Both the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A and Double-A teams prevailed Wednesday night. Altoona had a strong performance from Sean Sullivan and had just enough offense to squeak out a 7-5 win.
The majority of Altoona’s offense came in the fifth inning.
In the fifth inning, the Curve sent 11 men to the plate and drove in six runs. Andrés Alvarez, Tsung-Che Cheng, Jase Bowen, and Mike Jarvis willed the Curve to their win over Akron.
In Triple-A, the Indians had a seventh-inning surge from Canaan Smith-Njigba, giving them just enough run production to win 5-4 in a nail biter.
LF Canaan Smith-Njigba
- Game stats: 2-4, a double, run scored, walk, and two RBIs
- Season stats: .262/.351/.445, 13 homers, one triple, 24 doubles, and 62 RBIs (355 at-bats, or 97 games at Triple-A)
RHP J.C. Flowers
- Game stats: 2.0 IP, no hits, no runs, no walks, and three strikeouts
- Season stats: 2-1, 8.23 ERA, 42.2 IP, 34 walks, and 43 strikeouts in 26 games (three starts)
The Indians took game two from Omaha after Indianapolis’ pitching staff put together a strong effort. Flowers came into the game after opener, John O’Reilly went three innings. Flowers threw two perfect innings.
Smith-Njigba’s two-RBI double paved the way for the Indians in the seventh inning. At the time it gave the Indians a 5-1 lead which would be vital.
The Indians beat Omaha 5-4.
SS Tsung-Che Cheng
- Game stats: 1-5, a double, run scored, and two RBIs
- Season stats: .282/.357/.464, 13 homers, ten triples, 23 doubles, 25 stolen bases, and 56 RBIs (450 at-bats, or 119 games between High-A and Double-A)
RHP Sean Sullivan
- Game stats: 5.0 IP, three hits, one run, three walks, and three strikeouts
- Season stats: 8-4, 3.88 ERA, 113.2 IP, 38 walks, and 97 strikeouts in 24 games (20 starts)
The Curve have now climbed the stairway to seven! Altoona has won seven games in a row and the fifth inning is where all of the magic happened.
To give the Curve the lead, Alvarez blasted his eighth homer of the season making it a 2-1 game. In addition, Cheng doubled in two, Bowen singled in two, and Jarvis put the finishing touch on it with an RBI single.
After the dust settled, the Curve led 7-1 after 4.5 innings of play. The Rubber Ducks stormed back with two runs in the seventh and eighth, but it wasn’t enough as the Curve held on 7-5.