Morton, Lincoln both impressive in Bucs 4-1 win over Blue Jays
The battle for the 5th spot in the rotation gets even more competitive after impressive innings by both Charlie Morton and Brad Lincoln in the 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fl. On Thursday afternoon.
Charlie Morton gave up a lead off double to Rajai Davis in the first inning then former Bucco Jose Bautista hit an RBI single to give the Blue Jays an early 1-0 lead. Morton settled down and didn’t allow any more hits or runs over the rest of his outing.
Morton faced 10 batters through three innings, needing just 25 pitches.
“He’s letting the ball work for him now,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Morton. “He’s kept the ball down with great regularity. It’s great to see him out there competing and feeling good about himself.”
Brad Lincoln was even more impressive. Lincoln was scheduled to throw two innings but stayed in for a third. Lincoln finished the day facing the minimum nine. No runs, no hits, no walks, one strikeout.
“Brad was very good today,” Hurdle said. “Much better with his command than his first time out. The ball was coming out of his hand a little more crisper. He had some sink to the ball. He pitched very efficiently as well.”
The rest of the pitchers behind Morton and Lincoln were solid as well.
Tyler Yates and Jeff Locke did not allow a hit nor a run during their inning of work.
Caesar Valdez allowed two hits but struck out two and didn’t allow a run during his inning.
- Andrew McCutchen batted lead off for the first time this spring. Manager Clint Hurdle is still unsure of whether McCutchen will bat lead off or third this year. Hurdle said spring training is the time to figure it out.
- Brett Cecil struck out the side (McCutchen, Steve Pearce and Matt Diaz) in the first inning. He then went on to strike out four Bucks in a row (Alvarez in 2nd inning) and six of the seven batters he faced (Cedeno in the 3rd).
- Ronny Cedeno 0-for-11 so far this spring.
- Pedro Alvarez hit a two RBI triple in the fifth inning. He is batting .357 so far this spring.
- The Pirates pitchers continue to pick off runners at first base this spring –something they have been working on a lot during Camp Hurdle. Cesar Valdez picked off John Tolisano in the ninth inning.
- Evan Meek will make his spring training debut on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays (pitching one inning).
Meek will throw a 20 pitch bullpen on Friday.
- Olsen appears to be a week to 10 days away from making his grapefruit league debut as a Bucco.
Olsen is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Then throw two rounds of live batting practice on Monday to see if he’s ready to go.
- The Pirates return home (McKechnie Field) on Friday to play the Phillies.
Kevin Correia will get the start for the Bucs followed by Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Bryan Morris, Kyle McPherson and Daniel Moskos.
Joe Blanton is scheduled to start for the Phillies.