Rays 9, Pirates 5
The Pirates out-hit the Rays 10-9 this afternoon in Port Charlotte, Florida, but the Rays made the most of their opportunities and took the win. The Pirates got busy in the top of the 1st, when Pedro Ciriaco, in center field again, opened the game with a single, then stole base. He moved to third on a fly out, then scored on C Ryan Doumit’s double into right field. RF Matt Diaz started the top of the 2nd with a single, and advanced to third base on a throwing error. He scored on a wild pitch. 1B Andy Marte doubled, was bunted over to third base, and scored on starting pitcher Charlie Morton’s soft looper single into left field, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
The lead did not last long. Morton got out of the first inning with a double play, but began the bottom of the 2nd by loading the bases on a double, a bunt, and a hi batter. A 2-RBI double and a sacrifice fly brought in 3 runs for the Rays to tie the game. The Pirates took the lead again in the 4th. Marte led off with a single into right field, and 2B Corey Wimberly reached on a fielding error. Morton bunted them up one base each, then both scored on SS Josh Rodriguez’s line drive single into right.
Morton sailed through the bottom half of the 3rd and 4th innings, but loaded the bases again in the 5th, on a walk and two singles. Then he got wild and forced in one run with a hit batter, and a second run with a walk, and the game was again tied, at 5-5. Morton got out of the inning with two fly outs, and a force out at the plate on a little dribbler that did not leave the home plate area.
Joel Hanrahan took over on the mound for the 6th inning. He retired the first two batters he faced, then walked the next two. A wild pitch moved the two runners up to second and third base, then an RBI single brought in both runners, giving the Rays a 7-5 lead. Jose Veras pitched a perfect 7th inning, with one strikeout. The Rays scored 2 more runs off Chris Resop in the 8th inning. A double, and a bunt back to the mound that turned into a single, put two runners on base. A sacrifice fly drove in one run, and a triple plated the second.
2B Gift Ngoepe led off the top of the 9th with a walk, then SS Jordy Mercer singled through to left field, but both were left on base. LF Evan Chambers, 3B Andy Vasquez, RF Robby Grossman, and 1B Matt Hague also got into the game.
The Indy Indians were scheduled to play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees this afternoon in Bradenton. No word as yet — results from the minor league camp can be hit or miss.
The Pirates pared down their camp roster by four more this morning. Pitcher Daniel McCutchen was optioned to AAA Indianapolis, where he could either be a starter or pitch in long relief. Relievers Tyler Yates and Sean Gallagher were also reassigned to minor league camp, and are both expected to go to the Indy Indians’ bullpen. C Wyatt Toregas and INF Josh Fields were also reassigned to minor league camp.
Pitcher Fernando Nieve, who was reassigned to the minor league camp on Monday and released on Tuesday, was not unemployed for long. On Thursday, he signed a minor league contract with the Astros.