Pearce Is On, Pirates Win On Error

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. 

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Three Hits For Cedeno With Indy; Olson Debuts For Pirates

Iron Pigs  6,  Indians  5

The Indianapolis Indians ended their 4-game spring training winning streak with a loss today to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  Pirates’ Ronny Cedeno came to minor league camp to DH in the game and posted 3 hits for the Tribe.  OF Andrew Lambo singled and tripled for the Indians, and his triple in the 4th inning brought in one run.  The score was tied at 4-4 going into the top of the 9th, with reliever Tom Boleska on the mound for the Indians.  He gave up 3 hits, including an RBI single by former Pirate Brandon Moss, plus a sacrifice fly, to give the Iron Pigs a 6-4 lead.  The Indians got within one run when INF Jim Negrych got on and was brought across the plate by INF Josh Harrison’s RBI single.  Lambo’s single loaded the bases with one out.  But a double play ended the inning and the game with the Indians unable to catch up.  

Twins  4,  Pirates  1

Newest Pirate LHP Garrett Olson made his debut with his new team this afternoon, as the Pirates lost to the Twins in Bradenton.  Olson came on in relief to pitch the 8th inning, and retired the side in order with a pop out, a fly out, and a ground out.  
Paul Maholm made the start for the Pirates.  He pitched 6 innings and gave up 9 hits and 2 walks, but allowed only 2 runs.  With two outs in the 3rd, Maholm gave up a single, then made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt, which put the runner into scoring position.  A single by C Joe Mauer brought in the run.  The second run scored in the 5th, when a double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases.  A grounder to short started a double play, but the runner from third still scored.  
Jose Veras pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the Indians, allowing just a double.  Anthony Claggett took the 9th, and he gave up the remaining two Twins’ runs.  A walk and a single put runners on the corners, then a ground out plated the first run.  A fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco allowed the runner from second base to come around and score.   
The Pirates’ only run scored in the 2nd inning, and was unearned.  A fielding error on a force attempt gave the Pirates runners on first and second.  C Jason Jaramillo lined a single into center field for the RBI, as RF Matt Diaz scored from second base.  
The Pirates had just 6 hits in the game, including one by LF Steve Pearce.  That gives Pearce 9 hits over his last 9 games (9-for-19,  .474), and a .308 average overall.  LF John Bowker and C Dusty Brown also singled.   CF Corey Wimberly, 2B Shelby Ford, 1B Josh Fields, pinch-hitter Starling Marte, and 3B Andy Marte all got into the game.  

The Pirates have a day off on Tuesday. 

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Crotta Has A Good Inning; Indy Indians Lose Second Game

Blue Jays 5,  Pirates  3
The Pirates lost to the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field this afternoon.   
Pitchers Mike Crotta, Chris Resop, and Joel Hanrahan each pitched a scoreless inning for the Pirates, with both Crotta and Hanrahan retiring the side in order.  Crotta was aided by a leaping catch by SS Pedro Ciriaco.  Starter Paul Maholm pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs — a solo homer in the 1st, then a 2-run homer in the 3rd.  Another run scored in the 3rd on a walk, a stolen base and a single.  Jose Veras allowed one run in the 8th on two singles and a sacrifice bunt, but he struck out the last two batters he faced to get out of the inning.

2B Neil Walker tied the score in the bottom of the 1st with his second home run of the spring.  1B Lyle Overbay and RF Garrett Jones added a run in the 4th.  Overbay walked, then advanced to second base on a wild pitch.  Jones’ single through the right side of the infield brought Overbay across the plate.  The Blue Jays helped with the Pirates’ final run in the 8th.  With two outs, CF Corey Wimberly singled up the middle, and he also moved up to second base on a wild pitch.   Three straight walks, to 3B Josh Rodriguez, pinch-hitter Andy Marte, and Jones, forced in Wimberly.  The Pirates tried a last-minute rally in the 9th, when C Wyatt Toregas singled and 2B Jordy Mercer walked.  A fly out by Wimberly ended the rally, though.  

