Yep, pitching is what wins games, as today once again proved. Toronto's Ricky Romero was on top of his game, going four innings and giving up one hit, two walks and whiffing six. During the day, 13 Pirates struck out against five Blue Jay pitchers.
J-Mac wasn't. He had trouble locating his hook, and the result was a 29-pitch opening frame. McDonald went 2-2/3 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits, a walk and a pair of Ks. Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Justin Wilson and Jeffrey Locke pitched well; Justin Thomas, Chris Resop and Daniel McCutchen weren't sharp in their outings today.
Offensively, Pedro had two of the Pirates four hits, and neither was exactly spanked. Joey Bats came back to haunt his old club, banging out three hits - two were doubles - scoring twice and bringing a run home.
The result was a wire-to-wire victory for Toronto by a 5-0 count.
The Bucs will host Tampa Bay tomorrow. Ross Ohlendorf will start against David Price.
-- The d'Arnaud brothers, Chase and Travis, played against each other in the late stages of the game. Both struck out swinging at off-speed pitches; we guess poppa d'Arnaud only threw heaters in the backyard.
-- Pedro Ciriaco is in the hunt for the back-up middle infielder after being practically an afterthought going into camp. It's early and the spring, but he's hitting .385. Josh Rodriguez is also handling the stick well, batting .285, while Corey Wimberly is still hunting for his first knock of the spring and not looking all that steady at shortstop.
-- Evan Meek is ready to go after rehabbing his calf; he's supposed to work against the Rays tomorrow.