Alvarez Joins Marauders; Harrison Back to Pirates

Tuesdays’ action… and again the player moves are as interesting as the games.

3B Pedro Alvarez was moved from the GCL Pirates to the Marauders to continue his rehab work.  
With OF Jose Tabata being placed onto the Disabled List, the Pirates were no longer forced to wait 10 days before recalling INF Josh Harrison.  Harrison joined Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley as the new kids on the block in Pittsburgh.  Backfilling, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.  INF Josh Rodriguez was sent down to Altoona.

Bradenton Marauders  8,  St. Lucie Mets  1
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A 5-run 4th inning gave the Marauders a big boost, as they bombarded the Mets in Bradenton.  Pedro Alvarez started the game at third base for the Marauders.  He grounded out in the 1st inning, then singled to lead off the 4th, and was hit by a pitch in the 5th. It was not a particularly busy day at third base for Alvarez, but he successfully fielded 3 grounders that came his way.  Elevys Gonzalez took over for Alvarez at the beginning of the 6th.   

Brett Lorin allowed only one run in his start, and earned his 3rd win of the season (3-4 record).  The lone run scored in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a ground out, and a ground-rule double.  Lorin scattered 3 more hits, no walks, over the rest of his 6 innings.  He hit another batter and he struck out 5.  

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard when they batted around in the 4th.  Alvarez’s single got the fun started, then 1B Aaron Baker lined a double into left field, moving Alvarez to third.  DH Adalberto Santos walked to load the bases.  CF Evan Chambers brought in Alvarez with an RBI single, and C Carlos Paulino’s double into center field plated both Baker and Santos.  LF David Rubinstein walked to load the bases again.  After a pitching change, SS Kelson Brown’s RBI ground out scored Chambers, and RF Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly brought in Paulino, to give the Marauders a 5-1 lead.  

Tyler Cox replaced Lorin to begin the 7th inning.  Cox walked the first batter he faced, then retired the next 6, including two strikeouts in each inning.   Duke Welker pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with one strikeout.  

The Marauders also did some late-inning scoring.  Brown and Grossman led off the 7th with back-to-back singles, and 2B Jarek Cunningham drove both of them in with his double into right field.  Chambers started the 9th with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  He tagged up and advanced to third on Rubinstein’s fly out, then scored on a wild pitch, to give the Marauders their 8 run total.  

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Pirates’ Starting Lineup Shiver In Philly

Phillies  8,  Pirates  5

The Pirates’ regular starters played the entire game on a chilly night in Philadelphia — a big change from the weather they’d enjoyed in Florida for the past 6 weeks.  2B Neil Walker provided the offensive boost, reaching base in 4 of his 5 at-bats, with a walk, three singles, and one RBI.  Starter Ross Ohlendorf lasted 4 innings, and allowed 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, one walk, and 3 hit batters.

LF Jose Tabata led off the game with a walk, and Walker followed with a single slipped into right field in the top of the 1st.  1B Lyle Overbay brought both runners in with a double, to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.  The Phillies got one run back in the bottom of the frame, on a pair of singles and a throwing error by C Ryan Doumit.  Ohlendorf began the bottom of the 2nd by surrendering a solo homer to Phillies’ Ben Francisco, then loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batters.  A fielding error by SS Ronny Cedeno and a sacrifice fly brought in two more runs for Philadelphia.  The Phillies made it 6-2 in the 4th, when Ohlendorf hit his third batter of the game, and allowed 3 more singles.  

Minor leaguer Mike Dubee, whose father Rich Dubee is the Phillies’ pitching coach, pitched a perfect 5th inning for the Pirates.  Chris Leroux started the 6th inning and allowed a walk and a single, then an RBI ground out.  He was relieved by Garrett Olson, who finished the inning with a fly out and a ground out.  Jose Veras threw a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th.  Evan Meek took the bottom of the 8th, and began by giving up two singles, including one to former Pirate/Indy Indian C Erik Kratz.  A fielding error by Walker kept the inning going, and Kratz scored an unearned run on an RBI ground out.  

The Pirates scored again in the top of the 5th.  Pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez and Tabata both walked to open the inning, and Walker lined into right field, where Francisco misplayed the ball.  Both runners scored and Walker ended up on third base, credited with a single.  CF Andrew McCutchen plated Walker with another single.  

