Today, the often AWOL Bucco attack used the wind and some muscle to bop four long balls and pull away late from the Red Sox for a 9-7 win. Delwyn Young, Garrett Jones, Steve Pearce and John Raynor went long, accounting for seven of the nine runs.
For Young, it was his fifth bomb in six games; he shares the Grapefruit league lead in homers with Tampa Bay's Sean Rodriguez. Jones added a double and had 3 RBI.
Neil Walker continues to plug away; he was 1-for-2 and is hitting .455 while playing the outfield today. Besides third base, he's also been working at second; good to see him increasing his value this spring instead of grousing about being a Littlefield guy.
Jimmy Negrych and Jeremy Farrell were the minor-league extras today, and both singled this afternoon. And hey, Brandon Moss lined a one-base knock for his first hit of the spring, breaking an 0-for-22 stretch.
In his second straight start against the Red Sox, Paul Maholm allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings. He struck out two. Brian Burres, Brendan Donnelly, and Jean Machi each pitched scoreless innings; Jeff Karstens went 2/3 of an inning without giving up a run.
Evan Meek yielded a run on three hits in his frame. Vinnie Chulk lasted just one-third of an inning and was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks. Meek's had a spotty spring, and he's a key to the back end of the Pirate bullpen, especially with Joel Hanrahan on ice. His progress bears watching over the final couple of weeks.
-- The Pirates will visit Sarasota tomorrow to face the Orioles. Charlie Morton will make the start against Baltimore's Brad Bergesen. He'll be followed by D.J. Carrasco, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, and Jack Taschner.
-- Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata were assigned to Indy; it had something to do with a MLB service date, not their performances. Pedro was hitting .296, Jose .250.
Injured pitchers Tyler Yates, Neal Cotts, Craig Hansen and Jimmy Barthmaier were sent to minor league camp, along with Doug Bernier and Jonathan Van Every, for future assignment.
-- Jack Taschner overhauled his mechanics over the winter, and no, not under the Dr. Frankenstein sorcery of Joe Kerrigan. He went from an over-the-top release back to a three-quarter delivery, working out with his old college coach. Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review has the story.