Pirates Drop A.J. Burnett, Phillies


Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison (5) singles during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates captured another Spring Training victory with a 4-1 win in Clearwater getting an early run off Phillies starter A.J. Burnett.   The loss drops the Phillies to 1-4 in Grapefruit League play.

A questionable call may have hurt Burnett, but the Bucs didn’t seem to mind thanks to a one out Gregory Polanco double.  Burnett beaned Pedro Alvarez with a two-out breaking ball and also hit Jordy Mercer, but I didn’t notice the pitch type.  Besides the two hits batsmen, Burnett was his old self, getting four groundouts.

The controversial play was a ground ball up the middle which was fielded by Freddy Galvis.  He tagged the second base bag for the final out, but the umpire called the runner safe and Polanco scored.

Polanco and Travis Snider struckout against Philadelphia’s top prospect southpaw Jesse Biddle in the third.  But El Toro singled and Chris Dickerson followed with a blast that plated Alvarez who was off and running on the pitch to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish.

Biddle walked Pirates catcher Chris Stewart in the fourth.  Hurdle called for the sacrifice bunt and a Jordy Mercer groundout to the right side moved Stewart to third with two outs.  Bucs outfielder Jaff Decker hit a pop up to center, but Tony Gwynn Jr. lost it in something called the sun)?)–those of us in Pennsylvania have not seen much of it this winter.  The sunshine gave the Bucs a 3-0 lead.

The Phillies scored off southpaw Yao-Hsun Yang in the fifth inning.   A Freddy Galvis single started the inning and then Cody Asche was beaned and then Zach Collier was beaned to load the bases.  The lefty got Tony Gwynn swinging, but a walk to Carlos Ruiz got the Phillies on the board.

Josh Harrison crushed a solo bomb–over the tiki hut–in the sixth to set the final score.

Notable: Another nice outing from Stolmy Pimentel and the Buccos staff.  Notable, Joely Rodriguez pitched well against the veteranoisty of the Phillies lineup.  Adam Wilk also flashed a nice pickoff move and worked around some defensive struggles by the Buccos.