Bucs win final spring home game in walk-off fashion
The Pirates won their final game at McKechnie Field this season on Sunday in walk-off fashion against the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4.
Rays’ Daniel Mayora’s throwing error in the bottom of the ninth allowed infielder Josh Rodriguez to score the game winning run.
Left-hander Paul Maholm started his final game of the spring against fellow Southpaw David Price.
Maholm allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts over five innings. Maholm has allowed just five walks this spring while striking out 18 over 25 innings.
Maholm told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I felt a lot more comfortable pitching in. I think as far as pitch counts go, I got to 96 [mph] last time, and I’d say I threw about 70-75 [mph] today. I feel good. I’m just ready go into the cold stuff and see what we can do.”
Kelly Shoppach homered off Maholm in the 2nd inning to the give the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 lead.
The Bucs tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the third when Andrew McCutchen grounded out to short, scoring second baseman Neil Walker.
Maholm gave up his second home run of the game in the 5th, a left field solo shot by Ben Zobrist. Reid Brignac singled to right field to tack on another run, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.
Jose Tabata hit his first home run of the spring in the bottom of the 5th to the pull the Bucs within one run.
The Pirates took the lead in the 6th inning. Ryan Doumit hit a single scoring Matt Diaz and Pedro Alvarez.
Chris Leroux, who is fighting for one of the final spots in the bullpen, allowed the game tying run in the 9th, a solo home run to John Jaso.
Josh Rodriguez drew a walk and advanced to second on Jose Tabata’s fielders choice. Rodriguez came in to score the walk-off run after Mayora threw wide to first base.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched two perfect innings while striking out three. It marked the first time this spring that the Bucs closer pitched multiple innings.
- The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins on Monday for the final game of the spring. Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Pirates against Left-hander Francisco Liriano.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the entire club will travel for the road game and fly into Philly afterwards. The Pirates face the Phillies for two exhibition games before the season kicks off in Chicago on April 1st.
- Chris Snyder said he back is feeling better and expects to be the starting catcher for opening day.
Snyder told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I could play today if I had to. “I’ve been through way worse with my back in 2009.”
General Manager Neal Huntington told Biertempfel of the Tribune, If he’s not ready to catch back-to-back games, we’re either going to carry a third catcher as protection or we’re going to look at the (disabled list).
- Biertempfel of the Tribune also reports that left-hander Joe Beimel threw 30 pitches off a mound on Sunday and was pain free. Biemel (elbow) is expect to be with the team sometime in April.