Pirates’ Starting Lineup Shiver In Philly

Phillies  8,  Pirates  5

The Pirates’ regular starters played the entire game on a chilly night in Philadelphia — a big change from the weather they’d enjoyed in Florida for the past 6 weeks.  2B Neil Walker provided the offensive boost, reaching base in 4 of his 5 at-bats, with a walk, three singles, and one RBI.  Starter Ross Ohlendorf lasted 4 innings, and allowed 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, one walk, and 3 hit batters.

LF Jose Tabata led off the game with a walk, and Walker followed with a single slipped into right field in the top of the 1st.  1B Lyle Overbay brought both runners in with a double, to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.  The Phillies got one run back in the bottom of the frame, on a pair of singles and a throwing error by C Ryan Doumit.  Ohlendorf began the bottom of the 2nd by surrendering a solo homer to Phillies’ Ben Francisco, then loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batters.  A fielding error by SS Ronny Cedeno and a sacrifice fly brought in two more runs for Philadelphia.  The Phillies made it 6-2 in the 4th, when Ohlendorf hit his third batter of the game, and allowed 3 more singles.  

Minor leaguer Mike Dubee, whose father Rich Dubee is the Phillies’ pitching coach, pitched a perfect 5th inning for the Pirates.  Chris Leroux started the 6th inning and allowed a walk and a single, then an RBI ground out.  He was relieved by Garrett Olson, who finished the inning with a fly out and a ground out.  Jose Veras threw a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th.  Evan Meek took the bottom of the 8th, and began by giving up two singles, including one to former Pirate/Indy Indian C Erik Kratz.  A fielding error by Walker kept the inning going, and Kratz scored an unearned run on an RBI ground out.  

The Pirates scored again in the top of the 5th.  Pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez and Tabata both walked to open the inning, and Walker lined into right field, where Francisco misplayed the ball.  Both runners scored and Walker ended up on third base, credited with a single.  CF Andrew McCutchen plated Walker with another single.  

The Indy Indians were scheduled to play the Las Vegas 51′s in Dunedin this afternoon — no word on the results. 

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Walker Goes 4-For-4 But Pirates Fall

Orioles  11,  Pirates  7
The Orioles pounded out 15 hits, including 3 homers, to the Pirates’ 8 hits (and 4 home runs) this evening, as the Pirates lost in Sarasota, Florida.  2B Neil Walker took care of half of the hits and half of the homers for the Pirates — he homered in the 1st inning, singled in the 3rd, homered again in the 6th (both solo homers), and singled in the 8th.  
The Pirates got onto the scoreboard in the top of the 1st, with back-to-back homers by 1B Lyle Overbay (2 runs) and Walker.  Starter Ross Ohlendorf worked around a single in the bottom of the 1st, but gave up two solo homers in the bottom of the 2nd, then an unearned run in the 3rd on an error, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  
The 3-3 tie lasted until the bottom of the 5th, when the Orioles got to Ohlendorf with a 2-run homer, a double, and a walk.  Evan Meek relieved Ohlendorf with two outs and runners on first and second.  The first batter Meek faced, former Indy Indian JJ Hardy, singled in a run, to give the Orioles a 6-3 lead.   The Pirates got one run back with Walker’s second homer in the top of the 6th, but the Orioles scored 2 more unearned runs off Meek in the bottom of the frame.  Garrett Olson came in to pitch the 7th inning and allowed 3 more Orioles’ runs, with a walk, a double, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single.  
The Pirates rallied for a run in the 8th, on a lead-off walk by Overbay, and singles by Walker and 3B Pedro Alvarez.   They added another 2 runs in the top of the 9th when SS Josh Rodriguez blasted a 2-run homer.  
Chris Leroux pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning for the Pirates.  Pedro Ciriaco got another two innings in at center field, where he made some outs.  Also in the game:  pinch-hitter Steve Pearce, pinch-hitter/LF John Bowker.

The Indy Indians were scheduled to play a game against the Las Vegas 51′s in Bradenton this afternoon.  No results available at this point.  
Last season’s 2nd round draft pick Stetson Allie pitched in an intrasquad game at Pirate City this afternoon.  In two innings, he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.   

Other notes:
The Pirates released, then immediately re-signed OF Austin McClune.  Not sure what that was about.  

