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Altoona Sends Five To 2011 E.L. All-Star Game06/29/2011 11:19 AM ET
PORTLAND, Maine - The 2011 Altoona Curve will be well represented at this year's Eastern League All-Star Game as five members of the current squad have been selected to play in the annual event, which is being played this year in Manchester, N.H. 3B Jeremy Farrell, 2B Brock Holt, LHP Jeff Locke, OF Starling Marte and RHP Aaron Pribanic all received the nod earlier today.
Farrell, 24, is currently hitting .285 with 17 doubles, one triple, five homers and 33 RBI in 72 games for the Curve so far in 2011. This is the third All-Star selection for Farrell, who was named a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2008 and a Florida State League All-Star in 2010. The Long Branch, N.J. native was an eighth round pick of the Pirates in 2008 out of the University of Virginia.
Holt, 23, was the leadoff man for Altoona for most of the first half of the season and had his average consistently around the .300 mark. Entering play on Wednesday night, Holt is batting .289 with 14 doubles, a team-best six triples, one home run, 22 RBI and 12 stolen bases. This is also the third All-Star selection for Holt in his short career after being drafted in the ninth round out of Rice in 2009. The Fort Worth, Texas native was a NYPL All-Star in 2009 and a FSL All-Star in 2010.
Locke, 23, will make the trek back home to New Hampshire as he'll be participating in his second All-Star Game since being originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2006. After coming to the Pirates in 2009 as part of a trade for outfielder Nate McLouth, Locke was named to the Florida State League All-Star team in 2010 as a member of the Bradenton Marauders. This season, Locke is 5-6 with a 4.29 ERA and a team-best 75 strikeouts. He's really turned it up in the month of June as the North Conway, N.H. native is 2-1 this month with a 2.13 ERA in five starts.
Marte, 22, has been electric at the top of the lineup card for Altoona this season as the Santo Domingo, D.R. native hasn't missed a beat in his first season in Double-A. He enters play on Wednesday night on an 11-game hitting streak, which is his second-best streak of the season behind a 13-game string from April 9-25. He ranks among the league leaders in average (.337, second), hits (97, first), doubles (22, T-3rd) and total bases (139, T-4th).
Earlier this season, Marte set career highs for hits in a game (four) and RBI in one game (six). This is the first career All-Star selection for Marte.
Pribanic, 24, has been one of the anchors of the Curve pitching staff all season long in his first year at the Double-A level. Acquired in a trade with Seattle in 2009, Pribanic is 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) this year for Altoona. The Fairfax, Va. native has turned in six quality starts this season and has pitched at least five innings in all but two of his 14 trips to the hill as a starter. This is the second All-Star bid for Pribanic, who was named a 2009 Midwest League All-Star with Clinton.
In addition to five players being selected, Manager P.J. Forbes, Pitching Coach Wally Whitehurst, Hitting Coach Brandon Moore and Trainer Mike Zalno will be the coaching staff for the Western Division club since Altoona won the Western Division in 2010.
The 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game will take place at on Wednesday, July 13th at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H., home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. This is the second straight season that the Curve have sent at least five players to the game as the 2010 E.L. Champion Curve sent six. Two members of that squad, Chase d'Arnaud and Josh Harrison, are currently on the Pittsburgh Pirates active roster.
Altoona (34-42) will wrap up its series with Reading (38-39) tonight beginning at 7 p.m. from Blair County Ballpark. It will be a Ponderosa Four-Pack Wednesday in Curve, Pa. thanks to Ponderosa Steakhouses. Fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four regular sodas all for $30 during Wednesday night's contest. It's also Tyrone/Bellwood Community Night and the fourth What We're Watching Wednesday of the season with this week's theme being: Glenn's Kitchen.
A winner in the Glenn's Kitchen Recipe Contest will be selected during Wednesday night's game as Manager of Concessions Glenn McComas will sample the nine semifinalists' dishes during the game to select a winner. The winner will receive two season tickets for all remaining 2011 Curve home games plus at $10 food voucher for each game.
The Curve send LHP Jeff Locke (5-6, 4.29) to the mound in the series finale hoping that he can bring the losing streak to an end on Wednesday night. Reading counters with RHP Austin Hyatt (6-5, 4.38) in the finale. Gates will open up at 6 p.m. while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.