Pittsburgh drew first against Ricky Romero with some small ball. Starling Marte singled, stole second, took third after a bunt and touched home on a Gaby Sanchez bouncer. The Blue Jays answered quickly. With an out, Melky Cabrera singled and Jose Bautista followed with a walk. JP Arencibia singled a run home, and a sac fly by Mark DeRosa plated another. Adam Lind cranked out a double, and it was 3-1 before the beer guy could peddle his first tray.
In the second, the Pirates opened with a Garrett Jones double and Jordy Mercer walk; they ended up stranded at second and third. They made it 3-2 in the third. After opening walks to Felix Pie and Gaby Sanchez, a one-out knock by The Fort drove in a run. But the hardest hit ball of the frame killed the rally. Jones lined a shot to first; Lind gloved it and stepped on first to double up the helpless McKenry.
Sanchez left a pair on in the Jay half, and the Bucs tied it in the fourth. With two away, Sanchez helped his own cause with a double. Marte reached when Lind dropped the toss to first to put runners on the corners. Marte managed to get himself picked off when he was caught leaning, but stayed alive long enough for Sanchez to scoot home. The tie didn't last long. Maybe Sanchez was gassed a bit, but the first Toronto hitter, old Bucco Rajai Davis, greeted him with a bomb to make it 4-3.
Pie opened the fifth with a soft single over third, but he happy-footed himself into an out at second trying to stretch the bloop. Sanchez got the first two outs, then Jhonathan Ramos came on to whiff DeRosa. Sanchez went 4-2/3, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk with six K. The Pirates went quietly in the sixth. Jason grilli came on, and he was greeted by a Lind long ball to make it 5-3.
The Bucs were blanked in the seventh, as were the Jays against Tony Watson, who appears to have found his previously missing mojo over the last couple of appearances. Mark melancon gave up a run in the eighth on a walk, stolen base and single, and that was the ballgame, a 6-3 Toronto win.
As happens a bit too often to the Bucs, two walks turned into two runs. And the hitters went 1-for-11 with RISP. Ah well, it's the spring, right?
AJ. Burnett goes against the Twins tomorrow afternoon in the last home game at McKechnie Field.
- We expect the Bucs to finalize their roster tomorrow afternoon when they break camp.
- Root Sports will air 151 Pirate games this year. In addition, five more will be shown by Fox Sports on May 4 vs Nats, June 1 vs Reds, June 29 vs Brewers, July 13 vs Mets & August 17 vs D'backs
- Chad Qualls has won a job in the Marlin bullpen. If you're curious, Matt Capp signed a minor league deal with Cleveland and Lyle Overbay did the same with the Yankees.
- Exicardo Cayones, who the Pirates sent to the Yankees as part of the AJ Burnett deal, was sent by the Bronx Bombers to Cleveland as part of the Vernon Wells trade. Have salary dump, will travel.