Hague Hits Team-Leading Fifth Homer in Bucs Tie to Rays

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays ended in a 3-3 tie at McKechnie Field in Bradenton on Friday afternoon. Left-hander Tony Watson got the “start” for the Pirates against the Rays on Friday at McKechnie Field. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle elected to go with all bullpen arms to get their regular work in while the starters are starting to pitch deeper into games. It marked Watson’s eighth...

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Pirates Notebook: With Morton on DL, Roster Decisions Loom

BRADENTON, Fla. – After placing right-hander Charlie Morton on the disabled list to start the 2012 season, Huntington said the decision to carry an extra bench player, rather than an arm, is still in discussion. Instead of carrying 12 pitchers, the Pirates could decide to use 11 arms (four starters and seven relievers) and 14 position players to help the club during their tough month of April. “That is an option,” Huntington...

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McDonald Struggles with Command in Loss to Twins

BRADENTON, Fla. – Right-hander James McDonald’s last trip to the mound on Saturday against the Houston Astros was impressive. McDonald tossed 5.1 of hitless ball, and overall allowed just one run on two hits over 7.0 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three while throwing 75 pitches. McDonald fared much differently in his fifth start during Grapefruit League action of the spring on Thursday afternoon at...

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Utility Battle Heating Up During Final Week

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The battle for the backup utility/bench job looks to be a tough competition during the final week of spring training. Other than the starting nine, the club has five spots for bench roles. Nate McLouth is a lock for the fourth outfielder, Michael McKenry will back up Rod Barajas at the plate, and the club will go with Casey McGehee in part of a platoon at first base with Garrett Jones. That leaves two positions...

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Pirates Collect 20 Hits in Win Over Astros

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates won 9-7 to the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium on Sunday. The club combined for 20 hits off the Astros arms. “We were able to go to the plate and really ground out some at-bats well,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We were taking what was given to us. We hit most of the balls where they were pitched. Not some big swings, not much out of control, aggressive...

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