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Minor league report: Pimentel turning it around in Altoona

| Saturday, June 8, 2013, 10:30 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Stolmy Pimentel throws a bullpen session as pitching coach Ray Searage looks on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

After struggling in May, Stolmy Pimentel recorded his first win in five weeks on Wednesday to give the Double-A Altoona Curve their first four-game winning streak of the season.

In his previous five starts, the right-hander, acquired from Boston in the Joel Hanrahan deal, gave up 25 earned runs in 28 innings. Wednesday, he allowed just three runs on six hits, walked one and struck out seven, one shy of tying his season-high.

“(It was a) very good outing, like it was earlier in the year,” manager Carlos Garcia said. “The first four outings of the year, he was lights out. And probably the last four outings were not very consistent. He was one or two pitches away for the most part; it wasn't all negative. But the last outing he tried to establish the fastball and throw a certain percentage of off-speed to keep them off-balance. He was very good doing that.”

Garcia said that while the stuff is there, Pimentel's approach in the first couple of innings was hurting him.

“He's definitely got to be more consistent,” Garcia said. “Because that's what I saw. I saw a guy that won't hit the panic button. He has to finish his pitches and has to stay in the strike zone to stay in the game.”

Taillon among K leaders

Speaking of pitchers, Jameson Taillon picked up his first win in more than a month May 24 and has no-decisions in his last two outings. Taillon's 3.65 ERA ranks 16th in the Eastern League but his 71 strikeouts are fourth and just three behind leader Brandon Workman of Portland.

Right-hander Casey Sadler (6-3, 3.33), whom the Pirates drafted out of Western Oklahoma State in the 25th round in 2010, leads the Curve in wins and ERA.

Power source

Andrew Lambo continues to rank among the team and Eastern League leaders in several offensive categories, including second in the league in RBI with 46, second in slugging percentage (.559) and first in home runs, with 14.

Mel is swell

Mel Rojas Jr., is batting .263 after finishing April at a .226 average, and since May 14 he has hit .329 with five doubles, four triples, one home run and 12 RBI. Going into Saturday, he had hit in six straight games and 15 of his last 17.

Trouble with Curve

At 25-35 going into Saturday, the Curve were in last place in the Eastern League Western Division. Only Reading had a lower winning percentage (.386) than Altoona (.417).

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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