Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bucs Beat Birds 4-2

The Bucs struck quickly, jumping up 1-0 after back-to-back lead-off doubles by Josh and The Kid. Alas, they stranded five runners - four in scoring position with one out - in the first three frames. Vanimal went his four frames putting up a zippo, struggling only in the fourth when a walk and two-out lob put Birds on the corners, but he got Manny Machado on a hard-hit one-hopper to second. Pittsburgh put together another score on a Sean Rodriguez single, a grounder that moved him to second and a pinch hit knock by Tony Sanchez. It stayed knotted after five, with Mark Melancon working a clean frame.

Whatever Vanimal and Elias Diaz decided today, it pretty much worked (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Antonio Bastardo gave the lead up in the sixth. A five pitch walk followed by a heater down the middle that Steve Pearce lined into the bullpen made it 2-2 in a hurry. Starling Marte tried to start the Pirates engines, but he decided to cruise into second instead of going hard on a ball to left and was called out. He beat the throw and quick swipe by a hair, but his mental TOOTBLAN put him in a position to be rung up (no replay during the spring) and he was.

Arquimedes Caminero had his first multi-inning outing of the spring, tossing a pair of goose eggs. The Bucs took the lead in the eighth. Stetson Allie singled and stole second (which we don't expect to see very often). Andrew Lambo hit one to the gap; the wind held it up long enough to be corraled, but it moved Allie to third. He plated when Gorkys Hernandez banged one through a drawn-in infield to put Pittsburgh up by a run. Gorkys got to third on a poorly handled ball by Everth Cabrera and scored when Alen Hansen slapped a slicer into right to make it 4-2. Blake Wood made the tally stand with a scoreless ninth.

They tied the B game 2-2, with Willy Garcia driving in the tying run with two outs in the seventh (the last inning).  Frankie Liriano went four frames/58 pitches and gave up both runs. Ya gotta love B games; Matt Weiters' arm is still untested after June TJ surgery. He caught six frames for the Birds with the gentleman's agreement that no one would try to steal off him.

The Pirates are off tomorrow, with the Astros paying them a visit on Tuesday. Jeff Locke will match up against Roberto Hernandez. The club will be on TV Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday night.

  • Worley and Liriano became the first Buc hurlers to go four full innings as the pitchers are now being stretched out to the four IP/60 pitch range.
  • Stetson Allie was reassigned to minor league camp after the game. He showed well during his time in the big league group.
  • Who sez you can't go home anymore? Travis Snider and Steve Pearce combined for five of the seven Oriole hits today. 
  • Cutch sat again and Clint said he was "day to day." We hope that with tomorrow's off-day, he should be good to go on Tuesday. Sometimes the Pirates blow smoke around injury reports better than the Penguins. 
  • Chris Stewart is slated to return Tuesday; he was out with a hammy tweak.
  • Jim Benedict took the strolls to the mound today; Ray Searage has a bum Achilles and left the walking and talking to Benedict.

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