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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Hague Looking to Hit His Way to Pittsburgh

BRADENTON, Fla. — All Matt Hague has done in his professional career is hit. Hit, hit, hit. And so far during the Grapefruit League this spring, Hague has continued to swing a hot bat. So much in fact that Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle has a nickname for him, ‘the hit collector.’ The 26-year-old was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 9th round of the 2008 draft after playing college ball at the University of Washington and...

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