Geez, it's becoming a broken record. Charlie Morton, who entered today's match with a 1.29 ERA, gave up five runs in five innings while the bullpen threw some gas on the fire as Joel Hanrahan and Chris Resop each gave up a pair of tallies in the Bucs' 9-5 loss to the Rays.
Morton gave up his five runs on five hits with two walks, a hit batsman, and two K's. Hanny threw an inning and yielded two runs on one hit, two walks, and two wild pitches. Resop tossed a frame and surrendered two runs on three hits, two for extra bases. Ouch!
On the bright side, Jose Veras did pitch a clean inning with a whiff.
All three guys battling for the middle infield bench spot had a hit. Pedro Ciriaco scored and had a stolen base, ditto for Corey Wimberly, and Josh Rodriguez doubled in two runs.
As for the corner bench wanna-bes, Andy Marte pounded out two more knocks, including a double - he's hitting .364 - and scored twice while Steve Pearce, batting .283, wore the collar today. Dewey doubled home a run, Morton knocked in another, and Matt Diaz scored.
For the Pirates, it was their fourth loss in a row and eighth in the past ten outings, not exactly how you want to come out of the spring.
It doesn't get easier; Pittsburgh faces the Yankees tomorrow. Kevin Correia is going against a Yank TBA. The game will be shown on FSN/Root Sports at 1:05 PM.
-- James McDonald will throw in a minor league game tomorrow; it's still iffy as to whether he'll be able to go for his first scheduled regular season start on April 5th.
-- Neil Huntington said Joe Beimel won't be ready for the start of the season, and gave no ETA for his comeback. Since he's on a minor-league deal, he doesn't have to be stashed on the DL; he can either rehab in Florida or if prolonged, at Indy, which starts play on April 7th.
-- The clock is ticking. Teams must set their 25-man rosters by 11 AM on March 31st, less than a week from now. And all the pitchers are making their final spring starts; the time for fine tuning is over.