The Indy Indians were scheduled to play the Las Vegas 51′s in Dunedin this afternoon — no word on the results. 

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Fields Traded, Pirates Lose Last Florida Game

Twins  4,  Pirates  3
The Pirates finished their Grapefruit League action with an 11-20 record, as they now head north to Pennsylvania, where they will play 2 games against the Philliies in Philadelphia.  Reliever Anthony Claggett suffered a Blown Save and the Loss, as he gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th for the Twins’ walk-off win.  

The Pirates were leading 3-2 going into the bottom of the 9th.  Claggett walked the first batter, then the next hitter lifted a fly ball to center field, which sailed over CF Starling Marte’s head and caromed off the wall for a triple.  That brought in the tying run.  After a strikeout, the next batter ricocheted a soft liner off Claggett’s lower leg.  The ball landed over toward third base, where 3B Josh Rodroguez raced in to make the scoop, but his throw to the plate was not in time for C Jason Jaramillo to tag the runner on third, and the winning run scored.  

LF Jose Tabata got the game started with a double into left field to open the top of the 1st.  2B Neil Walker bunted Tabata to third, and CF Andrew McCutchen brought him in with a sacrifice fly.  Walker started the Pirates’ 4th inning rally with a lead-off single into center field.  1B Steve Pearce doubled into center, plating Walker, and RF Matt Diaz’s single brought in Pearce.  The Pirates had only two baserunners after the 4th inning — Jaramillo singled in the 8th, and Pearce walked in the 9th.  

Jeff Karstens made the start, scattering three singles and a walk over the first four innings.  With two outs in the 5th, Karstens got Twins’ Denard Span to ground to short, but a wild pitch by SS Ronny Cedeno resulted in a single and a throwing error, and Span positioned on second base.  Another single brought Span across the plate with an unearned run.  Garrett Olson finished the inning for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 6th inning.  Mike Crotta surrendered his second earned run of the spring, with a walk and a double in the 7th inning.  Chris Resop pitched the 8th inning, and kept the Twins from scoring despite a single and a walk.  

Also getting into the game:  2B Brian Friday and SS Jordy Mercer

The Pirates traded infielder Josh Fields to the Rockies this afternoon, for a player to be named later or cash.  Fields was in Pirates’ camp as a non-roster invitee, minor league free agent.  He had been sent to the minor league camp at the end of last week.  In 21 Grapefruit League games, he went 5-for-29, and struck out 11 times.  

Josh Rodriguez, the Pirates’ Rule 5 pick from last December, has made the 25-man roster.  He will have to stay on the major league roster all season, or else go through waivers and be offered back to the Cleveland Indians.  Rodriguez will be a back-up infielder and a bat off the bench.   That means that Pedro Ciriaco will be heading back to Indianapolis to begin the season.  

C Chris Snyder will begin the season on the Disabled List.  That leaves Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo to share catching duties for now, and leaves open a spot for OF John Bowker on the 25-man roster.   

Former Pirate RHP Nate Adcock, who was chosen by the Royals in the Rule 5 draft, has won a spot on the Royals’ 25-man roster.  Like Rodriguez, if he doesn’t stick with the Royals, he’ll have to go through waivers and be offered back to the Pirates.  Adcock pitched for A+ Bradenton in 2010, earning an 11-7 record and a 3.38 ERA.  In 141.1 innings, he allowed 131 hits, 53 earned runs, 38 walks, and struck out 113.  If he comes back to the Pirates, he would likely be assigned to AA Altoona.

The Indy Indians faced off against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Clearwater, Florida this afternoon…. no results available at this point. 

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Pearce Is On, Pirates Win On Error

Pirates  5,  Rays  4
The Pirates won on a walk-off error in the bottom of the 9th inning this afternoon in Bradenton.  Pittsburgh had been leading 4-3 going into the top of the 9th, but a solo homer by Rays’ John Jaso tied the score, and made reliever Chris Leroux the victim of a Blown Save.  In the bottom of the inning, 2B Josh Rodriguez walked with one out.  A ground out moved Rodriguez to second.  CF Pedro Ciriaco grounded to third for what should have been the final out of the game, but Rays 3B Daniel Mayora made a wild throw to first, and the ball got away,  Ciriaco had been off and running, and he rounded third and scored on the error to give the Pirates the win.
The Rays had scored in the 2nd inning on a solo homer, and also began the 5th inning with a solo homer, both off Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm.  After the homer in the 5th, Maholm gave up another run on a double an an RBI single.  Joel Hanrahan pitched two hitless and scoreless innings, working around a fielding error by 1B Lyle Overbay in the 7th.  Leroux was credited with the win.

