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Pirates Prospect Watch: Priester, Celestino Lead Indians to Victory

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Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Quinn Priester works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 24, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate logged their first win of the 2024 season on Sunday, with the Indianapolis Indians defeating the Louisville Bats 6-4.

Malcom Nuñez hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, while Gilberto Celestino and Liover Peguero notched RBI doubles in the sixth to put Indianapolis ahead 3-0.

2019 first round pick Quinn Priester dominated across 5.2 innings, striking out nine batters and allowing one hit and one walk—the latter the result of Louisville challenging a strike call. That walked batter ended up scoring, as Wily Peralta relieved Priester and promptly allowed a two-run homer.

The Indians remained one step ahead the rest of the way, with Celestino singling in another run in the seventh inning on the way to a three hit, one walk and two RBI day. Catcher Carter Bins added an RBI double of his own, then Dustin Peterson lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to give Indianapolis a 6-2 cushion.

The Bats got to reliever J.C. Flowers, managing two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Kyle Nicolas entered and worked a four out save for the win. Beyond Priester and Celestino, here are some of the top performers from the series finale.

Triple-A Indianapolis (1-2)

  • RF Josh Palacios: 1-for-2 with a single, a stolen base and two walks.
  • 2B Nick Gonzales: 2-for-5 with two doubles.
  • RHP Kyle Nicolas: 1.1 innings pitched, 0 ER, 1 K.

The rest of the Pirates minor league clubs will begin their seasons on Friday, April 5.

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