The Pirates offense saw two more homeruns–Andrew McCutchen and Tony Sanchez –but the offense did little else. The Pirates were blown out 9-2 by the powerful Baltimore Orioles who are averaging eight runs per game this spring.
The Bucs were sparked in the first inning by a leadoff single from Starling Marte. Little did they know that unlike the previous two games, nothing would happen behind Marte to get the Bucs on the board in the first inning. Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen retired the next eight batters he would face firing three shutout innings.
O’s first baseman Chris Davis showed Bucs pitchers why he was a phenom last year as Davis went 3-for-3. The opposite field is where Davis gets paid and he showed off his oppo power with an absolute blast. J.J. Hardy also homered when he sent a ball over the 360 sign.
The Orioles plated six runs off Pirates starter Edison Volquez. The right-hander has now given up nine runs in five just innings pitched this spring. Volquez actually looked better which isn’t saying much- seven hits, two bombs and three strikeouts while walking one in 2.2 innings (Matt Gooseggs Benedict got the final out in the third.) Brandon Cumpton gave up the other three runs on six hits over three innings.
How much of a pro is Tony Sanchez? Well, he not only led the Bucs offense with two knocks, but took the blame for his pitcher’s struggles. Link
His stuff was really good. Unfortunately, that was the first time I’ve ever caught him, and him and I weren’t on the same page,” Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez said of Volquez. I could see he was uncomfortable throwing to me, and it kind of affected him. I take that to heart. I did not feel good back there because I knew he wasn’t really in sync. There was a lot of shakes, a lot of time in between pitches.
“I knew he wasn’t in the rhythm that he wanted to be in. That’s natural after coming over from somewhere else and throwing to a guy you’ve never thrown to before. It’s a process. You have to learn these guys, and that’s what Spring Training is for. Unfortunately, we did give up a couple home runs off some quality pitches, but those are big league hitters, and that’s why they’re in the bigs.