. Primarily a second baseman, Park was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Castillo was assigned to Altoona on Tuesday, but did not see action against the Senators. In 58 games with Double-A Somerset this season, Castillo recorded a .277 batting average and a .345 on-base percentage with 11 home runs.
Curve infielder Rodolfo Castro was promoted from Altoona to Pittsburgh on Tuesday — his third stint with the Pirates this season. Castro started for the Bucs at second base on Tuesday night against Milwaukee, filling the void left by Frazier.
In 53 games with the Curve this year, Castro registered a team-leading .300 batting average with 41 RBIs and 11 homers. Prior to his promotion on Tuesday, the infielder played eight games for Pittsburgh, hitting three home runs with a .214 batting average.
“(Castro) has done everything to deserve to be promoted,” Altoona manager Miguel Perez said. “I’m so proud and happy for him that he gets to be up there and get experience.”
In other moves on Tuesday, Altoona outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba was placed on the seven-day injured list with a leg injury. Outfielder Chase Murray was transferred from the Curve to the Grasshoppers.
Another move in progress
While not yet official, it was reported by multiple sources on Tuesday night that the Pirates are working with Philadelphia on a trade that would send Pittsburgh left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson to the Phillies in exchange for two prospects — pitcher Cristian Hernandez and catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, both of which are currently playing for Low-A Clearwater.
According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the trade is currently on hold due to “issues with Hernandez’ medical report.” It is unclear whether modifications will be made to the trade.