James McDonald made his second start of the spring, and the Birds banged three long balls off him in two frames to take a 4-0 lead that they never relinquished. The Buc bats collected 14 hits, two of them homers by Gaby Sanchez, to chip away at but never quite conquer the mountain.
Brian Roberts took the second pitch yard, and it was 1-0 after one. The Orioles played HR derby in the second when with two outs, Nate McLouth singled and Nolan Reimold homered to left, and three pitches later, Wilson Betemit took one over the right field fence. In McDonald's defense, today was he was focusing on his heater, which apparently stayed up more than he'd like, and the wind was blowing out a bit, a bad combo.
The Bucs put together single runs in the next five frames. In the third, Jared Goedert singled and Ivan DeJesus walked to start the inning for Pittsburgh. After a pair of whiffs, Cutch bounced one up the middle, scoring Goedert but ending the frame when Dejesus was thrown out handily trying to get to third. J-Mac settled down and put a zero on the board.
Sanchez homered to open the fourth, and with one down, Travis Snider and Mike McKenry had knocks, but a Goedert 6-4-3 DP ended that threat. Chris Leroux had a 1-2-3 frame and the Bucs cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fifth when Starling Marte tripled and was cashed in on a Chase d'Arnaud sac fly.
Chris Leroux was touched up for a run in the Baltimore half. After a leadoff single and a fly out, d'Arnaud and DeJesus couldn't turn a DP. A passed ball set up Matt Weiters, who lined a single to right to make it 5-3. Sanchez added another bomb in the sixth to make it 5-4; Jason Pride restored the two run pad with his own longball off Duke Welker.
The Bucs played small ball in the seventh, and that's just what they got. DeJesus led off with a double and Brett Carroll walked. Josh Harrison bunted them up, and DeJesus scored on an Alex Presley sac fly to make it 6-5. They blew a chance in the eighth after Snider was caught stealing following a leadoff knock (he was also picked off earlier in the game). In the meanwhile, Kyle Waldrop and Vic Black put up goose eggs.
In the ninth, Jordy Mercer drew a walk and moved to second. With two down, Presley beat out an infield knock to second. Mercer tried to sneak home with the tying run, but Steve Pearce was ready for the challenge and tossed him out to end the game. Let's hope the base running is a result of early camp and doesn't become a season-long kamikaze kraze, as it's so often done in the past.
- After walking 15 yesterday, the Pirate staff didn't issue a free pass today.
- Five of the six Baltimore runs came with two out, and four of those with the bases empty.
- Today, the FO announced that they reached agreement with all their 0-3 service year players (like they had a choice), so the 40-man roster is now officially all in the fold.