The Twins came back quickly. Aaron Hicks banked a ball off Gerrit Cole (he was OK) for an infield knock, stole second and came home after a pair of grounders to knot the score.
The game moved along quietly after that. Both sides left runners on first and second in the third frame. The game stayed 1-1 until the eighth; there weren't many opportunities for either side, and the Bucs squandered their few chances by banging into three DPs.
This spring's pitching bugaboo, the walk, bit the Bucs in the eighth. Kris Johnson walked two Twinkies, and one came home on Brandon Boggs ground single into left. That was the ol' ballgame. Pittsburgh put runners on first and second with two down in the final frame, but Jared Goedert went down looking to wrap it up.
Cole and Justin Wilson were pretty strong today. Cole went four innings, giving up a run on five hits with four K. Wilson worked the next three and put up zeroes, yielding two knocks and punching out five. The lefty has gone five straight scoreless outings and his spring ERA is 0.90 as he bids for a spot on the roster.
Phil Irwin gets the call tomorrow against the Yankees as the Pirates continue to add to their book on the arms still battling for positions for either this year or in the near future.
- Mike McKenry and Tony Sanchez apparently haven't filled the FO with confidence. Peter Gammon tweets that the Pirates, among others, are in the market for an experienced catcher.
- In the blog Roto Arcade, Delton Del Don compares the value of Andrew McCutchen v Matt Kemp.
- Jared Stonesifer of Yahoo Sports posts "Why The Future is Now For The Pirates."
- Only in the spring can you see the Bucs top four pitchers all work on the same day. AJ Burnett tossed a AAA game while Wandy Rodriguez took the bump for the Dominican Republic. Gerrit Cole, the Pirates top young gun, started today's Grapefruit League exhibition and Jameson Taillon climbed the hill in a AA exhibition.
- Wandy Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings for Dominican Republic against Puerto Rico today. He retired his last nine batters and left after throwing 74 pitches (the WBC limit is 80). He gave up two hits, two walks and whiffed four.