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.
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.
Orioles 11, Pirates 7
The Orioles pounded out 15 hits, including 3 homers, to the Pirates’ 8 hits (and 4 home runs) this evening, as the Pirates lost in Sarasota, Florida. 2B Neil Walker took care of half of the hits and half of the homers for the Pirates — he homered in the 1st inning, singled in the 3rd, homered again in the 6th (both solo homers), and singled in the 8th.
The Pirates got onto the scoreboard in the top of the 1st, with back-to-back homers by 1B Lyle Overbay (2 runs) and Walker. Starter Ross Ohlendorf worked around a single in the bottom of the 1st, but gave up two solo homers in the bottom of the 2nd, then an unearned run in the 3rd on an error, a single, and a sacrifice fly.
The 3-3 tie lasted until the bottom of the 5th, when the Orioles got to Ohlendorf with a 2-run homer, a double, and a walk. Evan Meek relieved Ohlendorf with two outs and runners on first and second. The first batter Meek faced, former Indy Indian JJ Hardy, singled in a run, to give the Orioles a 6-3 lead. The Pirates got one run back with Walker’s second homer in the top of the 6th, but the Orioles scored 2 more unearned runs off Meek in the bottom of the frame. Garrett Olson came in to pitch the 7th inning and allowed 3 more Orioles’ runs, with a walk, a double, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.
The Pirates rallied for a run in the 8th, on a lead-off walk by Overbay, and singles by Walker and 3B Pedro Alvarez. They added another 2 runs in the top of the 9th when SS Josh Rodriguez blasted a 2-run homer.
Chris Leroux pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning for the Pirates. Pedro Ciriaco got another two innings in at center field, where he made some outs. Also in the game: pinch-hitter Steve Pearce, pinch-hitter/LF John Bowker.
The Indy Indians were scheduled to play a game against the Las Vegas 51’s in Bradenton this afternoon. No results available at this point.
Last season’s 2nd round draft pick Stetson Allie pitched in an intrasquad game at Pirate City this afternoon. In two innings, he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.
The Pirates released, then immediately re-signed OF Austin McClune. Not sure what that was about.
Former Pirate pitcher Oliver Perez, who was released by the Mets on Monday, signed a minor league contract with the Nationals yesterday.
Astros 10, Pirates 6
The Astros and the Pirates had a hit-fest this afternoon in Bradenton, combining for 30 hits (14 for the Pirates). But even with a solo homer by 3B Pedro Alvarez and a 2-run blast by CF Andrew McCutchen, it wasn’t enough for the Pirates to take the win. Starter Brian Burres struggled trhough 5 innings and gave up 6 runs on 10 hits. The Astros jumped right on Burres in the top of the 1st, scoring 2 runs on a single, a walk, an RBI double, and a sacrifice fly. McCutchen tied the score with his homer in the bottom of the 1st. The Pirates took the lead in the 2nd inning, when C Ryan Doumit led off with a single up the middle. SS Ronny Cedeno doubled, putting two runners into scoring position. Burres chopped an infield grounder that let Doumit score, and LF Jose Tabata’s sacrifice fly brought in Cedeno. But the Astros kept coming at Burres, with a solo homer in the top of the 3rd, then 3 more runs in the 5th. Two singles and a fielding error by RF Matt Diaz tied the score, and a double and a sacrifice fly drove in 2 more runs, to give the Astros a 6-4 lead. Alvarez’s homer got the Pirates within one run again in the bottom of . 2B Neil Walker got the run back in the bottom of the frame with a double, scoring on a single and a sacrifice fly by 1B Lyle Overbay. The Astros put the game away in the top of the 9th. With Tyler Yates on the mound, three consecutive singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave the Astros 3 more runs.
Chris Resop gave up a double but kept the Astros from scoring in the 8th inning. Mike Crotta pitched a perfect 6th inning, continuing his scoreless streak for the spring. 2B Pedro Ciriaco singled and pinch-hitter Steve Pearce doubled in the game, both boosting their cause as they try to make the Opening Day roster. LF John Bowker, CF Corey Wimberly, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez all got into the game.
The Indianapolis Indians did not have a scheduled game today.
The members of the 2010 Altoona Curve were presented with their championship rings before the Pirates’ game today.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indians had both the pitching and the hitting tuned up this afternoon as they defeated the Yankees at Bradenton. SS Jordy Mercer, 2B Josh Harrison, and C Eric Fryer each drove in two runs. The scoring started when Harrison tripled in the 3rd inning, when 3 runs came in. Mercer blasted a solo homer, then Fryer’s 2-run double was the gem of the 8th inning, as 3 more runs scored. Starter Justin Wilson pitched 3 scoreless innings, with 4 strikeouts, to earn the win. The Yankees scored their 2 runs in the 5th, with reliever Jared Hughes on the mound. Hughes pitched 2 innings and also struck out 3 batters. Tony Watson pitched 2 scoreless innings (3 K), and Anthony Claggett (2 K) and Ramon Aguero each pitched a scoreless frame.
Pirates 7, Red Sox 5
A 5-run 4th inning put the Pirates well on their way to a win this afternoon at Bradenton. The rally began when 2B Neil Walker reached base on a fielding error and CF Andrew McCutchen walked. 1B Lyle Overbay lifted a double into left field, which brought in both Walker and McCutchen. 3B Pedro Alvarez grounded to third, where Overbay was out, leaving Alvarez on first. RF Matt Diaz lined a single up the middle, and C Dusty Brown loaded the bases on an infield grounder that bounced off Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett. With two outs, Pirates’ starter Kevin Correia slipped a grounder into left field, driving in Alvarez and Diaz. When the throw in to the plate was not in time to get Diaz, the Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to throw back to third to surprise Brown. The real surprise was when Saltalamacchia’s throw sailed into left field, allowing Brown to score and Correia to move up to third. LF John Bowker gave the Pirates 2 more insurance runs with a homer in the 7th inning. Correia also singled in the 3rd inning but was out in a force play at second.
2B Pedro Ciriaco doubled after Bowker’s homer in the 7th. CF Corey Wimberly, RF Josh Fields, and SS Josh Rodriguez got into the game. Steve Pearce played a few innings at third base as well.
Correia pitched 5 innings in his start. He gave up two singles in the top of the 1st and one in the 2nd, but double plays got him out of both innings. He zipped through the 3rd and 4th innings, then gave up 3 runs in the 5th. A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly brought in the first run. Two more singles added a second run, then a throwing error by Walker at second and a sacrifice fly added an unearned run. Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless 6th, with 2 strikeouts. Then Justin Thomas allowed a run to score in the 7th on a run, a double, and a wild pitch. Fernando Nieve pitched the final two innings and earned the save even though he gave up a run on a double, a walk, and a single in the 9th.