Pearce comes up big in Bucs 8-7 win over Rays
Steve Pearce knocked in Andrew Lambo from third in the ninth inning for the go-ahead run in the 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Friday.
The Pirates combined for 15 hits –the most this season and picked up their 7th victory this spring. The seven wins tie the total of wins the Bucs had last year, with 19 games still remaining.
The Bucs greeted Rays’ Wade Davis win runs rather quickly. They tacked on four on seven hits through the first two innings.
Davis pitched three innings allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks.
James McDonald’s outing started off well –a 1-2-3 first inning for the right-hander. McDonald was pulled after just two innings, four hits, two runs (one earned) with two walks, after suffering discomfort in his left side. Manager Clint Hurdle, along with the training staff met him off the mound and he walked off the field holding his left hip. McDonald could be suffering from an oblique injury, but at this time, the Pirates have not announced any more information.
Brian Burres pitched three shutout innings, giving up just two hits. He did walk four and struck out one.
The Pirates at one point had a comfortable 7-2 lead over the Rays, but things began to unraveled quickly from the bullpen.
Daniel Moskos allowed four runs on three hits with one walk and a strike out. The pitching staff combined for eight walks this afternoon.
Fernando Nieve picked up the save after pitching a scoreless frame, allowing just one hit.
- Scott Olsen completed his second live batting practice session Friday morning without any issues.
- John Bowker hit a pinch hit two-run homer in the Bucs 8-7 win over the Rays, extending his hit streak to five games. Bowker is battling for a bench spot on the roster this year.
- Pedro Alvarez continues his hot bat this spring. He went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Alvarez is batting .310 in 10 games this year.
- Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI. He was pulled in the third inning due to discomfort in his left wrist. He, along with McDonald were taken back to Bradenton for further tests. No additional information on their injuries has been announced. You can read more on their injuries here.
- Ryan Doumit was officially diagnosed with a right oblique strain on Friday. The Pirates said he will be reevaluated on March 16th –which means it’s unlikely to get any playing time before then.
Doumit said on Friday that the injury was not serious but, “These things can get a lot worse if you’re not careful with them, so I’m going to play it safe.”
- The Pirates have 20 stolen bases so far this spring (15 games).
- Corey Wimberly, who picked up his first hit of the spring on Thursday, went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. He was also picked off at third base.
- Josh Rodriguez replaced Ronny Cedeno in the fifth after being sidelined for several days. Hurdle: “We’re just happy to get him back. He’s been out a few days; he was dinged up a little bit, and we had to shut him down. … He made a couple nice plays at short today, moved around well. He seems to be physically fit; we just need a long look at him.”
- Chris Leroux entered the eighth inning with a 7-6 lead. He allowed two hits, a walk and the tying run to score. According to reports, Leroux walked off the mound, covered his mouth with his glove, and let out quite the howl.
Leroux is fighting for a spot in the Bucs’ bullpen this year, and has been working on, well, everything.
“I’ve been working on a lot on my mechanics, [which are] almost totally different than I used to be when I came into camp,” the 6-foot-6 right-hander said. “I’m working on following through. I tend to come up when I finish, and that leaves the ball up sometimes. My front step, I need to keep my front side closed, and it’s just a bunch of different things. My mind’s racing a mile a minute when I’m out there.”
“I always like to think that I have a chance of making it,” Leroux said, “but now with all my mechanical changes, I realize that it’s going to be a process.”
Leroux has allowed two runs over five innings on six hits with three walks.
- Ross Ohlendorf will start Saturday (four innings) in a split-squad game against the Phillies. He’ll be followed by Jose Veras (one or two innings), Aaron Thompson (two) and Tyler Yates (one).
Jeff Locke (two innings) will start the other game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. He’ll be followed by Sean Gallagher (two or three), Daniel McCutchen (two), Ramon Aguero (one) and Mike Crotta (two or three).