Toledo Mud Hens 7, Indianapolis Indians 1
The Indianpolis Indians struggled in the cold and the fog tonight at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio, as they lost to the Mud Hens, earning a split of the 4-game series. Starter Rudy Owens (photo) suffered his first loss of the season, after having won his first two starts.
The Mud Hens attacked Owens as soon as they came to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. CF Andy Dirks led off with a grounder to first. Tribe 1B Matt Hague made a diving stop, but he had to wait for Owens to move to first, and by the time Owens got there, Dirks was safe. After a strikeout, LF Timo Perez and 1B Ryan Striekby both singled, and Dirks came in to score. A sacrifice fly by RF Clete Thomas brought in Perez, and the Mud Hens had a 2-0 lead.
Owens put the Mud Hens down in order in the 2nd, and that was the only inning in which he did that. Toledo picked up another run in the 3rd, when Perez singled to the right side of the mound, just out of reach of Owens. Strieby doubled over RF Andrew Lambo’s head and off the wall, and by the time Lambo was able to chase down the ricochet, Perez had scored easily. The bottom of the 4th began with a triple by DH Danny Worth. That ball also hit the wall over CF Alex Presley’s head, and the throw came back in to the infield, but was cut off by 2B Brian Friday, as Worth slid into third. Owens threw a wild pitch, and Worth scored easily. Owens gave up a double to Perez (his third hit of the game) in the 5th, and walked Strieby, but kept them from scoring. Owens finished up with 5 innings of work, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts. He threw 87 pitches, of which 59 were strikes.
Pirates 4, Phillies 1
The Pirates appreciated the warmer temperatures this afternoon — warmer than last night, anyway. They held the Phillies to just 2 hits, and starter Charlie Morton gave up only one unearned run in 5 innings, as they won the second of two pre-season games in Philadelphia.
A throwing error by 3B Pedro Alvarez put the first Phillies’ batter on base in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Two ground outs moved the runner to third, then brought him in. Morton worked around a single and a walk in the 1st and another walk in the 3rd. He made an error in the 5th, when he missed the catch on a toss from 1B Steve Pearce, but worked around that too. When Morton was done, Mike Crotta and Chris Resop each pitched a perfect inning. Joel Hanrahan pitched the 8th and allowed a two-out triple, but left the runner standing on third. Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless 9th, with a walk.
The Pirates scored two in the top of the 2nd, when 1B Lyle Overbay doubled, then Alvarez blasted a home run over the right center field wall. Steve Pearce doubled to lead off the 6th. He moved to second on a ground out, then scored on 3B Jordy Mercer’s RBI single. The Pirates added an insurance run in the 9th. SS Josh Rodriguez singled, then pinch-hitter Josh Harrison moved him to third with another single. LF John Bowker drove in Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly.
2B Brian Friday also singled in the game, and CF Starling Marte got into the game as well.
The Indy Indians were scheduled to play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Bradenton this afternoon.
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.
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.
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.