Pittsburgh Pirates lose to Twins 8-3 as Sadler is hit hard
By Tyler Waite
Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting pitcher Casey Sadler has had a strong start to Spring Training, but that has likely come to an end. Coming into today, Sadler had pitched 5 innings of no-hit, no-run ball with 3 strikeouts and no walks. That scoreless streak was ended as a 2-run blast from Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas topped off a 3-run first inning for the Twins (5-3) as they cruised to an 8-3 win over the Pirates (4-5).
The game continued a streak in which the Pittsburgh Pirates are averaging only 1.8 runs/game in 10 contests since an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the team’s Grapefruit League opener. A throwing error by Neil Walker allowed Twins outfielder Jordan Schafer to open the scoring and put the Twins up 1-0 as Minnesota never relinquished the lead.
Opposite Sadler was Twins’ righty Ervin Santana, ready to play for a team that inked him to a 4-year, $54 million deal this past offseason. Santana pitched two scoreless innings as he has yet to allow a run this spring.
The Twins scored 3 more off of Pirates reliever Jared Hughes, who hopes to carry the success he had last year over to this season. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario hit the 2nd 2-run home run of the game in a 3-run 5th inning effort by Minnesota.
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What Stood Out:
The most pressing issue for the Pirates as a team this spring has been the stagnant offense, which continued on Friday. Although the team continues to rack up hits, base runners are being stranded, a problem the Pirates have had in the past. With full seasons from Gregory Polanco and Josh Harrison in the lineup, the Pirates hope that won’t be a problem again this season.
Casey Sadler will be a player to keep an eye on in 2015, as the season-ending Tommy John surgery undergone by Brandon Cumpton could make Sadler the top option out of Triple-A Indianapolis should the Pirates need a starter.
In other news, Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the lineup due to lower-body soreness. This was most likely just a precaution and shouldn’t be an issue moving forward.
The Pirates will travel to Fort Myers, FL to take on the Boston Red Sox at 1:05pm on Saturday in the teams’ 2nd meeting this spring. Gerrit Cole will make his 3rd start of spring training and will face off against Boston lefty Henry Owens, MLB.com’s 20th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.