Pirates Defense “Sloppy” in 8-5 Loss to Toronto

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates defense was sloppy in the Pirates 8-5 loss in the Grapefruit League home opener on Sunday afternoon. Chase d’Arnaud, Shairon Martis and Starling Marte all contributed to an error a piece as the Bucs fell to an 0-2 record this spring.

Marte’s error proved to be more costly of the three. Trailing just one run when they started the 6th, the Blue Jays plated four runs (three earned) off reliever Evan Meek.

Meek gave up a leadoff single and a walk before Adeiny Hechavarria and Anthony Gose both hit back-to-back RBI singles. Right fielder Starling Marte, who replaced Nate McLouth in the game, bobbled a ball and allowed Gose to advance to second base.

Two more runs scored after Travis Snider hit a grounder to Meek, but Jeff Clement didn’t over first base allowing a run to score. Meek ran the ball to the bag himself, Gose taking advantage by scoring the fourth run of the frame.

“We were sloppy on defense,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “It wasn’t where it needed to be to play a game, to play an exhibition game, to play a Major League game, to play a Minor League game. And I thought their defense was very good, so I don’t think the weather had anything to do with it. It’s a lack of focus.”

“We’re dealing with humans, not hardware. Sometimes they just have bad games. You don’t like them, so you address them and you try to heighten the awareness and you move on. No one likes to go out and play bad.”

Left-hander Erik Bedard made his spring training debut on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Signed as a free agent by Pittsburgh over the offseason, Bedard took the mound for his first live game action of the year.

Bedard started his outing by hitting the first batter he faced, then Travis Snider ripped a double down the right field line. Outfielder Ben Francisco followed by hitting a sac fly to left, Alex Presley juggling the ball in the strong winds to take a 1-0 lead. Snider then stole third base and scored when Brett Lawrie hit a ground out to short.

“I think we got to work down in the zone more,” Bucs Manager Clint Hurdle said. “I think it was good that he was out there making all his pitches, throw his pitches, but you got to get more down in the zone.”

In the second, Bedard tossed a scoreless frame. For the second straight inning, Bedard allowed the leadoff man aboard. However, Bedard was able to erase the mistake by getting Jeff Mathis to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Bedard struck out Adeiny Hechavarria end his two inning outing.

“Just trying to get my work in, just try to throw strikes and that’s it,” Bedard said of his first outing. “Just try to throw strikes and get the feel of it. It will take a couple outings to get the real good feel and get ready for the season.”

Overall, Bedard allowed two runs on a hit with two walks and a strikeout.

“I do what I would usually do in the season, just throw everything,” Bedard said. “It will take time. It’s just spring training, first game.”

The Pirates scored a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. d’Arnaud hit a RBI single to right field, Rod Barajas trucking home from second base. Barajas picked up two more RBI in the 3rd. After Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley picked up back-to-back singles and Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases, Barajas knocked a two-run single.

The Pirates scored two runs in the 7th inning in the 8-5 loss to Toronto. In his first at-bat this spring, Nick Evans hit a solo homer to right field to start the 7th inning. Gorkys Hernandez hit a RBI single to center to plate the second run of the inning.


Game Notes:

  • Relief: Shairon Martis: 2IP, 4H, 2R, 0ER, K; Joel Hanrahan IP, 2K; Evan Meek: 0.2IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB; Jose Diaz (minor leagues): 0.1IP; Doug Slaten IP; Jason Grilli IP, K; Daniel Moskos IP, BB
  • Rod Barajas went 2-for-2 with two RBI; Nate McLouth went 1-for-3 with a double.

Monday Game Info:

The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM on Monday. Jo-Jo Reyes will get the start for Pirates (two innings) against lefty Brian Matusz.

  • Lineup for the Bucs against the O’s:

Alex Presley 7

Josh Harrison 6

Yamaico Navarro 4

Matt Hague DH

Pedro Alvarez 5

Gorkys Hernandez 8

Garrett Jones 3

Starling Marte 9

Michael McKenry 2

  • Following Reyes in relief are: Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, Duke Welker, Bryan Morris, Mike Crotta, Tim Wood
  • Extras: Jeff Clement, Jordy Mercer, Tony Sanchez, Eric Fryer, Chase d’Arnaud, Anderson Hernandez, Ramon Cabrera