Also in the game today:  LF Josh Fields, C Dusty Brown, RF John Bowker


 In Minor League Camp: 
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs  6,  Indianapolis Indians  5
The Indians had an early lead, as they faced Phillies’ star Roy Halladay this afternoon.  DH Tony Sanchez picked up 2 RBI with a timely double in the 1st inning, and C Travis Scott added an RBI double in the 2nd inning.  The Indians had runners on first and third in the 5th inning, when RF Miles Durham (on third) and DH Gorkys Hernandez (on first) pulled off a double steal, for the Indians’ fourth run off Halladay.  2B Christian Colonel made it 5-3 in the top of the 8th with a solo home run.  But the Iron Pigs tied the score with 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th, taking advantage of two Tribe errors and a sacrifice fly.  Reliever Anthony Claggett then surrendered a double, which drove in the go-ahead run and gave Claggett the loss.  

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Walker Homers In Karstens’ Win

Pirates  4,  Phillies  3
 
A 2-run homer by 2B Neil Walker in the top of the 6th gave the Pirates the go-ahead run and one more for insurance, as the Pirates beat the Phillies in Clearwater, FL.   A solo homer by Phillies’ DH Ben Francisco off Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm put the first run on the board in the bottom of the 2nd.  It was the only run Maholm allowed in his 3 innings of work.  He did not walk any batters and struck out two.  Jeff Karstens took over for Maholm to begin the 4th.  He also gave up a run, when Francisco and 2B Delwyn Young both doubled.  Karstens retired the side in order in the 5th inning.  

1B Lyle Overbay had 3 hits for the Pirates, beginning with a lead-off single in the 2nd inning.  That time, he was forced out at second on a subsequent play.  Overbay led off the 4th with a double into left field.  He moved to 3rd base on Neil Walker’s ground out, then scored on DJ Garrett Jones’ sacrifice fly.  RF John Bowker tied the score in the top of the 5th, when he doubled into left field, then scored on ground outs by SS Chase d’Arnaud and CF Andrew McCutchen.  Overbay’s third hit of the game was a line drive single in the top of the 6th, and Walker followed that with his blast over the right field wall to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead.  

Tony Watson came on to pitch the 6th inning.  He had two runners get on base, with a walk and a throwing error by d’Arnaud.  But d’Arnaud redeemed himself moments later, when he took the throw from Watson on a bouncer back to the mound, and turned the inning-ending double play.  Watson gave up a run in the 7th on a pair of singles, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single.  That inning also ended on a double play, when Watson struck out former Pirate Brandon Moss, then C Dusty Brown threw out the runner from first as he tried to steal second base.   Sean Gallagher buzzed through three batters, retiring all on a total of 5 pitches in the 8th inning.  Chris Leroux took the top of the 9th, and he also got out of a jam with a spectacular double play.  A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and another walk put two runners on base with one out.  SS Freddy Galvis lifted a long fly ball to left center field, but LF Alex Presley tracked it down with a long running catch, then whirled and fired in to the infield.  A relay by SS Brian Friday, then to 1B Garrett Atkins, and the runner from first base was doubled off, ending the game.  Leroux was credited with the Save, and Karstens got the win.

Also in the game:  2B Pedro Ciriaco singled in the 8th and stole second base.  CF Corey Wimberly, 3B Josh Fields, PH/DH Andrew Lambo, an PH/RF Steve Pearce all got into the game.   

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Durham And Atkins Both Homer For Pirates

The Pirates played two split-squad spring training games this afternoon (Monday):

Orioles  6,  Pirates  4
The Pirates were held to 5 hits at McKechnie field this afternoon, but one of the big ones was a 2-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th by RF Miles Durham, who was up from minor league camp.  1B Lyle Overbay also singled for the Pirates, scoring the first Pirates’ run of the game in the 5th.  3B Pedro Alvarez knocked in the remaining run for the Pirates, in the 6th inning.  LF Jose Tabata led off the inning with a single, stole second base, then scored on Alvarez’s single    Alvarez also doubled for the Pirates.

LF John Bowker, SS Brian Friday, CF Mel Rojas, 3B Andy Marte,  1B Steve Pearce, 2B Chase d’Arnaud, 2B Jim Negrych, and C Wyatt Toregas all got into the game for the Pirates.   

Paul Maholm took the loss for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the 1st inning on a double and a single, then another on a solo homer in the 2nd.  Jeff Locke allowed a run on two hits in the 6th.  He allowed a single and a walk, then with two outs, an RBI single brought in a run.   Justin Wilson got the first out, then walked the next three batters to load the bases in the 8th.  A double and a sacrifice fly drove in all three of the base runners.  Jeff Karstens pitched 2 scoreless innings, then Tyler Yates, and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless frame.   Cesar Valdez finished up the 8th for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 9th, facing only 4 batters.

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