A win, a loss, and a rainout in the rest of the Pirates’ minor league organization on Friday evening. The rainout was in West Virginia, where the Power were getting soggy. They will play a double header on Saturday.
Bradenton Marauders 13, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0
And a shutout win, at that. The Marauders blasted 13 runs on 13 hits, while the pitching staff held Charlotte scoreless on 6 hits. The scoring began in the bottom of the 1st, when CF Evan Chambers walked and rehabbing major league catcher Chris Snyder homered over the left field wall. LF David Rubinstein got the fun started in the 2nd inning with a line drive single into right field. A single by 1B Cole White and a walk to SS Benji Gonzalez loaded the bases, then another walk to RF Robbie Grossman forced in Rubinstein. 2B Jarek Cunningham drove in White and Gonzalez with a double, and Grossman scored on Chambers’ sacrifice fly. Snyder added a single, to drive in Cunningham with the 5th run of the inning. Walks to DH Calvin Anderson and Rubinstein loaded the bases again, but a ground out ended the rally.
Rubinstein also began the Marauders’ rally in the 5th. Three consecutive singles, by Rubinstein, White, and 3B Elevys Gonzalez, loaded the bases without an out. Benji Gonzalez’s ground out brought in Rubinstein, and a single by Grossman plated both White and Elevys Gonzalez. A walk to Cunningham and a single by Chambers loaded the bases again. That set up Snyder, who cleared the bases with a double into deep center field, and gave the Marauders 6 runs in that inning, for a 13-run lead. Rubinstein’s third single plus walks to both Gonzalez-es loaded the bases again in the 8th, but a strikeout ended that inning with all three still on base.
The Marauders’ pitching staff was having as much fun as the hitters. Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, pitched the first inning, and retired the side in order on three ground outs. After Beimel’s inning, Matt McSwain came on to pitch. He allowed only one single in his first 3 innings, and retired that runner with a double play. He allowed two singles to lead off the 5th inning, but another double play got him out of that small jam. McSwain finished his outing with 5 scoreless innings, three hits, no walks, and no strikeouts, earning the win. Jeff Inman pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, and Gabriel Alvarado also allowed a hit and a walk in the final inning.
The Pirates had a busy Spring Training day today:
LHP (starter) Garrett Olson was claimed off waivers from Seattle. Olson is a 27-year-old California native who was the Orioles’ 1st round pick in the 2005 draft. He made his major league debut in July 2007, and split both the 2007 and 2008 season between Balitmore and AAA Norfolk. His combined stats for Baltimore: 10-13 record in 31 starts, 165 innings, 6.87 ERA, 111 K, 90 BB. And combined stats for Norfolk: 10-9 record in 29 starts, 164.1 innings, 3.12 ERA, 159 K, 55 BB. One big problem, though, is that he surrendered 35 homer runs over those two years. At the beginning of 2009, Olson was traded to the Cubs, and 10 days later was traded to the Mariners (with Ronny Cedeno) to the Mariners. He split both the 2009 and 2010 seasons between Seattle and AAA Tacoma. In 2009, he started 9 games for Tacoma, earning a 2-3 record and a 4.94 ERA, but in Seattle, he was also used in relief. He made 11 starts and 20 relief appearances for a total of 80.1 innings — and gave up 19 home runs. Olson made 6 starts and 6 relief appearances for Tacoma in 2010, then made 35 relief appearances in Seattle. His record in Seattle was 0-3 with 1 save, and a 4.54 ERA. In 37.2 innings, he allowed 6 homers, 15 BB, with 21 K. Throughout all these seasons, Olson allowed about as many or more hits as innings pitched: 79 hits in 80.1 innings in Seattle in 2009, and 42 hits in 37.2 innings in 2010. His overall major league total is 10.53 hits/9 innings. The Pirates plan to have Olson compete for a spot as a lefty out of the bullpen. Scott Olsen (oh, we’re going to have fun confusing those two) and Joe Beimel are also in consideration but have lost time time this spring due to injury. Brian Burres and Justin Thomas are also in the mix. In order to make a spot for Olson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates placed Kevin Hart on the 60-day DL. Olson is out of options, which is why the Mariners had to put him on waivers. If he does not make the Pirates’ active roster out of camp, then he will have to go on waivers again. The hits and the homers are concerning, and the Pirates will have to see how Olson does in some spring appearances in the next two weeks.
