BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 4-1 to the Baltimore Orioles in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday night.
Left-hander Erik Bedard made his fourth Grapefruit League start of the spring on Monday night at McKechnie Field. Over six-plus innings, Bedard allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits. Bedard walked one and struck out five and threw 79 pitches.
After tossing four hitless frames, which included striking out the side in the 1st inning, Bedard gave up his first hit — a single up the middle by catcher Matt Wieters to start the 5th. But Bedard escaped the inning quickly with a fly out and an inning ending double play.
“Just like I do every game, change speeds and hopefully they don’t hit it,” Bedard said. “Today was a lot of swing and miss early…After that, I just threw strikes and changed speeds.”
Bedard worked himself into a jam in the 6th inning, but once again, was able to work his way out of it. With two outs, Nolan Reimold reached on an infield single hit to third baseman Pedro Alvarez. J.J. Hardy followed with the second straight hit, a single up the middle. Nick Markakis hit a single into shallow left field to load the bases for All-Star center fielder Adam Jones. Bedard was able to get out of the jam unscathed by striking out Jones to end the inning.
Wieters picked up his second hit off Bedard to start the 7th inning, a double into center field. Mark Reynolds followed with a single into right field to plate the first run off the lefty. After giving up his third straight hit, Hurdle called upon Jason Grilli from the ‘pen to get out of the inning. Ronny Paulino hit a grounder to third base, but Pedro Alvarez’s throw to first sailed into the stands for an error, allowing the second run to score. Grilli went on to strike out two of his next three batters to end the inning.
“It was the plan going in,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said of bringing in Grilli in the high leverage situation. “Actually, we put it in place the other day but the situations didn’t work the same way. We’re going to look for these opportunities this last week going in.”
“Erik pitched extremely well. We got his pitch count up to where we wanted it. And to be able to bring Jason in that situation. Just to go ahead and test the mental early. To get him out there early with runners on base. I thought he handled it very well.”
After drawing a leadoff walk, McCutchen showed off his speed by swiping second base in the 7th inning. He advanced to third on the error throw by Wieters. Garrett Jones picked up his team-leading 13th RBI with a ground out to first to bring the game within a run.
The Orioles plated a run in the 8th and 9th innings off the Bucco bullpen. Wieters picked up his third hit on the night with a RBI single to center off righty Juan Cruz in the 8th. Lefty Tony Watson gave up a RBI single to Blake Davis in the 9th.
- Relief: Jason Grilli: IP, 2 K; Juan Cruz: IP, 2 H, R, K; Tony Watson: IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER
- Neil Walker collected the only hit for the Pirates – a double to center field in the 4th inning which was misplayed by the center fielder Adam Jones.
Tuesday Game Info:
- The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 tomorrow in Clearwater. Chris Resop is scheduled to start for the Bucs against lefty Cliff Lee. Joel Hanrahan, Chris Leroux, Jared Hughes and Ryota Igarashi are scheduled to follow in relief.
- Jeff Karstens is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game at Pirate City tomorrow. The decision to start Karstens at PC instead of against the Phillies was to get the relievers more work, and build up Karstens pitch count.
“You take these opportunities where you’re going to jump their pitch counts up,” Hurdle said. “It best just to it in that kind of environment like we did with [Kevin] Correia today. They’re going to get their pitches. They’re going to get their 100 pitches. It’s not all result oriented. They can work on something’s, and then next time out they can go ahead and face competition once they get that stretched out feeling underneath them.”