The Pirates tied the score at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the 3rd.  2B Neil Walker tripled to the wall in center field, then scored on CF Andrew McCutchen’s ground out.  When the Rays took a 3-1 lead in the top of the 5th,  LF Jose Tabata got the Pirates a run closer with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning.  The Pirates took a 4-3 lead in the 6th, when McCutchen led off with a walk.  RF Matt Diaz grounded into a force out, replacing McCutchen at first.  Diaz moved to third base on 3B Pedro Alvarez’s line drive double, and both Diaz and Alvarez both scored on C Ryan Doumit’s single lined into center field.  

Steve Pearce was officially informed that he will begin the season on the Pirates’ 25-man active roster.  John Bowker, who had a pinch-hit single in the 7th inning today, is still on the bubble, and his fate will probably be decided by what the Pirates do about their catchers — two or three catchers on the active roster?

The Indianapolis Indians had a day off today.  They have 6 more spring training games, with their last next Saturday.

Other news:  Former Pirate Nyjer Morgan was traded from the Washington Nationals to the Milwaukee Brewers today. 

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Crotta Gives Up A Run, More Reassignments

Yankees  4,  Pirates  2
Reliever Mike Crotta, who had not given up a run up ’til today, surrendered his first spring training run this afternoon in Tampa.  Crotta came on to pitch the final inning, with the Yankees already ahead 3-2.  He gave up a single, a sacrifice bunt, and another single, for the Yankees’ final run of the game.  Crotta is still in the running for a bullpen spot with the Pirates.  
The Yankees got onto the scoreboard first, with a 2-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the 1st inning off starter Kevin Correia.  Correia sailed through the next two innings, then gave up another run in the 4th on a walk and two singles.  He gave up only one more hit in the next two innings, finishing his afternoon with 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts.  Jose Veras pitched a scoreless 7th inning. 
The Pirates scored one run in the 2nd inning, when 3B Pedro Alvarez led off with a walk and C Jason Jaramillo doubled him in.  LF Jose Tabata smacked a triple in the 5th inning, and scored on 2B Neil Walker’s sacrifice fly, for the Pirates’ second run.  The Pirates posted 10 hits in the game, but did not score again  – 8 runners were left on base.  Manager Clint Hurdle indicated that today’s lineup is what he expects to be his regular starting lineup, and today most of those position players were in for the entire game.  SS Ronny Cedeno came out of the game in a double-switch in the bottom of the 8th, and Josh Rodriguez entered the game.  Rodriguez lined a single in the top of the 9th, but was left on base.  

The Pirates have two more games in Florida (at McKechnie Field against the Rays on Sunday, and in Ft. Myers against the Twins on Monday.  Then they will play two games in Philadelphia on Tuesday and Wednesday, before heading to Chicago to begin the regular season next Friday.  

The Pirates reassigned four more players to minor league camp this morning:  P Brian Burres,  C Dusty Brown, INF Andy Marte, and INF Corey Wimberly.   Moving Marte to minor league camp is encouraging for Steve Pearce, who is now nearly assured a bench spot on the major league team.  

S/W-B Yankees  6,  Indy Indians  5
The Indians faced New York Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia this afternoon in a AAA spring training game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Tampa this afternoon.  They hit 5 singles off Sabathia in three innings, but could not bring any of those base runners around to score.  James McDonald came from the Pirates’ big league camp to make a start for the Indians.  He gave up one run on 4 hits in his 3 innings.  The Indians scored a run in the 6th inning on Alex Presley’s sacrifice fly.  Josh Fields, who went 2-for-3 in the game, doubled in a run in the 7th, then Jim Negrych followed with a 2-run homer.  The Indians were leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the 8th.  The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the frame with 3 runs on a pair of doubles.  Then in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees scored with a 2-out single to take the win.

Sketchy reports from two other games:
On Thursday, the Indians lost to the Las Vegas 51′s by a score of 5-3, despite home runs by Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley.
On Friday, the Indians and the S/W-B Yankees played to a 1-1 tie.  Rudy Owens pitched 4 innings for the Indians, and struck out 6 batters.  

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