Paul Maholm turned in one of his typical bend-but-don't-break starts - six innings, two runs, nine hits, two walks and five K's - but to no avail as the Bucco bats were again in the deep freeze, generating just six hits in a 4-1 loss to the Twins.
The Pirates only went down on strikes twice, but grounded out 15 times, and bounced into two DPs.
Pittsburgh scored first when the sizzling Jason Jaramillo brought home Matt Diaz in the second. The lead didn't last long; Joe Mauer singled in the tying tally in the third. Maholm was in trouble in the fifth, but got away with just one run coming home on a Delmon Young 6-4-3 twin killing. It got him out of a pickle, but ended up driving home the eventual winning run.
That's how it stayed until the top of the ninth. Jose Veras and Garrett Olson kept the Twins quiet in the two earlier frames, but Anthony Claggett gave up a pair on two hits and a walk. It wasn't as bad an outing as it seems. One hit was a fly that dropped between two outfielders, and a run scored on Pedro Ciriaco's two-out boot at short.
The Pirate's have their second and last off-day of camp tomorrow. Houston will come to McKechnie Field Wednesday for a 1:05 PM tilt. Brian Burres will start for the Pirates against J.A. Happ.
-- The Pirates were counting on getting Rule 5 RHP Nathan Adcock back from the Royals. They still might, but he's deep into camp and has a good shot at sticking, according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Rumors.