Phillies 3, Pirates 2
The Phillies rallied in the bottom of the 9th for a come-from-behind win over the Pirates in Clearwater, FL this afternoon. With Chris Leroux on the mound, the first two batters of the frame both singles. Former Pirate/Indian Erik Kratz bounced a pinch-hit grounder to third, but instead of going for the double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell went for the tag of the runner going from second to third. The runner avoided the tag but was called out anyway because he went out of the basepath. That left runners on first and second with one out. The next batter slapped a grounder to second, and though 2B Josh Harrison made a great stab to keep the ball from going into right field, he was only able to make the out at first. With two runners in scoring position, Leroux gave up a single up the middle, and both runners (including Kratz) scored, for the walk-off win.
Orioles 13, Pirates 3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates’ pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI. The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates’ starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer. Fox struck again in the 7th — Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox’s second homer. Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee. Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out. The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs. Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher. Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.
While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8. Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates’ only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double. That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk. He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez’s double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule. Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning. 1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field. RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles’ shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base. Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo’s RBI single. LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker’s ground out. CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle. Overbay reached base on a catcher’s interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.
Also getting into the game: LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez. Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th. In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple. Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power. Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning. Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.
Catching up after being away for a few days…
On Saturday, the Pirates sent four pitchers to minor league camp:
RHP Bryan Morris and RHP Kyle McPherson, both on the 40-man roster, were optioned down, with Morris going to AAA Indianapolis and McPherson going to A+ Bradenton.
Two lefties, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, were also sent to the minor league camp, and though their exact level is still not official, both should begin the season with the Indy Indians.
More moves were made today:
From the 40-man roster–
LHP Jeff Locke, LHP Aaron Thompson, and RHP Ramon Aguero were optioned to AA Altoona
LHP Daniel Moskos and LHP Tony Watson were optioned to Indianapolis
Outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley were optioned to Indianapolis
Moskos and Presley both spent part of 2010 with Indianapolis, while Watson and Hernandez will make their debut at the AAA level. Locke, Aguero, and Thompson all spent part of 2010 with Altoona.
Not on the 40-man yet –
Infielders Chase d’Arnaud and Brian Friday and outfielder Andrew Lambo were reassigned to minor league camp. Friday played in Indianapolis for most of 2010 and should return there. D’Arnaud and Lambo were in Altoona for 2010; Lambo is ready for AAA, though d’Arnaud may be asked to go back to Altoona for part of 2011.
Pirates 10, Rays 3
The Pirates posted 13 hits on their way to 10 runs in their McKechnie Field opener on Sunday afternoon. CF Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a solo homer for the Pirates’ first run of the game, and a double. RF Garrett Jones also had three hits — 2 doubles and a single. McCutchen began a rally in the 4th with a single, and doubles by Jones and C Ryan Doumit drove in 2 runs, all off former Pirate pitcher Chris Bootcheck. Another former Pirate, Jonah Bayliss, came on to pitch the 5th inning for the Rays. Bayliss got the first two outs, then gave up a triple to 2B Neil Walker, and doubles by McCutchen and 3B Pedro Alvarez, and the Pirates had 2 more runs. Chase d’Arnaud came into the game for Walker in the 6th, and he led off the bottom of the 7th with a walk. D’Arnaud moved to second base on a ground out, then scrambled around from second base, surprising the Rays, to score on an RBI ground out by 1B Steve Pearce. The Pirates added another 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th. That inning began with a solo homer by C Jason Jaramillo. SS Josh Rodriguez singled, then with two outs and Rodriguez on third, d’Arnaud lined an RBI single up the middle. CF Corey Wimberly walked, and 3B Andy Marte drove in both d’Arnaud and Wimberly with a double into right field.
Kevin Correia made the start for the Pirates. He gave up a run in the top of the 1st, with a lead-off walk and two ground outs. Correia got into trouble in the 2nd inning, giving up two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. That was all for Correia. Minor leaguer Ryan Beckman, who pitched for State College in 2010, came on in relief of Correia. Beckman got the first batter he faced to ground to second, which allowed the runner from third to score. Another ground out ended the inning. Usually that would be the end of the outing for a minor leaguer who is filling in. But, Joe Beimel, who was scheduled to pitch after Correia, had some elbow soreness and did not pitch. So, Beckman kept going. He threw three more pitches, and retired three batters in the 3rd inning, with a line out and two ground outs. Brian Burres earned the win with 2 scoreless innings following Beckman. Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, and another minor leaguer, Tony Watson, each pitched one scoreless inning. Watson worked around a lead-off single in the 8th. Chris Leroux pitched the 9th, and gave up a solo homer and two singles, but ended the inning with a pop out and a double play.
LF John Bowker and RF Andrew Lambo also got into the game.