Pittsburgh Pirates tie Tampa Bay 1-1 in 10 innings


4. 1. 21. Final. 1

Two scoreless innings from A.J. Burnett in his spring debut were one of the few highlights to take away from the Pittsburgh Pirates playing to a 1-1 tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

The Pirates left a total of 19 runners on base, with their only offense coming in the eighth inning as a result of Tampa Bay catching prospect Justin O’Conner‘s errant pickoff attempt, which bounced of of Steve Lombardozzi‘s helmet, who was stationed on third base.  Lombardozzi had led off the inning with a double.  

Burnett responded to his first work of the spring by giving up a lone hit against the eight batters he faced.  While he did not have a strikeout, he also got through the appearance cleanly without a walk.  Five of his six outs came by groundout.

Also making his spring debut was highly-regarded prospect Nick Kingham.  Kingham was equally impressive, tossing two scoreless innings of his own, striking out two in the process.  Kingham gave up two hits over nine batters faced.    Brad Lincoln, trying to rejoin the Pirates as a non-roster invitee, gave up the lone Tampa Bay run, a solo home run from Corey Brown.  Rounding out the Pirates pitching, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Antonio BastardoRob Scahill, and Adam Miller all got through a scoreless inning each.  

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The Pittsburgh Pirates did not fare much better offensively, with Andrew McCutchen, Chris Stewart, Jeong-ho Kang, and Andrew Lambo all going 0-for-2.  As we previously mentioned, the Pirates left 19 runners on base in the contest, four of which came from Sean Rodriguez, who went 0-for-3.  McCutchen once again focused on hitting, playing from the DH spot.  Lombardozzi was the lone bright spot, going 2-for-2 with a double and the only Pirate run scored.

What Stood Out:

As stated above, the Pirates left 19 on base, which would be more troubling if not for the Rays, who left the same number stranded on board.  Lambo, seeing real competition for a spot on the 25-man roster from Jose Tabata and Jaff Decker, is now batting .125 on the spring.  This number would not be so alarming, being that it is spring training, yet two bad springs in a row may not leave Clint Hurdle and his staff with much confidence in the youngster going forward.

Burnett, buoyed by fan reaction, had these comments after the game:

What’s Next: 

The Pittsburgh Pirates will once again play the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday March 8, 2015 at 1:07 EST.  Going for the Jays will be Aaron Sanchez and returning to the site of his first spring start will be Casey Sadler.  As of this writing, the only regulars confirmed to be playing are Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli.  Keep your eyes on our twitter feed for an official lineup announcement.

Next: Will the Pirates' ban on Mark Madden continue?