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Pirates Prospect Watch: Nick Gonzales Walks it Off in Odd Fashion



Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzalez bats during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, June 23, 2023, in Miami. The Pirates called up another first-round draft pick, selecting touted infielder Gonzales from Triple-A Indianapolis. Gonzales made his major league debut Friday night, starting at second base and batting seventh against the Marlins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A affiliate, the Altoona Curve, won three straight against Akron and secured at least a series split.

One of the more impressive players from the Curve game was LHP Jackson Wolf. Wolf, acquired from San Diego at the trade deadline, has had a decent run of games within the Pirates’ organization.

Thursday night, he allowed just one hit in five innings of work. In addition, Wolf allowed two baserunners total due to a walk he issued in the second inning.

Oh yeah, something weird happened in Indianapolis.

Along with Wolf, there were plenty of other top performers for the Pirates. Let’s take a look down on the farm.

Indianapolis (57-64)

DH Mason Martin

  • Game stats: 2-5, two RBIs, and two runs scored
  • Season stats: .225/.371/.451, 16 homers, one triple, 12 doubles, and 51 RBIs (275 at-bats, or 83 games between Double-A and Triple-A

LF Canaan Smith-Njigba

  • Game stats: 2-4, two homers, two RBIs, and two runs scored
  • Season stats: .252/.346/.453, 12 homers, one triple, 19 doubles, and 49 RBIs (298 at-bats, or 81 games)

Much like the Altoona Curve, the Indians walked it off Thursday night. Unlike the Curve, it ended in a very odd way.

With two outs and runners on second and third, the Cubs intentionally walked Smith-Njigba to load the bases for Nick Gonzales, who was 1-4 on the night.

On the first pitch, Gonzales got plunked with the ball and the Indians were walk-off winners by a score of 10-9. A win is a win.

Altoona (55-59)

LHP Jackson Wolf

  • Game stats: 5.0 IP, one hit, no runs, one walk, and five strikeouts
  • Season stats: 8-10, 3.81 ERA, 106.1 IP, 28 walks, and 124 strikeouts in 22 games (22 starts)

RF Jackson Glenn

  • Game stats: 3-5 and a triple
  • Season stats: .294/.362/.482, 11 homers, two triples, 16 doubles, and 50 RBIs (282 at-bats, or 74 games between High-A and Double-A)

The Curve had to go to extra innings Thursday night but pulled off a small ball lover’s dream to earn the victory.

Glenn, Tsung-Che Cheng, and Matt Gorski laid down bunts in the top of the tenth. Glenn and Gorski were safe, and Cheng’s resulted in a tying RBI.

Andres Alvarez then hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field to give the Curve a 2-1 win. In addition, the Curve have now won the first three games against the Rubber Ducks.

Greensboro (62-52)

DH Josiah Sightler

  • Game stats: 2-4 and two runs scored
  • Season stats: .348/.417/.586, 12 homers, seven doubles, and 44 RBIs (181 at-bats, or 48 games between the FCL, Low-A, and High-A

RHP Eddy Yean

  • Game stats: 2.0 IP, no hits, no runs, one walk, and two strikeouts
  • Season stats: 2-3, 4.91 ERA, 44.0 IP, 21 walks, and 38 strikeouts in 36 games (one start)

The Grasshoppers dropped game three against Rome by a score of 4-3. Greensboro scored two runs in the seventh inning to cut the lead to one but couldn’t tie the game.

Thomas Harrington had an off night. Harrington’s final line was 5.0 IP, five hits, four runs (three earned), two walks, and four strikeouts.

Tres Gonzalez and Sightler were the only Grasshoppers with more than one hit.

Bradenton (66-50)

RHP Darvin Garcia

  • Game stats: 2.0 IP, one hit, no runs, one walk, and and one strikeout
  • Season stats: 1-3, 6.85 ERA, 44.2 IP, 29 walks, 40 strikeouts

1B Geovanny Planchart

  • Game stats: 2-4, a double, an RBI, and a run scored
  • Season stats: .233/.343/.339, three homers, one triple, 15 doubles, and 40 RBIs (245 at-bats, or 79 games)

Thursday night’s Marauders’ game was the complete opposite of Wednesday night’s game. A combined 13 runs were scored, and Bradenton came out on top 8-5 over Jupiter.

Hunter Barco went three strong innings while also striking out six for Bradenton.

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