Top pitching prospect Tim Alderson (1-0, 3.60 era) earned his first win of the season Thursday night, for the Altoona Curve (7-1) who are off to their best start in franchise history.
Altoona managed 13 runs on 15 hits, defeating Erie 13-5 to improve to 7-1 on the season.
Alderson pitched five innings, surrendering four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.
The center piece of Neal Huntington’s trade acquisitions last summer, Alderson is a tall and projectable pitcher with a lot of polish. He pitches on a downward plane and gets swings and misses with both his fastball and curveball.
He has outstanding command and gets movement on his pitches because of his quick arm action. He needs to work on his changeup and smooth out his three-quarters delivery. His drop in velocity once he got to Altoona last season is a concern but he is still very young (21) and has considerable potential.
In relief, 2007 1st round pick Daniel Moskos is off to a strong start. Moskos pitched 1.2 shutout innings, surrendering just one hit and adding two strikeouts to earn the save.
Moskos has a 0.00 era on the season.
Offensively, two of the Pirates top-10 prospects in shortstop Chase d’Arnaud and centerfielder Gorky’s Hernandez are off to slow starts at the plate.
d’Arnaud is batting .172 on the season, while Hernandez is batting .219 through eight games.
Hernandez has dropped to 6th in the batting order but did go 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in Thursday’s win.
d’Arnaud was hitless Thursday night.
Friday night, Altoona will send left-hander Rudy Owens (0-0, 5.79) to the mound against Erie righty Thad Weber (0-1, 1.80).