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.
Orioles 13, Pirates 3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates’ pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI. The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates’ starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer. Fox struck again in the 7th — Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox’s second homer. Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee. Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out. The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs. Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher. Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.
While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8. Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates’ only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double. That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk. He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez’s double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule. Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning. 1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field. RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles’ shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base. Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo’s RBI single. LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker’s ground out. CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle. Overbay reached base on a catcher’s interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.
Also getting into the game: LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez. Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th. In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple. Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power. Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning. Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.
Blue Jays 5, Pirates 0
The Pirates were held to just 4 hits in this afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. 3B Pedro Alvarez had two of the hits — a two-out single up the middle in the 1st inning, and a single on a pop up in the 6th. The single in the 1st moved CF Andrew McCutchen, who had walked, to third base, and the single in the 6th followed a line drive double by 2B Pedro Ciriaco and moved Ciriaco to third base. Both times, however, the innings ended without the Pirates being able to get the run in. The only other hit in the game was by 2B Brian Friday, who led off the top of the 9th by beating out a grounder to third. After a strikeout, 1B Andy Marte walked, putting two runners on base. But pinch-hitter Gift Ngoepe struck out and C Jason Jaramillo grounded out to end the game.
James McDonald made the start and was responsible for 4 of the Jays’ runs. He gave up a double, two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the top of the 1st. He retired the side in order in the 2nd, but got into trouble again in the 3rd. A double and a throwing error by SS Corey Wimberly gave the Jays a run in the 3rd. With two outs and a runner on second base, McDonald had reached his pitch limit (about 50 pitches), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas. Thomas gave up an RBI single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout. Chris Resop surrendered the remaining Toronto run in the 5th. Back-to-back doubles by former Pirate Jose Bautista (who went 3-for-3) and Travis Snyder brought in that run. Resop struck out the next two batters, and ended the inning with a ground out. Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke each pitched one scoreless inning for the Pirates. McCutchen gave up two hits and Locke gave up one. Wilson walked one batter and struck out the other three he faced.
Also in the game: SS Chase d’Arnaud, LF Gorkys Hernandez, CF Alex Presley, RF Andrew Lambo, 3B Garrett Atkins.
Pirates 4, Blue Jays 1
Pitchers were the story for the Pirates this afternoon in Dunedin, Florida. Five Pirates’ pitchers combined to hold the Blue Jays to 4 hits this afternoon in Dunedin, Florida. Charlie Morton made his second strong start in the Grapefruit League. He gave up one run in the top of the 1st, courtesy of two former Pirates: CF Rajai Davis led off with a double, legged out when LF Matt Diaz was a little slow in picking up (the Pirates should have anticipated Davis’ speed). 3B Jose Bautista drove the run in with a single slipped through into left field. Morton ended the inning by inducing a double play, then he retired the side in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. That included a nice barehanded snatch of a bunt attempt, and a whirl to throw the batter out at first. Brad Lincoln buzzed through the next three innings, retiring all 9 batters he faced. Morton and Lincoln each struck out one batter, and neither gave up a walk. Tyler Yates and Jeff Locke each took an inning, and neither gave up a hit, though Yates walked one. Cesar Valdez gave up the other two Jays’ hits in the 9th inning. After a strikeout, he surrendered two singles, and with a wild pitch, that gave him runners on the corners. But he picked the runner off first, then ended the game with a strikeout.
The Pirates’ hitters were having some trouble with Blue Jays’ starter Brett Cecil. Cecil struck out 5 of the first 6 Pirates’ batters, and allowed only one hit, a double by C Jason Jaramillo, in the 3rd inning. Jaramillo doubled again to lead off the 6th inning. CF Andrew McCutchen followed with a walk, then a ground out put both runners into scoring position. 3B Pedro Alvarez drove in both with a standing triple into the right field corner, to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. They added a run in the 7th, when 2B Brian Friday doubled into left field with two outs, then scored on C Dusty Brown’s single. Another two-out rally provided the Pirates’ fourth run in the top of the 9th. SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a singled into right field, then stole second base. 3B Josh Rodriguez slipped a single into left field, and Ciriaco came around to score. Rodriguez also stole second base, and Brown was hit by a pitch, but the rally ended when CF Corey Wimberly popped out.
Also getting into the game: Jeremy Farrell pinch-hit (ground out) in the 8th inning; his father, John Farrell, is the new manager of the Blue Jays. 1B Josh Fields, LF Alex Presley, RF Gorkys Hernandez, and 3B Andy Marte also played.
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.