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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Pirates Notebook: Bedard Looking Forward to Opening Day Start

BRADENTON, Fla. — Lefty Erik Bedard has come a long way from the last time he got an Opening Day start — back in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners. During ’08, Bedard was placed on the disabled list twice, once for inflammation in his left hip, the other was for stiffness in his left shoulder, which ended his season. Two months later, Bedard underwent arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder to remove any non-healthy...

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Morton Solid in Start, Plans to Be Ready for Season

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates (7-12)  lost 7-2 to the Detroit Tigers (14-3) at McKechnie Field on Friday afternoon. Right-hander Charlie Morton tossed four scoreless frames scattering two hits and struck out two in his fourth official Grapefruit League start of the spring. Morton threw 55 pitches over his four inning outing. The two lone hits Morton gave up came in the first and third inning. Andy Dirks led off the 1st frame...

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