Former Pirate pitcher Oliver Perez, who was released by the Mets on Monday, signed a minor league contract with the Nationals yesterday.   

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Six-Run Inning Stops Pirates, But Indians Get A Win

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.  

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Nice Pitching By Dubee, Crotta, and Boleska

Twins  4,  Pirates  2
The Pirates fell to a 3-3 record in Grapefruit League play this afternoon at McKechnie field.  Both teams posted 9 hits, but the Twins did a better job of pushing runs across.  Ross Ohlendorf made the start and was charged with the loss, but the only run he gave up was unearned, and 4 of the 5 outs he recorded were strikeouts.  The run came in the top of the 1st, on a walk, a passed ball, and an RBI double.  Ohlendorf got the first two outs in the top of the 2nd, then gave up a single, and by then he had reached his pitch limit.  Mike Dubee, up from minor league camp, finished the inning for Ohlendorf, blowing three pitches past Jason Repko for a strikeout.  Tony Watson pitched the 3rd inning, and gave up a run on a walk and an RBI double.  

The Pirates got one run back in the bottom of the 5th.  RF Andrew Lambo started the rally with a ground rule double down the left field line, and then he scored on LF Jose Tabata’s single up the middle.  Mike Crotta pitched 2 scoreless innings, working around a hit in each (4th and 5th).   Joel Hanrahan took over for the 6th.  The first batter he faced, 2B Luke Hughes, drove a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.  After the homer, Hanrahan got two outs, then loaded the bases with a walk and two singles.  Hanrahan was relieved by another minor league pitcher, Tom Boleska, who needed just one pitch to end the inning with a fly out, leaving all three runners stranded.  

Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 8th for the Pirates.  Justin Thomas gave up another unearned run in the top of the 8th.  With one out, a fly ball to center field should have been either an out or a harmless single, but CF Gorkys Hernandez had trouble with the windy conditions.  He dropped the ball, then when he tried to pick it up off the ground, he dropped it twice more.  That allowed the runner to reach third base (3-base error).  An RBI single brought him in from third base.  Chris Leroux finished things up by retiring the side in the top of the 9th.  The Pirates rallied again in the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, DH Steve Pearce lifted a double into center field.  C Dusty Brown lined a single into right field, plating Pearce from second base.  Pedro Ciriaco pinch-ran for Brown, and he reached second base on RF Starling Marte’s ground out, but another ground out by LF Alex Presley ended the game.  Marte had singled in the 7th inning, but was out at second on a force play.

Also getting into the game:  SS Corey Wimberly, SS Chase d’Arnaud, 3B Garrett Atkins,  2B Brian Friday, and 1B Josh Fields

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Roster Moves and Winter Leagues: Rough Night For Morton And Hamman

A few roster moves by the Pirates today:

Several players have been removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to AAA Indianapolis:� LHP Justin Thomas, RHP Sean Gallagher, RHP Steven Jackson, 1B Jeff Clement, and OF Brandon Moss.

Of these, Thomas, Jackson, and Moss are now all free to declare themselves minor league free agents.� Clement does not have enough service time to get to be a free agent, so he’s “stuck” on the Indianapolis roster.� He’s had knee surgery, and hopes to be ready by spring training.� Gallagher does have the service time, but the Pirates are probably negotiating with him to try to keep him.

LHP Wil Ledezma has signed a one-year contract with the Pirates for 2011.

RHP Jose Ascanio and 1B Steve Pearce (who has also had knee issues) are officially off the DL and back on the 40-man roster.� RHP Ross Ohlendorf also falls into this category.

On to Wednesday’s winter league action, with Pirates’ players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Senadores de San Juan� 4,� Gigantes de Carolina� 3� — San Juan rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score one run in the 5th and 2 runs in the 6th for the win.� Los Gigantes scored one run in the 4th on a double and a single.� They added 2 runs in the 5th, on two singles, an error, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.� Benji Gonzalez made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Gigantes in the 8th inning, but flied out.� He remained in the game at third base for the final inning.

Criollos de Caguas� 4,� Indios de Mayaguez� 0� — 3B Ramon Vazquez and SS Luis Figueroa each had one hit for Los Criollos in their win.� Vazquez’s single in the 5th drove in one of Los Criollos’ runs.� They also scored 2 runs in the 4th on two singles and two errors, and another run in the 6th on two singles and a sacrifice fly.

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