Indians Play To Tie; Walker In The Outfield For Pirates

Young was the first to homer for the Pirates, with a 2-run blast in the 4th inning off Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. �That gives Young 5 home runs in 6 games, and a tie for the most homers in the Grapefruit League. �DH�Garrett Jones was next in the home run parade, with a 2-run shot in the 5th inning. �PH/DH Steve Pearce added a 2-run homer in the 7th inning, and�CF John Raynor contributed�a solo homer in the 8th.

Boston got onto the scoreboard first, with a 2-run homer off Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm in the top of the 1st. �The Pirates scored their first run in the bottom of the 2nd, when C Ryan Doumit doubled and scored on 3B Andy LaRoche’s RBI single. �The Red Sox scored another run in the top of the 3rd, and Garrett Jones kept pace with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning, to make the score 3-2. �Young’s and Jones’ homers gave the Pirates a 6-3 lead after the 5th inning. �Reliever Vinnie Chulk got into trouble in the 7th inning, with a solo homer, the loading the bases. �One run came in on the BoSox effort, and Chulk walked in another. �He was replaced by Jeff Karstens, who gave up an infield single, scoring another run (charged to Chulk).

Pearce broke the 6-6 tie with his homer in the bottom of the 7th, but Boston got one run back in the top of the 8th, as Evan Meek gave up a run on 3 hits. �Raynor’s home run gave the Pirates an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th. �Karstens was charged with a Blown Save, but also earned the win. �Jean Machi pitched a scoreless top of the 9th to earn a save. �Brian Burress and Brendan Donnelly also pitched a scoreless inning apiece.

2B Jim Negrych and 3B Jeremy Farrell were the lucky ones who came from minor league camp for the game — they each had a hit. �C�Luke Carlin and 1B Brian Myrow also got into the game. �Myrow made a sparkling double play, scooping up a bouncer near first, throwing to second base where SS Ramon Vasquez was covering, and then scrambling back to the bag to take the return throw from Vasquez. �I hope we get to see more of that in Indianapolis this season.

Other notes:

Inf Brian Bixler, who was traded to Cleveland over the winter, has been removed from the Cleveland 40-man roster and designated for assignment. �If he does not get picked up on waivers by another organization, we could see Bixler with the Columbus Clippers.

Former Indy Indian (2007-08) Luis Ordaz, an infielder who was a defensive star for the Indians, has signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

The Indians have signed OF Jason Cooper to a minor league contract. �Cooper is a 29-year-old Washington state native, who was the Cleveland Indians’ 3rd round pick in the 2002 draft. �He played in their organization for 7 seasons, including 3.5 seasons at the AAA level (Buffalo, at that time). �He hit a combined .246 for Buffalo, with 80 doubles, 19 triples, 46 home runs, and 251 RBI. �His highest average (.260) was in 2007. �In 2009, Cooper returned to Buffalo, now in the Mets’ organization, but played in only 26 games and hit .169 with 4 RBI. �He was released, but then signed to play independent league ball. �He played in 17 games for Lancaster of the Atlantic League, but hit .145 with 3 homers and 9 RBI. �He did better �in 54 games for St. Paul of the American Association, hitting .288 with 14 doubles, 3 triples, 11 home runs, and 44 RBI. �Depending on how things shake out with some of the other outfielders in the Pirates’ system, Cooper could fill in with the Altoona Curve, or maybe with the Indy Indians.

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