Vance Worley strong as Pirates rally to top Baltimore
By Jake Misener
In the midst of a battle for the final spot in the starting rotation, Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-hander Vance Worley turned in a solid four innings of work Sunday, doing his part to get the club to another come-from-behind win – this time over the Baltimore Orioles.
Pittsburgh (6-5) rallied with two runs in the bottom of the eighth; a frame that began with a leadoff single off the bat of Stetson Allie – who spent last season with the club’s Double-A affiliate. Allie then stole second before advancing to third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Andrew Lambo.
Gorkys Hernandez then came through with the big clutch hit – a single through the Baltimore infield that was pulled in in hopes of keeping the game tied 2-2. That base knock proved to be the difference in a game that was tight throughout.
Following the game, Allie was optioned to Minor League camp – but at least the youngster ended his run with the big league club on a high note, scoring what proved to be the winning run.
The only two hits surrendered by Worley came off the bats of a pair of former Pirates – Travis Snider, who was traded this offseason, and Steve Pearce. In all, Worley – and Pittsburgh pitching, as a whole, – was roughed up by Snider and Pearce, who combined to go 5-for-7 in the contest.
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Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker opened the scoring with an RBI double early on against Wei-Yin Chen, the Baltimore starter, and Tony Sanchez added an RBI single in the fourth – the only runs for the Pirates’ offense until the eighth.
What Stood Out:
The Pittsburgh offense racked up a dozen base hits on Sunday – led by a pair of knocks off the bat of leadoff man Josh Harrison – who is now batting .417 on the spring.
The young infielder – who finally has a stable position after Pedro Alvarez shifted over to first base – will be a key part of the Pirates’ ball club this season, and, if everything goes to plan, he’ll replicate the standout work he put in last year as the team’s super utility player.
The Pirates have Monday off before heading back home to Bradenton to battle the Houston Astros – a club that appears poised to be competitive for the first time in years after a busy offseason.
First pitch on Tuesday is slated for 1:05 p.m. CT and Worley’s competition for the final spot in the Bucs’ rotation, Jeff Locke, will make his second start – and third appearance – on the young spring.