From Mirror reports
RICHMOND, Va. - Stolmy Pimentel seemed like little more than a throw-in from Boston as part of the trade that sent Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox, but so far this season Pimentel has been fantastic.
The right-hander tossed six shutout innings Wednesday morning to lead the Curve to a 6-2 win over Richmond at The Diamond. Pimentel has been lights out in his four starts for Altoona, allowing only one run in 23 1/3 innings for an 0.39 ERA that's far and away the best in the Eastern League.
Pimentel gave up just three hits, struck out eight and worked around five walks in his six scoreless innings. He throws in the mid-90s and has a lot of experience in the Eastern League, so his success with the Curve shouldn't be a surprise.
What is a surprise is that this is the same pitcher who got clobbered two years ago with Portland in the EL. He didn't just have a bad season, he had a dreadful one, going 0-9 with a 9.12 ERA in 15 starts for the Sea Dogs in 2011.
Pimentel clearly has figured things out since then, however, and has been the biggest surprise of this Curve season so far.
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: Pirates RHP Charlie Morton will make a rehab start for the Curve on Sunday at Peoples Natural Gas Field against Erie. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Morton, coming off Tommy John surgery in June, pitched four shutout innings in a rehab start for Altoona on Tuesday at Richmond. He will be in line to go four or five innings Sunday.
SAFE AT FIRST: The Curve are off today then begin a homestand Friday night at PNG Field.
STEALING SECOND: OF Robbie Grossman became the 103rd former Curve player to reach the major leagues when he was called up by the Astros on Wednesday. Grossman, who was with the Curve last season, went 2-for-5 with two doubles in his MLB debut against the Mariners.
ROUNDING THIRD: Saturday is the 1,000th regular-season home game in Curve history.
HEADING HOME: OF Andrew Lambo has reached base safely in all 20 games and extended his hitting streak to 10 games Wednesday. He went 2-for-4 and is hitting .333.
- Cory Giger
Altoona gave Pimentel all the support he needed with five runs in the fourth inning. The first run scored on an error, Charlie Cutler had a two-run single and Andy Vasquez and Gift Ngoepe hit RBI singles for a 5-0 lead.
Pimentel had control issues with the five walks, but Richmond's hitters did little damage off him when he was around the plate.
Pimentel came to the Pirates organization along with major league pitcher Mark Melancon and minor leaguers Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus Jr. in the Hanrahan deal Former Curve shortstop Brock Holt went to Boston as part of the trade.
Hanrahan was the centerpiece of the deal and is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA and three saves for the Red Sox. Melancon has been superb for the Pirates with an 0.75 ERA in 12 appearances.
Key player: RHP Stolmy Pimentel struck out eight and allowed just three hits over six shutout innings.
Key play: C Charlie Cutler's two-run single was the key in a five-run fourth inning for the Curve.
Key stat: Pimentel leads the EL with an 0.39 ERA.
How they scored
Top 4th: Dickerson walked, scored on Oropesa error that let Rojas Jr. reach (1-0); Lambo singled, scored along with Rojas on Cutler single (3-0); Welch walked, scored on Vasquez single (4-0); Ngoepe single scored Cutler (5-0).
Top 6th: Welch walked, scored on Vasquez double play groundout (6-0).
Bottom 7th: Lollis walked, scored on Adrianza groundout (6-1); Susac doubled, scored on Panik single (6-2).