The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their third straight game on Thursday afternoon in Tampa against the New York Yankees. That was after winning their first three games of the spring. Steven Brault started and was pulled after loading the bases in the second inning without recording an out. He gave up four runs on three hits and four walks. Geoff Hartlieb and Alex McRae each threw two shutout innings.
Jung Ho Kang connected on his third home run of the spring in the first inning. JB Shuck and Pablo Reyes each hit their first spring homer later in the game. Jose Osuna and Patrick Kivlehan each hit doubles, while Will Craig had two singles and a run scored.
The Pirates go split squad today, sending a group led by Clint Hurdle to face the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, and another group of players led by Tom Prince will head to Dunedin to face the Toronto Blue Jays. With all of the backups and relief pitchers, there are almost 60 players between today’s rosters for the two teams. Here are the lineups:
- Lonnie Chisenhall RF
- Jung Ho Kang 3B
- Jose Osuna LF
- JB Shuck CF
- Kevin Newman SS
- Kevin Kramer 2B
- Will Craig 1B
- Jacob Stallings C
- Nick Kingham P
This is the first time that the pitcher is in the lineup this spring and it’s just this game today. The game in Dunedin will use the DH (NL teams will occasionally use their pitchers to hit in AL parks during spring). Nick Kingham gets the start, and he will be followed by Tyler Lyons, JT Brubaker and Dario Agrazal. The Pirates are also sending along Montana DuRapau, Scooter Hightower, Bret Helton and Logan Sendelbach.
The sixth inning replacements today include Bligh Madris (RF), Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B), Logan Hill (LF), Lolo Sanchez (CF), Ji-Hwan Bae (SS), Zack Kone (2B), Jerrick Suiter (1B) and Arden Pabst (C). The rest of the bench has John Bormann, Grant Koch, Hunter Owen, Chris Sharpe and Adrian Valerio.
VS Blue Jays
- Patrick Kivlehan RF
- Francisco Cervelli DH
- Colin Moran 3B
- Josh Bell 1B
- Bryan Reynolds CF
- Jason Martin LF
- Cole Tucker SS
- Christian Kelley C
- Stephen Alemais 2B
Pitchers for today are Rookie Davis, followed by Michael Feliz, Eduardo Vera, Jesus Liranzo and Blake Weiman. The extra bullpen pitchers are Sean Keselica, Angel German, Yeudy Garcia and Tate Scioneaux.
The sixth inning replacements are Randolph Gassaway (Rule 5 minor league pickup), Rodolfo Castro, Mason Martin, Travis Swaggerty, Calvin Mitchell, Oneil Cruz, Jason Delay and Alfredo Reyes. Zac Susi, Deon Stafford, Jared Oliva and Erich Weiss are also on the bench. This will be the first Spring Training action for Martin, Swaggerty and Mitchell.
The Pirates return home on Saturday to face the Yankees. It will be the second start for Jordan Lyles, who will be followed by most of the Opening Day bullpen. Felipe Vazquez, Keona Kela, Kyle Crick, Richard Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano are all scheduled to get work.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.