Prospect Bell powers Bradenton to twin bill sweep

Prospect Bell powers Bradenton to twin bill sweep

Outfielder Josh Bell, the Pirates' No. 6 prospect, powered Class A Bradenton to a doubleheader sweep over Palm Beach on Thursday. Bell homered in both games of the twin bill, and delivered the game-winning hit in the opener before scoring both of the Marauders' runs in the nightcap.

Bell, ranked No. 61 on's Top 100 Prospects list, combined to go 5-for-7 with two home runs, a double, four runs and four RBIs in the two games.

The first game of the day was the completion of Wednesday's game, which was suspended in the fourth inning because of heavy rain. Bell had homered before the rain came, but the Marauders still trailed, 3-2, when it was suspended.

After they picked it back up Thursday, Bell added two more hits -- including a two-run, walk-off single in the ninth inning. Bradenton won the game, 6-5, and Bell went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.

In the second game, Bell opened the scoring when he doubled and came around to score in the fourth inning. He hit a solo home run in the sixth, and Bradenton held on for a 2-0 victory.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow, the Pirates No. 3 prospect and No. 23 overall, threw five scoreless innings in the nightcap. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. He threw 89 pitches and improved to 3-3 with a 1.90 ERA in nine starts this year.

Thursday concluded the first half of the season in the Florida State League. Entering the All-Star break, Bell is hitting .318/.368/.512 with nine home runs in 62 games. He ranks second in the league in slugging percentage, third in the league in OPS (.880) and fifth in home runs.

Bell will represent the South Division in Saturday's Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, which will be played at Bradenton's McKechnie Field.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.